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7 Pregnancy Warning Signs
Pregnancy brings many changes. Especially if it’s your first pregnancy, you may wonder which symptoms during pregnancy warrant immediate medical attention and which can wait until your next prenatal visit.
You should always feel free to ask your health care provider about anything that’s on your mind. But some symptoms do need swift attention, including these:
Pregnancy Week by Week
If you are newly pregnant, or trying to conceive, you have many questions about what to expect. How will your body change? What’s happening inside you? Here’s what to expect week by week.
- Weeks 1-4
- Weeks 5-8
- Weeks 9-12
- Weeks 13-16
- Weeks 17-20
- Weeks 21-25
- Weeks 26-30
- Weeks 31-34
- Weeks 35-40
Bleeding means different things throughout your pregnancy. “If you are bleeding heavily and have severe
and menstrual-like cramps or feel like you are going to faint during first trimester, it could be a sign of an
,” says ob-gyn professor Peter Bernstein, MD, of New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, and it can be life-threatening.
Heavy bleeding with cramping could also be a sign of
in first or early
. By contrast, bleeding in the
with abdominal pain may indicate placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine lining.
“Bleeding is always serious,” says Donnica Moore, MD, a women’s health expert in Far Hills, N.J. Her advice: Any bleeding during pregnancy needs immediate attention. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
2. Severe Nausea and Vomiting
It’s very common to have some nausea when you’re pregnant. If it gets to be severe, that may be more serious.
“If you can’t eat or drink anything, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated,” Bernstein says. If you become malnourished and dehydrated, that can harm your baby.
If you experience severe nausea, tell your health care provider. Medications may help, and your doctor may also advise changing your diet.
3. Baby’s Activity Level Significantly Declines
What does it mean if your previously active baby seems to have less energy?
It may be normal. But how can you tell?
Some troubleshooting can help determine if there is a problem. Bernstein suggests that you first drink something cold or eat something. Then lie on your side to see if this gets the baby moving.
Counting kicks can also help, says Nicole Ruddock, MD, an assistant professor of maternal and fetal medicine at University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “There is no optimal or critical number of movements,” she says, “but generally you should establish a baseline and have a subjective perception of whether your baby is moving more or less. As a general rule, you should have 10 or more kicks in two hours. Anything less should prompt a phone call to your doctor.”
Bernstein advises calling your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor has monitoring equipment that can be used to determine if the baby is moving and growing appropriately.
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