Danger Signs In Pregnancy
WHAT ARE THE DANGER SIGNS IN PREGNANCY?
Most women go through pregnancy without serious problems. Normal discomforts of pregnancy can include heartburn, a need to urinate often, backache, breast tenderness and swelling, and tiredness.
There are some symptoms that may mean danger for you or the baby. Knowing these danger signs can help you know when you may need special care from your primary care provider.
See your primary care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms before the 37th week of pregnancy:
· pain, pressure, or cramping in your belly
· contractions between weeks 20 and 37 that happen more than 4 times an hour or are less than 15 minutes apart
· leaking of fluid from the vagina
Also see your primary care provider right away if you have:
· vaginal bleeding
· a lot of nausea and vomiting
· a temperature over 100°F (37.8°C)
· very bad headache
· new problems with your vision
· less movement and kicking by the baby
· sudden weight gain (3 to 5 pounds within 5 to 7 days) with a lot of swelling of the feet, ankles, face, or hands
You should also see your primary care provider if you have:
· blood in your urine or burning and pain when you urinate (pee)
· diarrhea that does not go away
· vaginal discharge with a bad odor, irritation or itching
WHAT PROBLEMS MIGHT CAUSE THESE SYMPTOMS?
Examples of some of the problems that might cause one or more of these symptoms are:
· tubal pregnancy
· severe morning sickness
· preterm labor
· problems with the baby
· blood pressure that is too high
· problems with the placenta
Cramping, contractions, and bleeding during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy can be a sign of a miscarriage and possible loss of the baby. Other signs include bleeding or a gush of fluid from the vagina. Sometimes a miscarriage can be stopped with bed rest. If you do lose the baby, you need to see your primary care provider to make sure that no pregnancy tissue is left in the uterus.
Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen during the first 3 months of pregnancy could mean that the fertilized egg is outside the uterus (womb). This is called a tubal, or ectopic, pregnancy. The pain may be worse on one side of your belly or you may feel pain in your shoulder. You may also have faintness, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. A baby cannot grow and survive in an ectopic pregnancy. Because an ectopic pregnancy could cause severe internal bleeding and be deadly to the mother, it must be ended. If it is diagnosed very early in pregnancy, the pregnancy may be ended with medicine (methotrexate). Otherwise, surgery must be done to end the pregnancy.
Severe morning sickness:
Severe nausea and vomiting that doesn’t stop in the first 3 weeks of pregnancy is called hyperemesis gravidarum. You could lose weight and too much fluid. Your body’s chemicals may get off balance. You and the baby may not get enough nutrients. It can lead to other serious problems as well. You may need to be treated at the hospital.
Labor that begins between weeks 20 and 37 of a pregnancy is called preterm labor. The signs of preterm labor can be:
· cramps that may come and go
· pelvic pressure
· low, dull backache
· more vaginal discharge or a change in its color
Your primary care provider may give you medicines or other treatments to try to stop the contractions.
Temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) or lasts 3 days or longer could be a sign of infection or illness. This can also trigger preterm labor. The infection may need to be treated with antibiotics or other medicines.
Problems with the baby:
Babies begin to move early in pregnancy but most women don’t actually feel these movements until about 20 weeks, or halfway through their pregnancy. Each baby has its own particular pattern of movement. Make sure you become familiar with the pattern of your own baby’s movements. If the baby stops moving around and kicking, it could mean that the baby is having problems. Drink a glass of juice, preferably orange juice. Next, lie down on your left side and look at a clock. Then count the number of times your baby moves in 2 hours, or how long it takes for you to feel your baby move 10 times. If, after 26 weeks of pregnancy, you count fewer than 10 kicks in 2 hours, or if the baby is moving a lot less than usual, tell your primary care provider right away. You may need tests to see if the baby is having a problem. If a test suggests a problem, this does not always mean the baby is in trouble. It may only mean that you need special care until the baby is delivered.
High blood pressure (preeclampsia or toxemia):
High blood pressure with headaches; swelling of the feet, ankles, face, or hands; pain in the upper belly; and blurred vision are some of the signs of preeclampsia or toxemia. It usually happens after about 26 weeks of pregnancy. Delivery of the baby is the best treatment. If the condition is mild and you are not too far from your due date, your primary care provider may induce labor. If the baby has not developed enough, you may need bed rest at home or in the hospital until your blood pressure goes down or you and the baby are ready for delivery. You will have close monitoring by your primary care provider until the baby is born.
Problems with the placenta (placenta previa or placental abruption):
Vaginal bleeding during the second half of pregnancy, with or without pain, may be a sign of problems with the placenta. It may be treated with bed rest, or, if the bleeding is heavy, you may need to stay in the hospital. In severe cases, the baby may need to be delivered right away.
Remember, if you are pregnant and have any of these danger signs, see your primary care provider right away.