Many moms will say that pregnancy can be great, but it is not without its downfalls. It is a great feeling to be able to carry and care for another human being, but it is also very taxing on the body. Pregnant women probably experience more physical changes than anyone else in a span of nine months or so. There’s the growing belly, the growing pains, nausea, swelling, amongst other problems all leading up to the big day(s) when it’s time to push the bowling bowl of a baby out of you. There are the symptoms, like the ones described above, that every mother expects. Then there are other symptoms that are rare and/or dangerous for both the mom and the baby.
Sometimes a woman can experience symptoms that seem pretty normal, but it is linked to something else. Sometimes, a mother may not even know that there are complications or feel that something is wrong with her body or baby. It’s in these cases that it is important to know what the danger signs are and the risks that are associated with them. This way the parents can better prepare themselves for what’s to come and even know how to prevent certain complications from occurring. Below we’ve put together the top list of things to look out for when it comes to dangerous pregnancy symptoms. Some things may seem rarer than others, but all can have pretty bad consequences if not treated in a timely manner.
15 Severe Dizziness
It is normal for a woman to experience dizziness during pregnancy. Frequent headaches are also pretty common. Most of the blood in a pregnant woman's body is going towards her baby, so there is not a lot going towards other parts of the body. Because of this, standing or even sitting too fast can lead to dizziness. But when dizziness is accompanied with other symptoms, it may be a warning sign that something is going on.
Dizziness accompanied with severe headaches or even fainting spells could mean a number of things. These can be symptoms of preeclampsia, but it can also be signs of dehydration or something else serious. A good way to combat these symptoms if they are due to dehydration is by staying hydrated with plenty of fluids, mostly water, throughout the day. If symptoms persist, it may be a good idea to go to the doctor.
14 Really High Temps
When a woman gets pregnant her basal body temperature raises. So it is not uncommon for a woman’s body temp to be higher than usual. Women are also more prone to getting sick during pregnancy due to a lower immune system. Getting colds or even just a general stay-in-the-bed type feeling are both prone to happen to many women during pregnancy.
If a woman gets chills or has a temperature higher than 103. Generally a normal body temp for a pregnant woman is between 98.6 and 103 degrees. A temp higher than that could be a cause for concern. A high temp could mean that the pregnant mom has an infection, and it could cause a miscarriage. Earlier on in pregnancy, high temps could cause all sorts of problems for the expecting mother’s body and it could cause problems for the baby also. Later in pregnancy, it is not likely that a high temp could seriously damage the baby, but it doesn't mean that something bad could not happen. If a high temperature persists, a doctor’s visit may be warranted.
13 Extreme Hunger Or Thirst
Most women experience crazy cravings, especially during the beginning of their pregnancy. It’s not abnormal for expecting moms to crave weird foods or super greasy stuff, and occasionally it is okay to indulge. Ultimately, mom is eating for two and sometime three or four people at a time which means eating and drinking quite a lot. However, there are instances when extreme hunger and thirst could be signalling a deeper problem.
Eating a lot can contribute to a number of problems including unhealthy weight gain, high blood pressure and high blood sugar, overweight babies and more. Most commonly, it can lead to gestational diabetes. If a woman seems to always be thirsty or develops an insatiable appetite while indulging in less than stellar food options, she could have gestational diabetes. This occurs when the mother’s body is unable to produce enough insulin. The best way that doctors can treat this is by monitoring and changing the diet or with the use of insulin.
12 Frequent Or Painful Urination
It’s no secret that pregnant women tend to pee, a lot. There is a baby that is pretty much sitting on the bladder, making it harder to relieve yourself thoroughly and thus leading to an urge to constantly use the bathroom. This is normal and not really a cause for concern. However, a painful or burning situation is very much a cause for concern.
Painful urination can most likely be linked to a bladder infection or UTI. Luckily these can be treated with certain medications as prescribed by a doctor. If a woman fails to take care of the issue, it could lead to a variety of problems for her and the baby as the infection could start to manifest itself in other forms during pregnancy. An untreated bladder infection could lead to a low birth weight baby or even send the mother into preterm labor. In order to prevent infection, pregnant women should avoid wearing tight clothing items like leggings or panty hose, wear cotton undies and drink plenty of water.
11 Moderate To Severe Pelvic Pain
Many pregnant women experience pressure in their pelvic area as their pregnancy progresses. It’s a sign that the baby is getting bigger, and the bigger the baby gets the more taxing it is on the mother’s body. Feeling pelvic pressure is not uncommon, but there is a big difference between pressure and pain. Some women describe feeling twinges or sharp pains in the pelvic area that go away almost as soon as they arise, but persistent pelvic pain might be a sign that the mother needs to visit a doctor.
Persistent pelvic pain could be due to a variety of issues. Some women experience accommodation pain, which is essentially period cramp-like pains that occur as the uterus expands to make room for the growing baby. A little less common are pains due to ovarian cysts. Functional cysts are pretty common, but they tend to grow as the pregnancy progresses. The growing uterus can put pressure on the cysts and cause pain. If the cyst ruptures somehow, it could make pain worse and that could be a cause to visit the doctor. A more severe type of cyst is called a torsion. This occurs when a cyst twists after some sort of vigorous activity like sex or exercise. It can be very painful and sharp and could require immediate medical attention.
10 Vomiting And Pain
Like most symptoms on this list, vomiting is a relatively common pregnancy symptom. It can be pretty serious though, if it is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and pain. Severe vomiting can lead to dehydration which can in turn lead to a plethora of other problems, so pregnant women who experience some of the following symptoms may want to seek the help of their doctor.
One issue that a pregnant woman could be facing is severe morning sickness. It entails vomiting more than once a day, not being able to keep any food down, and other issues. This can ultimately be treated with medication. Vomiting and nausea that is accompanied by pain or dizziness could not only lead to dehydration, but it could be a sign of something else like a miscarriage. If a woman is experiencing severe vomiting and pains or vomiting accompanied by other symptoms, she should seek the help of her doctor or another medical professional as soon as possible.
9 Lack Of Fetal Movement
Many pregnant mothers can’t wait to experience the first signs that life is growing inside of them. We’re not talking all the horrid pregnancy symptoms like nausea and mood swings either, For many women, the first sign comes with the kick, or a turn, or a slight tumble that lets mom know the baby is growing and doing well. Some people may regard the movements as slightly trivial, but fetal movement is a very important part of pregnancy.
Babies will often move in reaction to something. Their responsiveness is what let’s people know that they are doing well and that they are progressing finely. Again, it may seem silly to some, but parents should really try to record the movements of their baby. The time of day and how often the baby moves are important. It’s important because if something changes in the patterns of fetal movement, the parents will know and they will be able to relay that information to their doctor. The doctor can in turn figure out what is wrong with the baby, if anything, and how to fix it.
8 Skin Stretching And Itching
Amongst the many changes to the body during pregnancy, stretched skin and stretch marks have to be among the most annoying physical and visual implications. Skin will obviously stretch during pregnancy as the body has to adjust to carrying around the weight of two people. It is not uncommon for women who are pregnant to experience itchiness as a result of the skin stretching, but there are certain rare occurrences where itching could be a sign of a very serious ailment.
If a woman starts to experience an itching sensation on the palms of her hands or the soles of her feet, that could be a sign that she has cholestasis. Cholestasis causes bile buildup in the liver and can lead to pale-colored poop and itching in the hands and feet. If a woman has cholestasis, she could also be in danger of going into preterm labor or it could lead to the death of the baby. If any of the above signs occur, it is probably a good idea for the mother to visit the doctor as soon as possible.
7 Leg Cramps
Pregnancy is not without its growing pains, both literally and figuratively. There are so many different pains that a pregnant woman can experience. Leg pains can be among the worse. Pregnant women can experience leg cramps for many reasons. Often times, cramps can be solved with simple leg exercises like walking or stretching. Taking vitamins like potassium or calcium can even help reduce or eliminate cramps.
Other times, it might be safer to visit a doctor. If the pain in the calf emanates from behind the knee or if it is accompanied by swelling and redness, it is possible that the mother is suffering from a blood clot. If this is the case, parents should seek medical attention immediately. Leg cramps may not always be a sign of something serious, but it is always better to be safe than sorry in situations like these.
6 Bad Back Pain
There are a few instances where back pain and pregnancy could equate to a major problem. Most times, back pain can be linked to stress on the lower back due to the extra weight and baby. There are other times, however, where back pain can be attributed to just about anything from an ectopic pregnancy to an infection of some sort.
Women who are pregnant should become cautious if they start experiencing the following types of back pain. A dull aching across the lower back accompanied by a fever could mean that the mother has a bladder or kidney infection that needs immediate attention. Bloody urine, pain and fever or chills are all signs that could lead back to an infection. It can be treated, but it is best to visit a doctor should these symptoms persist to address the issue before it begins to take a toll on the pregnancy and the baby.
5 Flare Ups Of Chronic Illnesses
There are many women who suffer from pre-existing conditions like asthma, hypertension, diabetes, etc., who have delivered healthy babies. Not to say that they can’t, but these and other pre-existing conditions don’t come without complications.
Women who suffer from hypertension are at a greater risk of suffering from congestive heart failure, kidney failure, placental abruption, among others. Babies who have mothers who suffer from hypertension are also at a greater risk of decreased fetal growth due to a lack of space in the uterus. Women who may be on blood pressure medications may have to consider other alternatives due to pregnancy and the health of their baby. Diabetes is another tough problem t tackle, and it could become harder to manage during pregnancy. Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but for people who already have this chronic illness, it can be hard to maintain certain diabetic habits as the body goes through changes. High blood sugar can have a hard impact on a baby’s organs especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy. That is why it is important to keep up with blood glucose levels before and during pregnancy to ensure the health of the baby is not jeopardized.
4 Excessive Discharge
There are so many things going on “down there” during pregnancy that it can be hard to keep up with. There are the developing issues with bladder control and leaks, the mucus plug and the highly anticipated breaking of the waters to deal with. These things are not at all uncommon.
As a woman progresses through her pregnancy, it can become harder and harder for her to control her bladder, so leaks become common, but so can the risk for infection. If a woman starts to experience off-colored, smelly or excessive vaginal discharge, there is a chance that she has an infection. Of course the mucus plug is there to protect the baby, but that does not mean that the infection cannot spread and harm the mother and child anyways. Women who start to experience these symptoms should make a call to their doctor or visit as soon as possible.
3 Depression During Pregnancy
Sometimes, dangerous pregnancy symptoms don’t start out in physical form, but like most things, they can manifest themselves physically later on. Depression, stress, and anxiety are a few of those things. We always hear about women dealing with postpartum depression, but people rarely hear about women who deal with extreme depression during pregnancy. Women who suffer from depression prior to getting pregnant may especially have a hard time dealing with pregnancy emotionally.
Emotional changes and mood swings are likely thanks to the high level of hormones flowing through a pregnant woman’s body. So, an occasional bad day is not unusual for a pregnant woman. However, dealing with fluctuating hormones on top of battling depression can be pretty difficult and hard to manage. Women who seem to be having more than just a little bad day should definitely seek the help of a professional. Feelings of depression can lead to wanting to cause physical harm to oneself, put stress on the baby and cause a number of other physical complications.
2 Fifth Disease
This next disease is more likely to be caught by a pregnant woman who works with children or is not a first-time parent. Fifth’s disease, so dubbed because it is the 5th red rash child disease to be discovered, is most commonly known to affect babies and young children, but it can spread to adults and pregnant women. Fifth disease is caused by a virus known as parvovirus B19.
The virus is known to temporarily cause problems with red blood cell production. It is not usually a big deal for most adults and children, but it can be for people who suffer from sickle cell anemia and for some fetuses. Since the virus can be transmitted through blood it is likely that it can affect the baby through the placenta. In some rare cases, it can lead to miscarriage. In other cases, it can lead to fetal anemia, the baby’s heart becoming inflamed, or even stillbirth. It usually affects first term babies who contract the virus more than those who are further along in the mother’s pregnancy.
1 Placenta Problems
The placenta is the direct lifeline from mother to baby. It literally helps provide life by protecting the baby from bacteria and diseases, providing blood and nutrients for the baby to grow. What happens when that lifeline is severed prematurely or obstructed in some way could have dire consequences for the baby.
Vasa praevia or vasa previa is a condition in which one or more of the blood vessels from the placenta or the umbilical cord lies across the opening of the cervix, just beneath the baby. This can lead to the rupturing of the blood vessels and the loss of the baby. Often times, this issue isn’t detected until labor has begun. The blood vessels are not supported by the umbilical cord or placenta making it easier for them to rupture and further complicate the birthing process. While the condition is rare and can prove fatal under certain situations, if it is detected early enough, doctors can determine the best course of action. This usually involves a planned C-section towards the later part of the pregnancy.
Sources: Parents.com, TheBump.com, FitPregnancy.com, BabyCenter.com