Growing up, every girl wants a doll to play, cuddle and make believe that it it’s her baby. Most of us are socialized to yearn for babies and when we decide our biological clock is kicking, then that's when some of us plan for that baby. Meanwhile, others are caught unawares.
Whichever way a woman gets pregnant, through a plan or by surprise, the minute she realizes that she is pregnant, her life changes. When previousl, she was by herself and could do anything she wanted, eat whatever she wanted and even go on crazy juice fasts, she is suddenly plunged into a world where she has to eat right, party less and eat healthy.
For the woman who realizes she is pregnant months or weeks after, she starts panicking because of that bottle of wine she didn't mean to finish, that aspirin she took when she had that headache, that ibuprofen she took because she just couldn’t cope, or the botox session she just had. What could happen to the baby as a result of her actions becomes an obsession?
That is why when one realizes she is pregnant or even suspects she is pregnant, she is supposed to go and see an OBGYN and schedule prenatal clinics. The benefits for these visits are many and the best thing is that the doctor will tell a mother what to watch out for to ensure that her baby is growing as well as can be expected and there are no untoward accidents. Read on to find out the 15 pregnancy red flags OBGYNs want moms to know about the minute they realize they are pregnant.
15 Slower Baby Kicks
The second trimester is a woman's wake up trimester. As much as the woman knew she was pregnant and she had gone through all the unpleasantness that comes with pregnancy like nausea, the dizzy spells, the vomiting etc, sometimes pregnancy does not seem real until the bump appears or you feel that first flutter.
Unfortunately for those without experience, the flutter may feel like gas and the first kick may be missed. If the baby has been kicking consistently and a woman has been keen on that, if that pattern slows down, it is time to rush to the hospital. Slower baby kicks could mean there is something wrong with the baby and to prevent any bad outcomes, the woman should consult the doctor to see if the situation can be salvaged. Less or no baby kicks could be a sign of a stillbirth.
14 Spotting Red
As much as a woman is told that spotting is normal and that she should expect it in pregnancy, that waiting sometimes leads to devastating outcomes and doctors now advise a woman to seek clearance from her doctor as soon as they notice spotting.
According to the Director and Founder of the Hall Center, Dr. Prudence Hall, who spoke to Redbookmag.com, pregnancy spotting is sometimes normal and is expected, but in some instances, it could be an indication of an impending miscarriage or a placenta problem or even worse, premature labor.
When it comes to pregnancy, the wait and see attitude could mean the difference between losing a child or keeping him. If a woman who is about to have a miscarriage arrives at the hospital on time, preventative measures can be taken to help stop it, but if she delays and stays in the house with the wait and see attitude, she is most likely to lose the pregnancy over something that could have been prevented.
13 Everything Keeps Spinning
For most women, the dizziness and the just not right feeling is what prompts them to visit the drug store for that pregnancy kit. Most women find they get these dizzy spells throughout their pregnancy, while for some, it only happens in the first trimester and in later stages of their pregnancy. It's a normal and common symptom says Dr. Sherry Ross, a women's health expert who spoke to Romper.com.
Dizziness is because of the hormonal changes occurring in a woman's body, as well as the fluctuations in blood sugar throughout the pregnancy. Even though it is said to be normal, some of these changes lead to blood pressure abnormalities, which in turn affects the blood flow to the brain leading to dizzy spells. Blood pressure in pregnancy is a risky thing and OBGYN warn that if you get the spells, regardless of what ‘Dr. Google’ says, it is best to visit your OBGYN and rule out any issues with the pregnancy.
12 Swollen Feet
When a woman is pregnant, she is advised to gain some weight. If she was a size zero and even for those who were in the red. Once a woman gets pregnant, it is normal to gain some weight. With the extra weight comes swollen feet. Since the body is not used to the extra weight chances are the feet will swell.
According to Dr. Alan Mauser, who spoke to EverydayHealth.com, while this is a normal thing, too much swelling could lead to straining of the skin and eventual peeling, which is cause for concern.
Pregnant women who find that their feet are swelling too much need to increase their water intake, as well as rest their feet on a slight incline. Even for the ‘normal’ issues when it comes to pregnancy it is better to be safe than sorry and women are advised to visit the OBGYN.
11 Discomfort Downstairs
When a woman is pregnant, anything untoward is cause for concern more so anything that has to do with their reproductive system. As much as most women know that sometimes itchiness comes because of a fungal infection. Sometimes an itch does not require scratching and it is advisable to visit your doctor before you pop that pill. For some women, increased discharge during pregnancy is a normal thing.
The only thing that should be noted is that if the discharge is thick and creamy or if it comes with itching and soreness, then it is an indication of a fungal or yeast infection. In pregnancy, fungal infections are a common occurrence. The discomfort can be quite devastating to a woman and especially for the woman who keeps going to the bathroom due to pressure on the uterus. Visit the OBGYN and this will be sorted out.
10 Lunch Won't Stay Down
Popularly known as morning sickness, nausea and vomiting are prevalent in over half of the pregnant population. There are women who get such terrible nausea and vomiting sessions that going on with their day to day activities become impossible. Unfortunately, morning sickness does not only happen in the morning, for some unlucky women, morning sickness can happen at any time of the day, sometimes even the whole day.
According to BabyCenter, in cases where the nausea is extremely severe such that instead of gaining weight the mother loses at least two pounds. Also, if nausea comes after the ninth week of pregnancy or after the twentieth week, or in cases where the mother vomits blood, it may be time to consult the doctor.
These severe cases are called hyperemesis gravidarum and they require medical intervention like an IV fluid.
9 No, That's Not An Allergic Reaction
Some pregnant women wake up one day and suddenly everything itches. It is not the clothes nor is it the lotion or even a change of diet. The itching can get so severe for some that it gives them no peace of mind. The worst thing is that no lotion or balm ever seems to work in relieving these issues. With all the issues that come with pregnancy, getting severe itching can be quite devastating.
According to AmericanPregnancy.org, itching in pregnancy is called Cholestasis and it occurs in one of out every 1,000 pregnancies and is caused by a very common disease that manifests in the liver. This disease only happens in pregnancy where the increased pregnancy hormones affect the flow of bile. This condition does, however, go away a few days after delivery. In this cases, it is advised to visit a doctor to help with some relief.
8 A Worrying Leak
A pregnant woman leaks all the time. Her bladder is always full and five minutes after a visit to the bathroom she is back. It is, therefore, a lot harder for her to know when she is leaking amniotic fluid. The amniotic leak is a lot more than the normal leak and according to Healthline.
Too much leaking may lead to birth defects, premature births, miscarriages, as well as stillbirths during the second and first trimester.
If it happens during the third trimester, it may bring about the squeezing of the umbilical cord, which reduces the ability of the child to get oxygen. With a loss of amniotic fluid comes the risk of a cesarean section, as well as slowed growth. Even if the leak is not pronounced, the mother is advised to immediately seek help as this could lead to devastating results.
7 The Mensie Cramps
Cramping is common in women, especially when they are about to get their periods. While this is a normal thing and most women are used to it, cramping in pregnancy is not something that should be taken lightly. According to Very Well Family, cramping can be a sign of a very serious problem. In some instances, cramping may be because a woman is experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy is where a fertilized egg does not implant into the uterus but implants outside of the uterine cavity. This kind of pregnancy occurs inside the fallopian tubes, which can not hold the pregnancy. This kind of pregnancy is not viable because the environment is not favorable for the growth of a baby and the tissues necessary to grow the child do not exist there. In this case, early detection is a life saver as otherwise, the woman may get a ruptured tube, which may result in death.
6 It Feels Like A Hangover
During pregnancy, getting a headache can be a dangerous thing, especially in cases where a woman gets severe headaches. Taking medication during pregnancy is not recommended and women are advised to try a cool compress, lying down and placed on the forehead to help relieve pressure. If possible, women can try to avoid headache triggers, especially those brought about by smells and foods. Even though with pregnancy comes a desire to not move, one is advised to try and be physically active and if possible try to manage stress.
According to Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic, while headaches during pregnancy are a common occurrence, in cases where the headaches are severe, one should visit the OBGYN.
Severe headaches could indicate some complication with the pregnancy like preeclampsia or high blood pressure. These complications can lead to early birth and even miscarriages.
5 Strange Liquids
No discharge should be ignored when a woman is pregnant. The truth is, pregnant women have a lot of discharge and in some cases, it can be a little uncomfortable. This is when a woman is advised to use panty liners to reduce the discomfort. Even as the woman is doing all this, she is expected to check on the discharge and any change in consistency or color should be reported to your doctor.
Some discharge could be as a result of a urinary tract infection and while for a woman who is not pregnant a UTI is something very easy to manage, for a pregnant woman it can be deadly to both the mother as well as the child. Some UTIs call for some medical decisions that the OBGYN needs to make known to the patient. It might be something easily treated.
4 Lower Back Pain
When one is pregnant, in most cases there is always some kind of a backache, probably due to the additional amount of weight. It is not normal however to have too much pain and even the mild pain is usual fatigue more than pain.
Most of the aches can be relieved by resting a bit, but if the pain seems persistent and resting does not help it may be time to go for plan B.
According to Damla Karsan Dryden, M.D. who spoke to Parents.com, pregnant women should always watch out for sensations in the abdomen that could be described as uterus tightening. This is at times painless, and in some cases feels like the kind of cramping one gets during periods and is followed by back pain that comes and goes at intervals. If this happens, the woman should know that there is uterus tightening.
3 The Blues
According to Everyday Health, this is a mental illness that is characterized by strong negative feelings of sadness, interest loss, sadness, and hopelessness and it interferes with a woman’s everyday life. It is common for most women to get depressed for the first time while pregnant. This is thought to be because of a host of hormonal changes and intense psychological disturbances that come with pregnancy. With depression comes a host of health issues for the woman, as well as her child.
Depression can be so bad that in some cases it may lead to high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Apart from that, depression can lead to premature labor as well as babies with very low birth weight. If a woman has been feeling fatigued even after she has rested enough and if she feels like she does not want the child she is carrying or is stressed by it, it is advised to seek help from a medical practitioner.
2 Difficulty Breathing
In pregnancy, a woman's body is under a lot of strain. This is mainly because the body that was previously of a single person now has a host who fully depends on it. All this strain can interfere with the woman's body and it is not uncommon to find a woman being breathless. According to BabyCenter, with pregnancy comes breathlessness and sometimes palpitations. These are quite common and in most cases are absolutely normal.
While this is a normal thing, fatigue, breathlessness, and palpitations is not always a good sign and sometimes it is a sign of low levels of iron
In cases where an anemic woman gets pregnant, the body finds itself working twice as hard as a healthy woman's body to provide oxygen. In cases where the mother is asthmatic, it is advisable to speak to a doctor to prevent untoward outcomes.
1 Feeling Too Hot
Via: PinterestFeeling feverish, even when one is not pregnant, is not pleasant at all. When one is feverish, even the body feels weighty and nothing is appealing. During pregnancy, all these things seem to double. Getting a fever when pregnant is never as a result of pregnancy and it could be as a result of something unrelated to the pregnancy completely revealed Alyssa Dweck, M.D. to Parents.com, who is an ob-gyn in New York, Mount Kisco. She says that it is easier to get sickly in pregnancy as the immune system tends to become naturally suppressed.
There are cases, however, to do with the pregnancy that could lead to fevers. In most cases, when a woman has a urinary tract infection, then it is possible to get a fever. Fever may also come as a result of a common cold, which can be deadly. If a woman feels feverish it is advisable to see the doctor immediately.