Carrying a baby is no easy job and yet, some women tend to make it look easy. While adorable baby bump pictures and maternity photos are nice, there are a lot of other aspects of pregnancy that are not so glamorous. Many people assume that women simply get pregnant, feel a little bit of morning sickness and then go about their lives for nine months. Sure, there may be some swelling of the feet and back pain towards the end, but besides that, it’s fairly simple. Right?
Not exactly. Pregnancy can be extremely complicated and sometimes even dangerous for women to go through. We continue to get pregnant and have babies because there is nothing like the feeling of your baby growing inside of you. Creating a baby is a magical and indescribable feeling that makes every side effect of pregnancy completely worth it. However, that doesn’t mean that some symptoms shouldn’t be taken seriously.
There are actually a lot of pregnancy symptoms that can cause real harm to a woman and her baby. While it might seem like the symptoms are not that extreme, carrying a baby raises the stakes. So, here are 15 symptoms that should never be ignored while mom has a bun in the oven.
15 Changes In Vision
According to Babycenter.com, pregnancy can affect the vision of up to 15% of pregnant women. For women who have never experienced vision issues before, it can be a pretty scary thing to experience. The changing hormones, metabolism, and fluid retention can all have an effect on your sight.
While vision changes during pregnancy are often minor and temporary, some women experience lasting changes that make them more near-sighted or far-sighted for example.
Vision issues can lead to a series of other issues like migraines, dry eyes, and some healthy pregnant women even develop an eye disease. Since this symptom has the possibility of becoming more serious with time, it is important for women who have a bun in the oven to take their changes in vision seriously.
They should consult a doctor because they will need to have more frequent eye exams and may even need treatment if they plan on having another baby in the future. It is advised that pregnant women tell their doctor or midwife immediately if she experiences blind spots, double or blurry vision, light sensitivity, or loss of vision temporarily. These symptoms may be associated with more serious issues in pregnancy.
14 A Pain In The You-Know-Where
When a woman is not pregnant, burning or painful urination is still a cause for concern because it usually means she has a UTI. Short for for a urinary tract infection, a UTI almost always requires medicine or antibiotics to treat it.
There are many different ways a woman can cause this to happen, but when she is not pregnant it usually isn’t seen as a very big deal.
However, when a woman has a bun in the oven, things become more serious. According to AmericanPregnancy.org, pregnant women are at an increased risk for UTIs or bladder infections from week 6 through week 24 of pregnancy.
Since the uterus sits directly on top of the bladder during pregnancy, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder and lead to an infection. UTIs may be common during pregnancy, but if they go untreated it can actually lead to a kidney infection. But, if your urinary tract infection is treated properly by a doctor early on, it won’t cause any harm to your baby. The key is not ignoring the symptoms. If you feel like you may have a UTI it’s better to ask your doctor about it and be safe rather than sorry.
13 Chills Or Sky-Rocketing Fever
Chills and a high fever are arguably some of the worst symptoms a sick person can get. It really knocks you out and makes you feel completely incapable of doing any of your daily activities. And, pregnancy is hard enough on its own without adding these symptoms into the mix.
Some pregnant women find themselves sick with a fever and chills and are wondering what that means for them and their baby.
According to TheBump.com, a fever during pregnancy will give you the same normal symptoms of a high temperature, sweating, shivering, headache, muscle aches, dehydration, and fatigue.
High temperatures have been speculated to cause neural tube defects in pregnancies. If a woman is in her early stages, around 5 to 6 weeks along, it is possible that a high fever could cause the tube to form incorrectly. However, this is just a theory and has not actually been proven. A lot of women experience fevers while they are pregnant and their babies come out just fine. But, a pregnant woman’s immune system is working twice as hard. So, if her fever doesn’t go away in 24 to 36 hours, she should see a doctor because it may be a sign of something more serious.
12 Feeling The Pressure
The pelvic pressure during early pregnancy is never fun to deal with but it might not be fair to start blaming your baby just yet. According to Healthline.com, the exact reason for pelvic pressure can be hard to diagnose. It may be because of your growing baby, the increased volume of your blood, or the undeniable law of gravity.
Although pelvic pressure is a very common complaint from moms-to-be, it is actually reported throughout the entire pregnancy.
While the second and third trimesters are usually linked to your growing baby, the first trimester often causes pelvic pressure because of your growing uterus.
If a pregnant woman is feeling pelvic pressure or cramps along with vaginal bleeding, it is important to call your doctor immediately because this is a common sign of a miscarriage. The idea of losing your baby in your first or even early second trimester is absolutely heartbreaking and many pregnant women’s worst nightmare come to life.
While the pelvic pain in pregnancy can be normal and harmless, it can also be a really scary sign that something has gone seriously wrong. This is why it can’t be ignored and should be discussed with a doctor immediately.
11 Some Spotting Or Worse
It is super common for women to have spotting or vaginal bleeding when they first become pregnant. According to AmericanPregnancy.org,
About 20% of women report experiencing vaginal bleeding during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
This type of bleeding that occurs in the early stages of a woman’s pregnancy is usually lighter than a regular menstrual flow. The color can vary from pink to red, to brown, and while it can be easy to be concerned about this, there is usually no reason to start panicking.
Most women who experience spotting during pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. However, that is not always the case. There is a difference between just spotting and actually bleeding. It is recommended that pregnant women not ignore these symptoms and contact their healthcare provider to make sure it’s nothing serious.
While bleeding during pregnancy does not have to be a cause for concern, it is still not normal and could be a sign of an abnormal pregnancy. Seeking medical advice will not only give the mom-to-be peace of mind, but it will also allow any issues to be addressed properly since abnormal bleeding in late pregnancy could mean there is something wrong with your baby.
10 Just Can't Keep Anything Down
Throwing up in early pregnancy is actually one of the ways many women find out that they are pregnant in the first place. We saw on Keeping Up With The Kardashians when Kourtney found out she was pregnant with Mason. She was in denial for the longest time, but she couldn’t deny throwing up at photo shoots.
While throwing up may seem like a normal part of morning sickness, it actually causes a pregnant woman to lose a lot of vital nutrients that she will need to support her growing baby. Feeling nauseous all of the time may be uncomfortable, but it is still better than actually throwing up.
According to Patient.info, some pregnant women experience sickness and vomiting that is very severe. This causes them to become dehydrated because of the lack of fluid in their body and even lose weight. Pregnant women with this problem can have vitamin deficiencies and even start showing signs of starvation because they can’t keep any food down.
While sickness and vomiting don’t usually harm your baby since they are taking nutrients from the mother’s reserve, severe vomiting that persists should be checked out because the mom-to-be may need to go to the hospital and receive fluids.
9 Constant Swelling And Puffiness
Remember when Kim Kardashian was pregnant and she swelled up like a balloon? While not all pregnant women experience constant or extreme swelling and puffiness, it is a very common side effect of pregnancy. It is caused by an increase in blood and fluid that is necessary to support your growing baby.
Swelling can occur at any point in pregnancy, but it is usually common around the fifth month and can increase throughout the third trimester. It’s safe to say that no women life feeling puffy and swollen, but the real question is about the danger.
According to AmericanPregnancy.org, factors such as summer heat, excessive standing, high caffeine consumption, and a high sodium intake can all contribute to the swelling. While slight swelling is to be expected, sudden swelling may be a sign of preeclampsia and should be addressed with your healthcare provider immediately.
When it comes to reducing the swelling in a healthy pregnancy, a woman can rest with her feet elevated, avoid going outside in the extremely hot weather, avoid tight clothing, and drink a lot of water which helps to flush out the system. Of course, these are only remedies for women who have normal swelling with pregnancy. There is always a chance it could be a sign of something more serious, so it’s good to keep an eye on it.
8 Numbers Go Up Faster Than They Should
Everyone knows that gaining weight when you are pregnant is completely normal and expected. It is healthy to gain weight during your pregnancy because it means you are helping that baby inside of you to grow as well. However, women often give into their pregnancy cravings frequently and end up gaining more weight than they actually needed to.
This is one of the main reasons why it’s so hard for women to lose their pregnancy weight after they have their baby. They didn’t just gain baby weight, but weight from all the extra food they were craving.
Of course, giving into your pregnancy cravings is a fun and joyous time in the life of a mother-to-be. However, rapid weight gain is something that is not so fun or exciting. Gaining too much weight too quickly in pregnancy can be dangerous. According to MamaNatural.com, the perfect amount of weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds.
Once a woman hits her second trimester she should be gaining about one pound a week. So, if you are a pregnant woman who is experiencing rapid weight gain that is adding up much faster than this, there is a possibility that you are at risk and should speak with your doctor about why you are gaining weight too fast.
7 Itchiness All Over The Bod
When a woman becomes pregnant her skin is actually one of the things that go through a lot of changes. Women may experience bad acne like when they were a teenager, or develop stretch marks, or get rashes and itchiness all over her body.
Maci Bookout from Teen Mom OG mentioned in one of the episodes that she woke up in the middle of the night and could not stop scratching herself. She said the only other time that happened was when she was pregnant with her son Bentley, so she took it as a sign. She bought a pregnancy test the next day and sure enough, it was positive.
According to TheBump.com, it is important to go easy on your skin during pregnancy. Pregnancy causes some women to have the driest skin that they’ve ever experienced. It is recommended that women drink a lot of water and even sleep with a humidifier if needed. Dryness could be a sign of dehydration which could lead to preterm labor.
And, if it spreads it could be a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques. Either way, it is important to consult your doctor if you are experiencing this because they may be able to prescribe something that will help.
6 Severe Anxiety Settles In
Depression and anxiety are never fun. While these issues are becoming a little easier to talk about in our society today, they are still not as open and inviting as they should be, especially for women who are pregnant. According to Parents.com, research has shown that 33% of pregnant women experience clinical depression or anxiety disorder at some point during pregnancy.
However, less than 20% of pregnant women on average seek treatment for these issues.
Unfortunately, the treatment is usually inadequate as well. The stereotype in our society that pregnant women need to be happy is still very prevalent and it is causing a lot of damage.
However, it is important for women to understand that they don’t have to suffer through this for nine months. There are ways to treat anxiety and depression during pregnancy. While some of the symptoms of depression or anxiety can be similar to normal pregnancy symptoms, there are definitely distinctions.
It is important for women who are pregnant and no longer enjoying the things that used to make them happy to seek medical attention. Constantly anxiety is not good for you or your baby. And, there are so many resources that are ready to help. We simply need to do our part in encouraging treatment.
5 Feeling Off Balance And Dizzy
As someone who has constantly suffered from fainting and frequent dizziness, let me be the first to tell you that it is not fun. If I stand up too fast my eyesight goes black. I’m constantly feeling lightheaded and numb. Sometimes I even do pass out and depending on where I am, it can be pretty dangerous.
Now, add all of this on top of pregnancy and you have a recipe for disaster. Pregnancy already causes a lot of shifts and changes to occur in a woman’s body and some of these changes can lead to fainting and dizziness in certain women.
According to Whattoexpect.com, progesterone increases the amount of blood flow to your baby during pregnancy, which causes lower blood pressure and a reduced amount of blood going to the woman’s brain. This is the main reason women feel dizzy or lightheaded when they are pregnant. It can start around week 12 and go into the first few weeks of the second trimester.
Even if dizziness feels normal to you, you should never ignore it. While drinking water, lying down, and getting fresh air can all help, it is always advised to check with your doctor to make sure everything is alright.
4 Back Pain That Doesn’t Go Away
A very common complaint in mid to late pregnancy is back pain. It becomes harder for pregnant women to stand up and do certain activities for long periods of time. They often need to take a break, sit down, or even stretch out their back.
While back pain may seem like a normal pregnancy symptom and therefore not a big deal, if a pregnant woman’s back pain doesn’t go away, it could be cause for concern.
According to MayoClinic.org, a pregnant woman’s center of gravity is changing as she gains weight which can easily cause back pain. However, before seeking medical advice, there are some things she can try.
It is recommended to practice good posture, stand up tall, and keep your shoulders back but relaxed. Other ways to ease back pain are sleeping on your side, icing or heating your back, getting a massage, or even increasing light physical activity. Often times, when we sit too long our backs start to hurt anyway.
It’s even worse with pregnancy which is why stretching your lower back out can be helpful. However, if the pain does not go away and persists for more than two weeks, a doctor should be consulted because it could be a sign of early labor.
3 The Kicks Are Coming Less Often
Many pregnant women get in the habit of counting her baby’s kicks. In early pregnancy, those flutters and butterflies were extremely exciting and new. Every little motion was a huge milestone in your baby’s growth and so they are often always counted and tracked.
However, as a pregnancy continues and feeling your baby move becomes super normal, it can be common to simply forget about counting how many times you feel your baby kick or move inside of you.
According to Countthekicks.org, counting the kicks in the third trimester becomes a very important and easy way to keep track of your baby’s well being. This is because the mom-to-be will be able to tell if her baby suddenly becomes less active. While every pregnancy and every baby is different, always keeping track of their movement will let you know what is normal for them.
It is a very common misconception to think that babies slow down at the end of pregnancy because they are running out of room. This is not true at all.
They shouldn’t be slowing down and if your baby is, you should not hesitate to contact your doctor and ask about the change. If your baby stops moving there could be something wrong. So trust your instincts and check with a medical professional.
2 Fluids Are Leaking
Leaking fluids or discharge during pregnancy is something that should never be ignored. Amniotic fluid is what supports and protects your baby as it grows in the womb.
If this starts leaking, it is not a good sign. While some fluid leakage may not be a cause for concern, if too much fluid starts leaking out, it is known as oligohydramnios.
According to Healthline.com, it can be difficult for a woman to tell if there is a hole in her amniotic sac and that’s what is leaking, or if it is something else.
During pregnancy, women often leak urine because their bladders get fuller faster. They also tend to produce more vaginal fluid to help their baby pass through more easily.
While it can be difficult to tell what exactly is leaking, amniotic fluid will be clear, white-flecked, or tinged with mucus or blood. There won’t be any odor and it will usually saturate your underwear. If this is happening, it is important to see a doctor immediately. Amniotic fluid leakage is dangerous for the woman and her child. During the first and second trimesters, too much fluid leakage can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth.
This exact thing happened to one of my family members when she was only five months pregnant. She had to go on bed rest for 2 ½ months and was very lucky to have a healthy baby at the end of it all.
1 Cramps Settle In Prematurely
If a pregnant woman is experiencing cramps and contractions before she should, it may be a sign of preterm labor and should be taken very seriously. According to Marshal Field Clinic, preterm labor is considered anything before 36 weeks or pregnancy.
Early warning signs can actually develop slowly and cause the mom-to-be to believe there isn’t any problem. Preterm labor can feel very similar to menstrual cramps.
It could consist of a low backache, abdominal cramps, pelvic pressure, and changes in vaginal discharge. However, the hardest symptom to ignore would be the actual contractions.
Although preterm contractions may feel slightly different than normal contractions, it consists of the tightening of the uterine muscle. It is important for women to watch for an increase in frequency when it comes to these kinds of contractions because if they occur in regular intervals, it may be time to see a doctor. You should not be having more than five of these preterm contractions in an hour. If the uterine activity continues, even while you are resting, then you may be in preterm labor and should consult your doctor immediately because if your baby is not ready to come out, it could be at risk.
References: Americanpregnancy.org, Healthline.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, TheBump.com, Patient.info, Babycenter.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, Mamanatural.com, TheBump.com, Parents.com, Whattoexpect.com, Mayoclinic.org, Countthekicks.org, Healthline.com, Marshalfieldclinic.org