15 Warning Signs Pregnant Women Need To Look Out For

There are signs, throughout mom's pregnancy, that will let her know if the baby has stopped growing inside the womb.

Finding out that you are pregnant is an amazing and joyful thing, most women are overcome with an incredible sense of happiness when they see that little line show up on their test for the first time. When we learn that we are pregnant we just can't wait to tell everyone that we know, the exciting news. It is a time to celebrate, as we have finally conceived a child of our very own. However, a lot can happen when a woman is pregnant, there are risks, complications, and sometimes loss of pregnancy.

It takes a lot for bodies to grow another human being and a wide array of things could go wrong. For instance, the baby could stop growing, or not grow properly. Often times when this happens women typically end up experiencing a complete loss of the pregnancy or the baby ends up being born at a very small birth weight, which can be very dangerous. This can be devastating news to hear, but how do we know when our unborn babies are not growing properly?

Some women say that they just knew something was off, while others had absolutely no idea or any symptoms. A lot of things could indicate that our babies either are not growing properly, or have stopped growing altogether. In this list we will discuss some of the things that that could be signs that an unborn baby is not growing properly. While these are not sure signs that the baby is not growing, they are signs that something could be wrong and women are always urged to speak to their doctors if they feel that something is off.

15Disappearing Symptoms

While some women end up feeling much better and more energetic after their first trimester, losing our pregnancy symptoms suddenly can be cause for concern. If you were once very nauseous and fatigued with sore breasts, but now feel like you are back to your normal self, then you should probably contact your doctor and let them know as soon as possible. A loss of pregnancy symptoms, like bleeding, can be a sign that baby stopped growing and mom will soon miscarry. Miscarrying is a horrible thing for any woman to go through, and although the cause for it is usually unknown, it is important that all women know the signs so that they can get help from their doctors as soon as they start to experience the signs of pregnancy loss.

14The Belly Is Silent

By 25 weeks pregnant, every pregnant woman should have begun feeling, at the very least, some flutters if not full on kicks. Sometimes, kicks can be felt as early as 13 weeks, although these are usually only felt as little flutters. If a woman who is pregnant has not felt any flutters, kicks, or any type of movement then she should most certainly consult her doctor as it could be a sign that her baby is not growing. Odds are, that by this point the doctor would have already noticed during an ultrasound, but it is still best to bring up any concerns at your weekly appointments just to be safe. Another thing that can be worrisome when it comes to kicking, is if a woman was feeling her baby kick, but notices that the baby has stopped moving. Although not a sign of improper growing, it can be dangerous.

13The Red Spots

Bleeding at any point in pregnancy is always a cause for concern. If a woman experiences any type of bleeding while pregnant then she should contact her OBGYN immediately. Bleeding during pregnancy can have many causes such as, Miscarriage, and preterm labor. Bleeding can be a sign that the baby has stopped growing altogether and that mom will soon miscarry, or if late enough in the pregnancy, have to give birth to a still born. If the bleeding is heavy and soaking more than a pad an hour then she should call her doctor and get the hospital immediately. Upon going to the doctor for bleeding, they will perform a pelvic exam and an ultrasound to check on the unborn baby and decide on where to go from there.

12The Heart Rate Slows

At almost every appointment that a pregnant woman has, her doctor will take a doppler to her stomach to listen to the babies heart beat just to make sure that it is beating strong. It is usually a bad sign when the baby's heart rate is slow, it typically is a sign that baby has stopped growing and that mom will soon lose him or her. For any woman who was been pregnant before, we all know what a healthy heart rate sounds like in our babies, that fast whooshing sound on the machine is like music to our ears, so it would be fairly easy for us to tell when it isn't quite the same. An unborn baby who is about 8 weeks gestation should have a heart rate of about 120-160 beats per minute. Anything under 100 beats per minute is a definite cause for concern.

11This Isn't Your First Pregnancy

Some women prefer to have a big family, which is fine, but there are risks involved with being pregnant so many times. A sign that a woman’s baby may have issues growing properly is if she has carried more than five children. This is because when a woman is pregnant that many times the risks of her developing IUGR increase significantly. This may not be a sure sign that a baby will not thrive in the womb, and it may not happen to all women who have had more than five pregnancies, but If a woman is planning on conceiving baby number five (or more), then she should consult with her doctor first to make sure that the necessary precautions are taken for her to have a healthy full term baby. Better off safe than sorry.

10Big Or Small?

At around 20 weeks pregnant doctors begin to measure women’s fundal height. Fundal height is the measurement from the top of the uterus down to the pubic bone and after 16 weeks pregnant the fundal height should match the number of weeks pregnant that a woman is. When a woman measures small at her appointment it could mean a few things. The amniotic fluid could be low, or the baby could have stopped growing. Doctors will typically continue to monitor this for a weeks to see if any growth occurs and they will probably decide to do an ultrasound to check the baby out and make sure that everything is ok. Sometimes when a woman measures significantly smaller than she should be beyond the 20 week mark, this could mean miscarriage.

9Up And Down Levels

HCG is the pregnancy hormone that can be detected in a womans urine and blood, it is what makes pregnancy tests come up positive. In the first five weeks of pregnancy your HCG levels are usually around five all the way to eight thousand mIU/mI. After that they continue to rise, getting all the way to over 200 thousand by week 12. This is what causes us to begin experiencing those wonderful pregnancy symptoms that we talked about in the above entry. If a woman gets blood work and her HCG levels came back lower than they were before, then this is usually a bad sign. It could mean that her baby has stopped growing and that the pregnancy is not viable. Many things can cause this to happen such as placental and chromosomal problems. This usually means that the woman will soon experience a miscarriage.

8It's In The Ultrasound

Some OBGYN’s do ultrasounds as early as 8 weeks pregnant to determine just how far along a woman is. During an ultrasound, the ultrasound tech will measure the length of the baby from head to rump. When a baby is measuring to be too small it could be caused by low amounts of amniotic fluid, problems with the placenta, high blood pressure, infections, or drug and alcohol use. Doctors usually call this IUGR or, Intrauterine growth restriction, which is when the baby is unable to grow at a healthy rate. This does not always mean that a woman will experience a loss of pregnancy, but it is usually indicative that the baby might not make be able to thrive. Doctors will continue to monitor a baby who does not appear to be growing properly and will most likely mark mom as a high risk pregnancy, just to be on the safe side.

7Age Is Important

There is a time when women are more likely to have healthy pregnancies which is usually ages 20 to 35, and then there is also a time when women are more likely to end up with pregnancy complications. Women under the age of 17 are sometimes unable to have babies who are at a healthy weight because of how small and still not yet fully developed they are. Women who are above the age of 35 and get pregnant are more likely to end up with a baby that is born at a low birth weight and they also risk the babies being malformed. There are a lot of risks involved with having babies at both of those ages, but most babies conceived by women of those ages end up not growing properly, among many other complications that could occur.

6Risks Of Infections

Some infections are inevitable, despite our greatest efforts we still manage to wind up getting sick. Pregnant women are more susceptible to getting infections than other people because their immune systems are not as strong, and infections can cause the baby to stop growing, or for mom to miscarry. The main infections that can these things to happen are, rubella, toxoplasmosis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV. These sort of infections usually lead to a diagnosis of IUGR. The flu can also affect an unborn baby's growth, which is why it is always important for mom to get her flu shot when her OBGYN offers it to her.Typically women who wind up with these infections during their pregnancy, or women who already had the infections, will be marked as a high risk pregnancy and closely monitored by their doctors to assure that the baby can grow and be healthy.

5What Number Do You See?

In order to have the best outcome possible when pregnant, mom should first make sure that she is in good health first. A mother's weight can determine how a fetus will grow in the womb, for instance if mom is significantly overweight then odds are that she will give birth to a bigger baby. However, if mom weighs under 100 pounds then her risk of developing complications during pregnancy are very high and odds are the baby will not be able to grow properly. Women could weigh under 100 for many reasons, such as anorexia or other health conditions that may affect her weight. In cases like that, it would be better if mom took care of herself and got better before deciding to have a baby, to ensure that she can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

4More Than One?

Being pregnant with multiple babies can be very hard on a woman’s body. Our stomach's stretch farther than we ever thought that they could when we are pregnant with just one, so now imagine housing 3 or 4 babies in your uterus. Sounds intense right? Being pregnant with multiples is a definite sign that a woman's babies probably will not grow at a healthy rate, depending on just how many babies there are. Usually when a woman is pregnant with multiples she is left with very limited room for the babies to grow, and she also usually ends up having to schedule an early c- section. Of course carrying multiple babies can also be risky, it can cause women to lose one or all of the babies.

3The Umbilical Cord

One of the leading causes of miscarriage today, and of babies not growing properly is abnormalities within the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is a two vessel artery that carries blood back and forth between the baby and the placenta. When there is an abnormality within the umbilical cord it does not allow for the baby to get everything that it needs and therefore can not grow properly. Abnormalities in the umbilical cord are usually detected via ultrasound. This is typically a sure sign that baby will not grow properly and that mom could potentially lose the pregnancy. Sometimes with these abnormalities, the blood vessels can tear and lead to life threatening bleeding in the baby. Although not that common, this is something that can stunt a baby's growth in utero so it is important that, once detected, this condition be monitored closely by doctors.

2Ever Heard Of Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is a disease that can be prevalent in people of african descent. It is marked by episodes of anemia, which is where cells break apart easily and perish, leaving a person without enough red blood cells. Without enough red blood cells, a person does not get enough oxygen circulating through their body. It is also marked by episodes of pain which can vary in intensity and last anywhere from hours, for weeks. A person with this disease can also get swelling of the hands and feet, frequent infections, delayed growth, and vision problems. In a study done of 126 pregnant women who tested positive for sickle cell anemia, it became evident that growth restriction can be an outcome of this disease. Growth restriction occurred in 27% women’s pregnancies who were carrying boys, and 38% of women’s pregnancies who were carrying girls.

1Low Fluid

There are a couple of things that can lead to low amounts of amniotic fluid such as, placental problems and issues with the baby's kidneys. Almost all babies who have a low amount of amniotic fluid in utero end up not growing properly and are born at a low birth weight. If a baby has a low amount of amniotic fluid, whether it be from their kidneys not producing enough urine output or if the placenta is not providing enough blood for the baby to recycle fluid, doctors usually end up diagnosing them with intrauterine growth restriction. Often times, with babies whose fluids are dangerously low, can't survive the pregnancy or (depending on how far along mom has gotten to be) will end up being delivered pre-term. 

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