As soon as possible, pregnant moms should identify a health center where they can start attending the prenatal clinic on a regular basis until the baby is born. Most doctors will monitor a pregnancy until it reaches term. Towards the end of the pregnancy, some doctors will even request moms to come in on a biweekly basis.
It is during these visits that GYNOs are able to check on the health and condition of both the mom and baby and keep an eye on the pregnancy. The doctor tries to sort out any underlying issues or conditions that come up that can complicate delivery and if they are not treatable, he or she begins to monitor the mother and child closely. They're also able to anticipate the risks of any conditions present and is therefore mentally prepared to handle any potential outcomes and complications during delivery.
It's critical for moms to mention any issues out of the norm with their pregnancy and bodies that they may have noticed for these professionals to rule out serious medical conditions that could be of harm to either mom or baby.
Here are 20 things moms can mention to their GYNOs that are indeed red flags.
20 There Is Fluid Gushing Out
When moms feel constantly wet or have a gush (or trickle) of fluids, then there's clearly a cause for concern. This is especially serious when such gushing happens before mom’s due date. Mom should always tell her GYNO about this as soon as possible as it is a major red flag.
Sometimes amniotic fluid, which is a clear odorless liquid, tinged with mucus and red colored flow can start leaking. According to Healthline, leaking amniotic fluid can cause harm to both mom and baby. It can lead to birth defects, stillbirths, loss of the pregnancy and/or premature births. Therefore, immediate care should be sort. There are treatments that can help with low levels of amniotic fluid.
19 Urinating Is Painful
When it comes to peeing during pregnancy, moms will always find themselves doing it more frequently. However, it should not be painful or have a burning sensation. If mom experiences any pain, doctors consider this a red flag and they usually intervene. The pain could be an indication of a bladder or urinary tract infection (UTI).
According to American Pregnancy, a mom should never ignore UTI since it can cause permanent issues to the bladder and kidneys or even worse cause pre-term labor. Therefore, moms should go to their doctors for checkup and treatment with antibiotics as soon as possible. GYNOs can prescribe meds that are safe for both mom and baby.
18 She's Experiencing Excessive Nausea And Vomiting
It is normal for most moms to experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester. If it is severe, medical professionals refer to this condition as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). It is also a red flag and moms should inform their GYNOs as soon as possible.
Moms with HG find it impossible to keep any fluids down and as claimed by Pregnancy Birth Baby, this can lead to dehydration, significant reduction on the scales, low BP, dizziness, ketosis, or headaches.
Moms can treat mild cases of HG with a change of meal plan, rest, and antacids but severe ones will probably require hospital admission. Majority of women who experience HG get better after their first trimester is over.
17 Her Discharge Is Making Her Itch
Having discharge down there is a normal thing during pregnancy, but if it comes with an unfamiliar color or smell, then mom needs to mention this to her GYNO. Discharge that causes itchiness or irritation is even more of a red flag. Many things can cause abnormal discharge such as; yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, as stated by Parents.
Whichever the case, moms should go for treatment immediately to avoid causing any further pregnancy complications. They should take preventative measures, especially if the infection can pass to the baby through the placenta and moms should not hesitate to contact their GYNOs when they feel like something is not right.
16 She Has Severe Headaches
During pregnancy, moms experience hormonal changes and an increase in vascular content volume both of which can lead to frequent headaches. These headaches can occur at any time during pregnancy but they tend to be more frequent during the first and last trimester. Moms should always report any severe or persistent headache to their GYNOs, as such could be signs of more serious conditions like high BP.
General headaches during pregnancy can be the result of lack of sleep, dehydration, low glucose, and/or stress. Those experienced during the final trimester are usually because of carrying extra pounds, poor posture, preeclampsia, or high BP as stated by Pregnancy Birth Baby.
15 Her Baby Is Not Moving As Much
According to WebMD, babies start moving in the womb between weeks 16 and 25 and their movements become more regular as the pregnancy progresses. When the movements decrease or stop this could be an indication of a medical problem and moms should tell their GYNOs immediately.
There is a good chance that everything is okay with mom but it is always good to confirm with the doctor. Decreased movement can be an early sign of a stillbirth. Moms can monitor their babies by counting the number of kicks at a period of time when the baby is usually active. Resting and drinking something cold are ways moms can make a still baby move.
14 Her Body Is Suddenly Swollen
Moms should closely monitor their bodies when pregnant. Expectant women are sure to swell, but if their hands, face, and legs swell unexpectedly then this may be a sign of something worse, like preeclampsia. Swelling is a red flag and moms inform their GYNOs whenever it happens. Early detection of preeclampsia is important so that doctors can monitor mom and baby closely.
According to TheBump, a majority of women tend to have swollen feet because of increased body mass, standing for too long, fluid retention, and additional vascular content flow. The body is not accustomed to the extra pounds hence the swelling. However, moms should report any sudden swelling to a doctor.
13 She Sometimes Gets Fevers
It is common for moms to experience fever during pregnancy especially because according to The Bump, they are more vulnerable due to their low immunity. Moms can experience fevers any time during their pregnancy but if it occurs in the first trimester, immediate medical attention should be sort.
A high fever in the first weeks of pregnancy is very risky and can cause short or long-term complications to the developing baby. Mild fevers do not have any impact on the baby. Generally, moms get fevers because their bodies are trying to fight viral infections, flu, or bacterial infections. Nonetheless, they should go for diagnosis and treatment as soon as they can.
12 She Experiences Abdominal Pain Or Uterine Tightening
Severe abdominal pain or uterine tightening is a red flag that something serious is going on. This kind of pain is mostly associated with preterm labor, loss of pregnancy, or ectopic pregnancies, and mom should visit her GYNO immediately. Moms should expect to experience mild aches and pains because of all the body changes but the pain should not be severe and/or persistent.
According to Parents, moms should also see their GYNOs when they experience mild period-like cramping which may or may not come with back pain. This discomfort could be contractions. It is always safer to check in with the GYNO than wait out the pain.
11 She Has Itchy Skin
Mild itching is common during pregnancy. Moms should always consult their GYNOs whenever they start to itch, as it could be a sign of stretching skin or something more serious. Dry and stretched skin can be a cause of itchiness and a good moisturizing cream or lotion can help soothe the itching.
However, according to Pregnancy Birth Baby, severe itching can be because of an underlying liver condition known as obstetric cholestasis (OC). OC disrupts the flow of bile during pregnancy, which leads to its buildup and this normally causes severe itchiness all over the body, accompanied by rashes. Doctors will need to monitor a mom and baby diagnosed with OC closely.
10 Her Vision Is Blurred
Pregnancy causes many body changes and blurry vision is one of them. Moms who experience blurriness should not forget to mention it to their GYNOs. According to TheBump, headaches, swelling, and not having enough flow to the brain can be the cause of blurry vision.
Other severe causes include preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Preeclampsia can cause retinal swelling and that is why most moms who experience preeclampsia often complain about blurry vision. If the GYNO ascertains that the blurry vision is just a pregnancy side effect, then mom’s eyesight will return to normal after birth.
9 She Has Serious Back Pain
Expectant moms usually experience backache during pregnancy, which is normal. Backaches are usually the result of a shift in the center of gravity, poor posture, muscle separation, hormones and/or additional pounds. However, it is not normal for moms to have severe back pain and if moms experience this, then their GYNOs automatically know that their condition is a red flag.
Most back pain is usually relieved by rest, correcting body posture, and exercising. A doctor should check out and treat excessive back pain. As claimed by WebMD, severe back pain can be because of pregnancy-related conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.
8 She Sometimes Experiences Shortness Of Breath
As pregnancy progresses, moms may experience shortness of breath after performing routine tasks like climbing the stairs or exercising. The growing uterus pushing on to the lungs leads to the resulting breathing difficulties. However, frequent shortness of breath even without doing an activity combined with fatigue and palpitations is not a good sign.
Moms need to see their GYNOs immediately they experience these symptoms because they could be an indication of low levels of iron as stated by What to Expect. Moms with low levels of iron have a depletion of oxygen-carrying RBC and this can cause shortness of breath. In some cases, moms may have asthma, so it is important for moms to inform their doctors.
7 She Gets Numb Or Feels Tingly
Pregnant women sometimes experience numbness, a tingling sensation or a feeling of pins and needles in their hands, feet, legs and other parts of their body and this is normal. Numbness can be the result of compression of nerves or restricted flow. Although it might be nothing, a sudden onset of severe numbness can be an indication of something serious.
According to Parenting, numbness is an indication of a blockage or compression that needs immediate medical attention, therefore moms should not hesitate to inform their GYNOs when it happens. Although doctors cannot prevent numbness, moms can try the following to reduce it; they can sleep with their hands elevated, maintain good posture, use a wrist brace and wear comfortable shoes.
6 The Leg Pain Won’t Subside
Moms often experience leg pain in their second and third trimesters, which is the result of fatigue, compression of nerves, putting on extra meat on those bones, and/or decreased vascular content circulation. Other causes also include dehydration and calcium or magnesium deficiency.
Sometimes the pain does not subside and when moms experience this, they should tell their GYNOs so that they can rule out clots. Otherwise, to prevent normal leg pain or cramps, mom can rest with their legs elevated, massage their calves and feet, exercise, avoid standing for long periods or take warm births all in an effort to improve circulation, as stated by parents.
5 She Is Spotting
Spotting during pregnancy is a red flag that GYNOs are always keen to find out as much as they can if mom mentions it. A good number of moms usually experience spotting during their first trimester and about 50% of them go on to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, as stated by American Pregnancy.
Spotting during pregnancy can have a number of causes, from non-threatening ones to serious ones. It can occur after implantation, after having an examination, or from sharing a moment with her man is no big deal. However, if the spotting persists, mom needs to inform her GYNO. It can also be a sign that a mom is at risk of losing the baby or placental abruption.
4 She Has Severe Constipation
Constipation is another common pregnancy symptom that is usually uncomfortable for moms. According to What to Expect, it starts during the production of progesterone hormone levels in the mother’s body and she may experience it anytime throughout the pregnancy.
The progesterone hormone is responsible for relaxing muscles in the body including the digestive duct. This means that food will stay for longer in the system. Moms should not endure this condition silently as it can lead to hemorrhoids or hemorrhaging. Instead, they should consult their doctor and ask him/her to prescribe meds that they can take for relief. Taking plenty of water, eating foods rich in fiber and serving small portions can help with constipation.
3 She Is Always Anxious
Moms sometimes go through anxiety during and after pregnancy and GYNOs never ignore this red flag. Anxiety is sometimes the result of hormonal changes. At times, it can occur because mom keeps worrying about everything and she might not be able to control it.
According to Tommys, one in 10 pregnant women get anxiety. Therefore, moms should inform the doctors when they; feel anxious for more than two weeks, experience panic attacks, are afraid of giving birth or have unpleasant thoughts that they cannot seem to control. If anxiety in pregnancy is not treated, it usually leads to postpartum depression and therefore GYNOs need to get moms the help they need.
2 She Gets Flare-Ups Of Chronic Diseases
Some women have pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, thyroid disease, diabetes, epilepsy, seizures, infections, uterine fibroids, obesity, or high BP, which can flare-up during pregnancy. If an underlying condition flares-up, it can have serious consequences and moms need to inform their GYNOs of any underlying conditions.
According to WebMD, for example, if the glucose of a diabetic mother is not under control, they increase the chances of loss of the pregnancy or fetal abnormalities. Therefore, a doctor should monitor any flare-ups of chronic diseases closely since they are red flags. A good number of women end up having healthy babies despite their conditions.
1 There Are Rapid Changes On The Scale
Moms need to discuss with their GYNOs, the number of pounds that is okay to put on during the pregnancy period, based on her BMI. According to WebMD, a woman of average size before pregnancy should gain approximately 25 to 35 pounds. Moms on the lower end of the scale should gain 28 to 40 pounds and those on the other side should gain 15 to 25 pounds.
Increase on the scale during pregnancy is normal. However, if mom is putting on more than four pounds in a week, it could be an indication of preeclampsia, which can lead to liver and kidney problems. Rapid scale gain can also be an indication of gestational diabetes.
Sources: Americanpregnancy.org, pregnancybirthbaby.org.au,parents.com, webmd.com, thebump.com, whattoexpect.com,parenting.firstcry.com, tommys.org, healthline.com