Pregnancy is an exciting period in a woman’s life. The woman’s body undergoes many changes during the nine months that the precious life is developing inside her. Most of these changes are normal and vary from one woman to the next. It is important for mothers to have the right information regarding what to expect throughout the pregnancy.
Doctors advise that once a woman discovers that she is pregnant she should begin attending prenatal clinics so that doctors can keep an eye on the progress of the pregnancy. Most prenatal clinics do this by regularly checking the woman’s blood pressure, conducting a urinalysis, and carrying out blood tests. From these checks, doctors can tell if the woman is healthy enough to sustain the pregnancy. Doctors also recommend that pregnant women undergo at least three ultrasounds preferably during each trimester to check on the development of the fetus.
However, some changes can occur in a woman’s body that may be a cause for concern. It is advisable for moms-to-be to keep communicating with their doctors to inform them of any changes in order for them to intervene and safeguard the life of both the fetus and mother to be.
The earlier the doctor hears from the mom, the better it is for both the mother and the child. If the doctor identifies an issue, he or she deals with it and the mother continues with a normal pregnancy. In cases where the doctor is not in a position to deal with the complications completely, he or she can arrange to keep the mother under close supervision. Therefore, it is important to notify the doctor in case of any of the following:
20 Abnormal Uterine Issues
Many things can cause bleeding during pregnancy. A pregnant woman can experience bleeding within the first 12 weeks when implantation is taking place. Usually, this bleeding is normal, very light, and lasts only a few hours. However, if the bleeding is heavy and the woman is experiencing severe abdominal pain, the people around her should notify her doctor as soon as possible.
This symptom could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, which is where a fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus. This can be life-threatening to the woman and it is, therefore, safe to call the doctor so that he can rule out this. Bleeding down there can also be a sign of a serious issues, which is why mom needs to call the doctor ASAP.
19 Minimal Baby Movements
Between weeks 16 to 22, pregnant women are able to feel their babies’ movements on a regular basis. Expectant moms should keep track of these movements or kicks, although her movements can rock the baby to sleep. Decreased movements could be an indication that the baby is becoming distressed and the mother should visit her doctor just to ensure that everything is okay.
However, in some instances, it might take a while to feel the baby’s movements. When this happens, moms should eat or have a cold drink then relax for some time. In this case, the baby might wake up and start moving around. However, if the mom does not feel the baby moving, she should immediately inform her doctor.
18 Abdominal Pain
Pregnancy comes with all sorts of unwanted aches. It might be nothing serious but it should never ignore it. Any sudden abdominal pain should in visiting the doctor immediately, especially if this pain comes together with bleeding and severe persistent pain. The two go hand in hand especially if the woman is about to experience a loss, cyst or ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnant women may also experience abdominal pain due to cramps that occur when the uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus. Either way, it is always good to inform the doctor of any unusual abdominal pain. Doctors usually advise on safe pain management ways.
17 Extreme Morning Sickness
A good number of expectant women experience morning sickness when they are pregnant which is quite normal. Morning sickness that comes with nausea and vomiting occurs during the first three months of pregnancy. In some cases, some women have severe morning sickness medically known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
If morning sickness becomes so severe that a woman persistently vomits several times a day and cannot eat or drink anything, it is important for her to inform her doctor. HG can lead the woman to dehydration, which can interfere with the overall health of the baby and mother. The doctor may prescribe medication or recommend that the woman change her diet to manage morning sickness.
16 Severe Headaches
Some pregnant women may experience headaches, especially in their third trimester, which is somewhat normal. These headaches might have a close relationship with the lack of sleep, dehydration, stress, tension, and poor posture from carrying all the extra lbs. It is crucial that the doctor receives the information if the headaches become severe and persistent.
Severe headaches, especially in the third trimester, could be the result of a condition known as preeclampsia. This condition is serious and is potentially devastating. It occurs because of high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. Treatment of preeclampsia will depend on how close the woman is to her due date and how severe the condition is.
Pregnant women generally have lower immune systems and are more vulnerable to colds and flu. If a woman experiences a rise in temperature commonly known as a fever, it is paramount that her doctor gets the information right away. Fevers during pregnancy are normal but a mom should take each case very seriously.
When an expectant mother gets a fever, it is often a sign that she is fighting an infection. The doctor may prescribe medication that is safe for her to take which should clear the fever in a day or two. If a mom does not attend to a fever, it has the potential to harm the growing baby. It is therefore important for moms to go for diagnosis and treatment.
14 Swollen Hands and Face
It is normal for women to have swollen hands and faces during pregnancy, a condition known as edema. Sudden swelling could occur anytime during the nine months but it is more noticeable after the fifth month. The swelling is the result of additional blood and retention of fluids that enable the woman’s body to expand in order to accommodate the growing b
Any sudden puffiness on the face, around the eyes and hands, could be something to watch out for and expectant mothers should inform their doctors of such changes. Sudden swelling could be again a sign of preeclampsia, a condition that a doctor needs to attend to right away because its early detection is very important.
13 Painful Sensation At An Inconvenient Time
Pregnant women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTI) because of the changes their body goes through. Pregnancy makes women pee a lot and some women may experience discomfort during adult time. A mom should inform her doctor if this happens.
The pain may be the result of a bladder infection, which in turn causes the UTI. UTIs during pregnancy require treatment that is safe for the growing baby. If not attended to early, the infection can travel from the bladder to the kidneys, which put the mother at the risk of preterm labor. After treatment, the symptoms usually improve within a few days.
12 Decreasing In Size
The majority of women gain during pregnancy. This is because of the tiny little human growing inside them. During the first trimester, some women shed off a few lbs. and decrease their lbs. due to morning sickness and loss of appetite.
Some women try their best to eat healthier while pregnant, a situation that can lead to loss of size. As the pregnancy progresses, it can be a sign of something serious and a mom should notify her doctor in case this happens. A doctor’s visit is mandatory to check if hyperemesis or thyroids could be the cause of decrease,
11 Blurry Vision
A pregnant woman’s body undergoes many changes and sometimes she might find that her eyesight is not as sharp as it used to be. Many issues can cause blurry visions like not having enough blood flowing to the brain or swelling around the eyes. Blurry vision that occurs as a pregnancy side effect usually returns to normal after the mother gives birth.
Preeclampsia or gestational diabetes can also cause blurry visions. Women who experience persistent blurry vision and swollen eyes should inform their doctors right away. Doctors usually carry out blood sugar and pressure checks to diagnose the mother-to-be and then offer the correct treatment.
10 Shortness of Breath
A good number of expectant mother’s experience shortness of breath. The expanding uterus and the fact that their hearts have to work harder than usual for both mother and child are responsible for this. Shortness of breath typically begins in the second trimester and may increase in the third trimester. A quick pulse and/or anxiety can accompany it.
Mild breathlessness is very normal but if it occurs constantly, the woman should get in touch with her doctor. This sign might be nothing other than just side effects of pregnancy but it could have a relationship with preeclampsia or anemia, which causes oxygen depletion. Either way, it is always good to go for a check-up.
9 Leg Cramps
Another common symptom of pregnancy is leg cramps. Leg cramps are involuntary contractions of muscles at the back of the calf. They can be the result of fatigue, decreased blood circulation in the legs, or standing for long periods. Leg cramps however usually wait for nightfall when the woman has decided to settle for some much-needed sleep.
Leg cramps are normal but in severe cases, deep vein thrombosis could be the cause. It is therefore always good for pregnant women to inform their doctors when they have these cramps. Massaging the calf and flexing the foot should give immediate relief from the pain. The doctor can also advise on what precaution to take for prevention.
8 Back Pain
Lower back pain is quite common during pregnancy. There are many possible reasons why this happens, like: baby gains, changes in hormones that cause ligaments to soften in preparation for birth, changes in posture as a result of the center of gravity shifting and/or muscle separation as the uterus expands.
There is no need for alarm if a woman experiences this form of pain, she should, however, inform her doctor so that he or she can confirm that the pain is just a normal pregnancy side effect and nothing serious like a kidney infection. Practicing good posture, exercising regularly, avoiding high shoes and getting plenty of rest can keep this pain at bay.
Normal discharge medically known as Leukorrhea is normal and continues to occur even when a woman gets pregnant. Some women might experience an unusual discharge during pregnancy that makes them feel constantly different. Increased blood flow into the cervical area, which can cause excess discharge, is the main cause. The doctor should know about this discomfort, especially if it occurs persistently.
Another common cause of abnormal discharge in pregnancy is yeast infection and treatment for this should be sort as soon as the symptoms start showing. If a woman is also close to her due date, heavy discharge might occur which could the mucus plug coming off, a sign that labor is about to commence.
6 Excessively Tired
Pregnant women should not worry when they feel fatigued, as this is normal during pregnancy. Fatigue is more common during the first trimester and tends to go away during the second trimester but returns again in the third trimester. Hormonal changes combined with the growing baby are likely the cause of pregnancy fatigue.
The doctor should be informed about it either way. He or she may make recommendations like eating a balanced diet, bed rest during the times the mother feels fatigued, relaxing more often with feet elevated, and exercising moderately. The doctor can also suggest that the woman adjust her daily schedule if it is the one responsible for the exhaustion.
5 Panic Attacks
A panic attack is a sudden strong feeling of acute and disabling anxiety. Panic attacks during pregnancy can be a cause for concern because they can affect the growing fetus. Pregnant women need to inform their doctors whenever they experience these attacks because blood flow to the fetus normally reduces when an expectant woman experiences high levels of anxiety.
Frequent panic attacks can result in premature labor or low birth size. If a woman experiences these attacks, doctors may advise on behavioral therapy or offer anti-anxiety medication. If the woman is aware of what could be triggering her panic attacks, then, she should avoid that situation as much as possible. Relaxation techniques like breathing can calm someone having a panic attack.
4 Regular Uterus Tightening
During the early stages of pregnancy, women may experience abdominal tightening because of the stretching ligaments doing so to give room to the growing uterus. Later on in the pregnancy, the tightening could be a result of several things and the doctor may want to know if this happens.
Abdominal tightening could be because of the uterus contracting and this is what people call Braxton Hicks Contractions. Women should not be too worried about this as the tightening only lasts for a few seconds at a time and is usually not painful. However, if a woman is not close to her due date and the tightening is more consistent and regular, it could be a sign of preterm labor.
3 An Unusual Rash
A woman’s skin becomes very sensitive when she gets pregnant and her regular clothes and/or products can easily irritate her. Hormonal imbalances sometimes cause the skin to break out with pimples or even acne. A good number of acne products in the market are also not safe to use while pregnant. When a woman’s skin breaks out during pregnancy, she should avoid touching, picking and squeezing out any pimples.
Instead, she should steam her face or go for a good mild facial cleanse that will help clear the clogged pores. Moms should report any red and itchy rashes immediately to the doctor, as they could affect the baby and cause serious liver problems. The doctor will need to do a blood test to ensure that the rashes are harmless.
After the 34th week, doctors should know about any severe contractions a pregnant woman experiences. Contractions can be the result of lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous activities but most of the time people see contractions as a sign that labor is starting. Having contractions early or mid-pregnancy is not a good sign.
If contractions are regular and painful and the mother is not close to her due date, it could mean she is in preterm labor. A baby born prematurely before its due date may end up with many health complications. Apart from Braxton Hicks Contractions, which are the most common during pregnancy and are a sign of false labor, moms should report any other contractions to the doctor immediately.
1 Rising Pressure
Blood pressure refers to how hard blood pushes against the artery walls when the heart beats. During pregnancy, high blood pressure is a reading above 140/110. This pressure is necessary but when it gets too high, it can cause serious problems.
When a woman has high blood pressure, she should inform her doctor right away. High blood pressure is the leading cause of preeclampsia in pregnancy and so moms should not ignore it. Some expectant mothers should purchase gadgets that can monitor their blood pressure from the comfort of their homes. If the pressure is not too high, one can have a normal pregnancy but if it is severe, it can cause low birth weight, cesarean births, and/or preterm labor.