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When To Head To The Hospital

Your due date is just around the corner, so you have got your bags packed. You are ready for the biggest challenge of your life – giving birth.

The feeling of excitement and anxiety may be accompanying you as you near your due date. However, very often you may be faced with false alarms, such as false contractions. Especially during your first pregnancy, it is difficult to tell when the contractions are real. When you do not know what to look for, you may end up spending a lot of time going to the hospital at the most inconvenient times.

There have been many cases where women have been sent home on more than one occasion. It is exhausting and stressful especially when you are doing these false visits in the middle of the night. It can take a definite toll on your body. However, it is quite understandable to make these trips as you are worried and you do not want to take any chances.

Although this article will be a helpful guide to helping you decide when to head to the hospital, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You know your body the best. If you feel that something is not normal, be sure to seek medical attention. After a couple of false alarms, you may become a little bit of an expert yourself.

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7 Severe Morning Sickness

Nobody is a fan of morning sickness or any type of sickness for that matter. Morning sickness refers to the nausea and vomiting that women experience in their first trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness, as it is often called, can occur at any time of the day. Do not be alarmed if you are experiencing morning sickness at a later time during the day. That is normal.

When it comes to morning sickness, there is not anything to worry about unless you are displaying signs of hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as severe morning sickness or HG, occurs when women are vomiting constantly throughout the day. During hyperemesis gravidarum, the vomiting has become so severe that you are at risk of dehydration, or worse yet, have become dehydrated. In extreme cases, some women will experience fever and pain while throwing up, and some weight loss.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to go to the hospital or see your doctor. Do not ignore these signs of severe morning sickness. You are losing valuable electrolytes needed to keep you and your baby healthy. If you do not get treated, you will risk your baby’s health, as well as your own. In minor cases of hyperemesis gravidarum, doctors may prescribe changes to your diet with some medication. In more extreme cases, women are often hospitalized and treated for dehydration. 

6 Painful Urination

A common situation to expect when you are pregnant is having to urinate frequently. Frequent urination is not a problem in pregnancy. Having to go often is caused by the extra pressure that is being applied to your uterus by the baby. There is also an increase in blood flow to your kidneys after conception.

If you begin to experience some pain during urination, such as stinging or burning, that is a sign that something is wrong. You should seek medical attention if you experience pain during your frequent washroom visits. The main causes of pain during urination is UTI – urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics, while more pressing cases are treated with IV’s. It is crucial that you seek medical attention if you display any symptoms. Besides burning and stinging when you pee, there are other common symptoms you should look out for.

Other urinary tract infection symptoms include blood in your urine and mucous in your urine, i.e. cloudiness in your urine. If you encounter a fever, back pain, and/or nausea, you need to head to the hospital. If urinary tract infections are left untreated, it could lead to more severe conditions, such as a kidney infection. This is double alarming as your kidneys are working overtime to support your baby. 

5 Pain In Your Pelvis

It is highly normal to feel pain in your pelvis during various phases of your pregnancy. The cause of pelvic pain is normally due to the stretching and widening of your pelvis. Plus, the increasing weight of your baby is sitting on hips and pelvis is going to result in some pain. Also, keep in mind that your organs are shifting around to make room for your baby.

A common cause for the pain that you are feeling in your pelvis is ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts during pregnancy are usually from your ovaries going through some changes. Your ovaries are making and releasing eggs differently than when you were not pregnant. When you feel the pain in your pelvis, see a doctor to be sure that it isn’t serious. Generally, as your uterus starts to grow, it will apply more pressure against the cysts causing it to get larger. If you do have a cyst, your doctor will want to keep an eye on it to ensure that it does not become too large.

Sometimes you will encounter cramping and pain in your pelvic area that resembles the same kind of pain when you are on your period. You should go to the hospital if you experience bleeding. Regular cramping and pain is normally just a sign that the uterus is expanding. Bleeding during cramping and pain is a sign of something unusual and you should seek medical attention.

4 Vaginal Discharge

When it comes to vaginal discharge during pregnancy, it is different for every woman. Some women may experience a heavy flow of vaginal discharge while some women will experience next to none. Both are normal. However, there are signs to look out for to determine when vaginal bleeding needs medical attention. If you are experiencing heavy vaginal bleeding accompanied by itching and redness, it may be signs of a yeast infection.

The discharge tends to look like cottage cheese and is odorless. Yeast infections are normal and can be taken care of through over the counter medication. If you are concerned, you may speak to your doctor about which medication to take for it.

If you are experiencing vaginal discharge, combined with itching and burning, it is a sign that immediate medical attention is needed. The common diagnosis for this is bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is due to the over development of bacteria that is naturally found in your vagina. The over development of these bacteria makes for uncomfortable symptoms, such as grey-like discharge, burning and itching during urination and in and around the crotch. If left untreated, the infection can lead to inflammatory disease in the pelvic area. This disease will affect your baby. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor will, at the very least, prescribe antibiotics. 

3 Swelling

As you move forward in your pregnancy, you will notice that your hands, legs, feet, face, and neck will start to swell. The reason for this is that the change in blood flowing through your body. The increase blood flow during pregnancy may cause fluids to move into your tissues, causing your ligaments to swell up. Most women will find that their shoes will not fit during pregnancy, but that is perfectly normal.

However, not all swelling is normal. If you examine your legs and notice that one is significantly more swollen than the other, it may signify a severe problem. If the swelling is accompanied by pain, it is vital that you seek medical attention right away. This may be a sign that you are experiencing a blood clot.

There are other major symptoms that may accompany the swelling. These symptoms include severe headaches, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision. If you experience any of these with your swelling, you should seek medical attention as you may have preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure brought on during pregnancy. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to heart problems, which can put you and your baby in danger. 

2 Lack Of Fetal Movement

One of the most exciting things to happen during your pregnancy is feeling the baby kick inside of you. Any sort of movement from the baby for that matter is very exciting. The best way to sense movement is to make sure that you are not moving yourself. Find a quiet place to lay down. You are more likely to feel your baby’s movements when you are laying down rather than sitting down or standing.

You will start to feel your baby moving within 18 to 20 weeks of your pregnancy. Movement becomes more significant as you move forward in your pregnancy. Your baby is getting bigger and the room it has to move around is not as much.

It is a good idea to keep track of your baby’s movements. By keeping a record of your baby’s daily kicks and punches, it will be easier to notice when there is a lack of fetal movement. A lack of fetal movement could mean that there is something wrong with the baby.

A general guide to knowing if your baby is making a healthy amount of movements is by laying down and counting how many times the baby moves in a span of two hours. You should feel your baby move 10 times in 2 hours. Seek medical attention if you are experiencing any less than that, or if your baby’s movement drops significantly from what you have been observing. 

1 Labor

Labor is one of the things that may seem easy to detect. But, sometimes it is not as easy as you would think. As you near your due date, you may start to experience contractions that may give you false hope. There are a few things to look out for when experiencing contractions.

Monitor your contractions. If your contractions are regular from one contraction to the next, you are most likely going into labor. Braxton Hicks contractions, on the other hand, are irregular and less painful. Braxton Hicks contractions usually occur from week 20 to week 32. They are preparing you for birth but are not there to assist in pushing out your baby.

When you are in labor, your contractions become regular and tend to be longer and more frequent. Your water may also break. The mucous plugging your cervix is there to keep out infections. But, when the baby is ready to come out, the mucous plug will break and you will notice water leaking. If you experience these symptoms of labor, be sure to head to the hospital right away. If there are any signs of possible complications, your doctor will be able to detect them during early signs of labor. 

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