14 Dangerous Pregnancy Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll experience several symptoms as your body begins to change and support your growing baby. Many of these symptoms are normal and are no reason for concern. Morning sickness in the first trimester, changes in weight, aversions to certain smells or tastes, and general fatigue happen to a lot of expecting mothers. However, not all symptoms are harmless. As your pregnancy advances into later stages, certain signs and symptoms can be cause for concern. To make sure that you and your baby are safe, here are 14 dangerous pregnancy symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

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  1. Abdominal Pain

    Aches and pains during pregnancy are normal as your body is changing and your growing baby is putting a lot of strain on your muscles, bones, and organs. If you begin to feel any sharp pains, stabbing feelings, or intense cramps on one or more sides of your abdomen that don’t go away, see your doctor. If your cramps or pain are accompanied by nausea or vomiting, it could be a sign of an infection or something more serious.

  2. Bleeding

    It’s extremely understandable for any vaginal bleeding during a pregnancy to cause alarm. However, many times, spotting or a small amount of blood is no big deal, especially following sex, or a physical exam. Your cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy and can be irritated. If you notice anything that’s more serious or the spotting doesn’t go away, call your doctor. Heavy bleeding can be a sign of a miscarriage, placental abruption, placental previa, or more. This is especially true if the bleeding is associated with a fever or chills.

  3. Infrequent Movement

    Feeling that first kick is a special moment and it reassures you that things are going as they should. You’ll begin to anticipate movement based on the time of day, foods you eat, and what you’re doing. The frequency that your baby moves is a good way to keep track of your baby’s health and many doctors recommend keeping a record of it. As your pregnancy progresses, movement may slow as room for your baby to kick decreases. However, if you begin to notice infrequent movement, or no movement at all, talk to your doctor. The same applies if you notice erratic patterns of behavior.

  4. Severe or Chronic Headaches

    The occasional headache is nothing to worry about, but severe or chronic headaches can be problematic. Headaches that don’t react to hydration or doctor-approved medications could be a sign that something else is going on. If your headaches cause you to become immobile and are paired with fainting, dizziness, or any type of vision impairment, schedule an appointment with your doctor. These types of headaches could be an indication of preeclampsia, which can reduce blood flow to the baby and cause health problems.

  5. Leg Cramps

    Due to the excessive strain that pregnancy puts on a woman’s body, you’re at a higher risk for blood clots. Hormonal changes can increase the likelihood of your blood clotting and the growing weight and pressure of your baby can put a strain on your circulatory system, which can cause blood to pool in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when a blood clot forms in deep layers of the veins in the legs and can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. If your legs feel cramped or painful, or you suspect a blood clot, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

  6. Bleeding Gums

    Maintaining good oral health is an important part of your self-care routine. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause your gums to increase in sensitivity. This sensitivity can lead to inflammation, which can make dental care difficult and increases your risk of gingivitis. Gums that consistently bleed could be due to sensitivity, but it can also be a sign of periodontal disease and should be checked to avoid further infections.

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  8. Itching or Rashes

    Dry, cracked skin is often a common cause for itchiness. The same is said about stretched skin that occurs as your belly grows. To combat this, you should begin to apply lotion or cocoa butter early in your pregnancy—it helps maintain a healthy moisture balance. If the itching persists and turns into a rash, it can quickly become a more severe condition. If you notice itching that begins to cover your whole body, or that turns into a rash, it could be a problem with your liver or cholestasis.

  9. Extreme Exhaustion

    Being tired and fatigued during pregnancy is normal. Your body is working in overdrive to grow a life. At times, you’ll feel completely exhausted, but this often goes away with some rest and recovery. However, extreme exhaustion could be an indication that there’s something going on with your thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism can be dangerous to your child and increases the risk of premature births. Hypothyroidism can lead to developmental problems. If you’re feeling levels of ongoing exhaustion, regardless of rest, contact your doctor for further testing.

  10. Swollen Hands or Face

    Your entire body will swell to some degree during pregnancy. Give special attention to your hands and face to ensure that things are as they should be. A little puffiness is fine, but if the swelling is intense and doesn’t go away, it may be a sign of preeclampsia. Since early detection is essential, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.

  11. Rapid Weight Gain

    Gaining weight during your pregnancy is healthy, but if you notice that your weight is increasing quickly, it could be problematic. Talk to your doctor about what a healthy pregnancy weight gain will look like and if you notice your weight increasing at abnormal rates, regardless of a healthy diet, see your doctor immediately. Extreme, short-term weight gain could be a symptom of preeclampsia.

  12. Persistent Back Pains

    Pregnancy is going to cause several new aches and pains, but they should normally occur in waves based on your activity level and quality of rest. If you find that you’re experiencing persistent back pains or a backache that doesn’t go away, call your doctor. This applies to backpains that are intense and unresponsive to your traditional remedies, which can be indicative of infection or, in serious cases, a miscarriage.

  13. Blurry Vision

    If you begin to experience any sign of blurry or hazy vision, call your doctor immediately. Problems with your eyesight during pregnancy can indicate the presence of preeclampsia. Eyesight problems can manifest as blurry vision, a dimming feeling, double vision, or flashing spots in your line of vision.

  14. Fluid Expulsion

    Vaginal discharge is natural in women, regardless of pregnancy. During pregnancy, you can expect discharge to increase as your reproductive system is on overdrive. Having a consistent feeling of wetness isn’t problematic, but if you notice extreme fluid expulsion that feels like it’s trickling down or even gushing out, it’s time to head to the hospital. When your water breaks, it may not be as noticeable as you’d think. Any increase in fluid expulsion could be a sign that you’re going into labor. Seeing your doctor is essential to determining the cause and taking necessary actions.

  15. Early Contractions

As you get closer to your due date, you become more susceptible to experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, which are harmless and not an indication of labor. However, getting proper confirmation from your doctor is important. If they’re not Braxton Hicks, they could be a sign of preterm labor. It’s never worth the risk when it comes to your baby, so either head to the hospital or your doctor’s office.

Pregnancy Symptoms: When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the above dangerous pregnancy symptoms, call your doctor immediately. While having one of these things happen is not a definitive diagnosis that something is wrong, you’ll need to undergo further testing to be sure. Catching potential problems early on is essential to the proper treatment and a healthy development. Even if you don’t have any of these symptoms, if something feels off it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Your doctor is used to getting calls and seeing patients with pregnancy concerns, so never refrain from calling because you don’t want to be a burden. To help prevent any problems, make sure that you’re proactive about your health throughout your pregnancy. Eat healthy, nutritious dense meals, exercise regularly, take your prenatal vitamins, and always attend your scheduled doctor visits. To help you prepare for your pregnancy, order your insurance covered breast pump from Byram Healthcare today.