Pregnancy can make you physically uncomfortable. Discomforts like nausea during the first trimester, frequent urination or heartburn or backache are normal. But some symptoms warrant an immediate visit to the doctor. Foreknowledge of them will let you take the right action at the right time.
Once you are pregnant, you don’t bleed because a fertilized egg has implanted itself in your uterus and a little spotting is quite natural. However, if you bleed in your first trimester, it is a sign of an impending miscarriage as about half the women who experience bleeding in the first three months have a miscarriage.
Bleeding in the first trimester could also point to an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when the egg implants itself outside the uterus. This kind of pregnancy is life-threatening and has to be terminated.
Bleeding and cramps in the third trimester could indicate placental abruption which means the placenta comes loose from the uterine wall. When this happens, the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off, and you could also suffer haemorrhage and kidney failure. This is why this condition requires immediate hospitalization and a C-section to ensure that both you and the baby are healthy.
Cramping in the first month of pregnancy is not as dangerous because this is when the uterus is stretched to accommodate the foetus. But, if you continue to experience severe cramps and abdominal pain beyond the first month, it could mean an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
If you begin to experience cramps after the fifth month, you could be heading towards premature labour. This condition is usually followed by diarrhoea and contractions spaced out by 15 minutes. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate hospitalization.
High Blood Pressure
It’s vital that you monitor your blood pressure repeatedly every day during your pregnancy. If you see your blood pressure shoot up beyond 140/90, consult a doctor right away. Hypertension could indicate a pregnancy complication called preeclampsia. Yet another giveaway of preeclampsia is elevated protein levels, which a standard prenatal blood test can reveal.
If you do not seek treatment for this disorder, it could inhibit the function of your brain, kidneys and liver. It also restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the foetus.
In such cases, even if the baby is premature, doctors opt for induced labour to save the mother.
If you want advice on how to keep your blood pressure under control, you can consult a doctor on MediBuddy.
Your Baby isn’t Kicking
It is important to monitor your baby’s movements. Usually, from the seventh month of pregnancy, you will feel the baby kick at least 5 times every hour. If this doesn’t happen, drink something hot or cold, lie on your side and start counting. If there are fewer than 10 kicks in two hours, call the doctor immediately.
Contractions in the Third Trimester
Contractions before the due date could indicate preterm labour. But, it could also be false labour, called Braxton Hicks contractions. They subside as soon as you drink water. If they don’t go away in an hour, call your doctor.
If you notice unusual vaginal discharge, genital sores or experience itching, it could mean an infection. Such infections are treatable with the right medication.
Pain During Urination
If you experience a burning pain when you urinate, it could be because of a bladder infection that sometimes leads to preterm labour. Also, keep an eye on the amount of urine your body expels. If you have a urinary tract infection, it could reach your kidneys and cause premature labour.
Pregnancy is a time when you need to keep a hawk’s eye on your health and learn to distinguish the normal discomforts from the danger signs.