Pregnancy Symptoms You Can’t Ignore

Pregnancy, like any new experience, is full of scary unknowns. Sometimes you honestly don’t know if what you’re experiencing is supposed to happen or if you need to have another panicky call to your mother-of-three bestie. Usually it’s the latter. A lot of the time it can be difficult to tell which crazy thing your body is doing is natural and normal, and which warrants a call to your care provider. This handy guide will outline which pregnancy symptoms are something to worry about and which are nothing out of the ordinary.

Bleeding

Few things can get the heart racing like the unexpected sight of blood. Many moms report light spotting and have perfectly healthy pregnancies, but if you experience any vaginal bleeding at all you should go with your gut and call your care provider ASAP. You’ll need to go through a few tests including an ultrasound and a physical, this is all to verify that there are no complications. While bleeding or spotting is a pregnancy symptom that doesn’t necessarily spell miscarriage, you should take it seriously and err on the side of caution.

If you experience moderate to heavy bleeding, or if it’s accompanied by fever or chills, you will need to go straight to the ER.

Fever/Flu

Nobody likes being sick, especially pregnant mamas. Getting the flu during pregnancy can lead to serious complications during pregnancy and labor, but luckily this is one of the pregnancy symptoms you can be proactive about. The CDC, the Mayo Clinic and the American Pregnancy Association all strongly recommend pregnant women get flu vaccinations (flu shots). According to these sources, vaccines are perfectly safe for your unborn baby – they will even protect her immune system for up to 6 months after birth. Getting the flu while pregnant can lead to pneumonia, hospitalization and serious complications. Do what’s best for your baby!

Noticeable Change In Baby’s Activity

If you’re feeling your baby kicking up a storm one day and hardly fluttering the next, it may be cause for a call to your doctor. The best way to measure regular movement is with a handy kick chart, so you know whether your baby is going through scheduled down-time or you should see your care provider.

Third Trimester Swelling

Ok, we realize that there’s going to be a whole bunch of swelling going on – especially after week 20. But any swelling in your face or noticeable puffiness in your hands could be the sign of preeclampsia, aka toxema. This is a serious complication that is seen in first time pregnancies, teen pregnancies and women over 40. If you notice facial or hand swelling, or rapid and extreme swelling of the ankles, call your doc immediately. Early detection is a major key when it comes to preeclampsia, and these are the pregnancy symptoms you can’t ignore.

Other symptoms of preeclampsia that should spell a call to your doc:

  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Sudden weight gain over 1 or 2 days
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurry vision/flashing lights
  • Decrease in urine

Early Contractions

Contractions can be very tricky to figure out. You see, your body will sometimes decide to shake things up by performing some Braxton Hicks contractions, aka Practice Contractions. There are a lot of similarities and differences between these and the “you’re having this baby right now” contractions! But if you notice that your contractions are regular, increasing in intensity, or you are having more than 4 an hour, it’s time to call your care provider. These pregnancy symptoms may mean you’re entering early labor. If they’re just irregular spastic practice contractions, it’s nothing drastic. Just be pragmatic, not erratic! And by that I mean drink water, shift your position, and try a little deep breathing if you’re up for it. Pay attention to your body, you’ll know if something’s not right.