Pregnancy Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Pregnancy is a journey. Your body goes through so many changes and most of the weird pregnancy symptoms are considered totally normal. But what about a new ache or symptom that you’re not sure about? For example, is bleeding normal? (In some instances it is!) Because pregnancy carries a tremendous amount of hormones and emotions, it may be hard to trust your instincts. To set your mind at ease, we’ve compiled a list of symptoms you should never ignore during pregnancy. As always, if you’re unsure or feel uneasy about something, trust your intuition and get checked out.

The Baby is Kicking Less Than Usual

From about 16 weeks on, you’ll feel your baby moving quite a bit. If the frequency slows way down, it could be a cause for concern. Ask your physician about monitoring the baby’s activity with a daily “kick count,” and when to call if the baby seems quieter than normal.

You’re Experiencing Heavy Bleeding

A little spotting here and there is normal, especially if it’s after sex or a vaginal exam. But if you’re experiencing heavy bleeding, you should contact your doctor right away.

Change in Vaginal Discharge

Depending on the stage of pregnancy, you may see an increase in vaginal discharge. For example, after 37 weeks your body prepares for labor by increasing the mucous discharge. But if you suddenly have milky white, water or even bloody discharge, it’s a symptom you should not ignore.

Pelvic Pressure and Severe Back Pain

Does it feel like your baby is pushing down? Are you having severe lower back pain for the first time? If those symptoms are also followed by menstrual-like cramping or several contractions in a row and you haven’t yet hit the 37-week mark, you may need to see a doctor. At first you can try resting and drinking water to see if they subside. If they don’t or increase in intensity, call your physician.

Sign of a Bladder Infection

If you have painful or burning when you pee, or you feel the urge to go again after you just went, it could be a sign of a bladder infection. Urine that is cloudy, blood-tinged or has a strong odor can be a red flag too.

Vomiting, Chills or a High Fever

Vomiting that is accompanied with pain or a very high fever can be a dangerous sign. Especially if you’re into your second or third trimester and morning sickness had subsided. Chills or a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher is a symptom you shouldn’t ignore. Call your doctor right away.  

Changes in Vision

A sudden change in vision during pregnancy can be a sign of preeclampsia. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor: double vision, blurring, dimming, flashing lights, auras or floaters which are spots in your field of vision. Blurry vision that is also accompanied by a severe headache that doesn’t go away is also a warning sign.

Unusual, Sudden or Severe Swelling

Do you have sudden or persistent swelling in your face or around your eyes? Have you seen a severe increase in swelling in your hands, feet or ankles? A good rule of thumb is that if you press your thumb into your skin and an indentation remains for a few seconds, the swelling is not a normal symptom of pregnancy. It’s best that you get it checked out just to be sure.

Pregnancy is a time of many changes. And for the most part the changes are all just a normal aspect of carrying a baby for nine months. But when the symptoms seem unusual, are severe or cause you to feel concerned, it’s best to listen to your gut. Keeping your baby and you safe through delivery and beyond is the only goal!