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Watch out for these warning signs of Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! You can now prepare to go through a rollercoaster of emotional and physical changes during the next 9 months. While pregnancy is mostly a joyous life event, it is also a time that calls for caution. You need to stay informed and practice watchfulness at every step. It is, therefore, important to learn about the warning signs of pregnancy. 

In this article, Dr Astha Dayal, one of the best obstetricians in Gurgaon explains the most common warning signs during pregnancy. 

Facts about warning signs of pregnancy

  • According to UNICEF India, pregnancy-related complications is the number cause of death among younger girls.
  • As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is the top country with most preterm births. 
  • Around 800 women succumb to childbirth complications all over the world. 

What are the warning signs of pregnancy?

You can expect to feel the effects of pregnancy as growing a baby inside your belly is no easy task. However, sometimes, a woman may experience bad pregnancy symptoms. These symptoms should not be mistaken for ordinary body changes. 

You should proactively monitor your health and stay alert of the following warning signs during pregnancy:

1. Vaginal bleeding

There are diverse reasons that cause bleeding during pregnancy. During the first trimester, vaginal bleeding could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo is implanted outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can lead to complications for the mother and child. 

Bleeding during pregnancy, in the second trimester, may indicate a loss of pregnancy or miscarriage. 

While bleeding during the final trimester is a sign of placental abruption. At any stage of gestation, bleeding should be considered a warning sign. You should consult your gynaecologist even if you experience spotting and not heavy blood flow. 

Also, read: What you need to know about an Ectopic pregnancy

2. Persistent back pain during pregnancy

Severe back pain should not be taken lightly at any stage during pregnancy. The several changes in your body can lead to some level of discomfort. Nonetheless, persistent back pain during pregnancy requires clinical care. 

3. Dizziness

Unlike popular opinion, fainting during pregnancy is not common. You can expect to feel a certain amount of light-headedness. However, fainting or feeling extremely dizzy in pregnancy is not a healthy sign. 

4. Severe nausea and vomiting

It is highly common to feel nauseated and vomit during the first trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms are popularly called ‘morning sickness’. 

However, if these symptoms persist for a longer time, it could be a cause of concern. This warning of pregnancy can also lead to a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Excessive nausea and vomiting could dehydrate your body and harm fetal health. 

5. Headache and abdominal pain during pregnancy

Your hormones may be a reason for frequent headaches and abdominal pain during pregnancy. However, if your aches are persistent and unbearable, you may need to see your gynaecologist. 

Consistent pain is among the bad pregnancy symptoms. It may indicate high blood pressure and lead to the development of preeclampsia (a fatal pregnancy complication). 

6. Change in vision

A sudden change in vision or blurry vision is one of the top pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore. This warning sign is an indicator of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension. 

7. Painful urination

If you feel a sense of pain or burning during urination, you might have contracted a urinary tract infection (UTI). If not treated, this warning sign can lead to other serious infections or even preterm labour

8. Itching

One of the most serious pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore is itching all over the body. It could be a sign of cholestasis during pregnancy. 

Cholestasis is a liver condition. In this illness, the production of bile juice from your gall bladder is either stopped or disrupted. Cholestasis does not form any kind of rash. 

Skin dryness and itching are not unusual for pregnant women. Your skin stretches to accommodate your baby and can become dry over time. Nonetheless, if the itching is extreme and beyond control, you should immediately consult your healthcare provider. 

9. Early contractions

Early contractions in the uterus could be a sign of preterm labour. Preterm labour is the one that starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm labour can cause multiple birth complications. 

Sometimes, a pregnant woman may confuse these contractions as false labour. You should ask your OB-GYN to explain the difference between true and false labour.

10. A decline in baby’s activity

Through the 9 months of gestation, you will become accustomed to the different types of movements made by your baby. You can begin to feel these movements between 18 and 25 weeks of pregnancy. 

Your baby will turn, kick and flutter. If you feel a decline in this activity, you should meet your healthcare provider. It is essential to keep a track of these movements over time. 

You can lie down and notice how long it takes for your baby to kick, roll or flutter 10 times. You can eat a light snack and lie down again if you do not notice any movement for over an hour. 

11. Water breaking

If you feel a rush of fluid flowing down your vagina before 37 weeks, you should consider it a warning sign during pregnancy. This phenomenon indicates an early rupture of membranes. 

12. Sudden weight gain or swelling

Undoubtedly, you will gain weight during pregnancy, However, the weight gain is associated with swelling in legs and hands could be a sign of preeclampsia. 

Some of the above-given symptoms are misinterpreted for normal events during pregnancy. This is why it is significant to educate yourself and your partner about the bad pregnancy symptoms. 

You should not panic if you experience any of these atypical symptoms. Simply contact your OB-GYN and seek clinical intervention. Your healthcare provider will assess your situation and offer the relevant treatment.  

The concluding note

An expecting mother should actively monitor her health. You can maintain a notebook to highlight any warning signs of pregnancy. You should also have a detailed discussion with your gynaecologist on what are the warning signs of pregnancy.  

If you wish to learn more about maternal health during pregnancy, you can book an appointment with Dr Astha Dayal, obstetrician and gynaecologist at the CK Birla Hospital. 

Also, read: Tips to ensure a healthy pregnancy

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Author: Dr Astha Dayal
Dr. Astha Dayal is an esteemed obstetrician and gynaecologist in Gurgaon. She cleared her MRCOG certification in London, UK, and is a member of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India. She has over 16 years of experience in the medical and surgical management of women’s health with an emphasis on high-risk pregnancies as well as advanced laparoscopy.
 
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