Let’s face it, pregnancy comes with its share of uncomfortable sensations. There’s swelling, lightheadedness, teenage-style acne, and more. The amount of potential side effects to growing and developing a new life are enough to make your head spin. But if you ran off to the emergency room every time you had back pain or felt nauseated, you’d never be at home.
By and large, the weird physical and emotional feelings you’ll experience are par for the course during pregnancy. But there are a few universally alarming symptoms that warrant an immediate call to your health care provider. Here are 3 pregnancy warning signs you should never ignore, under any circumstance.
Finding blood down there while you’re expecting is certainly unsettling. Know that during your first trimester, some light spotting may actually be quite normal. However, we suggest you play it safe and alert your doctor or midwife to any changes. He or she will want to know about the amount of bleeding, whether there’s tissue included, and what color (from light pink to bright red to dark brown) you’ve found. While bleeding doesn’t always indicate a problem, it’s best to see an expert to ensure no complications have arisen. If you experience bleeding in your second or third trimester – or find blood accompanied by cramping or dizziness, call your health care provider right away. He or she may suggest you make a trip to the emergency room to be extra safe.
If the little gymnast in your belly has suddenly slowed, it could be a sign that your little one isn’t getting enough nutrients or oxygen. Note that if you haven’t felt your baby move yet at all, this one’s not an issue for you. Try drinking some cold, sugary juice and laying down on your left side. Babies do have sleep patterns in utero and they have moments of quiet and stillness. A shot of juice should give your little one a gentle jolt and offer you peace of mind again. If you notice that your baby’s activity has significantly declined, contact your doctor or midwife right away.
It’s normal for many women to experience Braxton-Hicks contractions, also known as false labor, early in the third trimester. But if your cramps and contractions don’t fade, you may be going into pre-term labor – in which case it’s important to call your health care provider. He or she will be able to help you discern the difference between practice contractions and the real deal.