Pregnancy is an exciting time but it can also be nerve-wracking as your body goes through many changes. It can be difficult to know what is normal and when to worry. The happiness of pregnancy should outweigh the stress, and the best way to ensure that is to be well-informed and your mind put at ease. There are a few situations that can be serious. If you experience any of the following you should contact your doctor right away.
Moderate Bleeding or Bleeding Accompanied by Fever
Some spotting is common, caused by the weight of the baby on your cervix. Significant bleeding of more than a dime-sized amount or bleeding that is accompanied by fever is not normal. These can be signs of infection or impending miscarriage. There are several other possibilities including ectopic pregnancy, premature labor or placenta previa. If you are experiencing unusual bleeding or steady, heavy discharge, it should be addressed immediately.
Headache with Fainting, Dizziness or Blurred Vision
Headaches during pregnancy are not uncommon. If you have a persistent or severe headache or if it is accompanied by fainting, dizziness or blurred vision you should be checked right away. This could be a sign of gestational diabetes or hypertension. If your headache or vision changes are accompanied by sudden swelling of face, hands or feet it could signal pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.
Moderate to Severe Pelvic Pain
Throughout pregnancy your pelvic bones shift and open to accompany your baby and prepare for childbirth. If you have moderate to severe pelvic pain that does not go away with stretching, rest and drinking water, you should see your doctor, especially if you also have a fever. This is usually a sign of a viral illness or infection that your body is trying to fight off, but your immune system is lowered during pregnancy and it is easy to become dehydrated.
Chills or Fever over 103 Degrees Fahrenheit
High fevers are also dangerous for the baby and should be checked by your doctor right away. Many types of infections can cause high fevers. Early in your pregnancy, a high fever can lead to miscarriage.
Lack of Fetal Movement
Your baby begins to move around 4 to 5 months. From the seventh month they are quite active; on any given day you should be able to count ten movements per hour. If you notice a decrease, it may mean you need rest, are becoming dehydrated or need to eat. Try to do these things and then intentionally count movement for the next hour. If after two hours you do not notice improvement, you should call your doctor for advice. If anything seems unusual, check with your doctor right away.
Your Doctor’s Specializations
When selecting a doctor for your pregnancy there are many things to consider. You want someone who is caring and puts you at ease but who also has a strong background in all areas of prenatal care. Dr. Gilbert Webb is an example of a doctor with multiple specializations. He has background in maternal-fetal medicine which includes high-risk pregnancy health areas including gestational diabetes, anemia, hypertension and placenta previa. The importance of selecting someone who is knowledgeable about complications and experienced with high-risk deliveries cannot be stressed enough if your pregnancy requires that type of care. Hopefully you won’t need someone with those skills, but you will appreciate when your doctor is prepared.
Most pregnancies are uneventful. Being aware of when to be concerned and having a doctor you trust can save you unnecessary stress.