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8 warning signs during pregnancy

Being pregnant is like no other experience for your body. You really have no baseline for what things should feel like. And even if you’ve been pregnant before, no pregnancy is exactly like another. So how can you know what’s normal and what’s not?
We asked Jeffrey Boyle, M.D., a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Jessica Sedevie, M.D., a Sanford Health OB/GYN in Bismarck, North Dakota, about warning signs you should not ignore during pregnancy.
Light spotting is normal before eight weeks as the embryo implants itself. You could also experience some spotting after sex or with a cervical infection.
Bleeding with pelvic pain could signal an ectopic pregnancy, and bleeding after 12 weeks can mean the cervix is shortening or dilating, which can lead to preterm birth or miscarriage.
Call your doctor if:
You have bleeding accompanied by pain or bleeding after 12 weeks.
Consult with a specialist: Maternal-fetal medicine from Sanford Health
Contractions or abdominal cramping are common in pregnancy and can occur from the second trimester until childbirth. Braxton Hicks contractions are normal and do not typically change the cervix or indicate labor.
Braxton Hicks contractions usually:
Call your doctor if:
Your contractions are painful, regular or accompanied by any bleeding or spotting.
You should feel your baby’s movements by 18 weeks. At first, the movements will feel like fluttering but will get stronger as you get farther along.
Fetal movements after 28 weeks are usually more regular and more common at night than during the day. All pregnant people should monitor fetal movements. Starting at 28 weeks, count how long it takes to feel 10 movements. This should be done daily in the evening from 6 to 9 p.m.
Call your doctor if:
You don’t feel 10 movements within two hours.
Your body is constantly changing during pregnancy. This can put you at an increased risk for blood clots. Blood clots can be dangerous and require immediate treatment.
Call your doctor if:
You experience swelling and pain in one leg, especially in the calf. This can be a red flag for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
In addition to signaling a possible blood clot, leg swelling can be a sign of high blood pressure in pregnancy, called preeclampsia, especially if accompanied by:
If you experience these symptoms, have your blood pressure checked.
Call your doctor if:
Your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher with these symptoms.
As the baby grows, you will experience pelvic pressure and uterine stretching pains. You will also have a small amount of vaginal discharge during the pregnancy. This is usually normal.
Call your doctor if:
The pressure turns into pain and the discharge becomes bloody or increased in amount. You should get checked for possible cervical dilation and preterm labor in this case.
Frequent urinating is common in pregnancy, but you should not feel pain when urinating or feel back pain on one side. These could be signs of a bladder or kidney infection. Bacteria in the bladder or kidney can result in a serious blood infection and preterm labor.
Call your doctor if:
You have pain with urinating or one-sided lower back pain.
Hormone changes in pregnancy cause the blood vessels to dilate. This can result in headaches. A lack of sleep and discontinuing caffeine can also bring on more headaches.
In most cases, you can relieve headaches while pregnant with Tylenol.
Call your doctor if:
You experience severe headaches, especially occurring in the front or back of your head. Severe headaches can be a sign of preeclampsia, which may need additional testing or treatment.
Find a doctor: Sanford Women’s health specialists
Uncomfortable symptoms are a normal part of pregnancy. These may include:
While these symptoms are fairly normal, talk to your OB/GYN if they become severe. Together, you can develop a plan to ease your symptoms and help you have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Posted In Bismarck, Health Information, Pregnancy, Sioux Falls, Women’s

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