What Are the Danger Signs of Pregnancy?
Most women enjoy healthy pregnancies without complications, but it is always a good idea to be aware of possible danger signs of pregnancy you may experience. If you do notice any of the danger signs of pregnancy listed here, you should talk to your doctor or midwife immediately to ensure the health and safety of both you and your growing baby. Your doctor, midwife, or designated healthcare provider will routinely screen for potential problems throughout your pregnancy, beginning with your prenatal care visits, but there are general warning signs that apply to every pregnancy, even the low-risk ones.
- Contractions that occur more than 4 times an hour or are less than 15 minutes apart
- Leaking of fluid from the vagina
- Pain, pressure, or cramping in your belly
- Blood in your urine or burning and pain upon urination
- Persistent diarrhea
- Vaginal discharge with a bad odor, irritation, or itching
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vision problems
- Non-stop nausea and/or vomiting
- Decreased fetal movement
- Persistent or high fever over 100°F (37.8°C)
- Intense headache or a headache that lasts for several days
- Sudden weight gain (3 to 5 pounds within 5 to 7 days) with severe swelling of feet, ankles, hands, or face
Certain types of pregnancies and pre-existing conditions which carry with them inherent risks which must be understood for a peaceful and healthy pregnancy. These include:
High blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is extremely important to monitor your blood pressure during your pregnancy. If you have high blood pressure along with other symptoms, it’s called preeclampsia. Symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- Swelling of your feet, ankles, face, or hands
- Pain in your upper belly
- Blurred vision
If preeclampsia is present and remains untreated or becomes severe, it can cause brain, liver, kidney, eye, or heart damage. It can also cause seizures, therefore the need for proper monitoring of your blood pressure and communication with your doctor is vital. Your healthcare provider may recommend delivery of the baby as the best treatment for preeclampsia, if your baby has developed enough.
Multiples. If you are carrying more than one baby, your pregnancy is considered high risk. The more babies you carry, the higher the risk. Common issues associated with pregnancies of multiples include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Gestational hypertension
- Low birth weight
- Placental abruption
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Birth defects
- Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome
- Cesarean delivery
Age. As our bodies age, pregnancy can take a greater toll on our overall health. However, many women are delaying pregnancy into their 30s and beyond, and still delivering healthy babies. You may have heard that any pregnancy after the age of 35 is risky, but there is no reason a woman of that age or older cannot safely carry a child to term. Some factors of pregnancy older women deal with include:
- Greater risk of gestational diabetes
- Greater likelihood of multiples
- Greater risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy
- Greater likelihood of low birth weight
- Greater risk of premature delivery
- Greater likelihood of a Cesarean delivery
- Greater risk of chromosome abnormalities such as Down syndrome
While many pregnant women experience no discomfort at all, some common complaints of pregnancy include heartburn, nausea in the first trimester, frequent urination, backache, breast tenderness and swelling, and fatigue. If you experience any of the aforementioned danger signs of pregnancy, however, it is imperative that you contact your health care practitioner immediately so that they can help you rule out serious complications and advise you what further steps may be necessary. Do not delay, as doing so could further increase your risk of complications, putting yourself and your baby in jeopardy.
At Colorado Obstetrics and Women's Health in Colorado Springs, we offer complete obstetrical and prenatal care, for both routine and high-risk pregnancies. We care for women at every stage of life, from the child bearing years through menopause and beyond. If you are looking for caring OB/GYNs who will work with you to achieve and maintain your best possible health, give us a call today at (719) 634-8800 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly women’s health professionals. We look forward to helping you achieve your best health.