Pregnancy: How to know if something is wrong

Pregnancy: How to know if something is wrong

Most of the physical symptoms that women experience during pregnancy are normal, even if they're not exactly comfortable. They are simply the result of being pregnant.

Still, it's easy to worry and wonder whether everything is OK, and how you'd know if it is not.  Although true complications are rare, it's always good to know what to look for.

Here are some signs that could indicate a problem:

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Premature rupture of membranes (also know as your 'water breaking'); this can show up as a trickle of fluid, a steady leaking or a gush. A rupture is considered premature at any time before 37 weeks.
  • Persistent abdominal pain or premature uterine contractions could be premature labour
  • Change in or absence of foetal movement (the baby's kicking or turning) for more than 24 hours after the 20th week
  • A severe headache that continues for more than two or three hours
  • Visual disturbances, such as blurring or double vision
  • Fainting or dizziness (feeling light-headed can also be a normal symptom of early pregnancy)
  • Weight gain of more than 0.9 kg (two pounds) a week (not related to overeating!)
  • Severe pain above the stomach, under the rib cage
  • Swelling or puffiness (oedema) in your face, eyes or hands. Swelling in the feet or hands is normal during pregnancy but should be monitored.
  • Vomiting that continues over several days and occurs more than two or three times a day, particularly after your first trimester, by which time any 'morning sickness' should have subsided
  • Signs of infection (fever, chills, burning sensation while urinating, or diarrhoea)

If you experience any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider straight away. This way, you won't worry, and if a problem does exist, it can be taken care of immediately.

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