Knowing when pregnancy symptoms are harmless or need medical attention can improve the health of you and your baby.
Pregnancy is often a joyous time filled with hope and expectation. The desire to bring a healthy baby into the world can often create questions and anxiety about differentiating between normal pregnancy symptoms and pregnancy complications.
Take a look at these three common reasons to call your OB/GYN, and learn a little bit more about why you should give your doctor a call.
1. Early Trimester Bleeding
For most women, bleeding during their menstrual cycle is considered a healthy, common occurrence. The result of an unfertilized egg being released by the ovaries into the uterus is an expected part of life and defines the transition of a girl into her childbearing years. However, since a woman’s body no longer is capable of releasing eggs during pregnancy, bleeding can often be an alarming event.
Light bleeding is experienced by almost 25% of all pregnant women, and almost half of those pregnancies continue full term to deliver healthy, happy babies. However, while somewhat common, it is important to consult with your doctor if you notice consistent bleeding during your first trimester. It can signify a miscarriage, or even a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and should not be considered a normal pregnancy symptom.
2. Consistent Contractions
Contractions, while experienced by all women entering labor, can feel entirely different from one woman to the next. While they are most often considered the signal that a baby is indeed on the way, it is not unusual for some pregnant women to begin having mild contractions as early as the first trimester. Known as “early contractions,” these can be due to stretching and tightening of the ligaments located around the uterus, or even something as benign as gas pains.
However, a trip to the doctor is advised in these cases:
- When contractions are paired with bleeding (can indicate miscarriage or other pregnancy complications).
- When contractions are regular and less than 10 minutes apart (can signal the beginning of labor).
3. Excessive Dampness
It is a scenario all too common for pregnant women: upon waking up in the morning or after sitting for a prolonged period, you notice a damp spot on your sheets or chair. As a baby grows within a woman’s uterus, it puts added pressure on the surrounding tissue and organs. This includes the bladder, resulting in urine occasionally (and unwillingly) being expelled from the body, leaving unwanted dampness.
Although some light dampness is to be expected, if you notice an excessive or persistent amount of liquid, discuss it with your physician. This could be symptomatic of leaking amniotic fluid, and if it is occurring during your 2nd trimester this fluid could initiate labor or cause an infection.
If you feel unsure about any aspect of your pregnancy, schedule an appointment with your local Little Rock OB/GYN at the Woman’s Clinic or call (501) 664-4131. We will provide you with the proper guidance to ensure that your pregnancy is as healthy and stress-free as possible.