While most women suffer from some common pregnancy symptoms that are perfectly normal, there are however some pregnancy symptoms that should not be ignored.
Here are some of them;
1. Spotting and bleeding.
Note that during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, spotting is usually a normal sign that the embryo is implanting in the uterus, this is known as implantation bleeding.
Sometimes bleeding could also be from a vaginal tear if you recently had sex or a cervical infection—neither of which may be harmful to your pregnancy.
However if you have spotting and pain, it might mean you have an ectopic pregnancy. Bleeding could also indicate that your cervix is getting shorter or opening up, you have had a miscarriage, or a warning sign of placenta previa.
2. Severe headaches and blurred vision
This could be a sign of pre-eclampsia especially if the headache is accompanied by the presence of protein in the urine, swelling of the feet and pain in the upper abdomen. Left untreated, this can lead to the far more serious condition of eclampsia, which results in life-threatening seizures.
3. Fluid draining from the vagina
This may be your amniotic fluid and could indicate that your “waters have broken” too early. It may also be the start of pre-term labour.
4. Your baby’s movements have slowed or stopped
Between 17 and 18 weeks, you should start to feel your baby move, although it will probably feel like a flutter.
Your baby’s movements should get stronger and around 24 weeks and you might notice that he or she is quiet during the day and more active at night.
If you think your baby’s movements have slowed, drink a cup of ice water or juice as a temperature change or a sudden rush of sugar will cause the baby to move.
You can also lie on your side for 5 minutes twice a day and count your baby’s movements. If you have less than 5 in a half hour, call your doctor.
5. Abdominal pain
Persistent pain in your abdomen could be a sign of an infection, pre-eclampsia, placenta abruption, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or pre-term labour. If you feel any abnormal pain in your belly please see a doctor.
6. Increased vaginal discharge
While discharge does increase during pregnancy, if there is a noticeable increase then it could signal early labour.
So watch for discharge that is different in colour because if it is bloody, very watery or mucous-like, it needs attention. Also it has a foul odour, it could mean an infection.
While some pregnant women will have swelling in the feet, legs, face and hands during pregnancy, if you also have high blood pressure or headaches in addition to this, you could have preeclampsia.
Any kind of fever with pain when you are pregnant has to be taken seriously.
Depending on where the pain is, you could have an infection, malaria, typhoid etc which are all serious during pregnancy.
9. Leg pain
Pregnancy increases your chances for deep vein thrombosis, a condition that causes blood clots and can be life-threatening.
The increase in progesterone is what causes veins in the legs to expand and the increase in blood supply can cause blood flow to the legs to slow down.
If you have pain in your legs, air on the side of caution and call your doctor.
10. Painful or burning urination
This could indicate that you have a urinary infection. Please see a doctor if you notice this symptom.
Note that some of these symptoms may be more or less urgent depending on your particular situation or health history and on how far along you are in your pregnancy.