Some concerns during pregnancy

Sometimes, during pregnancy, we can face some challenges. It’s useful to know the signs and what to do when suspecting something is wrong:

  1. Preterm Labor:

It is when labor starts before 37 gestational weeks. The signs might be:

  • One contraction every 10 min or 6 contractions per hour

  • Menstrual-like cramps

  • Persistent low, dull backache

  • Pelvic heaviness

  • Intestinal cramps or diarrhea

  • or Increased vaginal discharge (watery, brown, red or with more mucus)

You should:

  • Stop what you’re doing

  • Drink 4 glasses of water

  • Rest on your left side

  • And Call you health care provider

    2. Preeclampsia:

It is a condition in which pregnant women develop high blood pressure with the existence of protein in the urine.

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Karen Barefoot Designed by Freepik

The signs might be:

  • Persistent or severe headache

  • Excessive puffiness or swelling in the hands or face

  • Sudden, rapid weight gain

  • Visual changes (blurred vision, flashes or spots before the eyes)

  • Pain in the stomach

This could be a serious condition and might put you and your baby at risk.

You should call your caregiver immediately.

     3. Placenta Previa:

It is a condition where the Placenta lies completely or partially over the cervix.

You may experience some painless vaginal bleeding. It’s usually intermittent and ranges from light to heavy.

In this case, you should notify your caregiver immediately.

If it’s confirmed, this condition will probably lead to a birth via planned cesarean.

    4. Placental abruption:

It is a situation where the placenta partially or almost completely separates from the uterine wall during the 3rd trimester or during labor.

The signs might be:

  • vaginal bleeding

  • persistent sharp abdominal pain 

  • changes in the baby’s movements.

In this case, call your caregiver immediately.

5. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM):

The mom-to-be develops High blood glucose (sugar) levels.

It is a condition usually suspected during the screening blood tests between 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

If screening tests are positive, you should have the diagnostic tests which is Glucose tolerance test.

If the latter is positive, your health care provider will prescribe a special diet, some exercise and in some cases insulin injections.

6. Infection:

The signs might be: 

  •   fever

  •   vaginal discharge with foul odor

  •   pain or burning when urinating

You should call your health care provider.

In any case, you should call your doctor or midwife immediately if you experience :

  • Vaginal bleeding

  • Fever higher than 102°F (39°C)

  • Major changes in your baby’s movements

  • Bag of water breaks

  • Or any of the signs of preterm labor or preeclampsia seen above

Written by Fatam Safi

References:

  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham, & Bolding (2010)
  • Maternity & Women’s Health Care, by Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden (2012)
  • Prepared Childbirth the Family Way by Amis and Green (2014)
  • ICEA guide to pregnancy and childbirth (2012)
  • Maternal mortality and related statistics by Hoyert D. Atlanta: Centers for disease control an prevention, 2007.
  • Recent trends in infant mortality in the United States. MacDorman MF, Mathews TJ. Hayattsville, MD : National center for health statistics; 2008

 

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