Pregnancy is a wonderful journey filled with excitement, anticipation, and joy. However, it is also a time when you need to be vigilant about your health and watch for any warning signs of pregnancy complications. Knowing what to look for and when to seek medical attention can help you and your baby stay healthy and safe.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common pregnancy complications and their warning signs, as well as when to call your OB/GYN for help.
- Preterm Labor
Preterm labor is when you go into labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This can be dangerous for both you and your baby, as your baby may not be fully developed yet. Warning signs of preterm labor include contractions that occur more than six times in an hour, pelvic pressure, low back pain, vaginal discharge, and cramping. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your OB/GYN right away.
- Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It can cause high blood sugar levels that can harm your baby. Warning signs of gestational diabetes include increased thirst and urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and frequent infections. Your doctor will test you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your OB/GYN will work with you to manage your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications.
Preeclampsia is a serious condition that affects about 5% of pregnant women. It is characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs, such as the liver and kidneys. Warning signs of preeclampsia include swelling of the hands and face, sudden weight gain, headaches, vision changes, and abdominal pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your OB/GYN right away. Preeclampsia can lead to serious complications for both you and your baby if left untreated.
- Placenta Previa
Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta covers part or all of the cervix. This can cause bleeding during pregnancy and delivery, and can be dangerous for both you and your baby. Warning signs of placenta previa include painless bleeding during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. If you experience any bleeding during pregnancy, contact your OB/GYN right away.
- Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This can be life-threatening for the mother if the pregnancy continues to grow. Warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, shoulder pain, and dizziness or fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your OB/GYN right away.
Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. It is a common complication, affecting up to 20% of all pregnancies. Warning signs of a miscarriage include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and the passing of tissue from the vagina. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your OB/GYN right away.
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition in which the baby does not grow as well as it should during pregnancy. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including high blood pressure, smoking, and certain medical conditions. Warning signs of IUGR include decreased fetal movement, measuring small for gestational age, and a low fundal height. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your OB/GYN right away.
- Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria that can be present in the vagina or rectum. It is harmless to most adults but can cause serious infections in newborns. Women who test positive for GBS during pregnancy will need antibiotics during labor to protect their baby. Warning signs of GBS in newborns include fever, difficulty feeding, and lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, contact your OB/GYN right away.
When to Call Your OB/GYN
It is important to know when to call your OB/GYN if you experience any warning signs of pregnancy complications. If you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health, do not hesitate to call your OB/GYN. It is better to be safe than sorry, and your doctor will be able to provide you with the care and support you need.
In general, you should call your OB/GYN if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal pain
- Contractions before 37 weeks of pregnancy
- Leakage of fluid from the vagina
- Decreased fetal movement
- Severe headaches or vision changes
- Symptoms of preterm labor or preeclampsia
- Any other concerns about your health or your baby’s health
In some cases, your OB/GYN may recommend that you come in for an evaluation or go to the hospital for further testing or treatment. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and take any necessary precautions to protect your health and your baby’s health.
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be a time of uncertainty and worry. Knowing the warning signs of pregnancy complications and when to call your OB/GYN can help you stay informed and prepared. Remember, if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health, do not hesitate to contact your OB/GYN. Your doctor is there to support you and provide you with the care you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.