10 reasons to contact your doctor during pregnancy

You should contact your doctor?


With all the hormonal, physical and emotional changes that happen during pregnancy, you have probably dealt with morning sickness, aches and pains and digestive problems.

Although most pregnancy symptoms are nothing to worry about, you would not be sure whether you need to call your OB/GYN or midwife or maybe even worry that your call is an inconvenience.

In fact, 23 percent of the women said that they refused to ask questions, because their provider may think that they are a pest.

But experts agree, it is always a good idea to rule out anything that could affect the health of your pregnancy and for the rest that you deserve.

Here are the top 10 reasons why you should call to your service provider.

1. Bleeding
It is actually very common for women to experience bleeding during pregnancy and most of the time, it is nothing to be concerned about.

Bleeding during pregnancy is usually a result of both the hormones and the increased vascularity of the cervix, said Tracy Donegan, midwife in San Francisco and founder of GentleBirth.

Some women notice spotting in early pregnancy that will disappear, while others will continue to have spotting during their pregnancy. Sexual intercourse can also cause bleeding.

Of course, bleeding can be a sign of a miscarriage or placenta previa, a condition that affects between 2 percent and 3 percent of pregnancies and can lead to serious complications.

If you are bleeding at any point in your pregnancy, it is always a good idea to be monitored by your doctor immediately.

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2. Pain
Many women experience back pain, round ligament pain and cramping in the legs during pregnancy.

Pain in the middle of your back, however, can be a sign of a kidney infection, even if you don’t have pain when you urinate or a stronger-than-normal urge to go.

If you have a serious, intermittent, or continuous pain or pressure in the pelvic area or cramps in the lower abdomen, especially late in the pregnancy, it can be a sign of premature birth.

Pain can also be a sign of placental abruption, a complication in which the placenta begins to separate from the wall of the uterus, said Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a board-certified OB/GYN in Mt. Kisco, N. Y., and author of “The Complete A to Z for Your V.”

3. Swelling
If you notice that the swelling in your hands, feet or face, it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a disorder that affects between 5 and 8 percent of pregnancies.

Pre-eclampsia is diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy and can show up suddenly, even if you have no other problems up to that point.

4. Pee changes
If you notice that your urine is cloudy or has a strange odor, it can just mean that you are dehydrated.

But if it persists, you might have a urinary tract infection, which left untreated can lead to pre-term labor.

5. Vaginal discharge or fluid loss
Leucorrhea—mucus-like vaginal discharge have you noticed—is common during pregnancy. But if you also have pain, odor, or bleeding, you may have an infection.

If you have a watery discharge, your underwear is soaked, or you feel a pop and a stream of liquid and you’re not close to your due date, you should contact your provider to rule out alterations in your cervix and premature birth.

6. Your baby’s movements
There is no hard and fast rule about the number of somersaults or kicks you should feel, but if you notice a change in the normal pattern of your baby’s movements after 28 weeks, put a call in to your provider’s office.

If your baby is not so active, it might be because he is sleepy or you are dehydrated. But it can also be a sign that the umbilical cord is compromised, so the sooner you get in to see your doctor, the better, Dweck said.

7. Itching
As your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby, it is normal that your skin may feel itchy.

But if you notice that the soles of your feet and the pads of your hands are extremely itchy, it can be a sign of a rare but serious complication called cholestasis, a condition that causes a build-up of bile acids in the liver. Another sign that you may have cholestasis as your stools to be pale in color.

Since cholestasis may increase the risk for premature birth, aspiration of meconium, or fetal death, it is important to tell your doctor immediately.

8. Problems with vision
During pregnancy, you could have dry eyes or find that your lenses do not fit into the same two problems that should not be a concern.

If you have blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision or see black spots, however, it is a good idea to have it checked, because it would be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

9. Headache
Between lack of sleep, to cut back on caffeine, changes in your diet and stress, many women complain of headaches during pregnancy. But if your headache persists, consult your provider, because it can also be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

10. Cramps in the legs
If you have cramps in your legs, walking and stretching can help. Your doctor may also recommend more potassium in your diet or even a calcium supplement.

However, if you have pain in your calf or behind your knee, or swelling and redness, you could have a blood clot.

If you’re not sure about the call to your service provider, trust your gut and know there is no harm in seeking reassurance. “We want to be reassured that everything is going as it should be,” Donegan said.

Julie Relevant, is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the health care. She is also a mother of two. More information about Julie at


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