When I was pregnant first time round, I really didn’t have much of a clue about pregnancy, health or complications within a pregnancy. I ended up seeking help from books and parenting websites when I had a symptom I was unsure about. They were a great help in keeping my mind at rest. Being a first time mum and never experiencing these different symptoms can be scary first time round.
So when is it best to call a doctor? Here are some helpful tips!
Chances are you have already read all the literature you can lay your hands on concerning pregnancy symptoms by the time you start experiencing bodily changes brought about by the young one growing inside you.
Even then, it’s difficult to draw the line where your symptoms are considered normal and what should be a cause for worry. Since you are not a qualified doctor and therefore can’t self-examine, you should consult with your doctors should you have any concerns.
Although pregnancies progress with minimal hitches, there are some symptoms you point out to your doctor should you experience them. Here’s when to call your doctor.
Headache, shortness of breath and swelling
Mild headaches are common during pregnancy due to sudden hormonal changes particularlyin the first trimester. Thiscan also be brought about by your caffeine intake and stress, all of which you need to cut down.
If the headaches persist or get more severe without any plausible cause and you have other symptoms like swelling, shortness of breath, blurred vision, and Chest Pain While Pregnant, then you should call your doctor immediately. You might be suffering from preeclampsia which isdangerous and can be fatal for both the mother and the baby.
You are likely to notice some spotting in the earlier weeks of the pregnancy due to implantation of the embryo. Bleeding of any amount though should be a cause for alarm and should get it checked immediately.
Abdominal pain or cramps together with bleeding can be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. Bleeding without any pain can indicate placenta previa. This can resolve itself as the pregnancy progresses. It may require medical attention depending on how improperly positioned the placenta is to the cervix.
Decreased foetal activity
You should expect some fetal activity from about 18 weeks into your pregnancy. At about 24 weeks, the kicks should be more prominent and predictable. Not that you should expect your baby to kick throughout but if you notice there’s little activity even after drinking cold water or fruit juice, call your doctor.
The baby should be able to respond to changes in temperature or an increase in blood sugar content. Ideally, you baby should be able to complete at least 10 kicks within two hours. Anything less should be a cause for concern.
Depression and anxiety
Due to drastic hormonal changes, body changes, stress and the pressures of the pregnancy and motherhood, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Call your doctor if you experience lengthy spells of emotional turmoil, mood swings and loss of appetite. It might be because of the morning sickness but sometimes it’s indicative of depression and anxiety. Your doctor will be able to refer you to a qualified mental health specialist to make the correct diagnosis for the benefit of yourself and your unborn baby.