Pregnancy symptoms you must always be aware of

even if you've read a lot about pregnancy and talking to other mothers, there will still be moments when you wonder if what you are feeling is normal or not. In general then: Dear one too much ask as too little.

The following symptoms should ring the alarm bells. If you notice them, you should immediately call your midwife or doctor to rule out serious problems.

I just do not feel well

If you're not sure of a symptom, you feel uncomfortable or just not up to it, trust your judgment and go to your doctor. They are prepared for such cries for help and are happy to advise you. Doctors and midwives are aware of the rapid physical changes you are undergoing in this phase and also know that sometimes it is very difficult for you to tell if your sensations are normal or not.

I have mid-abdominal pain

Violent or stinging pain in the middle or higher abdominal area with or without nausea or vomiting may have various causes. For example, it could be serious constipation, heartburn (Crafter 2009), a stomach virus, or food poisoning.

If you are in the second half of your pregnancy, this pain may indicate preeclampsia (Crafter 2009, NCCWCH 2008b: 108). This is a serious condition requiring immediate treatment. But you can be sure that this is not the reason for your pain if you are not yet 20 weeks pregnant.

I have lower abdominal pain

The reason for severe pain in the abdomen, whether one-sided or bilateral, must be clarified. Only then can you be sure that it is not serious. You may have overstretched or pulled a mother tape (Aguilera 2005, Crafter 2009). This often occurs during pregnancy. Or it could be a sign of:

  • a tubal pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy) (Crafter 2009, RCOG 2010a)
  • miscarriage (Crafter 2009)
  • premature labor
  • Leiomyoma (benign tumor), which in itself bleeding into (Baker 2006: 127, Crafter 2009)
  • placental detachment (the placenta separates from the uterine wall) (Crafter 2009)

I have a fever

If you have a fever and your temperature is above 38 Degrees Celsius, but you do not have flu or cold symptoms, it's best to call your doctor the same day.

If you have more than 39 degrees Celsius, call your doctor immediately. You are probably suffering from an infection. Your doctor will probably prescribe you antibiotics and rest. If your temperature exceeds 39 degrees Celsius for an extended period of time, it could harm your baby.

I see everything blurry and flashes of light

Call your doctor or midwife if you have vision problems lasting more than two hours in the second half of pregnancy. Visual disturbances are: you see
  • double
  • all blurry
  • too dark
  • flashing spots and lights
These blurred vision can be a sign of preeclampsia (NCCWCH 2008b: 24).

My hands and feet are swollen

Swelling or puffiness (edema) of the ankles, lower legs, hands, feet, face and eyes are common in the last part of pregnancy. They are in most cases no cause for alarm (NCCWCH 2008: 82). But if the swelling takes on serious forms and suddenly occurs with headache and blurred vision, it could indicate pre-eclampsia (NCCWCH 2008b: 82).

I have a fierce headache that does not go away

Headache often occurs during pregnancy. But consult your doctor if you have severe and persistent headaches.

If severe headache persists for more than two or three hours and there are blurred vision and severe swelling in the body, this could indicate pre-eclampsia (NCCWCH 2008b: 82). Headaches caused by pre-eclampsia occur only in the second half of pregnancy.

I have vaginal bleeding

Reddish discharge or very mild bleeding without pain is very common in the early stages of pregnancy. These can be breakthrough bleeding (bleeding outside menstruation) because the hormones that control your menstrual cycle are still strong enough to cause mild bleeding.

Even so, you should call your doctor or midwife if you have any bleeding at any time during your pregnancy. This may be an indication of serious complications if there are:

  • bleeding that is different from your normal period, that flows more easily and is darker in color than usual. This along with severe pain on one side of your abdomen may be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy (PRODIGY 2010).
  • Severe bleeding, especially in combination with persistent back or abdominal pain, may be a sign of miscarriage (Symonds 2009).
  • Sudden bleeding without pain. This can happen if you have a placenta praevia (the cakes are too near or in front of the birth canal) (Crafter 2009, NCCWCH 2008: 251), which was probably discovered during your 20-week ultrasound scan.
  • Dark bleeding with lumps may indicate that it is a placental detachment caused by the placenta beginning to separate from the uterine wall (Crafter 2009, Gaufberg 2008).
  • Severe bleeding may mean premature labor begins when you are less than 37 weeks pregnant (Crafter 2009).

Liquid Gets Out of My Vagina

If fluid escapes from your vagina before SSW 37, it may mean that the amniotic sac has burst too early. You may need to go to the hospital for your doctor to examine your baby. They are treated to prevent infection.

When your amniotic sac has burst, protection against infection is reduced. There is a possibility that you need to prepare for premature birth (RCOG 2006: 3-4). The hospital has a team of professionals to ensure that you and your baby get the right treatment. After week 37 you are apparently on the verge of contractions when the amniotic sac has burst. Call your midwife to find out what you should do best if labor does not start within 24 hours of the bursting of the amniotic sac (NCCWCH 2007: 206).

My baby's movements have slowed

If, after week 20, your baby's movements stop for more than 24 hours or slow down, it could be in distress. If you notice that your baby is moving less than usual, contact your midwife or doctor (NCCWCH 2007: 106, NCCWCH 2008b: 276).

Read more about your baby's movements and when to ask for help. It itches all over my body. If it's just a slight itch, try not to worry too much. A bit of itching is normal because your skin needs to stretch to accommodate the growing baby. But control is better in any case. This is particularly the case if the itching is heavier at night and particularly severe on the soles of your feet and palms (RCOG 2007).

If you have a severe itch all over your body, especially at night, you may have a pregnancy cholestasis (OC) (Crafter 2009). This is a liver problem. Your urine may be dark and your bowels paler than usual. You might also have jaundice.

I have to vomit all the time

If you have to vomit several times a day, it could dehydrate and weaken you. Although this is uncomfortable for you, it is unlikely that your baby will be harmed.

Talk to your midwife or doctor about severe and persistent vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum or HG) because you need to be treated. Sometimes this means spending some time in the hospital to fight the symptoms and get food and fluids (PRODIGY 2008, Symonds 2009).

If you vomit in the second half of your pregnancy, this may be a sign of preeclampsia. This is particularly the case if you also have severe below-the-rib pain and sudden heavy swelling in your face and on your hands and feet (NCCWCH 2008b: 218). Vomiting along with diarrhea may be a sign of food poisoning or a gastric virus (NCCWCH 2008: 92). If you have to vomit and have pain and fever, kidney infection could be the cause. If you experience these symptoms, you should contact your doctor (PRODIGY 2008).

I'm suddenly thirsty

Sudden thirst and dark yellow urine may be a sign of dehydration (BDA 2007). If you are thirsty and your urge to urinate is much stronger than normal, it could be a sign of gestational diabetes (Tieu et al 2008). Both causes can increase the risk of complications for you and your baby (NCCWCH 2008a: 76). Therefore, you should inform your doctor or midwife.

I feel a burning urination

You may have urinary tract infection (UTI) if:

you have a painful or burning sensation while urinating

your urine is cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling

You have elevated temperature

You are shaking
  • You have pain in your pelvis, abdomen, lower back or side
  • If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor so that your urinary tract infection can be treated with antibiotics (PRODIGY 2009).
  • I feel weak and dizzy
  • If you have not eaten enough, you might feel weak and dizzy. But it could also mean that you have low blood pressure, which is common at the beginning of your pregnancy (Murray and Hassall 2009). Low blood pressure is common because the increase in the pregnancy hormone progesterone causes the walls of the blood vessels to become slack.
  • Many women are dizzy during pregnancy. But if you faint, you should consult your doctor to make sure everything is fine.
I fell and got a kick in my stomach

A fall or a jolt is not always dangerous (Cahill et al 2008). However, call your doctor or midwife the same day and tell him / her what has happened. Even if you fall down the stairs and your tailbone is injured, you probably do not have to worry because your baby is well protected by the uterus and amniotic fluid.

In rare cases, there are complications (Cannada et al 2010). If you get contractions, lose amniotic fluid or notice any bleeding, call your doctor or midwife immediately or head to the nearest emergency room.

Please also read in our rubric what is normal during pregnancy and what is not.

Do not forget to download our free app for interesting daily information about your pregnancy. ""My Baby Today"" gives you all the expert-tested answers you need - always at hand!


Baker P (Ed). 2006.

Obstetrics by ten teachers.

18th edition. London: Arnold

BDA. 2007.

Fluid - why you need it and how to get enough . British Dietetic Association. www. bda. uk. com [pdf file, September 2011] Cahill AG, Bastek JA, Stamilio DM et al. 2008. Minor trauma in pregnancy - is the evaluation unwarranted? At the J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Feb; 198 (2): 208. e1-5.

Cannada LK, Pan P, Casey BM et al. 2010. Pregnancy outcomes after orthopedic trauma. J Trauma . September; 69 (3): 694-8; discussion 698

Crafter H. 2009. Problems of pregnancy. In: Fraser DM, Cooper MA. eds.

Myles Textbook for Midwives . 15th Ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 333-359 Gaufberg S. 2008.

Abruptio Placentae . emedicine. www. emedicine. Medscape. com [as of September 2011] Murray I, Hassall J. 2009. Change and adaptation in pregnancy. In: Fraser DM, Cooper MA, eds. Myles Textbook for Midwives. 15th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 189-225

NCCWCH. 2007. Intrapartum care: care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. National Collaborating Center for Women's and Children's Health (NCCWCH). London: RCOG Press. www. rcog. org. uk [pdf file, as of September 2011]

NCCWCH. 2008a.

Diabetes in pregnancy management of diabetes and its complications from preconception to the postnatal period. National Collaborating Center for Women's and Children's Health (NCCWCH). London: NICE. www. nice. org. uk [pdf file, as of August 2011] NCCWCH. 2008b. Routine antenatal care for healthy pregnant women.

""> www. org [pdf-file, september 2011] PRODIGY 2008. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: Clinical topic

.www.prodigy.clarity .co uk [as of September 2011]


Urinary tract infection (lower) in women: Clinical topic uk [as of September 2011] PRODIGY 2010.

Ectopic pregnancy: Clinical topic. [as of September 2011] RCOG. 2006a.

Obstetric cholestasis. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Green-top guideline, 43. London: RCOG press www rcog org uk [pdf file, as of September 2011] RCOG. 2006b.

Preterm prelabour rupture of membranes. Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Green Top Guideline No. 44. London: RCOG Press, www rcog org uk [pdf, september 2011] RCOG, 2007.

Obstetric cholestasis (itching liver disorder ): Information for you. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynae cologists. www. rcog. org. uk [pdf file, as of September 2011] RCOG.2010a.

An ectopic pregnancy: information for you . www. rcog. org. uk [as of September 2011] Symonds IM. 2009. Abnormalities of early pregnancy. In: Fraser DM, Cooper MA. eds. ,

Myles Textbook for Midwives 15th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 313-32 Tieu J, Crowther CA, Middleton P. 2008. Dietary advice in pregnancy for gestational diabetes mellitus.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 2. Art. : CD006674. www. mrw. inter science. wiley. com [As of September 2011] Show sources Hide sources

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