When to call the doctor
If you experience any of these symptoms during your pregnancy or anything else that may be of concern to you, contact your doctor immediately:
- Severe nausea and vomiting. These are very common symptoms in pregnancy but if too severe, you risk dehydration and malnutrition that could seriously affect your baby.
- Significant decrease in foetal movements. Baby’s may sleep up to 90% of the time and have active periods of up to 40 minutes at a time and this is when you may feel movements. If you are concerned that there has been a decrease in movements, consult your doctor.
- Severe headache, abdominal pain, visual disturbances and swelling symptoms should never be ignored as it may be an indication that something else is going on with your pregnancy. Call your doctor straight away.
- Flu. Pregnancy puts stress on the immune system, making you more prone to catch infections. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, weakness, headache and muscle and joint pain. It’s best not to take chances when you’re expecting, so if you feel this way, contact your doctor.
- Early contractions. Some women experience a type of contraction called Braxton-Hicks contractions, which do not increase in intensity and generally subside within an hour. Initially, when you are in the early stages of labour, your contractions may be mild and irregularly spaced. But if you experience contractions increasing in intensity and becoming closer together (about 7 to10 minutes apart), you may be going into labour early. If it’s too early for your baby to be born and contractions start, consult your doctor immediately.
- Waters breaking. Some women experience their waters breaking as a gush of liquid. For others, it’s only a trickle. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, as you may also experience urine leakage due to your pregnancy putting pressure on your bladder. If you’re unsure if your waters have broken, go to the bathroom to empty your bladder. If the fluid keeps coming, then your waters have broken. If you think your waters have broken and your baby is not due then contact your hospital or doctor immediately.
- Other warning signs. Consult your doctor if you experience any other symptoms, such as haemorrhoids, vaginal itching or thrush, pain or scalding when passing urine, unusual or severe abdominal or back pain, fainting or heartburn.
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