By Dr Anubha Singh
All pregnant women experience symptoms which may make them consider calling the doctor. If you have any concern, it’s always best to seek medical advice to answer your queries or help calm your mind.
However, here are some signs to look out for if you have complications:
If you are having regular contractions
Occasional contractions are a part of your pregnancy period, especially when you get closer to your due date. Some of these early contractions could be painful. But they are not usually regular. If you are having contractions more than six times in an hour, this may be a sign of preterm labour. Let these be known to your doctor or gynaecologist for complete instructions about what to do at home and when to report to the hospital.
If your baby has stopped moving
If you are less than 28 weeks pregnant, it’s likely that your baby’s movements are irregular. But by 28 weeks, most babies are active enough for their mothers to notice frequent movement in a pattern. At this stage, if you notice that your baby is moving less than usual or not at all, immediately call your doctor. You may be given instructions to follow at home, or you may be advised to go to the hospital for monitoring.
If your blood sugar is too high or too low
Many women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It is very important to monitor your blood sugars and use your insulin as prescribed. There are serious risks during pregnancy for women with all types of diabetes. Gestational diabetes needs to be recognised and treated quickly because it can cause serious health problems for the mother and baby. If your blood sugar falls outside the expected ranges, and your regular at-home instructions aren’t helping, talk to your doctor.
If you’re bleeding heavily
A small amount of blood discharge is absolutely normal during pregnancy but if you are bleeding as heavily as a menstrual period or even more severe, then this could be fatal. Women whose placentas are in an abnormal place should report any signs of bleeding during pregnancy because of the increased danger to both mother and baby with these diagnoses.
If you have abrupt severe abdominal pain
Some abdominal pain in pregnancy is normal from contractions, muscle pain or even constipation, which can make your belly hurt. But if you find yourself in abrupt severe pain, it can be a sign of a uterine rupture which is a medical emergency endangering the life of both the baby and you.
If you feel a flow of runny fluid
Amniotic fluid in which your baby is wrapped is essential to the health of your baby. If your water breaks too soon, there are risks for both your baby and you. For moms, there is a risk of getting a dangerous infection. For babies, there is a risk of impaired growth and development, preterm birth, and death.
If you feel a sudden water flow from your vagina, you should contact your doctor immediately for further procedures.
(The writer is a gynecologist and IVF expert at Shantah IVF Centre, New Delhi.)