When a woman becomes pregnant, we immediately think happy thoughts: a new addition to the family, a new grandchild, the baby shower, what colors to paint the nursery and of course, the challenging role of becoming a parent. We make the assumption that everything will be okay during the pregnancy but sometimes itâ€™s not. Complications can occur during the pregnancy, during labor and even after the baby is born.
The human body is a fascinating creation and it speaks to us if we have the wisdom to listen. The ability to recognize the â€œlanguageâ€ of the body can save our lives, especially during pregnancy. What are the symptoms that pregnant women need to recognize?
- A headache that occurs during the late second or third trimester and doesnâ€™t go away with acetaminophen. This is one of the beginning signs of pre-eclampsia
- Bleeding during pregnancy. There is no such thing as â€œnormalâ€ bleeding or spotting. Bleeding could signify an infection or a problem with the placenta. A pelvic exam should be done as well as an ultrasound.
- Gaining 5 pounds or more in one week. This is not normal and could represent the beginning of pre-eclampsia
- Back pain that that is beyond a 5/10 scale, especially if it moves to the front of your abdomen. This is a sign of preterm labor until proven otherwise. This requires an phone call to your provider and a trip to labor and delivery
- Fever and chills could represent an infection called chorioamnionitis which could directly affect the unborn baby
- Â A headache or high blood pressure that continues AFTER the baby is born. Pre-eclampsia can last for several weeks after birth
- Not able to have a bowel movement after a c-section. This could possibly indicate a complication called â€œbowel obstructionâ€ and is a surgical emergency. You should not be discharged from the hospital until youâ€™ve had a bowel movement
Recognizing these seven symptoms could potentially save your life. Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesnâ€™t just happen. It takes a smart mother who knows what to do.