21 Pregnancy Warning Signs That You Shouldn’t Ignore


What are the pregnancy warning signs that calls for a medical assistance?

Is the pain you have a cause for concern or is it just another pregnancy boo-hoo?

Itching, discharges, swelling- what is normal and what is not?

Today’s post answers these questions.

pregnancy warning signs

Waiting for the latest addition of your family is an exhilarating period for most moms. Ladies who couldn’t care less about their bodies have suddenly become expert dietitians. They start eating right, exercising right and doing everything right.


In short they do everything possible to ensure that the little one, cocooned in the warmth of their womb, is getting everything he/she needs. In short, it is a wonderful period for you.

Panic and pregnancy

Despite being a wonderful time, pregnancy brings with it, some not so desirable changes as well. It may so happen that during pregnancy your body seems alien to you and goes through some changes that alarm you. This is because you don’t know whether it is supposed to happen or whether it is something that warrants a trip to the hospital.

This nervousness is normal as the responsibility of carrying a baby is not all small and that makes most moms to be worried about most things. But you do not have to worry if you know which problems require you to seek immediate medical attention. So here is a list of danger signs during pregnancy.

21 Pregnancy warning signs that require medical assistance:

Given below are a list of pregnancy warning signs that should not be ignored and should be brought to the notice of your gynecologist immediately. This is a general list. However there can be certain other problems that are people specific.

If there is something that is troubling you, you should notify your doctor, as nobody knows your body better than you.

#1. Vaginal bleeding or spotting

While vaginal bleeding or spotting during your first trimester is normal ,it doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.

If your spotting is accompanied by severe nausea, sharp pain in abdomen, vomiting, dizziness , pelvis pain or pain in neck or shoulder, then it is a red flag.

If you are in the first trimester, this spotting or bleeding could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. But towards the end, it could be a sign of preterm labour or infection of vagina or cervix. Either way, bleeding at any stage of pregnancy should not be taken lightly.


#2. Contractions before 24 weeks

When talking about contractions you need to understand that false contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions occur during third trimester of pregnancy. These contractions are fine if they are not regular and happen after 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Again Braxton Hicks contractions may be only one or two contractions in an hour. So these false contractions are nothing to worry.

But if these contractions are accompanied with severe pain, is more than 3 to 4 times in an hour and making an appearance before 24 weeks then you have to consult your doctor as this may mean that you are having a preterm labor.

Contractions that are painless and that appear more than four times in every hour ( that is they are regular like true contractions) before 37 weeks of your pregnancy also warrants a visit to your doctor.

#3. Reduced fetal movements

There will come a time, during your pregnancy where your gynaecologist will ask you to keep track of your baby’s movements. If you feel it has reduced rush to the hospital.

A reduced fetal movement can mean that your baby is not getting enough nutrients or oxygen or he is not growing properly or some other complication is there.

In my case, my LO was more active during the second half of the day, but once after lunch I noticed there was no movement at all. It send me into a full blown panic attack.

We rushed to the hospital only to realize that she decided to take nap! Though my scare turned out to be nothing, but reduced movements can be a cause for concern as the baby could be in distress too.

#4. High blood pressure and excessive swelling

A bit of puffiness and swelling is normal but keep an eye out for sudden swelling and weight gains coupled with sudden increase in blood pressure. It could be due to pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a condition in pregnancy where the blood pressure shoots up suddenly, the protein levels in the urine also rises. If you don’t alert your doctor on time, it can lead to eclampsia, where the expectant woman gets seizures. These conditions are both serious and can affect the baby and the mom to be or even result in death.

#5. Blurry Vision

This is yet another pregnancy warning signs which can mean that you can have pre-eclampsia. So if you feel that your vision is turning blurry, you have double vision, dimming or is seeing lights or flashing spots before your eyes you know what to do.

#6. Stomach pain and cramps

While some pains and cramps are part of your pregnancy, severe ones can be a warning sign.

Severe and painful cramps in the first trimester could be the sign of an ectopic pregnancy or even miscarriage. However, in the last trimester, it could happen if you are going into pre term labor.

#7. Severe pelvic pain and pelvic pressure

During pregnancy you may have a feeling of something pushing down from inside at your pelvic region, especially during your last trimester. But if this pelvic pressure is too much and painful and you are nowhere near to your due date then please rush to the doctor.

#8. Itchiness and rashes

I scratched my way through my pregnancy, so much that my hubby thought of getting a strait jacket for me.

During pregnancy, your skin stretches quite a bit leading to itching. But at times, severe itching can be a sign of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. It is a condition that occurs during to the disruptive flow of bile in the liver. That in turn leads to bile salts being deposited on your skin and that causes the itching.

#9. Leg Pain

Severe leg pain during pregnancy could be due to deep vein thrombosis that causes clots in the veins of your leg. So if you have persistent leg pain, especially on the calf, let your doctor know.

#10. Severe headaches

Persistent and severe headaches could be due to pre-eclampsia or due to clots. Swelling and visual disturbances can also accompany such severe headaches. So if you notice a sudden bout of headache that won’t stop pestering you, get help.

#11. Excessive vomiting

While morning sickness is something that most of the expectant moms encounter, too much of vomiting or even nausea is not a good sign.

Excessive vomiting could lead to dehydration and it can interfere with you getting enough nutrients for you and your baby. It could also be a symptom of pre-eclampsia. So if you are finding it difficult to eat and drink, let your doc know.

#12. Severe constipation or diarrhea 

Constipation can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but if it is too much and is accompanied by abdominal pain, then time to consult a doctor.

Severe diarrhea during pregnancy also requires a visit to your doctor.

You can read more about constipation during pregnancy, treatment and remedies.

#13. Burning sensation while urinating

Pain or a burning sensation while urinating could be a sign of urinary tract infection.

Your visit to loo will increase considerably during pregnancy due to all the pressure on your bladder. But a very increased frequency or uncontrollable urge to pee even if there is very little urine is an indication of urinary tract infection.

Do not leave it untreated as it could lead to further complications of pregnancy.

#14. Vaginal itching

This is yet another sign of infection. Vaginal itching and pain along with or without vaginal discharge can be symptoms of an infection.

#15. Increase or change in vaginal discharge

Normal vaginal discharge is mild or musky smelling( sometimes odorless too) and it will be thin milky fluid. You will have an increased vaginal discharge during your pregnancy.

But if the vaginal discharge is too much and if it is having unpleasant or fishy smell then it can be a sign of infection. Yellow or green frothy discharge is also abnormal and is a symptom of infection. Sometimes when there is a vaginal infection, the discharge can be thick curd like.

Also if the color of the discharge has turned to white,yellow or grey this also calls for a visit to the doctor.

#16. Leaking of amniotic fluid

While urinary incontinence is quite normal in pregnancy, leaking of amniotic fluid is one of the pregnancy dangers unless and until you are in labor.

If you notice a clear liquid that keeps leaking continuously, rush to the hospital. Amniotic fluid could also be pink, brownish or yellow too.

#17. High fevers or flu like symptoms

High fever could be a sign that your body is fighting some infection, so to be safe get it checked.

If you have a fever higher than 39 degree it can mean an infection and a rise in temperature can be harmful for your baby.

#18. Extreme thirst

Extreme thirst along with increased frequency in weeing during pregnancy can be a sign of gestational diabetics.

As it is very common to have a increase in frequency of the number of times you visit the loo during pregnancy period, it is often difficult to say this as a sign of gestational diabetics. But if you are doubtful please consult a doctor.

Gestational diabetics can cause complications in your pregnancy. So a test for gestational diabetics is usually done at the last trimester of your pregnancy. But if excessive thirst and weeing is there at any point of pregnancy let your doctor know about it.


#19. Severe anxiety or depression

Pregnancy can bring in some anxiety. But if you are having severe panic attacks and if you are not able to carry your daily normal life and responsibilities due to anxiety or depression then seek medical attention.

Some people get depressed to the point that they think of harming themselves. In such cases don’t wait , it does require a medical assistance.

#20. Exposure to contagious diseases

Contagious diseases like chicken pox and rubella can be fatal when you are carrying. So if you are not vaccinated/immune to it and if you are exposed to these diseases, please consult your doctor.

#21. Any old diseases

An old disease can be one of the reasons for high risk pregnancy. It is important that you inform your doctor about any old health concerns.

If you have any diseases like thyroid, asthma or diabetes it is important that your doctor knows about it and also you should note down the changes in the disease regularly through out your pregnancy.

In case you notice that there is a relapse or you notice the worsening of symptoms, inform your gynecologist.

So these are some of the common danger signs during pregnancy that warrant a visit to your gynecologist.

Note that having any of the above symptoms doesn’t always put you under high-risk pregnancy. Your doctor will decide on that. If your doctor finds out that there is a risk during your pregnancy he will do the needful for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Also following a proper pregnancy diet and exercise can control many of these complications during pregnancy.

Dear moms to be, I hope this was useful and has help answer your queries.

Were you aware of these pregnancy warning signs?

Did you do an emergency visit to your gynocologist at any point of your pregnancy? What was the reason?

If you have any doubts or comments, you know what to do. Write to us as we love hearing from you.


About Author

A stay at home mom for a feisty 19 month old named Ahaana, Chitra Santosh has rekindled her romance with words once again now. Though Arakkonam is her home, she can be seen migrating to Mavelikara, a quaint little town in Alappey during summers. Studies have shown that this has no connection with the migratory patterns of birds.

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