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Common Concerns During Pregnancy

Bleeding, it is NOT normal to have vaginal bleeding in pregnancy.  Vaginal bleeding is not always associated with serious problems, but it should always be reported.

Braxton-Hicks Contractions occur irregularly throughout pregnancy.  Regular contractions can mean that labor is starting.  If regular contractions occur prior to 37 weeks, this should be reported.  A good measure of contractions is to count how many occur in a one hour period.  If five or more contractions have occurred in one hour, this should be reported.  Useful things to do if it seems contractions are occurring regularly are to empty the bladder, drink a large glass of water, lie on the side and monitor carefully for tightening or contractions.

Constipation can be treated with an increase in fruit, vegetables and other fiber-containing foods.  If this does not help there may be medication you can safely take, discuss this with your physician.

Contractions at 37 weeks and beyond,it is common to wait until contractions are occurring at five minute intervals for an hour to minimize the possibility of false labor.  However, circumstances such as history of fast labor, rupture of the amniotic membranes, previous cesarean delivery, breech position, distance from the hospital and many others may influence how long a woman should wait before coming to the hospital.  It is always safer to call if there is any question about how long to wait.

Fetal movements should be felt daily, usually after 24 weeks.  Fetal movement counts are a useful way to track the movement of the baby.  Feeling no fetal movement within a 12 hour period is NOT normalor a decrease in movements from a previously established pattern.  Movements may be less noticeable as your pregnancy gets closer to the due date, but any change in pattern should be reported.

Heartburn, mild, can be treated with Riopan, Tums with calcium, or Mylanta.

Leaking Fluid,if a sudden leak of fluid occurs from the vagina, it may mean that the water from the sac around the baby has broken (amniotic membrane rupture).  The leak is not always a sudden gush but could be a slow and constant drainage of fluid.  It is usually more watery fluid than the normal increase in vaginal discharge that occurs commonly.  These situations should be reported.  A sonogram can be done that will show whether the amniotic fluid is leaking or not.

Nausea (morning sickness) is common in the first trimester of pregnancy, however frequent vomiting is of concern, especially if it lasts for more than 24 hours.  Other symptoms that are not normal in pregnancy are abdominal pain, fever, yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes and change in bowel habit.

Over the counter medication, it is best to minimize the amount of medication taken during pregnancy unless prescribed by your physician.  Report all alternative therapies, herbal and other supplements taken for any reason during your pregnancy.

Pressure/Discomfort, there may be pressure or discomfort in the lower abdomen as the uterus grows.  As the uterus puts pressure on the bladder the need to empty the bladder frequently is common.  Severe or sharp pain or cramping in the abdomen is NOT normal and should be reported.

Swelling of the feet and ankles is common in pregnancy.  In the occurrence of a severe or sudden onset of swelling orswelling of the face, hands or in other nondependent parts of the body should be reported immediately.

Medical Disclaimer:  The information provided within this website should be relied upon for medical education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the judgment of your health care provider.  It is not a substitute for direct consultation.  Always talk with your physician about your specific condition.  The appropriate treatment plan for a patient may vary from the medical information provided due to individual conditions and/or complications.  All trademarks referred to on this website are the property of their respective owner.