Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Nausea/Vomiting 

Feeling nauseated during the first three months of pregnancy is very common. For some people it can last longer, while others may not experience it at all. Try to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day in order to keep your blood sugar level at a normal range. Try bland foods like plain crackers, whole grain toast, or dry breakfast cereal, as well as carbonated drinks like ginger ale. Ginger is a natural treatment for nausea. Peppermint can also be used. Some over-the-counter medications are also safe. If the symptoms become severe or you are unable to keep fluids down without vomiting for more than 12 hours, contact your healthcare provider. 

Discharge

Common Symptoms of PregnancyAn increase in white, milky vaginal discharge is common in pregnancy. If the discharge is watery or has a foul odor, call your healthcare provider’s office.

Spotting

Light bleeding can be common, especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It may occur after intercourse, vervical exams, vaginal intrasounds or strenuous activity or exercise. If the bleeding is heavy or is accompanied by pain, contact your provider immediately.

Constipation

Constipation is a common complaint which can be related to hormone changes, low fluid intake, increased iron or lack of fiber in your diet. Try to include whole grains,  fresh fruit, vegetables and plenty of water. There are also safe over-the – counter medications. If you develop hemorrhoids, try sitz baths three to four times per day for 10-15 minutes each time. If the pain persists, contact your healthcare provider.

Cramping

Experiencing some cramps and contractions are normal. When they occur, empty your bladder, drink 1-2 glasses of water and try to rest. If you are less than 36 weeks pregnant and having more than six contractions in an hour after trying these measures, contact your provider.

Leg Cramps

Cramping in your legs or feet can also be common. Eating bananas, drinking more low fat/nonfat milk and consuming more calcium-rich foods like dark green vegetables, nuts, grains and beans may help. To relieve the cramp, try to stretch your leg with your foot flexed toward your body. A warm, moist towel or heat pad wrapped on the muscle may also help.

Dizziness

You may feel lightheaded or dizzy at any time during your pregnancy. Try lying down on your left side and drink 1-2 glasses of water. If symptoms persist, contact the office.

Swelling

Because of the increased production of blood and body fluids, normal swelling, also called edema, can be experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet. Elevate your feet, wear comfortable shoes, drink plenty of fluids and limit sodium. Supportive stockings also help. If the swelling comes on rapidly, or is accompanied by headache or visual changes, contact your medical provider immediately.

Heartburn

You may experience heartburn throughout pregnancy, especially during the latter part if your pregnancy when your baby is larger. Try to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day and avoid laying down immediately after eating. Some over-the-counter medications are also safe for use.

Aches and Pains

As your baby grows, back aches are common. You may also feel stretching and pulling pains in the abdomen or pelvic area. These are the result of pressure from your baby’s head, weight gain, and the normal loosening of joints. Practice good posture and try to rest with your feet elevated. You may also treat with heat and Tylenol.*

*Consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

If in doubt, call your OB/GYN or primary healthcare provider!

When to Call Your Doctor

If you experience any of the following, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as these are considered emergencies:

  • Continuous leaking of fluid (water broken) 
  • Abdominal trauma or car accident
  • Fever greater than 101° F
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Headache with vision changes
  • Painful contractions greater than 6 times in an hour (if less than 36 weeks)

Your Doctor Is Here to Help

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to call because you don’t want to wake the doctor or you feel silly. Worrying only stresses you and the baby, so go ahead and call! Find out what’s wrong and relieve your anxiety.

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