17 Warning Signs During Pregnancy You Should Be Cautious About

Pregnancy can be a completely incredible period. A time filled with joy and great expectations. We all hope to have an easy, complication-free pregnancy, but that cannot always be the case. Though a good majority of pregnancies will carry out with little to no serious concerns we should still be careful and also aware of potential signs and symptoms.

Your whole body is growing and transforming at an extremely rapid rate in pregnancy period. Sometimes it can be difficult to know if that ache, pain or new symptom is something considered “normal” or if you should be heading to the nearest emergency room. Of course, when in doubt you should always trust your instincts.

Whether or not a manifestation during pregnancy is urgent can really depend on you and your health history. Make sure to talk with your doctor beforehand, so you know what to look out for. Keep reading for a list of warning signs you shouldn’t ignore.


Occasional spotting and even a few light bleeding can be totally normal during pregnancy and does not always signify an urgent problem. For instance, implantation bleeding can occur when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining.

Not everyone experiences implantation bleeding however if your bleeding occurs before your expected period, this could be the cause. Spotting can also be caused by an increase in estrogen and the flow of blood during pregnancy.

Although spotting and bleeding during pregnancy can be normal and is not always a cause for concern, it is not to be expected and can be abnormal. It is important if you experience any amount of change in spotting or bleeding, including sudden onset, which you contact your doctor as quickly as possible.


You may begin feeling your baby move as early as 16 weeks of being pregnant. However, nearly all women will begin to feel consistent movement around the 18-24 week mark. If this is your first baby you will generally not feel anything until about the 20-week mark at the least. In the beginning, the movements will be sparse and sporadic, but when you begin feeling your baby move on a consistent schedule you will start to discover their movements and know what is normal.

Generally speaking, it is expected that the baby will make 10 movements within a two hour period. If your baby is moving less than normal try drinking some cold water or fruit juice and laying on your side, count your movements. If your baby is still moving less than normal, contact your doctor immediately.


A majority of woman will experience swelling of some degree during pregnancy. Your body begins producing approximately 50% more blood and body fluids during this time to meet the demands of a growing baby.

Swelling can occur during any point in pregnancy but it tends to be noticed more around the fifth month and often increases in the third trimester.

Swelling that is slight or that occurs as the day progresses is often normal during pregnancy.

However, if you experience sudden swelling of your hands or face this can be a sign of a much more serious pregnancy-related issue called Pre-Eclampsia. It is important to contact your healthcare provider with any sudden swelling.


Headaches are common during pregnancy (thank you raging hormones), and chances are you if you are pregnant you will begin to see an increase in them around the ninth week.

You could, of course, be one of the lucky few and actually experience a decrease in headaches! In the early stages of pregnancy, headaches can also be caused by an increase in the amount of blood flow, caffeine withdraws, feeling stressed or poor posture.

Like the swelling, however, if you begin to see a sudden increase in the pain, frequency or severity of a headache it could signal a serious pregnancy condition.

If you have a headache that will not go away despite treatment and/or is accompanied by a sudden onset of swelling you should make an appointment with your doctor, this can be another symptom of Pre-Eclampsia.


If you haven’t noticed yet, you are bound to have some abdominal pain in pregnancy. After all, this is where the majority of the changes are taking place! Your uterus is constantly expanding, your internal organs are being constantly pushed and shifted out of place, your ligaments are being stretched (hello round ligament pain!) and let’s not forget the morning sickness, gas and bloating.

All of these are perfectly normal, although somewhat annoying, symptoms of pregnancy. While there are plenty of normal reasons you may be experiencing abdominal pain, there are times when abdominal pain can pose a serious risk.

An ectopic pregnancy can cause severe pain located on only one side of the abdomen, a miscarriage can cause abdominal pain accompanied by back pain, cramping, bleeding or spotting and a sudden decrease in other signs of pregnancy.

Abdominal pain can also be a symptom of Pre-Eclampsia as well. If you are experiencing upper abdominal pain, usually under your ribs on the right side, this can be a severe symptom and should be reported to your doctor.


Morning sickness is a common occurrence in pregnancy and if you have never experienced it count your blessings! During the first trimester, many women will experience nausea and vomiting.

Despite its name morning sickness can occur at any time day or night and may be constant. Morning sickness, although often miserable, is completely normal and is caused by (you guessed it) an increase in hormones.

What is NOT normal, however, is when the sickness becomes so severe that you are consistently vomiting multiple times a day and are unable to keep any food or water down. This can cause you to lose weight and become dehydrated.

Often times morning sickness of this severity is linked to a more serious form of morning sickness called “hyperemesis gravidarum”. If you are experiencing symptoms of this unfortunate pregnancy illness, you should seek help to avoid potential problems.


Mild itching in pregnancy is usually nothing to worry about. Because of increased blood supply to the skin, you may experience mild itching on and off especially in the beginning months.

As your pregnancy progresses further, and your baby continues growing, your skin will begin stretching which will cause itching as well.

If you are experiencing mild itching try wearing loose clothing, and using a plain lotion. Mild itching is usually not harmful to you or the baby.

If however, you are experiencing severe itching this could be a sign of a more serious condition called ICP, a liver disorder. If you are worried your itching could be something more serious, it is important to contact your doctor or midwife.

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