When to Call Your Provider

Contact your provider if you notice these warning signs:

  • Pain or burning during urination, or a decrease in the amount of urine. Unrelieved vomiting
  • Unrelieved diarrhea or constipation
  • Chills or fever
  • Soreness or redness in one or both legs
  • Marked swelling or puffiness of the feet, hands, or face (edema), or sudden weight gain
  • Severe or constant headache
  • Visual disturbances such as blurred vision, spots before the eyes, and flashes of light.
  • Dizziness or mental confusion
  • Marked change in the baby's movement
  • Something just doesn't feel right

Symptoms that may indicate attempted miscarriage:

  • Menstrual like cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding or a marked change in vaginal discharge (amount/odor/color)
  • Unrelieved abdominal or intestinal cramping, pain, or tenderness (with or without diarrhea or constipation)
  • Vaginal / pelvic pressure
  • Lower backache

Also be alert to symptoms of preterm labor:

  • Lower backache
  • Menstrual like cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding or a marked change in vaginal discharge (amount/odor/color).
  • Vaginal/pelvic pressure
  • Abdominal or intestinal cramping, pain, or tenderness (with or without diarrhea or constipation)
  • Contractions or uterine tightening (four or more within one hour)

What about other symptoms?

You may notice other symptoms not included in this list. When in doubt, call your provider. The ideal outcome is to have an uneventful pregnancy that results in a healthy baby. However, some pregnancies do involve complications that may affect the mother, the baby, or both. Because these complications can range from relatively minor to life threatening, it's important to recognize possible warning signs.

Remember that you are the most important gauge of your body and, in turn, your pregnancy. Don't compare your experience with those of friends or relatives. Even if you've been pregnant before, this pregnancy will probably be different. Trust your instincts, but don't attempt to diagnose yourself.

If something "just doesn't feel right," call your provider.

Calling your provider

Write down the information you'll need before placing the call, and keep pen and paper ready to jot down instructions.

You may be asked the following information:

  • Your full name
  • How many weeks pregnant you are
  • When your provider last saw you
  • Specific medications you are taking, why you are taking them, and when you last took them
  • Any complications that have occurred thus far in your pregnancy
  • What you are currently experiencing and how long you have been experiencing these signs and symptoms (be as specific as possible)

Always have the following information on hand:

  • Your office and after-hours phone number
  • Hospital name, address, and phone number
  • Emergency room phone number
  • Ambulance service phone number
  • Insurance information and card
  • Medic Alert bracelet (if applicable)

Reprinted with permission from Her Healthcare.

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