Pregnancy Symptoms That can be Potentially Dangerous

May 7th 2016

Aches and pains are routine during a pregnancy, but signs and symptoms that are intense or severe often signal a potential complication for the baby or the mother. Even if the symptoms seem mild, it doesn't hurt to report the ailments to a physician to document a potential health pattern that could develop into something more serious that is harmful to both the baby and the mother.

Vaginal Spotting or Bleeding

Consistent bleeding and vaginal spotting are not usually common symptoms of pregnancy. Pregnant women who experience these symptoms may be at risk for miscarriage and should contact their health care practitioners immediately. A practitioner may order blood tests or an ultrasound to rule out any potential dangers for the mother and baby.

Excessive Swelling

Pregnant women often experience mild swelling in their feet, legs and hands because they retain excess fluid in their tissues with hormonal changes. Excessive and sudden swelling, especially after week 20, may be cause for concern. When excessive and sudden swelling is accompanied by a headache, it could be a sign of a dangerous high blood pressure condition known as preeclampsia. Blood pressure should be checked by a physician as soon as possible.

Vaginal Discharge

As the cervix is undergoing changes, pregnant women often experience mucus discharge. Although this is a normal occurrence during pregnancy, vaginal discharge with a foul smell or excessive burning or aching could indicate an infection that should be treated.

Sudden Weakness

It is normal to feel less energetic and weak as a pregnant woman experiences growth and hormonal changes. Weakness that is temporary and passes quickly is not a sign of concern; however, prolonged periods of weakness accompanied by chills, rapid pulse, blurry vision and irregular breathing could signal a potential complication with the pregnancy. Pregnant women with these symptoms should consult with a physician immediately.

Severe Vomiting

Morning sickness affects pregnant women in different levels of intensity, especially during the first 12 weeks. Pregnant women who experience severe nausea and vomiting, though, may be at risk for dehydration. Women who are unable to hold down solid foods and beverages should consult with a physician. It may be necessary to hydrate intravenously to ensure the baby is receiving nutrients until the nausea and vomiting pass.


Pregnancy signifies an exciting time during a prospective parent's life, but when complications and symptoms signal potentially dangerous problems, it can cause concern. Women who can identify symptoms that are not typical of normal aches and pains of pregnancy may be able to ward off serious complications for mother and child.

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