Urgent Warning Signs and Symptoms During Pregnancy and After Delivery

Urgent Warning Signs and Symptoms During Pregnancy and After Delivery

Urgent Warning Signs and Symptoms During Pregnancy and After Delivery

Do you feel like something just isn’t right, or you aren’t sure if it’s serious? Did you know some problems due to pregnancy can happen up to a year after delivery?

Be aware of urgent maternal warning signs and symptoms during pregnancy and in the year after delivery. Seek medical care immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms that are listed below. These symptoms could indicate a life-threatening situation.

Headache that won’t go away or gets worse over time

  • Feels like the worst headache of your life
  • Lasts even after treatment with medication and fluid intake
  • Starts suddenly with severe pain – like a clap of thunder
  • Throbs and is on one side of your head above your ear
  • Comes with blurred vision or dizziness

Dizziness or fainting

  • You faint or pass out
  • You have dizziness and lightheadedness that’s ongoing, or comes and goes over many days
  • You experience a gap in time of which you have no memory

Changes in your vision

  • You see flashes of light or bright spots
  • You have blind spots or you can’t see at all for a short time
  • Your vision is blurry, you can’t focus, or you’re seeing double

Fever of 100.4°F or higher

You have a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

Extreme swelling of your hands or face

  • Swelling in your hands makes it hard to bend your fingers or wear rings
  • Swelling in your face makes it hard to open your eyes all the way—they feel and look puffy
  • Your lips and mouth feel swollen or you have a loss of feeling

This swelling is not like the usual slight swelling that most moms have during pregnancy, especially during the last few months of pregnancy.

Thoughts about harming yourself or your baby

You may think about hurting yourself because you:

  • Feel very sad, hopeless, or not good enough
  • Don’t feel that you have control over your life
  • Feel extremely worried all the tim

Post partum depression is different from the "baby blues". You may think about hurting your baby and/or you may have scary thoughts that come when you don’t want or that are hard to get rid of.

Trouble Breathing

  • You feel short of breath suddenly or over time, as if you can’t breathe deeply enough to get enough air in your lungs
  • Your throat and/or chest feel tight
  • You have trouble breathing when you’re laying down flat, such as needing to prop your head up with pillows to sleep

Chest pain or fast-beating heart

You have chest pain, such as:

  • A feeling of tightness or pressure in the center of your chest
  • Pain that travels to your back, neck, or arm
  • You have a change in your heartbeat, such as:
    • A fast heartbeat or a pounding in your chest
    • An irregular heart rate or skipped heartbeats
  • You feel dizzy, faint, or disoriented
  • You have trouble catching your breath (talking and breathing are difficult)

These symptoms can happen at any time and anywhere or may be triggered by a specific event.

Severe nausea and throwing up

  • You feel severely sick to your stomach (nauseous) beyond the normal queasy feeling and throwing up that many moms have in early pregnancy
  • You are unable to drink for more than 8 hours or eat for more than 24 hours
  • You throw up and can’t keep water or other fluids in your stomach

You have:

  • A dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Severe belly pain that doesn’t go away

  • You have a sharp, stabbing, or cramp-like belly pain that doesn’t go away
  • Your belly pain starts suddenly and is severe, or gets worse over time
  • You have severe chest, shoulder, or back pain

Baby’s movement stopping or slowing during pregnancy

You feel that your baby has stopped moving or your baby is moving less than before. There is no specific number of movements that is considered normal, a change in your baby’s movement is what is important.

Vaginal bleeding or fluid leaking during pregnancy

  • You have any bleeding from your vagina that is more than spotting – like a period
  • You have fluid leaking out of your vagina
  • You have vaginal discharge that smells bad

Vaginal bleeding or discharge after pregnancy

  • You have heavy bleeding – soaking through one or more pads in an hour
  • You pass clots bigger than an egg or you pass tissue
  • You have vaginal discharge that smells bad

Severe swelling, redness or pain of your leg or arm

Anytime during pregnancy or up to 6 weeks after birth.

You have swelling, pain, or tenderness in your leg – usually your calf or in one leg:

  • It may or may not hurt when you touch it
  • It may hurt when you flex your foot to stand or walk
  • The painful area can also be red, swollen, and warm to the touch
  • You have pain, tenderness or swelling in your arm, usually on just one side of your body

Overwhelming tiredness

  • You are suddenly very tired and weak, not like chronic fatigue
  • You don’t have enough energy to go about your day
  • No matter how much you sleep, you don’t feel refreshed
  • You feel so tired that you don’t get up to take care of your baby
  • You feel sad after having your baby

This list is not meant to cover every symptom you might have. If you feel like something just isn’t right, or you aren’t sure if it’s serious, talk to your healthcare provider. Be sure to tell them if you are pregnant or were pregnant within the last year.

With offices in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas, WHS of Dallas offers all the services and support you will need to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Call our office at (214) 363-4421 to schedule an appointment or you may request an appointment online.

May 1st Is National Infertility Survival Day

May 1st Is National Infertility Survival Day: We're Here for It.

May 1st Is National Infertility Survival Day

National Infertility Survival Day is acknowledged annually on the Sunday prior to Mother’s Day. This year on May 1, 2023, we recognize women and men who are struggling physically and emotionally due to their troubles conceiving.

Infertility is common. Among married women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, about 1 in 5 (19%) are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). Also, about 1 in 4 (26%) women in this group have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term (impaired fecundity). Infertility is not always a woman’s problem. Both men and women can contribute to infertility.

How long should couples try to get pregnant before seeing a doctor?

A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30. Most experts suggest women younger than age 35 with no apparent health or fertility problems and regular menstrual cycles should try to conceive for at least one year before seeing a doctor. However, for women aged 35 years or older, couples should see a health care provider after 6 months of trying unsuccessfully. Women over 40 years may consider seeking more immediate evaluation and treatment.

What are some health problems that may increase the risk of infertility?

Couples with the following signs or symptoms should not delay seeing their health care provider when they are trying to become pregnant:

For women:

Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
A history of pelvic inflammatory disease
Known or suspected uterine or tubal disease
A history of more than one miscarriage
Genetic or acquired conditions that predispose to diminished ovarian reserve (chemotherapy, radiation)

For men:

A history of testicular trauma
Prior hernia surgery
Prior use of chemotherapy
A history of infertility with another partner
Sexual dysfunction

How is infertility treated?

Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intrauterine insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility on the basis of:

  • The factors contributing to the infertility.
  • The duration of the infertility.
  • The age of the female.
  • The couple’s treatment preference after counseling about success rates, risks, and benefits of each treatment option.

Where can I get support and help?

RESOLVE is a national consumer organization that offers support for men and women dealing with infertility. Their purpose is to provide timely, compassionate support and information to people who are experiencing infertility and to increase awareness of infertility issues through public education and advocacy.

It is a good idea for any woman and her partner to talk to a health care provider before trying to get pregnant. They can help you get your body ready for a healthy baby, and can also answer questions on fertility and give tips on conceiving.

How is Postpartum Depression Different from the Baby Blues?

How is Postpartum Depression Different from the "Baby Blues"?

How is Postpartum Depression Different from the Baby Blues?

Having a baby is challenging and every woman deserves support, including emotional support. Depression or anxiety during and after pregnancy is common and treatable. Everyone feels sad sometimes, but these feelings normally pass within a few days. Depression is a serious mood disorder that may last for weeks or months at a time.

Some people may experience a few symptoms, and others might experience many. How often symptoms occur, how long they last, and how intense they may feel can be different for each person.

Depression symptoms can include:

  • Having a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
  • Feelings of irritability or restlessness.
  • Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  • Overeating or loss of appetite.
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
  • Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment.

Postpartum depression is different from the "baby blues".

Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues,” a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:

The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms of depression, but may also include:

  • Crying more often than usual.
  • Feelings of anger.
  • Withdrawing from loved ones.
  • Feeling distant from your baby.
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious.
  • Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby.
  • Doubting your ability to care for your baby.

Depression during and after pregnancy is common and treatable!

Effective depression treatment can include a combination of medication therapy, counseling, and referrals. is talking to your health care provider. After your visit, make sure to follow-up on all referrals and treatment that he or she suggests. When discussing medications with your provider, let her or him know if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. You and your provider can decide if taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding is right for you.

If you are experiencing emotional changes or think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. Most people get better with treatment and getting help is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.