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Prenatal Care

How will I know if something is wrong?

Normal discomforts of pregnancy:

  • Nausea or Vomiting (known as morning sickness, although it can happen any time of day);
  • Need to Urinate Often
  • Backache(often in the lower back)
  • Heartburn (a burning feeling in your throat and the top of your stomach);
  • Varicose Veins (when the veins in your lower legs hurt and become swollen);
  • Hemorrhoids (enlarged veins in the rectum that may hurt during bowel movements);
  • Vaginal Discharge (usually thick, white fluid) If fluid is bloody, greenish yellow, foul smelling or burning and itchy, tell your doctor right away.
  • Sleepiness (feeling more tired than usual);
  • Depression (feeling sad or down).
  • Headaches

Some helpful hints to make you feel more comfortable:

  • eat small snacks throughout the day (instead of big meals);
  • drink lots of liquids (milk, water, juice);
  • wear low-heeled shoes, and put your feet up on a chair or stool (whenever you can);
  • wear cotton underpants and avoid pantyhose and tight jeans;
  •  take short naps and rest periods during the day;
  • share your feeling with a friend.

If any discomfort continues to bother you, tell your health care provider.

For more information call 311.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of these warning signs:

  • sudden weight gain of more than two pounds within one day
  • severe swelling of the face, ankles, legs, or feet
  • severe or frequent headaches that last more than two or three hours and do not get better after taking the medication your health care provider has recommended
  • fainting
  • blurred vision, flashes of light, or spots before your eyes
  • pain or burning while urinating
  • sudden increase in thirst
  • dramatic increase or decrease in urination
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • light vaginal bleeding or spotting

Very Dangerous Warning Signs

Premature Labor — Pregnancy takes about 40 weeks. If contractions cause your cervix to open earlier than normal — between the 20th and 37th week — it's called premature labor. Premature labor can be very dangerous.

The signs of premature labor include

  • uterine contractions — strong tightening in the abdomen — every 10 minutes or less
  • repeating or constant menstrual-like cramps in the lower abdomen
  • abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
  • pelvic pressure that feels like the fetus is pushing down
  • increase or change in vaginal discharge
  • sudden gush of watery fluids from the vagina (water breaking)
  • feeling like the fetus is "balling up"

Signs of other dangerous problems include

  • heavy bleeding from the vagina
  • constant severe lower abdominal pain or cramps on one or both sides
  • dimness or blurring of vision that lasts two or three hours
  • dizziness or double vision
  • severe or continued vomiting
  • chills and/or fever of 101°F or more
  • fever of 101°F or more with pain or burning while urinating
  • sudden severe swelling or puffiness of the face, hands, legs, ankles, or feet, especially if you have a headache or vision change
  • after six months of pregnancy, the fetus moves a lot less than before
  • after six months of pregnancy, you think the fetus hasn't moved in eight hours or more

If you are experiencing any of these signs, contact your health care provider or go to the hospital immediately.


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