As an expectant mother, you may be regularly visiting the doctor and undergoing tests. However, there may be certain warning signs that should not be ignored to prevent complications. Watch out for these factors and seek medical advice if you notice any of them:

* If you are having regular contractions

Occasional contractions are part of the pregnancy period, especially when you get closer to your due date. Some of these early contractions could be painful, but they are not usually regular. If you are having contractions more than six times in an hour, this may be a sign of pre-term labour.

* If you’re bleeding heavily

A small amount of blood discharge is absolutely normal during pregnancy but if you are bleeding as heavily as a menstrual period, it could be fatal. Women whose placentas are in an abnormal place should report any signs of bleeding during pregnancy because of the increased danger to both mother and baby.

* If you feel a flow of runny fluid

Amniotic fluid, in which your baby is wrapped, is essential to the health of your baby. If your water breaks too soon, there are risks for both you and your baby. For moms, there is a risk of getting a dangerous infection. For babies, there is a risk of impaired growth and development, pre-term birth, and death.

* If your blood sugar is too high or too low

Many women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It is very important to monitor your blood sugar and use insulin as prescribed. Dr Shobha Gupta of Mother’s Lap IVF Centre explains, “There are serious risks during pregnancy for women with all types of diabetes. Gestational diabetes needs to be recognised and treated quickly because it can cause serious health problems for mother and baby. If your blood sugar falls outside the expected range and your regular at-home instructions aren’t helping, talk to your doctor.”

* If your baby has stopped moving

If you are less than 28 weeks pregnant, it’s likely that your baby’s movements are irregular. By 28 weeks, most babies are active enough for their mothers to notice frequent movement in a pattern. Dr Anubha Singh from Shantah IVF Centre said, “At this stage, notice all the movements of your baby. If you notice that your baby is moving less than usual or not at all, immediately call your doctor. You may be given instructions to follow at home, or you may be advised to go to the hospital for monitoring.”

* If you have abrupt severe abdominal pain

Some abdominal pains in pregnancy are normal from contractions to muscle pain. “If you find yourself in abrupt severe pain, it can be a sign of a uterine rupture which is a medical emergency and can endanger the life of both you and your baby,” said Dr Shweta Goswami from Jaypee Hospital.

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