When to Call the Doctor

It is a good idea to set up a protocol and plan for emergencies with your doctor, when pregnant so that you are aware.

It is a good idea to set up a protocol and plan for emergencies with your doctor, when pregnant so that you are aware.

It is a good idea to set up a protocol and plan for emergencies with your doctor, when pregnant so that you are aware which symptoms are not normal and require immediate medical attention.

What are the symptoms to look out for?

The following symptoms during pregnancy warrant an immediate call to your practitioner:

  • Severe lower abdominal pain, either in the centre or on one or both sides which does not reduce even if it is not accompanied by bleeding.
  • Any type of vaginal bleeding accompanied by fever, pain, and/or chills
  • A sudden increase in thirst accompanied by reduced urination or no urination at all for an entire day.
  • Painful or burning urination accompanied by chills and fever over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit and/or backache.
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
  • A severe headache or a headache that lasts for more than two to three hours.
  • Heavy bleeding or bleeding with cramps or severe pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Steady or heavy vaginal discharge of thin fluid
  • Bloody diarrhoea.
  • Vomiting accompanied by fever or pain or vomiting several times in one day
  • Very sudden and severe swelling or puffiness of the hands, face and eyes, accompanied by headache, vision difficulties or sudden significant weight gain not related to overeating.
  • Vision disturbances like blurring, dimming and double vision that persist for more than a few minutes.
  • When counting kicks after 28 weeks of pregnancy, noting less than 10 movements within two hours after having a snack or some fruit juice. Though an absence of activity doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong, it could be a red flag requiring evaluation right away.

How to talk to your practitioner

When you talk to your practitioner or the triage nurse, be sure to mention any other symptoms you may be experiencing, no matter how unrelated they may seem to the immediate problem. Also be specific, mentioning when you first noticed each symptom, how frequently it recurs, what seems to relieve or exacerbate it and how severe it is.

Tell your doctor at your next prenatal checkup if you experience:

  • Slight spotting that goes away within a day
  • Occasional twinges or pulling sensations in your abdominal area
  • Occasional mild headaches

Your practitioner may want you to call for different reasons or within parameters, so be sure to ask him or her what protocol you should follow if you experience any of these symptoms.

Keep in mind, too, that there might be some times when you have none of the symptoms listed here, but you feel not quite right. If a good night’s sleep and some extra relaxation don’t make you feel better, check in with your practitioner.


Chances are what you are experiencing is normal to expect during the pregnancy course. But it is also possible that you are fighting an infection or some other health condition. It is always advisable to seek help if you are going through the symptoms that raise a red flag.

Special thanks to Dr Prajakta Aswar (MBBS,MD ,GYNAE) for expert advice

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