Being pregnant is such an amazing and beautiful time in every woman’s life. I mean you are growing a human being inside of you, for goodness sake, it’s unreal! The minute you find out that you are pregnant, you go through so many different emotions that only pregnant women can relate to. But sometimes things happen that are out of our control. Like these serious warning signs during pregnancy that you should never ignore.
There are so many things that can happen during your pregnancy that not many people talk about, like scary symptoms that can be life threatening to you and your baby. That’s why I am going to share with you the 5 warning signs that you should never ignore when you are pregnant in hopes that you can be aware and alert if you experience any of the symptoms I will mention below.
What is Preeclampsia?
“Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both you and your baby. “ (source)
What is Hellp Syndrome?
“HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening pregnancy complication usually considered to be a variant of preeclampsia. Both conditions usually occur during the later stages of pregnancy, or sometimes after childbirth”. (source)
- H(hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells)
- EL(elevated liver enzymes)
- LP(low platelet count)
I had both after the birth of my twins!
A little back story. I started experiencing a few symptoms during my third trimester with my twin pregnancy that I thought was nothing to worry about. So I didn’t really pay mind to it, which was a BIG MISTAKE. I did go to the hospital a week before I went into labor, with abdominal pains. The nurses just checked my babies and sent me home. Not one checked on me, THE MOM! Later on after my twins birth, I was diagnosed with postpartum eclampsia and hellp syndrome.
There are so many information that sometimes your doctor may not mention or just briefly mention. My doctor for example, mentioned the fact that many women carrying multiples are at risk of developing pre-eclampsia and even a more serious condition that is called eclampsia. She told me not to worry because I was healthy and I wasn’t going to develop any of these conditions. I of course listened and never ever worried about it. Well, long story short, I did end up having Eclampsia and Hellp syndrome at the same time and I almost lost my life!
I am here today to warn you and share with you the warning signs during pregnancy that you should look out for. Because it can literally save your life and your baby’s life. These symptoms can also occur after you give birth and even after you are home with your baby.
5 warning signs during pregnancy you should never ignore when you are pregnant
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Usually occurring on the upper right/side. The pain can be mild to severe and is nothing like contractions feel like. It feels like a regular stomach ache but different if that makes sense. The pain comes and goes and you may feel nauseous as well. I was about 35 weeks pregnant when I started having abdominal pain, I immediately called my hubby (he was working) and told my dad to drive me to the hospital. My pain was very strong and I couldn’t sit still in the car.
Funny enough, when I arrived at the hospital the pain went away. So the nurses only checked on my twins and sent me back home. I then went to my doctor and she checked on the twins again and said the reason why I was having abdominal pain was probably something that I ate. Please, be very careful and if you are having abdominal pain and feel like it’s something that needs to be checked on, do not hesitate and get the help that you need. Also, please make sure the nurses or doctor check both you and the baby! That was the mistake that the nurse and my doctor did, they didn’t check my blood or urine because I was “healthy” and the pain was not as terrible once I got to the hospital.
2. Severe Headaches
Another warning signs during pregnancy is experiencing headaches before or after giving birth. I am talking about severe, pounding like headaches. To the point where you can’t hear or even think straight. I do not want to scare you, I am just being real! I woke up in my hospital room with severe headache, crying like a baby. Then I called my husband (that had gone to work) crying my eyes out telling him he needs to get to the hospital immediately.
I called the nurses and they gave me pain killers, which helped a lot. This might confuse you into thinking that it was just a headache, which I thought even though I was feeling like something was not right. You may also experience blurriness.
*note: Severe headache is a sign of Hellp syndrome. Keep in mind that headaches also happens if you have an epidural during your labor (my doctors thought that was the reason for my headache). Trust your body, your mind and yourself!
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Swelling which is also known as edema is a very common pregnancy symptom, so this one might be a little tricky. It was for me! If you experience swelling in your face, hand and legs it can be because you have pre-eclampsia or Hellp syndrome. The swelling is noticeable and it can look a little abnormal if you know what I mean. For example, with my first pregnancy I had “normal” swelling on my feet.
With my twin pregnancy I had a more noticeable swelling on my legs, I could hardly walk and had to be laying down almost the whole day because the swelling was not going away.
*note: swelling is another cause of Hellp syndrome, as well as Pre-eclampsia. Always check with your provider about the severity of your swelling. Also, from experience if your nurse or doctor asks you if the swelling seems “normal” to you, just say no, this way they can check you and do all the proper testing, just for pre-caution.
If you are experiencing blurry vision, this is another warning sign during pregnancy to watch out for. Go to the emergency room, call your doctor or call the ambulance. It is that important! Blurry vision can be contributed to high blood pressure, Hellp syndrome and even Eclampsia. If you have pre-eclampsia or even if you don’t, it’s always best to have a blood pressure machine at home. This way, you can monitor yourself and be that much in control of your health.
purchase one of these blood pressure machine:
Bleeding can mean many things during your pregnancy. For example during your first trimester it can indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If you experience bleeding during your third trimester, it can indicate placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine lining. The bleeding is heavy and you can also experience abdominal pain as well. Seek help immediately!
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I want this article to help you be informed and aware of the warning signs during pregnancy. I ignored almost all of the four signs (except for bleeding) that I shared with you and this was honestly and truthfully because of the lack of knowledge that I had. My doctor didn’t really explain in details about any of these symptoms and I never asked.
Make sure your urine is being checked on every doctor visit because that’s where they check your level of protein. This will detect the onset of pre-eclampsia.
I want to encourage you to do your research, to be informed and to look out for these 5 warning signs because it can save your life and your baby’s life too. Take it from someone that went through it and survived it.
During pregnancy you can be the healthiest woman alive and the next thing you know, you are fighting for your life not knowing if you will ever see your kids again. Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and hellp syndrome can happen to anybody.