pregnancy

The six signs of a problem pregnancy you shouldn't ignore.

All anyone wants is a ‘normal’ pregnancy. The problem? There’s not really any one type of ‘normal’ pregnancy because everyone’s experience is so different.

That said, there are some warning signs that indicate things aren’t going exactly the way they should. Here are the problems and warning signs you shouldn’t ignore.

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1. Bleeding or spotting.

Unexpected blood from any part of your body is never welcome, but spotting or bleeding doesn't always mean a big problem. A little bit of blood can occur after sex from irritating your cervix, which is more sensitive when you're pregnant.

However, bleeding can always be an indication that something more serious is going on, such as the risk of miscarriage, placenta previa or placental abruption.

"Whenever there is any bleeding in pregnancy, you have to know where the source is," Dr. Francis Chang from the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles told Fox News.

If you do notice blood, the best thing to do is notify your obstetrician or midwife immediately.

Listen: Rebecca Judd talks us through her pregnancies on Hello, Bump. Post continues after audio.

2. Swelling.

To a certain extent, swelling is an expectation of being pregnant, but experts recommend paying close attention to your face and hands. Puffiness in these areas can be a sign of preeclampsia or toxemia.

Same goes for sudden swelling of your ankles and feet. If the swelling is sudden or unexpected, check in with your doctor just to be safe, as early detection is key with preeclampsia.

3. Your baby's moving noticeably less.

According to Dr Chang, you should start feeling your baby move between 17 and 18 weeks. These movements will get stronger around the 24 week mark, although they'll often be quieter during the day and more frequent at night.

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If the movements have slowed or stopped, he recommends drinking a cup of ice water or orange juice.

"A temperature change or a sudden rush of sugar will cause the baby to move," he said.

Alternatively, lie on your side for five minutes twice a day and count how many times your baby moves. If you end up with less than five in a 30 minute period, give your doctor a call.

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Image: iStock

4. Pain.

Unfortunately, aches and pains are part of the pregnancy parcel, given that you are growing a human inside you and your muscles and ligaments are stretching to accommodate it. This is called round ligament pain and isn't too much to be concerned about.

However if the pain is constant, severe or comes with bloody or any other symptoms, contact your doctor to ensure that it's not a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or cyst causing your pelvic or abdominal pain.

5. Depression.

Depression during pregnancy is far more common than you'd expect. One in 10 Australian women will experience antenatal depression, with the chances of postpartum depression greatly increased. The most important thing is to identify it and seek help. Talk to your doctor, who can make a referral to a mental health professional.

6. Fever.

Being pregnant makes you more vulnerable to cold and few germs, so a fever is actually pretty likely to occur, however, if it lasts longer than 24 to 36 hours, see your doctor.

If the fever comes with pain, definitely see your doctor as it could be a sign of kidney infection, listeria or pneumonia which can all be serious during pregnancy.

Listen: We talk everything pregnancy in our podcast Hello, Bump.

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