Make regular pre-natal appointments.,
Schedule regular appointments to check for maternal disorders.,
Understand that lifestyle changes can prevent some maternal conditions that cause bleeding.,
Exercise regularly to prevent maternal conditions from developing.,
Decrease your exercise level as your pregnancy progresses.,
Manage your stress levels.,
Practice conscious relaxation.,
Do not smoke or drink alcohol.,
Avoid environmental hazards such as radiation and other harmful substances.,
Practice safe sex.,
Protect yourself from violence.,
Call your doctor if you are experiencing heavy bleeding.,
Seek medical help if you experience severe nausea and vomiting.,
Monitor the baby’s activity level.,
Call your doctor if you are experiencing signs of preeclampsia.,
Seek medical help if you see tissue protruding from your vagina.,
Monitor how badly you are bleeding by using pads.,
Avoid sexual intercourse.,
Avoid physical activities.,
Do not douche during pregnancy, especially if you have been bleeding.,
Be aware that implantation can cause bleeding in the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy).,
Understand that miscarriages can cause bleeding.,
Understand that ectopic pregnancies can lead to bleeding.,
Know that molar pregnancies are a health concern.,
Be aware that vaginal infections can cause bleeding.,
Watch out for placenta previa in the second and third trimesters.,
Know that placental abruption is a serious concern.,
Understand that preterm labor can cause bleeding.
The purpose of pre-natal care is to identify risk factors and potential complications that the mother may experience during pregnancy. For this reason, it’s essential that you make regular pre-natal appointments and attend all of them.
Your initial visit will include a comprehensive assessment of your health history, medical history, nutritional history, and more. Successive visits will also include a physical exam, laboratory tests, and an ultrasound exam.
During your prenatal check-up, you should ask questions regarding any concerns you might have about possible complications, immunizations, and other ways to maintain a healthy pregnancy.;
, During your prenatal checks, your health care provider may order a series of tests to find out your health status.
Pelvic examinations and cervical or vaginal smears may also be ordered to determine the presence of any issues or infections.
Do not hesitate to ask your health care provider for more details about any tests. Your health care provider is responsible for explaining the procedure and the purpose of the test, and to let you know about the results of the test.
, Many of the causes of bleeding and other maternal complications are because of an unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, the obvious solution is to modify your lifestyle according to your pregnancy needs. For some, lifestyle changes are not quite easy, but just think about how both you and your baby will benefit.
, Pregnancy is not an excuse for physical inactivity (unless contraindicated by your health care provider due to health reasons). A pregnant woman may still exercise during pregnancy but with lower intensity and duration.
Exercise improves blood circulation, contributes to stress reduction, enhances self-esteem, and improves the over-all health of a pregnant woman. The exercises you may consider include swimming, walking, or stretching. These exercises are known to be non-weight bearing activities. They are less strenuous and very convenient for pregnant women to engage in.
Exercise at least three times in a week for 30 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes after exercise by lying on your side. This removes pressure on a major vein in your abdomen that carries blood supply to your heart.
, Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may experience increased respiratory effort and decreased cardiac reserve. This can lead to physiologic stress. To avoid this, you should not engage in strenuous exercise during the advanced stages of pregnancy.
Stop exercising immediately if you feel any shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, tingling, pain of any kind, more than four uterine contractions per hour, decreased fetal activity, or vaginal bleeding. Consult your health care provider immediately.
, Nutrition is a major factor that can contribute to a successful pregnancy. Ask your health care provider or a nutritionist to come up with a diet plan that provides you with the right balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need for your pregnancy.
You may also check the recommended daily dietary allowances or the recommended daily intakes of selected nutrients during pregnancy on the internet or in books on pregnancy.
Reading such informative materials will help you to understand the role of nutrition during pregnancy and the recommended food sources.
, Pregnancy itself can be very stressful, as you are going through a lot of physical changes and discomforts. Unfortunately, stress is bad for the baby and can contribute to bleeding and other issues.
Therefore, it’s important to minimize outside sources of stress and to try to stay as calm as possible.
Resting and relaxing are encouraged during pregnancy. One technique that can be very effective in getting yourself to relax is conscious relaxation.
, Conscious relaxation is the process of releasing tension from the mind and body though deliberate effort and practice.
Preparation: Loosen clothing; assume a comfortable sitting or side-lying position with all parts of the body well-supported by pillows. The use of soothing music is optional.
Beginning: Allow yourself to feel warm and comfortable. Inhale and exhale slowly, and imagine a sense of peaceful relaxation coming over each part of your body, starting with the neck and working your way down to the toes.
Maintenance: Use imagery to maintain the state of relaxation.
Awakening: Return to the wakeful state gradually
Practice conscious relaxation for 10-15 minutes each day and you will feel refreshed and invigorated.
, Drinking alcohol is associated with high rates of miscarriage. Cigarette smoking is also associated with increased frequency of abruption placenta, placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes, and preterm labor. , For obvious reasons, these elements are harmful for the fetus and for the mother as well. These substances have the potential to cross the placental barrier which protect the baby.
Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications. Some medications contain ingredients that could be harmful to your pregnancy. Also remember to read the labels for the ingredients and proper use of certain medications and products.
If you are working in a hazardous environmental workplace (e.g. Radiologic department, laboratories and factories especially dealing with different kinds of chemicals), consider changing of job assignment or workplace.
, Sex is usually safe as long as it feels comfortable. However, there are certain conditions under which it is not safe to have sexual intercourse.
Abstain from sex if you if you have history of premature dilation of the cervix and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Report to your health care provider if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding and/or uterine cramping during intercourse.
, Physical abuse is harmful for both mother and baby. Maternal battering increases the risk of maternal complication, bleeding, infections, and other harmful condition.
Therefore, it is highly important that you report any form of physical abuse to your health care provider or to recognized authorities.
This is never an easy step, especially for women who value their relationships with their partners.
, Bleeding means different things throughout pregnancy. If you are bleeding heavily and have severe abdominal pain and menstrual-like cramps or feel like you are going to faint during first trimester, it could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, and can be life-threatening. Heavy bleeding with cramping could also be a sign of miscarriage in first or early second trimester. These are the terms used to describe the approximate amount of vaginal bleeding:
Heavy vaginal bleeding: greater than the heaviest normal menstrual flow.
Moderate vaginal bleeding: equal to heaviest menstrual flow.
Light vaginal bleeding: less than the heaviest menstrual flow.
, It’s very common for women to have some nausea when pregnant. However, if this nausea becomes severe, it may be a sign of something more serious.
If you can’t eat or drink anything, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Being malnourished and dehydrated can harm the baby.
If the you experiences severe nausea, it’s important to tell your health care provider. The doctor may prescribe medication or advise you to change your diet.
, A doctor will usually ask you to lie your side to see if this gets the baby moving. Counting kicks can also help.
As a general rule, you should feel 10 or more kicks in two hours. Anything less should prompt a phone call to your doctor.
The doctor has monitoring equipment that can be used to determine if the baby is moving and growing appropriately.
, Symptoms such as a persistent, severe headache, abdominal pain, visual disturbances, and swelling during your third trimester could be a sign of preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a serious condition that develops during pregnancy and is potentially fatal. The disorder is marked by high blood pressure and excess protein in the the urine, typically occurring after the 20th week of pregnancy.
If you suspect preeclampsia, you should call your doctor right away and get your blood pressure tested. Good prenatal care can help catch preeclampsia early.
, If you see any tissue protruding from your vagina, do not pull it out; you must go immediately to a physician to get it checked out. You might be experiencing a miscarriage.
Though traumatizing, a miscarriage is often followed by a healthy pregnancy; there are very rare cases in which a women has repeated miscarriages.
, Try to wear a sanitary pad in order to see approximately how much bleeding there is. It is extremely important to pay attention and look for clots in the blood (clots could be an indication of internal hemorrhage or another clotting disorder) and to take note of the color of the blood (you need to see if it is a lighter red or a darker one.
, If you have vaginal bleeding, it is best to lay down for two reasons: first of all, to avoid dizziness and second of all, if you lay down, you minimize the rapidness of the blood loss. Most of the time, the treatment for bleeding is rest. The doctor or midwife may also advise a pregnant woman to take time off work and stay off her feet.
, If you are bleeding (even minimally) do not have sexual intercourse for at least a few days after the bleeding has stopped, unless you are told otherwise by your gynecologist. This measure is meant to protect you against physical trauma that could lead to another bleed.
Do not use tampons. Do not use tampons to control the bleeding, use pads instead. This is important as tampons can irritate the vaginal orifice or the cervix, possibly leading to further bleeding.
, Do not engage in any physical activity after you have experienced a bleed, as this could lead to greater blood loss. Remember that you are supposed to get as much rest as possible following a bleed during pregnancy.
, Clearing your vagina this way could affect the equilibrium of the bacterial flora present in the vagina. By altering this equilibrium, you could make the vagina more susceptible to other infections which could affect your pregnancy.
, You might experience some spotting in the early stages of pregnancy, but this occurs in many women. This spotting is due to implantation and it usually occurs within 12 days from the fertilization.
Implantation means that the fertilized egg it has attached itself and penetrated into the uterine mucosa, preparing for further development.
Besides implantation bleeding (in many cases harmless), there might be some other diseases that can generate vaginal bleeding during this stage of pregnancy. Therefore, it’s important to make your doctor aware of any bleeding and to undergo testing if necessary.
, Bleeding during pregnancy can be a sign of miscarriage. However, it is very important to know that not all women who have vaginal bleeding are suffering a miscarriage, so if you are experiencing this type of bleeding do not panic – just call your doctor.
It’s important to be aware that a miscarriage also has other symptoms such as abdominal cramps (these can be very severe, having more intensity than normal abdominal cramps that many pregnant women experience sometimes) and you might see foreign tissue passing through your vagina.
If this is the case, you should immediately go to the hospital.
, Another medical condition that might lead to vaginal bleeding (also associated with internal hemorrhage) is ectopic pregnancy. This means that implantation has not occurred in the normal place (the uterine cavity) but in the fallopian tubes.
After the implantation, the embryo grows and develops until the fallopian tube cannot support anymore. The ectopic tissue then ruptures, leading to a potentially lethal hemorrhage. This condition is much rarer than miscarriage.
The main symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include severe pain in the lower abdomen (caused by the rupture of the fallopian tubes), low blood pressure (caused by the loss of blood through the fallopian tube rupture ), tachycardia (also caused by the loss of blood, as the heart needs to pump faster because it has a smaller quantity of blood to work with).
, Another potential cause of vaginal bleeding is molar pregnancy – this is when abnormal tissue grows inside the uterine cavity instead of a fetus. This occurs as a result of a genetic abnormality.
Other signs of this condition (besides bleeding) would be a rapidly growing uterus (because the abnormal tissue grows much faster than a normal baby) or excessive nausea and vomiting.
Another possible symptom is the presence of a foreign tissue protruding through the vagina, which looks like a bunch of grapes.
, Any vaginal infection due to unprotected sex can lead to vaginal bleeding during the first trimester. One of the most common vaginal infections is gonorrhea.
Vaginal infections can cause bleeding as they lead to inflammation and blood vessel dilation, which makes the blood vessels more susceptible to rupture.
, Because the fetus is more developed in this stage, any vaginal bleeding could mean that he or the mother are in danger. There are some medical conditions that are associated with bleeding during this late stage of development, one of them being placenta previa.
This medical condition does not occur very often but it can generate a troublesome pregnancy. In placenta previa, the placenta (the anatomical structure that connects the fetus to the mother) is abnormally located, lower than usual, blocking the uterine cervix.
A bleeding placenta previa does not cause pain, thus making it harder to diagnose on time; so if you have vaginal bleeding — even if it is not associated with pain — you should get it checked out.
, Placental abruption is a very serious condition that endangers both the mother and the baby.
This rare medical condition is caused by the disruption of the placenta from the uterine wall, causing hemorrhage due to the blood vessels rupturing.
Other signs of placental abruption include lower abdomen and back pain,and blood clots through the vagina.
, Another cause of vaginal bleeding is preterm labor. This occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy and requires immediate medical assistance.
You might experience some mucous-like vaginal discharge, sometimes associated with blood. This occurs when the mucous plug that normally covers the uterine cervix opening is expulsed.
Contractions are also present, as is lower abdominal and back pain.