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Pregnancy / Smartmum / Trimester 1 / Trimester 2 / Trimester 3

8 Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore During Pregnancy

8 Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore During Pregnancy

8 Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore During Pregnancy

As a pregnant mum, you will be doing everything you can to enjoy a smooth pregnancy. Knowing when to call the doctor is just as important — here are the warning signs you need to take note of, no matter your stage of pregnancy.

Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding in different stages of pregnancy may have implications. When accompanied by pain, it’s usually something that should not be ignored — contact your doctor immediately to determine the cause and receive the appropriate treatment.

Pains in the Abdomen

These can feel like painful womb contractions (not unlike period cramps) or tightness around your tummy. When the pain is accompanied by significant vaginal bleeding, this could be a sign of placental abruption — when the placenta detaches itself from the womb. It’s a life-threatening condition that needs to be managed urgently so inform your obstetrician and go to a hospital.

Severe Vomiting

While morning sickness is a common pregnancy discomfort, severe vomiting that makes it impossible to keep any food down means that you are probably not getting enough nutrients. Called hyperemesis gravidarum, this condition affects the mother’s ability to provide nutrients for herself and the baby. Hospitalisation may be required and medication may be prescribed to manage the symptoms. And if the term sounds familiar, it’s because Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum in all three of her pregnancies to date.

Severe Headache and Swelling Limbs

Coupled with other symptoms like dizziness, tummy pain, vomiting and blurred vision, headache and swelling in the limbs can point to pre-eclampsia, a condition marked by hypertension and possible seizures. The mother will need to be monitored in a hospital.

Unusual Discharge

An increased amount of discharge throughout your pregnancy is normal but if you notice any changes in colour, odour and consistency, or if you feel itchy or sore, you may have a vaginal infection.

Reduced Foetal Movement

Foetal movement is an easy way to monitor the health of your baby. Generally speaking, constant movement throughout the day is a sign that your baby is healthy. If you notice reduced movement in your abdomen, closely monitor it for a few hours, and contact your doctor if the situation persists.

Leaking Fluid

If you notice a warm stream or a gush of liquid running down from your vagina, your waters might have broken. Inform your doctor and head to a hospital immediately as you may be going into labour soon.


We focus so much on the physical well-being of pregnant women that sometimes mental health doesn’t get enough attention. Mood swings in the first trimester are often a result of hormonal changes in the body, and should pass after the first 3 months. However if you experience extreme anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, a loss of interest in something you normally enjoy or even suicidal thoughts, you might have depression. Speak to your obstetrician about your emotional well-being and you might be referred to a psychiatrist for treatment and support after evaluation.

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MBBS (S'pore), M.Med(O&G) (S'pore) Head & Senior Consultant Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology KK Women's and Children's Hospital Director (Clinical), Office of Patient Experience Deputy Director (Education), KKH Campus Associate Professor Duke - NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

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