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Is This a Normal Part of Pregnancy?

No one said there’d be days like this, when your whole body seems out of control. Is this normal? Or should you call the doctor or dentist?

You will probably have some uncomfortable symptoms during pregnancy. Some are caused by changes in your hormones. Others can be traced to the pressure and weight of your growing baby. The list of annoying but normal signs and symptoms includes:

  • Mild swelling: puffiness in face, hands, legs, feet, and ankles

  • Stomach problems: nausea and vomiting, heartburn, gas, bloating

  • Mild aches and pains: backaches, leg cramps

  • Bathroom issues: frequent urination, leaky bladder, constipation, hemorrhoids

  • Changes in your mouth: swollen gums that may bleed easily when you brush

  • Breathing issues: stuffy nose and shortness of breath

  • Skin changes: brown spots on the face, stretch marks, varicose veins

Some signs and symptoms may indicate a serious problem. Call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Signs of premature labor: vaginal bleeding, unusual fluid discharge, abdominal cramping, dull low backache, pelvic pressure, or regular tightening of the abdomen (contractions) every 10 minutes or less

  • Pain or burning when you urinate

  • Sudden, extreme swelling in the face, hands, or fingers

  • Severe pain such as bad headaches or strong stomach pain or cramps

  • Dizziness

  • Problems seeing or blurred vision

  • Severe nausea or vomiting, or any higher-than-normal temperature

The bottom line: If a new sign or symptom bothers or concerns you, call your primary care provider. He or she can give you helpful self-care advice or, if needed, schedule an appointment for a checkup.

“Pregnancy.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/ Accessed 2013.

“Taking Care of You and Your Baby While You’re Pregnant.” American Academy of Family Physicians, August 2010. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/your-body/taking-care-of-you-and-your-baby-while-youre-pregnant.html. Accessed 2013.

“Pregnancy: Staying Healthy and Safe.” Office of  Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/staying-healthy-safe.cfm Accessed 2013.

“Pregnancy: Preterm Labor.” March of Dimes, June 2013. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/preterm-labor-and-birth.aspx Accessed 2013.

“Pregnancy: Your Pregnant Body — Swelling” March of Dimes, September 2009. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/swelling.aspx Accessed 2013.

“Pregnancy: Your Pregnant Body — Gas” March of Dimes, 2008. www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_15246.asp Accessed 2013.

“Pregnancy: Your Pregnant Body — Frequent Urination.” March of Dimes, August 2009. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/frequent-urination.aspx Accessed 2013.

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