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When Should I go to the Hospital?

When it comes to being pregnant there comes certain times when it can be an emergency situation and the pregnant woman should consider going to the hospital for a check up or an emergency evaluation. So, when should I go to the hospital? Keep reading to find out more.

Most pregnant women know that when they are nine months pregnant and in labor, it is time to go to the hospital. However, what about when there are certain symptoms a pregnant woman experiences before she is full-term. When is the right time to go to the hospital? Some signs and symptoms are perfectly normal and are experienced by most pregnant women. However, there are some problems that can occur early on in the pregnancy that might be cause for alarm for the mother, the baby or both. It is important to be able to differentiate what might be a concern and what is a typical symptom of pregnancy to help you realize when it is truly time to go to the hospital for medical attention or to deliver that baby.

When Should I Go to the Hospital?

Morning sickness is a typical symptom of pregnancy and occurs mostly in the first trimester. This nausea and vomiting may occur in the morning or it might occur throughout the day. For some pregnant women this symptom might carry over into the second trimester. However, when the morning sickness is so extreme that it causes dehydration, weight loss or the inability to actually eat any foods, this is called hypermesis gravidarum. This is a extreme form of morning sickness that can last throughout pregnancy and cause delayed development in the fetus, which can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. It is important to address this prolonged and severe episodes of nausea and vomiting with your health care professional right away.

Along those same lines, if you are 12 weeks or less along in your pregnancy, and are experiencing sharp cramps on either side of your stomach,  you might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. This occurs when the egg has implanted itself in the fallopian tube instead of in the uterus. Later on in the pregnancy, if you're having similar pains, it could be contractions, appendicitis or a gall bladder attack. If for either of these reasons you are experiencing sharp pains, it is time to go into the hospital for an ultrasound to rule out the possibility of a ectopic pregnancy or another problem later on in pregnancy.

If you are at the end of your pregnancy in your final weeks, you might experience contractions or lots of watery discharge. There is a good chance that your water has broken and you need to get on the road to the hospital right away to deliver your baby. However, for moms that have this gush of waters before they reach 37 weeks, you might be in preterm labor and need to get into the hospital immediately. However, if the water is not accompanied by contractions, there might be the chance that the baby has just kicked you hard in the bladder and you've lost some urine. Call your doctor or midwife if you have any questions. Other signs of preterm labor include contractions. However, remember that Braxton Hicks (false labor) contractions can occur anytime starting at 24 weeks into the pregnancy. However, if they begin to come close together and last for more than a minute each time, this might be a sign of preterm labor.

Vaginal bleeding may also be a cause for concern. Light spotting in the beginning of pregnancy may simply just mean the baby is implanting itself in your uterus and it is causing old blood to come out of the vaginal tract. However, bright red spotting or blood flow at any point in pregnancy can be scary. Be sure and talk to your doctor right away. However keep in mind that not all bleeding leads to a miscarriage. Simply consult with your doctor to find out if it is something you should be concerned about. 

If you experience migraines or heavy swelling in your ankles early on in pregnancy, during the first trimester, this most likely just means your body is adjusting to the pregnancy and you are retaining water. However, if these symptoms begin or persist in a later trimester, it might be a sign of preeclampsia, which means high blood pressure during pregnancy. You will need to see your doctor immediately if this happens or if you experience blurred vision at any point during pregnancy. 

You might also want to consider going to the hospital if you find that you are experiencing a lack of fetal movement in your later weeks of pregnancy, this might be cause for concern. It might be a good idea to go to the hospital and get the opinion of your doctor, who will most likely do an ultrasound to check on the baby. Most doctors recommend that if you are continually worrying or anxious this might even do harm to your baby, so if it is really stressing you out, go to the hospital or give your doctor a call even if it just for that peace of mind. 


Related Article: Pain Management During Labor and Delivery >>