Pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore

While there are a myriad of pregnancy symptoms, most of which are just part of a healthy pregnancy, there are some pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore. If you experience any of these symptoms you should consult your doctor immediately.

  • Abdominal pain and cramping

    It isn’t unusual to have some cramping very early on in pregnancy but beyond the first weeks, all abdominal pain and cramping should be investigated.

  • Vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge

    Some women do experience bleeding in early pregnancy but generally, if you experience vaginal bleeding – particularly if the blood is fresh and bright red – or you notice any discharge that is unusual for you, you should consult your doctor.

  • Leaking fluid

    Aside from the rare little ‘accident’ that’s the result of a pregnant bladder under pressure, you should never leak fluid. This fluid is likely to be amniotic and as such, is a serious concern.

  • Burning sensation when you urinate

    If urinating burns or is painful, check it out with your doctor. This becomes more urgent if you also develop a fever and backache.

  • Ongoing fainting or dizziness

    While it isn’t unusual for women in early pregnancy to experience dizziness, it is unusual for this symptom to persist into the second and third trimester.

  • A fall or injury to your abdomen

    Pregnant women do sometimes fall in late pregnancy as their centre of gravity shifts throughout pregnancy, but any fall or injury that effects your abdomen should be seen to – even if you can’t see any signs of trauma.

  • Blurred vision

    If your vision becomes blurry, or you suffer from vision disturbances such as white lights or flashes, dots in front of your eyes, double vision or dimming, see your doctor for advice.

  • Sudden thirst

    If you have become unusually thirsty but your urine output is minimal or non-existent, see your doctor immediately.

  • Sudden swelling of hands, feet and face

    This swelling (called oedema) can be symptomatic of several medical conditions so have it checked by your doctor immediately.

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  • Severe headaches

    Some pregnant women suffer from more headaches than usual in early pregnancy because of the increase of hormones in their system, but if you are suffering from severe headaches that last more than a couple of hours, this could indicate there is a medical problem.

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  • Decrease in baby’s movements

    If you notice a dramatic slow-down of your baby’s movements after 21 weeks – or feel no movement at all in a 24 hour period – discuss this with your doctor.

  • Onset of vomiting and nausea

    If you experience nausea or vomiting that is persistent in later pregnancy (long after your morning sickness has dissipated), consult you doctor, particularly if these symptoms are accompanied by pain or a fever.

  • An all-over itching

    This is more likely in late pregnancy and may be accompanied by dark urine and pale stools.

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  • You don’t feel ‘right’

    Call it mother’s intuition, but if you’re feeling anxious about your pregnancy symptoms (or even if you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong), discuss this with your doctor because no-one knows your body like you do.

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This article was written by Ella Walsh for New Zealand’s leading pregnancy resource, Kidspot.


  1. SarahBlair 30/08/2018 at 3:38 pm

    I think if in doubt call your LMC, you can never be too careful! This is a really good list of important things to be wary of!

  2. kymmage 29/08/2018 at 10:32 pm

    That’s a comprehensive list. I believe that you should definitely listen to your body, mother’s intuition!! I had early bleeding with both pregnancies, and it was really scary. Thankfully both babies were just fine. I also had moments of feeling terrible, which actually ended up being dehydration. Maternal care is generally free so it’s easy to get things checked and put your mind at ease 👍

  3. Jen_Wiig 27/08/2018 at 1:44 pm

    number 2 on here couldn’t be more true…yes some but not a huge amount of woman bleed in early pregnancy but it should always be checked up anyway, i sadly learnt the hardest way and knew i wasnt being over the top like my then midwife and partner thought. It wasnt until i called my midwife in hysterics for the 6th time in 2hours she took me seriously and advised to go in for an urgent scan… i didnt make it that far i stared hemorrhaging and went onto to end up rushed to hospital needing a blood and iron transfusion from the miscarriage…it was scary and not anything any pregnant mum to be should have to go through…listen to your body and yourself we are quite amazing creatures and just know when our bodies and babes arent doing so well.

  4. MuddledUpMolly 20/08/2018 at 10:19 pm

    I am pregnant now so good to have a quick go-to list like this just to keep on the safe side. Have been fortunate so far so hopefully it remains that way!

  5. Mands1980 10/08/2018 at 7:58 pm

    These symptoms are great to have on Kidspot for everyone to read the one I always worried about was not feeling babies movements I always worried. I think when you are pregnant you stress more than usual too as you hear lots of bad things that can happen. I also had bad morning sickness so worried about that too as before I got out of bed I wanted to vomit it’s so horrible feeling so miserable.

  6. Bevik1971 08/08/2018 at 4:54 pm

    I remember having a fairly substantial bleed when I was 9 weeks with my last baby – freaked me out as it was a lot of blood and I was 41 so I was sure I was miscarrying 🙁 It was a Fri night though and a public holiday on the following Monday, so I had to wait to get a scan, was awful!!! But in the end all was well, it was old blood and baby was safe and sound. But you need to get anything like that checked out.

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