Miscarriage is the thing no one wants to think about during pregnancy and yet, it's almost always somewhere in the back of your mind. It's a quiet worry for some and a major source of anxiety for others. Signs of a miscarriage aren't always completely clear, but it's a good idea to be aware of signs that miscarriage could be happening, and what you should do.
Signs of Miscarriage
Heavy spotting - Light spotting in early pregnancy is common and is typically nothing to worry about (though a call to your care provider is always suggested, to check in). Heavier spotting with dark brown, dark red, or bright red blood is cause for concern and means you should either call your midwife or OB or go in for a visit.
Mild or heavy bleeding - While light spotting may be common in early pregnancy, mild or heavy bleeding is not normal at any time during pregnancy. If you experience bleeding at any time, call or go straight into your provider's office or place of birth.
Blood tinged mucous - Mild to heavy discharge is common and to be expected during pregnancy. If, however, it is streaked with blood, it may signal a problem and should be checked by your midwife or OB.
Passing tissue or clots - While discharge is common, passing tissue or blood clots is not. Call or visit your provider if this happens to you.
Intense cramping - Mild to moderate cramping in the first trimester, especially in a first pregnancy, is common and normal. Intense or severe cramping, however, could indicate a problem. If you're experiencing more intense cramping, whether it's intermediate (on and off) or continuous, contact your care provider to discuss your symptoms and possibly go in for a visit.
Intense belly pain - Similar to above, if you're experiencing intense belly/abdominal pain, it isn't normal and requires a phone call or visit.
Moderate to intense low back pain - Low back pain in pregnancy (when you don't have a history of back pain) may be cause for concern. If the pain is noticeable, whether it's intermittent or continuous, call your OB or midwife.
Disappearance or decrease in pregnancy signs - This is included even though it's not exactly a sure sign of miscarriage. Sometimes in pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, many pregnancy symptoms let up or go away altogether and it could be completely normal. That said, if you're experiencing lots of pregnancy symptoms (nausea, tender breasts, light cramping) and they suddenly go away, it could signal miscarriage. Call your doctor or midwife to go in and check.
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