Early Pregnancy Red Flags: Five Things to Watch Out For on Your First Trimester


By: Giulz Garcia

They say that every pregnancy is different — each mother has her own journey to experience. But every pregnancy is pretty much filled with almost the same feelings for every mom — bringing a baby to the world comes with so much excitement and anxiety.

A natural part of every pregnancy is the many physical changes that inevitably come to the mother’s body. Although most pregnancies continue to develop without trouble or complication, moms should always exercise precaution and take note of red flags that could indicate a possible problem. Try not to worry too much. Instead, use this guide to know when to call your doctor.


Seeing specks of blood down there especially during the first trimester can easily freak any pregnant woman out. The good news is, a tinge of blood doesn’t always mean something serious. Spotting or light bleeding could be caused by implantation, or by an irritated cervix — this usually happens after being intimate with your significant other. Of course, bleeding — especially one that’s been going on for days, and ones that come with cramps and abdominal pain — could also mean placental abruption, placenta previa, or miscarriage. When spotting/bleeding occurs, notify your OB immediately.


UTI, also known as urinary tract infection, is a common discomfort during pregnancy. Pregnant women have an increased chance of getting UTI due to the added pressure to the bladder. Any bacteria that enter the urethra can easily turn into an infection. Commonly, UTI causes pain and discomfort when urinating. When treated right away, UTI during pregnancy is not a major concern. However, when left untreated, the UTI could turn into a kidney infection — a condition that often results in preterm labor and low birth weight.

Excessive nausea and vomiting

Though nausea and morning sickness are — unfortunately — a big part of early pregnancy, they can become so extreme for some expectant mothers. According to studies, 3% of pregnant women experience severe vomiting and nausea, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Those suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum frequently throws up, they can’t keep enough food and fluids down. Hyperemesis gravidarum usually does not affect the growing baby but it can take its toll on the new mom-to-be. Fortunately, treatments that can ease the effects of hyperemesis gravidarum are heavily available to women today.


Cramping during the early trimester of pregnancy is always a cause of worry to new moms. Cramping — also known as round ligament pain — occurs due to the stretching of the muscles and ligaments to accommodate the growing baby. However, severe cramps that continue for days and cramps that are accompanied by spotting or bleeding could be the first sign of miscarriage, hence a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

High fever

Fever, per se, isn’t a big cause of concern during the first trimester of pregnancy — many women have fevers throughout their pregnancy and their babies turned out fine. However, if you’re running a fever as high as 38.9 degrees Celsius, seek medical help immediately. A sudden increase in temperature may mean that your body is fighting an underlying infection that could harm your growing child.

Pregnancy is never smooth-sailing — throughout the entire nine months, you’ll experience new changes that will sometimes scare you. However, try not to worry so you can enjoy your pregnancy experience. If ever one of the red flags comes up or your instinct tells you that something’s not right, don’t hesitate to seek medical help from your midwife or OB.

Giulz Garcia is a mother to a 14-month old cookie monster. She loves to sing, write, and give kisses to boo-boos. She considers motherhood her favorite roller coaster ride.


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