Bleeding during pregnancy can be a very scary thing. Is it normal or abnormal? What does it all mean, and when should you really worry? What is normal vaginal bleeding, and what is a sign of a miscarriage?
Here’s the good news: With every stage of pregnancy, a little bit of bleeding is normal, and healthy. Here’s what to know, what to do and how to best prepare yourself in each trimester of your pregnancy so that you can be informed, educated and proactive of your body and mind.
Bleeding From Implantation
Are you bleeding during the first trimester, or perhaps you’re bleeding and don’t quite yet know you’re pregnant? When you’re in the beginning stages of your pregnancy, this is typical and healthy.
In fact, you should welcome the bleeding, because chances are, your body is giving you a very important message – you’re pregnant, and your egg has been fertilized and implanted in the lining of your uterus.
Now pay attention – if the bleeding stops after a few days (or even a week), that’s perfect. Great. Fantastic, even. And that’s what you want. If the bleeding continues, or increases in volume, see a doctor to make sure everything is alright with your body and your baby.
Bleeding During the Second Trimester
If you’re bleeding between week one and week twelve of your pregnancy, you should be on the lookout for prolonged bleeding, or bleeding accompanied with pain. A healthy pregnant body shouldn’t have pain (other than mild cramping pain).
If you’re in such pain that you have to sit down and have trouble breathing, see a doctor right away. Most miscarriages occur within the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy, and while you don’t want to be overcome with anxiety about the possibility of a miscarriage, you do want to know the signs should it happen to you.
Bleeding From Infection
Do you have a sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes, gonorrhea or another infection of the cervix? Contrary to what many think is the root cause of bleeding in pregnancy (such as miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies) STD’s is another common source of pregnancy bleeding.
The rule of thumb is this – no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, go with your gut. Does something feel ‘off’? Is your body tense? Do you have a nudge from deep inside that something doesn’t feel right? Always go with your intuition, and talk to your doctor about any occurrence of bleeding that persists longer than 3-4 days.
Bleeding From a Miscarriage – What to Watch For
Miscarriage is a frightening thing to happen to any woman, let alone the possibility that it could happen to you. However, it is extremely common, and often due to circumstances outside of your control. Here’s what to know so that you can act quickly, and know the signs correctly.
When you miscarry, you typically feel it in your lower abdomen. This can be a symptom from an ectopic pregnancy (egg that is fertilized outside of the uterus), but often is due to a miscarriage. For half of women that experience miscarriage, it happens before the first trimester is up, or within the first twelve weeks – however, a miscarriage can happen at any time.
If you’ve been experiencing sore breasts and acute nausea, which all of a sudden seemed to go away overnight, consult a doctor. You should be given an exam to make sure that your baby has a healthy heartbeat and that everything checks out alright.
During a miscarriage, you’ll bleed heavily. So how can you tell the difference between normal vaginal bleeding and bleeding resulting from a miscarriage? Get personal with it.
Take a look, and if there is clotting, see a doctor. “Normal” and healthy vaginal bleeding is usually thin, and almost spot like (here and there), whereas miscarriage bleeding is quite heavy.
Even during the most painful of circumstances that a miscarriage can bring on, there is a silver lining – you can become pregnant again and have a healthy baby to full term.
Sometimes bleeding is a warning to you that something isn’t right, and sometimes bleeding is a normal route your body must take. Either way, when you pay attention to the signs your body is giving you, you can be proactive and informed with every step along the way.