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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Pregnancy Problems
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.
When to Call the Doctor

During pregnancy, your body goes through an astounding number of changes. Some will seem normal to you, but you may worry about others. It's wise to develop a good relationship with your doctor long before you get pregnant, so that you are well-informed and comfortable with asking questions. No matter how often you see or talk to a doctor, however, you should always call a medical professional right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Persistent abdominal pain or cramping
  • Continuous or intense morning sickness during the first trimester
  • Nausea and vomiting that occur after the first trimester is over

In rare cases, water retention and swelling are signs of a potentially dangerous condition. While most women do experience these symptoms during the course of a normal, healthy pregnancy, it's always a good idea to have them checked out by your doctor, just to be on the safe side.


Pregnancy is a joyful time, but it's rarely a comfortable one. There are probably as many different combinations of pregnancy-related problems as there are pregnant women. Nevertheless, most uncomfortable conditions are caused by one of three factors: hormonal changes; nutritional deficiencies, whether preexisting or brought on by the additional needs of the baby; and the pressure placed on bones and internal organs by the weight of the growing child.

If you're pregnant, it's essential to have regular check-ups. Your doctor should monitor your health, as well as your baby's, and should remain vigilant for any signs of trouble. Good conventional care has saved the lives of many women and their developing babies, and serious problems can often be successfully treated when caught early enough.

But as valuable as conventional medicine can be for pregnant women, it rarely offers ways to handle the daily discomfort. During this time, a woman may come to fully appreciate the gentle power of natural therapies. Although some highly potent herbs and other treatments are too strong for the baby, there are still many complementary strategies that will minimize the less-serious problems that accompany pregnancy. Each of the following recommendations is safe to use during pregnancy, but always alert your doctor or midwife to what you are using as nutritional supplements.

Next: How is Pregnancy-Related Morning Sickness Treated

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