Pregnant woman holding belly standing in front of black background

How Do You Know When to Go to the ER When Pregnant?

At Total Point ER, we want you to feel informed about your health, and that includes knowing when to visit the emergency room if you’re experiencing unexpected symptoms during pregnancy. In this article, we highlight some of the most crucial symptoms to pay attention to, and explain when to call your doctor and when to go to the ER. 

Four Signs to Go to the Emergency Room When You’re Pregnant

1: Hemorrhaging or Vaginal Fluid Leaking

Not all bleeding during pregnancy is serious, but it’s important to tell your doctor anytime you experience vaginal bleeding. If you have heavy bleeding, it could be a sign of a serious complication such as a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or placental problems such as placental abruption. 

Light spotting can be completely normal. However, regular bleeding left untreated during pregnancy can lead to other issues like anemia. If you’re bleeding heavily, you should receive a prompt medical evaluation and treatment to ensure the safety of yourself and your baby.

2: Shortness of Breath

As your bundle of joy grows, they stretch out and move your organs around. Their little body presses against your diaphragm, making it harder for your lungs to fully expand. (Did you just take a deep breath?) This is all normal, and nothing to worry about—the diaphragm can rise as much as four centimeters during the first trimester. 

However, if you experience severe or sudden shortness of breath, it could be a sign of a more serious issue like preeclampsia, asthma exacerbation, pulmonary embolism or peripartum cardiomyopathy. Go to the ER if you are struggling to breathe, have heart palpitations, blue lips or blue fingers and toes, or have severe and constant chest pain. 

3: Extreme Fever and Weakness

Not all fevers require a trip to the emergency room. Some can be managed at home with pain relievers like Tylenol that are safe to use in moderation during pregnancy. Always ask your doctor before taking a medication you are unsure about. Having a fever can be a symptom of the flu, and during pregnancy, it’s best to inform your doctor even if you’re experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. Getting care quickly can help prevent any risk of danger to you and the baby. 

In cases of severe fevers, you should see a doctor. Some studies suggest there might be an increased chance for miscarriage with a sustained fever during pregnancy. Go to the emergency room if you have a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, especially when accompanied by other symptoms such as cramping, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, or spotting that won’t go away.  

4: Dizziness or Fainting 

Feeling dizzy can happen during pregnancy—perhaps you need to eat a snack to boost your blood sugar. Dizziness can also happen if you stand up too quickly, or if you over-exert yourself. However, fainting is highly concerning. It’s not common to faint during pregnancy, and it may be a sign of preeclampsia or an issue with your blood sugar levels. 

A study conducted by a team of cardiology researchers from the University of Alberta found that in pregnancies where fainting happened during the first trimester, there were higher rates of preterm births, and an increased risk of heart problems in the babies. Additionally, babies born to mothers who fainted multiple times were more likely to have congenital anomalies like low birth weight. If you faint during pregnancy, visit your doctor. 

Total Point ER in Burleson, TX

If you have a health care emergency during pregnancy, time is of the essence. The Total Point ER team is here to take care of your medical needs when you need care the most. We are a community-focused healthcare provider, and we offer women’s health services around the clock. We can provide the same level of care you would find at your hospital’s emergency room, without making you wait nearly as long.

Mary Combrick says, “I’ve had 3 ER visits in the last 6 months, for three very different issues. I’m so glad I chose Total Point that first time, because it is now my first choice.” 

If you’re in the Burleson, Texas, area and you are experiencing a pregnancy-related emergency, visit us immediately.



Photo by Daniel Reche from Pixabay on 5.21.2024 | used under the creative commons license for commercial use.

total point emergency room logo