Posted: Sep 01, 2013 9:00 PM
When something doesn’t seem quite right with your pregnancy, you may be worried that you are losing your baby. Some symptoms of a possible miscarriage are also normal side effects of pregnancy. How do you know when things are just fine, and when to consult your doctor?

A miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. Miscarriage is probably the most common worry a pregnant woman has during those first few months. Every twinge or cramp sends expectant mothers scrambling to the internet or the latest edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting to check symptoms. We rounded up the most common symptoms that aren't always a cause for concern.

Vaginal bleeding

Bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy is more common than you might think. Up to one-third of pregnant women experience some amount of bleeding in early pregnancy, yet only about half of these women suffer a miscarriage. If you are experiencing any bleeding, make sure to wear a pad or panty liner so you can properly estimate the amount of blood that is present.

Early pregnancy bleeding may be caused by implantation of the egg, a urinary tract infection or a tender cervix (due to intercourse). Always check with your health care provider if you experience any bleeding during pregnancy.

Abdominal pain

If you have experienced any abdominal pain during pregnancy, you know how scary it seems. Serious concerns related to abdominal pain would include ectopic pregnancy, placental abruption or preeclampsia -- as well as miscarriage. But abdominal pain during pregnancy can also be due to harmless issues such as gas or bloating, round ligament pain, constipation or Braxton Hicks contractions. Any abdominal pain during pregnancy should always be brought to the attention of your health care provider.

Lower back pain

As with pain in your abdomen, lower back pain can either be a cause for concern in pregnancy or be completely harmless. Your ever-expanding uterus changes the way you distribute your weight and carry yourself, which affects your back. There are two common types of lower back pain during pregnancy. One is lumbar pain, felt in the area of your vertebrae in the lower back near your waist. Another common lower back pain is called posterior pelvic pain, which is felt lower down your back and even into your buttocks and thighs. These types of pain should subside after birth, and are not a cause for concern. As with abdominal pain, always consult your health care provider.

Weight loss

There are several reasons why a pregnant woman may actually lose weight, especially during the first trimester. Morning sickness accompanied by vomiting may make it difficult for a mother-to-be to retain enough calories to maintain her weight, let alone gain baby weight. Aversions to certain foods or scents may make eating more difficult, resulting in fewer calories taken in.

Many women begin to eat more healthy foods as soon as they become pregnant. If they previously ate more junk food or foods high in fat and calories, changing to a healthier eating pattern may result in unintentional weight loss. Your health care provider should be monitoring your weight gain or loss during your pregnancy, and you should report anything unusual.

Bottom Line^ Your pregnancy can be an amazing time in your life, but also brings a whole new set of worries. Pay attention to your body and make each prenatal appointment an important one.

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