The Potentially Dangerous Pregnancy Symptoms You Should NEVER Ignore 5 years ago

The Potentially Dangerous Pregnancy Symptoms You Should NEVER Ignore

Too many pregnant women are failing to recognise key red flags which could be signs of serious health conditions, according to a UK charity.

A survey carried out as part of the Our Chance campaign, aimed at promoting safer pregnancy, found that key warning signs of the dangerous conditions of Pre-eclampsia, which affects one in ten pregnancies, and Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) – a liver condition which affects 5,500 pregnancies annually, are being ignored because their significance is not widely understood.

The survey found that 58 per cent of women believe that watery discharge from the vagina during pregnancy is common or fairly normal, while 12 per cent said they would be unlikely to seek professional advice about it.

A significant proportion of women (28 per cent) think vaginal bleeding is common during pregnancy, when actually it can be a warning sign of miscarriage. Similarly concerning is that 36 per cent think that sudden swelling of the ankles, hands and feet is common as is itchiness of hands and feet, showing a lack of awareness of the symptoms of both Pre-eclampsia and ICP.

A survey by ICP Support of over 500 women who had ICP showed that 48 per cent of them experienced generalised itching. If left untreated, ICP can lead to premature labour and stillbirth.

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Dr Clea Harmer, CEO of the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands, said:

“As a charity that works closely with bereaved parents who have experienced stillbirth or neonatal death, we are profoundly conscious of the need to raise awareness of the symptoms of potentially life threatening conditions. Our Chance is hoping to inform as many parents and parents-to-be as possible about what to look out for and urging them not to ignore symptoms such as itching, swelling and vaginal discharge, all of which could lead to stillbirth or miscarriage.”

The Our Chance campaign is a key element of the British Department of Health’s Maternity Safety Action Plan which aims to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or shortly after birth, by 2030.