Bleeding during pregnancy sends off alarm bells, because it can be a warning sign that you’re having a miscarriage. While you’re right to be high alert, bleeding doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s wrong with your pregnancy. As many as 20 to 30 percent of pregnant women experience bleeding, according to the American Pregnancy Association, and of those women, only one-half have miscarriages. You can’t necessarily stop pregnancy bleeding, but there are some things you can do to help prevent it and to avoid making it worse.
Call your health care provider right away if you have bleeding during your second or third trimester. During your first trimester, discuss light bleeding at your next regularly scheduled prenatal visit. If you have heavy bleeding or cramping during the first trimester, call your health care provider right away. Call 911 or go to the emergency room any time you experience sudden heavy bleeding with pain or cramping.
Take it easy until you’ve been diagnosed by your doctor. Hold off on exercise or strenuous activities until your appointment. Get plenty of rest and keep hydrated.
Avoid intercourse until you’re evaluated by your health care provider. Intercourse increases blood flow to your cervix and can cause spotting or bleeding. Light spotting after intercourse can be normal, and it doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with your pregnancy.
Use pads so you can tell exactly how much bleeding you’re experiencing. Never use a tampon or other internal device to catch or stop the bleeding because you can introduce bacteria to your cervix or cause mild tissue damage.
Eat a healthy diet that consists of plenty of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Take your prenatal vitamin each day. Improper nutrition can lead to pregnancy bleeding and miscarriage.
Follow your doctor’s exact instructions involving stopping or preventing bleeding. Bleeding can indicate medical conditions like an infection, ectopic pregnancy, cervical changes or a ruptured or detaching placenta. If you’re prescribed bed rest, stay in bed, even if you feel good and aren’t bleeding.