Some women have light spotting or bleeding during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases this is normal. Light spotting or bleeding can also be a sign of a possible loss of the pregnancy. This is called a threatened miscarriage. At this point, the doctor may not be able to tell if your vaginal bleeding is normal or is a sign of a miscarriage.
In early pregnancy, things such as stress, exercise, and sex do not cause miscarriage. You may be worried or upset about the possibility of losing your pregnancy. But do not blame yourself. There is no treatment to stop a miscarriage. If you do have a miscarriage, there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. A miscarriage usually means that the pregnancy is not developing normally.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for cramps. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
- Do not have sex until your doctor says it is okay.
- Get lots of rest over the next several days.
- You may do your normal activities if you feel well enough to do them. But do not do any heavy exercise until your doctor says it is okay.
- Eat a balanced diet that is high in iron and vitamin C. Foods rich in iron include red meat, shellfish, eggs, beans, and leafy green vegetables. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes, and broccoli. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to take iron pills or a multivitamin.
- Do not drink alcohol or use tobacco or illegal drugs.
- Do not smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You feel you cannot stop from hurting yourself or someone else.
Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:
- Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
- Text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line.
Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
Go to 988lifeline.org for more information or to chat online.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have severe vaginal bleeding.
- You are dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.
- You have new or worse pain in your belly or pelvis.
- You have a fever.
- You have vaginal discharge that smells bad.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.