Physical Health

What’s normal during pregnancy – and when should I go to the clinic?

Many mothers are worried about their pregnancies and COVID-19. Here is some information about what is normal for pregnancy, what could be due to anxiety or a cold and what could be symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Heart palpitations: these are usually from a lot of stress and worry or could be due to a fever causing your heart to beat faster. If you do not have a fever, this is probably not COVID-19.
  • Shortness of breath: in pregnancy, your womb grows bigger and can make you feel a little short of breath. Sometimes if your red blood cell levels are low, this can also make you breathless. But, if your breathing is very fast and you are struggling to breathe, this could be caused by an infection – and you need to get medical attention.
  • Blocked nose, stuffy, heavy feeling in the head: these are signs of a ‘cold’ or hayfever and are not common with COVID-19.
  • Headaches: in pregnancy, many people have headaches, but they do not need to go to a clinic if the headache gets better if they drink fluids and take simple painkillers (paracetamol). They should go to the clinic immediately, and not wait in the queue, if the headaches come with
    • swelling of the feet, lights flashing in front of the eyes, painful belly
    • high blood pressure
    • fever

Contact your maternity unit if:

  • you have any bleeding from your vagina
  • you have pain in your belly
  • the baby is not moving as much as usual

None of these is likely to be caused by COVID-19. You need to go for testing for COVID-19 if you have a dry cough, fever, headaches or
have difficulty breathing

Then, when you go to the clinic, do not wait in the queue, go straight away to the person who is organising the screening. Always wear a cloth mask to the clinic.

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