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Ten signs of danger during pregnancy exercise

Your body's changing: Your center of gravity has shifted, you're carrying more weight, and you tire more quickly. That's why you should exercise with care and listen closely to your body when exerting yourself.

Your body will let you know when you're pushing it too hard and entering the danger zone. Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:

1. Nausea

Feeling sick after a workout means you may have built up too much lactic acid, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, in your stomach.

Call your healthcare provider: if the nausea persists after you've cooled down.

2. Dizziness

Our experts answer your most pressing questions about what is and isn't safe during pregnancy.

Persistent dizziness or dizziness accompanied by blurred vision and headaches or heart palpitations can be a symptom of severe anemia or other serious illness that could affect your pregnancy.

Call your healthcare provider: if your dizziness continues after you've cooled down.

3. Sudden change in body temperature

If your hands turn clammy or you get hot or cold flashes, your body's telling you that it's having a hard time regulating its internal temperature, which can be harmful to your baby. The baby can get overheated just as you do.

When your body overheats, blood flowing to the uterus is diverted to the skin to help the body cool itself off, putting the baby in jeopardy.

Call your healthcare provider: if your body temperature continues to fluctuate.

4. Heart palpitations

If you can't keep up your side of a conversation or you sweat buckets while you exercise, you're probably working too hard.

Call your healthcare provider: if your heart continues to race after you've cooled down.

5. Swelling in your calf

Your feet and hands may puff up a little after exercise, but if you notice calf pain or swelling, it could indicate thrombophlebitis, a type of vein inflammation related to a blood clot, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Call your healthcare provider: if the swelling doesn't diminish within an hour after cooling down.

6. Vaginal bleeding

While some women experience light spotting throughout their pregnancy, bleeding is cause for concern. Early in your pregnancy, it could signal a miscarriage. In the second and third trimesters, bleeding is associated with premature labor and complications with the placenta, such as placenta previa or placenta abruption. All require immediate medical attention.

7. Blurred vision

If your eyesight gets hazy in the middle of exercising, you may be dehydrated, which sends your blood pressure plummeting and your heart into overdrive. As a result, not enough blood may be getting to your developing baby's vital organs. It may also be a sign of preeclampsia. Since preeclampsia can severely restrict the flow of blood to the placenta, it can be dangerous for your baby.

Call your healthcare provider: immediately. If you can't reach anyone, go to the emergency room.

8. Fainting

Fainting during pregnancy shouldn't be taken lightly. It could mean something as simple as dehydration or as serious as major circulatory problems. You may not be getting enough oxygen to your brain, which means your baby may not be getting enough, either.

Call your healthcare provider: immediately. If you can't reach anyone, go to the emergency room.

9. Sharp, recurring pain in abdomen and chest

It may just be your ligaments stretching, but you could also be having contractions, especially if the pains recur at somewhat regular intervals. You'll need to be hooked up to a fetal monitor so your healthcare provider can find out whether you're in labor.

Call your healthcare provider: immediately. If you can't reach anyone, go to the emergency room.

10. Fluid leaking from your vagina

If your underpants feel constantly wet or you feel leaking or even a gush of watery fluid from your vagina, it could be premature rupture of the membranes and a signal that your body's about to go into labor.

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