Maternal and Infant Health Program Maternal and Infant Health Program

  SLC area: (801) 273-2871

  SLC area: (801) 274-0674

  Maternal and Infant Health Program
  P.O. Box 142002
  Salt Lake City UT

Early Pregnancy


You may feel cramps in the first few weeks after you get pregnant. This is due to the growth of the uterus. It may feel like cramping during a period. Don’t worry about it unless you also have bleeding or the pain is very bad.


Tell your doctor or midwife right away about any vaginal bleeding. Some causes of bleeding are nothing to worry about. Other times, you may need help right away. Your doctor or midwife can help you know if the bleeding is a problem or not. Some causes are:

  • Implantation. There can be bleeding as the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. This is light spotting and lasts for only a few days.
  • The hormones of pregnancy cause the cervix to bleed easily. Some women have spotting after sex, or after the doctor or midwife checks the cervix.
  • Non-cancerous growths, such as polyps and fibroids can cause bleeding. These may be checked by ultrasound. Mostly, these growths are not a problem.
  • Miscarriage. Severe cramping and bleeding in the first trimester can be a sign of miscarriage. If this happens, seek the help of your doctor or midwife.
  • Placenta problems. Sometimes, the placenta can tear away from the uterus or grow too close to the cervix. If this happens, your doctor or midwife may have you rest in bed until the bleeding stops. Rarely, the bleeding is very heavy. If this happens, get help right away.
Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is when the baby grows in a place outside the uterus, such as in the Fallopian Tubes. This is very dangerous. Call your doctor or midwife right away if you have these symptoms:
  • Pain the stomach area that moves to the chest or shoulder. It can be ild or sudden and severe.
  • Bleeding spots of brown blood from the vagina. Heavy bleeding is rare.
  • Dizziness.

Make a Plan

We hope that your pregnancy is safe and happy. But just in case, talk to your doctor or midwife about what to do in case of a problem.

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For more information:

What to Expect When You're Expecting
by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway