Should I be worried about spotting during pregnancy? Prenatal Care

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Pregnant woman showing bare baby bump.
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Even a tiny bit of blood can be alarming when you're pregnant. But spotting is common during pregnancy and doesn't always mean something is wrong. Read advice from a doctor and other moms about spotting.

Spotting Is Usually Nothing to Worry About

"It really depends on what trimester you are in to know if spotting is typical of pregnancy or worth a doctor's visit. Implantation bleeding is fairly common [very early in pregnancy], occurring in 30 percent of pregnant women, and happens around the time you would expect your next period -- day 24 to 26 of your first trimester. The bleeding appears minimal or light with mild uterine cramping. The main difference between normal implantation bleeding and an abnormal pregnancy is the amount of...

"It really depends on what trimester you are in to know if spotting is typical of pregnancy or worth a doctor's visit. Implantation bleeding is fairly common [very early in pregnancy], occurring in 30 percent of pregnant women, and happens around the time you would expect your next period -- day 24 to 26 of your first trimester. The bleeding appears minimal or light with mild uterine cramping. The main difference between normal implantation bleeding and an abnormal pregnancy is the amount of bleeding you experience and the severity of uterine cramping. One way to know if the spotting you are experiencing is better defined as 'bleeding' is to know the number of pads you are soaking per hour. Spotting or mild bleeding is the light soaking of less than one pad or tampon in three hours. If you are soaking more than one pad or tampon in three hours, this would redefine spotting or mild bleeding to moderate bleeding. Soaking more than one pad or tampon in three hours would be a reason to speak to your doctor if you are pregnant. When spotting escalates into moderate bleeding, similar to a heavy period with or without noticeable cramping, this would be another cause for concern. Don't hesitate to contact your health-care provider immediately if either of those two symptoms occur, separately or together." -- Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, CA

Spotting Can Happen On and Off

"I started spotting on and off (mostly on, though) from about five and a half weeks to week 12. It really freaked me out and I thought it was another miscarriage. I'm now 15 weeks and 5 days pregnant and the spotting is finally gone."

Sex Can Cause Spotting

"I spotted during all my pregnancies. If they saw a heartbeat you should be fine, but I would take it easy and avoid sex."

Get It Checked Out

"I spotted with my third baby a lot in the beginning, and it scared me because I didn't do that with my other two. They did an ultrasound and everything was fine."

It's Probably Normal but Talk to Your Doc

"When I was seven weeks, I was spotting and had horrible sharp pains. I couldn't even walk. I ended up in the ER where they did an ultrasound and a bunch of tests. The baby was fine. Most times spotting is normal, but stay in contact with your OB/GYN."

Trust Your Gut

"Don't ever hesitate to call and ask your doctor, midwife, or health-care team about any questions or concerns you may have. They are there to educate and inform you -- that's their job! And always trust your gut."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.