The Warning Signs of Maternal Health: Protecting you and your baby

May 14, 2024

Motherhood is a journey that is not without risk for both the mother and the baby. It is extremely important to have a support system that will ensure both parties are happy and healthy. Risks of pregnancy, labor, and delivery are well-known, but postpartum risks are lesser known, but these can happen up to a year after delivery has occurred. Some of these risks are deadly. The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health compiled an important list of maternal warning signs for expectant mothers. To test your knowledge before reading the list, take the Urgent Maternal Warning Signs Quiz online.  

If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, seek medical care immediately, as this could indicate a life-threatening issue.  

  • Headache that won’t go away or gets worse over time 

  • Dizziness or Fainting 

  • Changes in your vision 

  • Fever of 100.4°F or higher 

  • Extreme swelling of your hands or face 

  • Thoughts about harming yourself or your baby 

  • Trouble breathing 

  • Chest pain or fast-beating heart 

  • Severe nausea and throwing up 

  • Severe belly pain that doesn’t go away 

  • Baby’s movement stopping or slowing during pregnancy 

  • Vaginal bleeding or fluid leaking during pregnancy 

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge after pregnancy 

  • Severe swelling, redness or pain of your leg or arm 

  • Overwhelming tiredness 

Click here to view the detailed list of symptoms. For tips on speaking to your provider about these concerns, click here 


  1. Click here for Arizona-based breastfeeding resources or call the 24-Hour Breastfeeding  Hotline at 1-800-833-4642