American Indian and Alaska Native People who are Pregnant and Postpartum

If you experience an urgent maternal warning sign during or within a year after pregnancy, get medical care immediately.

You are the key to life and your life matters – for you, and your family. Listen to your body and get the care you need.

If you are pregnant or gave birth within the last year, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about anything that doesn’t feel right. It may be physical, but it could also include feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that make it difficult to complete daily care activities for yourself, your baby or others.

We acknowledge that it can be difficult to access quality care. But, if you experience any of the urgent maternal warning signs, it’s important to seek medical care immediately. These symptoms could indicate a life-threatening situation.

Hear the stories of American Indian women who experienced pregnancy-related complications.

You know your body best. If you experience something that seems unusual or is worrying you, don’t ignore it. Talk to your healthcare provider [PDF – 1 MB].

If you are not comfortable with your provider or feel like you aren’t being heard, try to find a trusted source of care that will hear your concerns and help you get the help you need. It is important to find someone you feel comfortable with and to speak openly with them so you can get the care you need.

Pregnant woman on red blanket
Woman with baby in pink carriage

Urgent Maternal Warning Signs

  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Changes in your vision
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing
  • Overwhelming tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Severe belly pain
  • Severe nausea and throwing up
  • Severe swelling
  • Thoughts about harming yourself or your baby