When you’re pregnant, even a small problem looks like a big one and you never know when it’s the right time to contact your doctor. With 20 percent women experiencing spotting during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy, spotting or bleeding is a common issue faced by many pregnant women.

Though many women claim to have a problem-free pregnancy even after experiencing spotting in the first trimester, it’s natural to panic when you see little spots on your underwear. While it’s nothing to worry about, heavy bleeding, especially during the first and the last trimester, needs immediate medical attention. Here are some common signs that may help you distinguish between the two.


  • Very light bleeding that happens during pregnancy is known as spotting and is usually common during the first few weeks or the whole of first trimester.
  • You might notice a few drops of blood on your underwear. The spots will be sparse and will not even cover your panty line.
  • It will be brownish in color and the discharge will usually be thin, light and watery.


  • Bleeding will be heavier as compared to spotting and can happen any time—from the time of conception till the end of the pregnancy.
  • The flow will be enough to require a sanitary pad.
  • It might be accompanied with clots.
  • It will resemble your menstrual period.
  • Can be accompanied with cramps

Common Causes of Spotting
During the early stages of pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine lining, which can trigger a few days of bleeding. Usually, it happens very early in the conception stage, even before you may realize you are pregnant and is often mistaken as a pending period.

Another common cause is a cervical polyp (a harmless growth on the cervix) which is more likely to bleed during pregnancy due to higher estrogen levels. This may happen due to an increase in the blood vessels in the tissue around the cervix. Any kind of contact with this area (sexual intercourse for example) can result in bleeding. Here are other reasons behind bleeding during pregnancy.

When To Call A Doctor?
You should call your doctor any time you notice spotting or bleeding and be specific about your symptoms–the color of the spots, how heavy the discharge is, if there is any pain, if the spots are very small, if the spotting is limited, or if the bleeding is continuous.

Try the following tips to ease and manage it.

  • Cut down on physical activity.
  • Avoid lifting any heavy objects.
  • Keep your feet in an elevated position whenever possible.
  • Rest more and stand or sit less to take the load away from your feet.
  • Take a nap as and when you can.

Most women with spotting and bleeding during pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy and a bonny baby. Do not panic if you notice these spots and speak to your doctor to understand how you can take care of the situation.

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Read More:
Bleeding Or Spotting During Pregnancy—Causes You Should Know About
Prenatal Vitamins For A Healthy Pregnancy
Real Labor vs False Labor: Spotting The Signs

A pregnancy & babycare writer as well as wellness believer, Debolina is always trying to bring in health and wellness into her family’s, especially her kids’, lives. With a Master’s degree in English literature, she has worked with several mothercare and babycare brands. In her free time, she helps with campaigns that work towards promoting the health and well-being of women and babies. Her experiences as a mother help her talk about busy modern-day parenting and its changing trends.