Are you wondering if you might be pregnant? The only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test. But even before you miss a period, you may suspect – or hope – that you’re pregnant. For some women, early symptoms of pregnancy begin in the first few weeks after conception.
Pregnancy symptoms can also vary in their intensity, frequency and duration. The following early signs and symptoms of pregnancy checklist are only a guideline. Many early pregnancy symptoms can appear similar to routine pre-menstrual discomforts. Being Mother brings you some signs to get little closer to know about it….
Nausea during pregnancy is typically one of the most experienced and complained about symptoms that women report. Up to 70 percent of expectant mothers experience nausea at some point during early pregnancy. Not only is it known to be one of the early signs of pregnancy, but it is a symptom that is common throughout the first trimester, and sometimes even longer. While nausea is definitely an uncomfortable feeling, the good news is that it is not harmful to you or your baby, and it is often perceived as an indication of a healthy pregnancy. Nausea is a key part of the common concern referred to as morning sickness.
Tender Or Swollen Breasts
If your breasts are growing during your pregnancy, they’re also likely ultrasensitive and tender. Breast tenderness is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, usually starting around week 1 to week 7 and lasting through the first trimester, though your breasts will continue to change throughout your pregnancy, culminating with the production of colostrum – the precursor to breast milk and your baby’s first food after delivery.
That dazzling hormonal duo — estrogen and progesterone — deserves most of the blame for changes and tenderness. Other factors include the fat that’s building up in your breasts and increased blood flow to the area. In addition to achiness and tingling, your nipples may be protruding more than usual. And, although they might look luscious, they probably don’t feel that way.
Fatigue is a common symptom during pregnancy. Some women may feel exhausted throughout their pregnancy, while some may hardly feel tired at all. Although experience with fatigue tends to vary, most women will feel more tired than usual during their pregnancy.
Fatigue during pregnancy is most common during the first trimester. It tends to go away during the second trimester, but will usually return in the third trimester.
During early pregnancy, hormonal changes are likely the cause of fatigue. Your body is producing more blood to carry nutrients to your growing baby. Your blood sugar levels and blood pressure are also lower. Hormones, especially increased progesterone levels, are responsible for making you sleepy. In addition to the physical changes occurring in your body, emotional changes can contribute to decreased energy.
Food Aversions Or Cravings
Food aversions, like cravings, are possibly caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy. The hormone that triggered your positive pregnancy test, human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG), doubles every few days during your first trimester.
It peaks and levels off around week 11 of pregnancy. Up to that point, the rapidly rising levels may be behind symptoms like nausea, cravings, and food aversions. But your hormones will continue to affect your appetite throughout pregnancy. Your food aversions could also be associated with morning sickness.
According to a study published in the journal Appetite, nausea and food aversions begin at the same time in pregnancy for the majority of women. This could be because both are caused by the same hormone. But it could also be because you associate morning sickness with foods you’re eating at the time.
A little spotting or light bleeding during pregnancy is common, especially in early pregnancy. Around 1 in 4 pregnant women have some light bleeding very early in the first trimester. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is any discharge of blood from the vagina. It can happen any time from conception (when the egg is fertilized) to the end of pregnancy.
Some women have vaginal bleeding during their first 20 weeks of pregnancy. You may experience some normal spotting within the first six to 12 days after you conceive as the fertilized egg implants itself in the lining of the uterus. Some women don’t realize they are pregnant because they mistake this bleeding for a light period. Usually the bleeding is very light and lasts from a few hours to a few days.
During the first trimester, cramping often results from normal changes that occur during your baby’s development. Cramps can generally be described as pulling sensations on one or both sides of your abdomen. Although not considered a symptom for detection of early pregnancy, it is a symptom that accompanies many pregnancies.
In most cases, cramping is a normal part of pregnancy. However, there are some instances when cramping can be a concern.
Cramping typically occurs when the uterus expands, causing the ligaments and muscles that support it to stretch. It may be more noticeable when you sneeze, cough, or change positions.
Mood changes during pregnancy can be caused by physical stresses, fatigue, changes in your metabolism, or by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Significant changes in your hormone levels can affect your level of neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate mood.
Mood swings are mostly experienced during the first trimester between 6 to 10 weeks and then again in the third trimester as your body prepares for birth.One of the main reasons for your mood swings is the change in your hormone levels.
When you conceive, the amount of oestrogen and progesterone in your blood increases. This helps to prepare your body for pregnancy, but it can also affect your mood, making you feel tearful or easily irritated. It’s not all about the hormones, though. With so much happening in your life, it’s only natural to find that your moods are changeable. You can suddenly be overwhelmed with excitement about meeting your baby then suddenly wonder what you’ve got yourself into.
Dizziness in pregnancy often happens because hormonal and other changes to your body relax the walls of your blood vessels, causing blood pressure to fall. You could also be feeling dizzy if you have morning sickness.
The dizziness may be particularly bad if you have severe pregnancy sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum). Some women start to feel dizzy and nauseous early in the first trimester from about six weeks. In the second and third trimesters, your growing womb (uterus) can put pressure on your blood vessels, causing dizziness.
An increase in the progesterone hormone during pregnancy causes the relaxation of your body’s muscles. That includes your intestines. And slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation.
Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.
It can be common to find that you are more constipated than usual in the early stages of pregnancy. This is due to the chemical (hormone) progesterone making your bowel more relaxed and sluggish. It is important to have a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy. If you do become constipated then you should eat more foods with lots of fibre in them, like wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables. Make sure you are drinking enough fluids, especially water.
Of all the early pregnancy symptoms, bloating and excess wind can be the most awkward. Before you even start to show, bloating may even make you feel uncomfortable and affect your ability to do up your pants.These symptoms are generally thanks to the increased levels of progesterone and other hormones during early pregnancy.
In addition to high progesterone levels in early pregnancy, simple things like swallowing, nausea, intolerances and certain foods can also cause wind and bloating.If you swallow air from eating too quickly, wind can get caught in your digestive tract, causing you to burp. Similarly, when bacteria in your large intestine break down foods, your body produces gas that needs to be released at one end or the other.
Frequent Need To Urinate
Frequent urination during pregnancy is often caused by pregnancy hormones, an increase in the amount and speed of blood circulating through your body, and your growing uterus. This is mainly because the blood flow to the woman’s kidneys increases by up to 35 to 60%. The extra blood flow makes her kidneys produce up to 25% more urine soon after conception. This increased urine production peaks by about 9 to 16 weeks of the pregnancy, then settles down.
Passing urine frequently can also be influenced by pressure on the woman’s bladder from her growing uterus. Pressure on the bladder is the main reason why women pass urine frequently in the last 3 months of pregnancy, as the baby grows heavier, and moves further down into the woman’s pelvis in the weeks just before the birth. While frequent urination is a feature of both the first and third trimesters, it is the change in pregnancy hormone levels, along with increased body fluids, that will have you running to the toilet every ten minutes day and night!
Headaches are one of the most common discomforts experienced during pregnancy. Headaches may occur at any time during your pregnancy, but they tend to be most common during the first and third trimesters. During the first trimester, your body experiences a surge of hormones and an increase in blood volume. These two changes can cause more frequent headaches. These headaches may be further aggravated by stress, poor posture or changes in your vision.
Headaches during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy may be caused by hormonal changes, but they may also be due to the normal increase in blood volume circulating in the woman’s system during pregnancy. Adjusting to a new pregnancy can also be a stressful time for many women. Therefore, headaches caused by tension may also be experienced. Occasionally, a woman who is prone to headaches or migraines can find she does not experience them as often during pregnancy, while others may find they are worse.
Aches and Pains
Aches and pains during pregnancy are common, as are muscle cramps in your feet, thighs or legs. The exact reason for this is not known, although it is suspected that the expansion of the uterus may put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the leg, causing leg cramps and some occasional pain.
Back ache in early pregnancy symptom can be “a real pain,” literally. Your posture and torso are thrown out of alignment later in pregnancy, and with the weight mostly in the front of your torso, it pulls on your back. The feeling is quite like you wearing a backpack on your front instead of your back. This changes your posture and puts a strain on your back.
Women who experience excessive thirst during pregnancy are not just very thirsty. They also have dry mouth (especially at night) and frequent urination. Swelling of the hands, feet and ankles also occasionally accompanies excessive thirst.
The increased levels of hormones, especially estrogen, cause a pregnant woman to feel thirsty, but this is for a good reason. Your body needs fluids in order to create amniotic fluid. In addition, your kidneys are working overtime to get rid of the waste that the baby is creating, and they need water for that.
Finally, your blood circulation increases dramatically when you are pregnant up to 40 percent.. This increase blood volume requires an increase in liquid consumption.
Cervical Mucus Change
Cervical mucus plays an important role in your reproductive system. When you’re in the non-fertile stages of your menstrual cycle, it becomes thick and sticky to prevent infection. When you’re about to ovulate, it becomes more watery and abundant.
Cervical mucus changes as ovulation approaches, in response to changing hormones.During the two week wait, when you’re desperately looking for signs of pregnancy, it’s natural to wonder if cervical mucus could give you a clue.Early pregnancy can also be judged by a woman’s cervical mucus.
Since hormonal changes are occurring rapidly and the cervix is actually moving, it’s a good time to check the mucus levels to see if pregnancy has occurred.
Many women feel breathless during pregnancy- and that’s not only from the excitement of creating a new life. In the first trimester, increased levels of progesterone may make breathing a bit difficult at times as your body adjusts to new hormonal levels. In the third trimester, your lungs and diaphragm suffer a space crunch as your uterus expands upward, making it harder to take a deep breath.
Breathlessness is very common in pregnancy. Between 60 percent and 70 percent of mums-to-be who’ve never felt breathless before feel short of breath in pregnancy. You may start to feel breathless in your first trimester or second trimester. You’re more likely to feel breathless if you’ve put on a lot of weight, or are expecting twins or more.
Drooling or Salivating
The excessive build-up of saliva or hypersalivation during the early weeks of pregnancy occurs in around 2.4% of woman. Many women notice they produce more saliva. Some women find excessive salivation during pregnancy makes morning sickness and nausea more unpleasant.
Most women experience excessive salivation as a result of changing hormone levels. Excessive saliva may happen sporadically during periods of rapid hormonal fluctuation like during the first and third trimesters.
Hot flushes – or hot flashes – are indeed a pregnancy symptom. They affect more than 80% of mums-to-be at some stage in their pregnancy, and some women start having them in the very early weeks of pregnancy.
Hot flushes usually affect your head, neck and chest. You may only feel flushed for a few seconds or the flush may last several minutes. You may find that you sweat more as your body tries to cool down.
Generally, hot flushes are more common in the second trimester and third trimester. Flushes may also continue after your baby arrives, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Spots And Acnes
Acne is common during pregnancy. In fact, more than one out of every two pregnant women can expect to develop acne. In some cases, the acne may be severe.
The primary cause of acne when you’re pregnant is the increased hormone levels in the first trimester. The higher level increases the skin’s production of natural oils. It’s hard to predict who will develop pregnancy acne. You have a higher risk, though, if you have a history of acne or have acne flares at the start of your menstrual cycle. If you do not develop acne during the first trimester, it’s unlikely you’ll have breakouts that are out of the ordinary during the second or third trimesters.
Managing acne when you’re pregnant can be tricky. That’s because many prescription and over-the-counter treatments come with a high risk of birth defects. In general, you should avoid any medication that has even a remote chance of harming your baby. Here is information about pregnancy acne that can help keep you and your unborn baby safe.
Bizarre/ Vivid Dreams
The vivid dreams you’re experiencing may reflect your thoughts and feelings about being pregnant. The changes in your body and your life may leave you feeling anxious one moment and excited the next, with a whole range of other feelings in between. Dreaming can help you to deal with these emotions. It’s your brain’s way of filing all the stimulating experiences and thoughts from your day.
We all usually cycle through different levels of sleep during the night. Most nights, you’ll go from drowsiness to light sleep, then on to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and finally into deep sleep. Dreams usually happen during REM sleep, but we usually cycle back through light sleep and drowsiness before waking up, which means we don’t always remember our dreams.
Metallic Taste In The Mouth
Metallic taste in the mouth – dysgeusia to use the medical term – is a change in your sense of taste during pregnancy, which can persist even when you are not eating and is one of the more unusual signs of pregnancy.
The metallic taste is described as sour, rancid, bitter or just downright awful – in your mouth can prevent you from tasting your food and drink properly. Some women describe it as like eating coins or drinking from a metal cup.
It’s a common sign during the first trimester. It’s a common sign during the first trimester, often accompanied by other early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, lack of appetite, cravings or aversions for certain foods and an increased sensitivity towards some smells. Some women say they experience it at a very early stage, even before they get a positive pregnancy test!
Lack Of Appetite
Appetite loss may occur at any time during pregnancy; for many women, it’s one of the earliest symptoms. Loss of appetite often comes hand-in-hand with nausea during pregnancy, which affects about 75 percent of pregnant women. Morning sickness may be your body’s instinctual way of protecting the fetus from potentially harmful foods — explaining some of those food aversions women commonly experience.
Anxiety is not only part of being pregnant; it’s part of being human! Everyone worries about their lives, and pregnancy can often amplify those worries.
Some women are mostly worried about whether their babies are healthy. Others might worry about whether they’ll be good parents, how their relationships with their partners will change, how siblings will react to a new baby, or the financial aspects of having a child.
But there’s a difference between normal worrying and all-consuming anxiety during pregnancy, also known as antenatal anxiety. Other signs of a more serious anxiety disorder can be physical, including heart palpitations and muscle tension. This level of anxiety isn’t normal or healthy — but treatment can help.
Puffy And Sore Gums
With the immune system at bay, mouth bacteria might also begin to flourish. Plus, as your body builds blood volume and fluid levels to nourish baby, you may already have tissue swelling (including your gums!). Be aware of inflamed, sore or bleeding gums, or puffy eyes and face, as a sign that pregnancy is underway.
If you experience these signs of pregnancy before missed periods, you may assume that you are pregnant. But sometimes, these symptoms could just be premenstrual symptoms or an indication of other health issues. Hence, wait until one or two weeks after you miss your period, and then go for a home pregnancy test.
There are a number of home remedies and self-care strategies that can help relieve some of the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy. Many medications, including some kinds of antibiotics, are also safe to take during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about considering taking, or taking any over-the-counter, prescription medicine, or any supplements or vitamins.