14 Early Signs of Pregnancy
How can you tell if you’re pregnant? Ultrasounds and pregnancy tests are the only methods to confirm if you are having a baby. However, there are early symptoms and signs that you have look out for, which usually happen after the first few weeks of conception.
Pregnancy symptoms are different with each woman, but one of the most common symptoms is a missed period.
Symptoms of Early Pregnancy
Cramping and spotting
During the first week till the fourth week, the fertilized egg develops a blastocyst, which is a group of cells that develops the baby’s organs, limbs and other features.
Around week four (10-14 days) after conception, the blastocyst will be implanted to the lining of the uterus called the endometrium. This causes a light period phenomenon where you have pink, reddish or brown discharge that could be implantation bleeding. The bleeding is spottier and lighter than a regular period and it doesn’t last long.
At this stage, some women even experience abdominal cramping, which is identical to menstrual cramps.
During early pregnancy, women experience tiredness and fatigue. The levels of the hormone progesterone start to increase. This hormone could put you to sleep if doses of progesterone are really high. Increased blood production, lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels are other factors that contribute to tiring you out.
Swollen and Tender Breasts
Two weeks after conception, you may experience hormonal changes that make your breasts tingly, sore or tender. This is when breasts change shape, become fuller and heavier as they begin to produce milk.
Areolas Getting Darker
Around the 11th week, the breasts are still undergoing hormonal changes and so are the nipples. Here, the areolas, which are the circles around the nipples, start darkening in color and grow larger. This phenomenon is an indication that the body is being prepared for breastfeeding.
Headaches are also common at the early stages of pregnancy. Experts suggest that the rise of hormones during pregnancy is what leads to headaches, which are appropriately termed as hormonal migraine headaches.
These headaches can also be caused by an increase in blood flow. During pregnancy, there is a 50% increase in the amount of blood in your body.
Between the 6th and 8th week, many expecting women experience an increase in urination. This is due to the uterus being pressed directly on the bladder. It will persist as the baby keeps growing while the uterus simultaneously continues to add pressure on the bladder.
Due to an increase in the hormone progesterone, the intestines start to change, causing food to pass slowly through them, thus leading to constipation.
Nausea is another common symptom among expecting women. It is a phenomenon that 80% women go through in the first three weeks of pregnancy. It is known more commonly as morning sickness, which can happen at anytime during the day or even sometimes at night. Women may also experience nausea with or without vomiting.
Many pregnant women in their early stages have a heightened sense of smell. On one hand, the elevated smell sensitivity from perfumes, cooking, foods and smoking may cause nausea. But on the other hand, researchers believe that this can actually help women sense and prevent themselves from eating tainted or spoiled foods. Hence, the baby can be saved against harmful toxins.
A missing period is arguably the most common indication that you might be pregnant. However, this phenomenon could mean a lot of other things than believing you’re having a baby. Missing periods can also be caused by diet, stress or an irregular schedule. Therefore, it is best to get tested first before assuming you’re expecting.
Pregnant women also experience frequent mood swings, which are believed to be caused by hormonal changes that affect the brain’s neurotransmitters. Whether you’re feeling extremely or are deeply depressed, please note that going through this phase is natural as the hormones in your body are adjusting and your body keeps changing.
Food Cravings or Aversions
No reason has been determined as to why pregnant women crave or avert certain foods, but this has been documented several times and is very a natural phenomenon. It is believed that these cravings occur due to the hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy. Since this is natural, there is no need for caution or concern.
Raised Basal Temperature
Basal temperature represents your body temperature after waking up from rest, before engaging in any physical activity. The temperature increases slightly after ovulation and continues to stay that way until you’ve hit your next period. If this lasts for more than two weeks, it could mean that you are indeed pregnant.
Faintness or Dizziness
Apart from hormones constantly shifting, pregnant women will experience their heart beating faster, which in turn pumps more blood in the body, leading to a gradual decrease in blood pressure. This phenomenon causes women to experience periods of lightheadedness or faintness. Check this Maternity support belt for further tools to help you.
Author Bio: Qasim Azhar is a content marketer who specializes in
ghost blogging, email marketing campaigns. He worked with iconic brands like AT&T and other top advertising agencies. He helped hundreds of business owners to define their ideal clients and create a marketing message that speaks directly to those clients.