When you’re hoping to become pregnant, the slightest change in how you feel can make you excited. Whilst a pregnancy test can confirm this for you, there are other signs that can give the good news away that you’re pregnant. And if you haven’t been trying for a baby, you may be completely unaware that you’re pregnant until you start experiencing some unusual symptoms! Here are 15 early signs to watch out for that can let you know you’re pregnant.
- A missed period
Perhaps the biggest giveaway that you might be pregnant is a missed period. As your period occurs when your egg isn’t fertilised, it’s a hopeful telltale sign that you’re pregnant unless you normally have an irregular menstrual cycle.
- Nausea (morning sickness)
Known as morning sickness, you may feel nauseous either with or without actually being sick. Despite its name, morning sickness can happen at any time of day and night and is thought to be a result of the pregnancy hormones that flood your body. Whilst you may suffer from it very early on, it usually occurs on the sixth week of pregnancy, peaking at the ninth week and then decreasing in its severity as you start your second trimester.
- Tender and swollen breasts
Another reaction to hormonal changes is having sensitive and swollen breasts. This can happen during weeks 4 and 6 of your first trimester and tends to last for a few weeks. You may also notice that the area around each nipple looks darker and increases in size.
As the hormone called progesterone soars at the early stages of pregnancy, you’ll suffer from fatigue. Feeling completely exhausted, you’ll need to take naps during the day if you can and go to bed early in the evening. This feeling, unfortunately, lasts throughout the first trimester but then you’ll feel a boost of energy as you start the next stage of your pregnancy.
- Frequent urination
About two or three weeks into your pregnancy, you’ll notice the need to urinate increases considerably. This is because the flow of blood to your kidneys increases, which increases the waste elimination process from your body.
As your body begins to change to prepare for your baby growing inside you, you’ll notice a vaginal discharge. This is a thin discharge that’s milky white in colour and shouldn’t have an unpleasant odour. If it smells unpleasant or looks lumpy, speak with your practitioner as you may have a vaginal infection.
Heartburn is the result of stomach acid leaking into your oesophagus. It occurs during early pregnancy because the pregnancy hormones cause the valve located between your stomach and oesophagus to relax.
- Mood swings
Mood swings are very common during the early stages of your pregnancy, thanks to the influx of hormones. You’ll feel much more emotional and can be more anxious, teary, depressed, irritable or, at the other end of the scale, euphoric. You may feel scared of what’s to come, start worrying about how you’ll cope financially or be over the moon about becoming a parent — all within a short space of time from each other. Try to make time to rest and pamper yourself to try and combat these mood changes.
- Light bleeding
You may experience some light bleeding or spotting. It occurs 6 to 12 days after conception and is light pink or brownish in colour.
- Mild cramping
Another early sign of pregnancy, mild cramping is a result of increased blood flowing to your uterus as it expands in readiness for your growing baby.
- Weight gain
Gaining weight is perfectly normal, particularly near the end of your first trimester. You’re carrying a tiny baby along with amniotic fluid, placenta, increased blood, fluid and fat as well as having an enlarged uterus and breasts.
As your digestive system slows down due to hormonal changes, you can suffer from constipation. Drink plenty of water and try to eat food that is rich in fibre to try and combat this.
- Food cravings
You’ve no doubt heard of bizarre cravings that women have during pregnancy so get ready to make some unusual food requests! Just make sure you’re still giving your body the right nutrients when you indulge in these cravings.
- Aversions to food
Your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy and, combined with the feelings of nausea, can lead to a sudden dislike of different foods.
- Increased body temperature
Your body’s thermostat changes just after conception. If you’ve been tracking your basal body temperature, the sustained increase is a good sign that you’re pregnant.