Early Signs Of Pregnancy: 15 Symptoms of being pregnant
You’re nauseous in the morning, you can’t stand the smell of nasi lemak – which used to be your go-to lunch option, and your breasts are incredibly tender. Could it be that you are pregnant? Well, before you reach out for that pregnancy test kit in Watsons, here are a few telltale early signs of pregnancy that may tip you off that a little one has now taken residence in your womb. These are the 15 most common symptoms of being pregnant.
Pregnancy Symptoms#1 – Missed Period
It might be stating the obvious, but if it’s already two weeks past your period’s due date (especially if your periods typically run like clockwork) you’re probably suspecting pregnancy, and for a good reason. As you probably already know, you cannot be pregnant if you’re still having your periods!
Early Pregnancy Symptoms#2 – Fatigue
You’re snoozing your alarms multiple times, dragging your feet as you go about your day, and you can’t wait to get back into bed as soon as you arrive home at night. Sounds familiar? You could be suffering from pregnancy fatigue, an early sign of pregnancy nearly 70% of expectant women experience in the few weeks after conception and implantation. You may hate it, but it’s completely normal; you are spending a massive amount of your energy building a placenta – the life-support for your baby – during early pregnancy after all.
Pregnancy Symptoms#3 – Morning Sickness
Just days after the lucky sperm has met your egg, you might start to get the queasiness – also known as morning sickness – due to a rush of new pregnancy hormones.
Specifically, it’s believed that the increased levels of progesterone cause your stomach to empty more slowly, leading to changes in gastric rhythmic activity and, in turn, causing that familiar nausea. Don’t be surprised if you get nauseous in the afternoon or night: contrary to its name, morning sickness can (unfortunately) hit you at any time of the d
Pregnancy Symptoms#4 – Cramping
You thought you’d be free of cramps’ evil clutches once you’re pregnant, didn’t you? We hate to break it to you, but the cramping you’ll experience during early pregnancy can feel similar to the ones you experience during your menstrual cycle, just a little milder and may be concentrated in the lower back.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms#5 – Implantation Bleeding
Anywhere from six to 12 days after fertilization, you may experience light bleeding – from pinkish, or red to brown discharge. The spotting you see is also known as implantation bleeding, which happens when the embryo implants in the lining of your uterus and disrupt tiny blood vessels in the spot it burrows into. Some expectant mothers report mild cramping at the same time as the spotting.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms #6 – Tender, Swollen Breasts
Are your breasts swollen and tender to the touch? Congratulations, that’s another of the first signs of pregnancy. The elevation of – once again – pregnancy hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, deserve most of the credit for the breast tenderness and changes you’re experiencing. But the pain when putting on a bra is all worth it. Your body is now preparing for all the critical milk-making to come!
Early Pregnancy Symptoms #7 – Raised Basal Body Temperature
Wait, what’s basal body temperature? Well, it’s your body temperature when you’re fully at rest. If you’ve been tracking your morning temperature through the use of a special basal body thermometer, you might be pregnant if you notice an unusual elevation in your readings. However, this is not a foolproof early sign of pregnancy– there are many other reasons why your temperature is rising – but it could give you advance notice of the big news.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms #8 – Darkening and Bumpy Areolas
The circles around your nipples, your areolas – may increase in diameter and get darker due to (yes, you guessed it) the surge in pregnancy hormones. Also, you’ll likely notice the growth of tiny bumps on your areolas. Don’t freak out though: these bumps, medically known as Montgomery’s tubercles, were always there. The bumps are now merely more noticeable as they’re preparing for breastfeeding – something you’ll thank the heavens for once your baby starts suckling.
Early Signs of pregnancy#9 – Food Cravings and Aversions
Used to hate laksa, but can’t live without it now? Used to love durian, but feel like throwing up just at the sight of them? Strange food cravings and aversions usually start to emerge near the end of the first trimester. While you may experience both intense revulsions and cravings at the same time, research suggests that these urges are probably unrelated to each other; they’re likely the separate results of elevated pregnancy hormone levels.
Signs of Pregnancy#10 – Headaches
Being pregnant can be a headache – literally. Like most early pregnancy symptoms, the primary culprit is, as usual, the inevitable hormonal changes you’re going through. Also, the increased blood flow resulting from conception is believed to play a role in the causation of early pregnancy headaches.
Signs of Pregnancy #11- Hormonal Changes
Giggling away one minute, only to find yourself sobbing uncontrollably for no apparent reason the next? You can blame the mood swings you’ve been experiencing on those pregnancy-related hormonal changes – yet again. The pregnancy hormones affect the neurotransmitters in your brain, in turn, disrupting your emotions. And aside from pregnancy hormones running amok, your life is about to change (irrevocably), so it’s perfectly normal for your moods to go haywire.
Early Signs of Pregnancy#12 – Frequent Urination
You may notice an increased need to pee two to three weeks post-conception. Blame your new go-to-pee-now urge on the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which increases blood flow to your kidneys. This increased blood flow enables them to more efficiently rid your body of waste, which obviously, includes urine.
Symptoms of being pregnant#13 – Bloating
Are you having trouble buttoning your jeans? Early pregnancy bloating is something many expectant women feel soon after conception. While you can’t blame your jutting stomach on your baby yet, you can blame it on the pregnancy hormone progesterone – it slows down your body’s digestion of foods, so there’s more time for the much-needed nutrients to enter your bloodstream, through the placenta, and reach your baby.
Symptoms of being pregnant#14 – Heartburn
Pregnancy could be the cause of the unusual heartburn you’re experiencing. As mentioned earlier, your body produces large amounts of progesterone early in pregnancy – this causes food to move more slowly through your system. To further compound its effect, your body is also producing relaxin, a hormone that relaxes smooth muscle tissues throughout your body. When the ring of muscle that separates your esophagus from the stomach relaxes, the undigested food and harsh digestive juices irritate the sensitive esophageal lining, explaining your heartburn symptoms.
Symptoms of being pregnant#15 – Dizziness or Fainting
You must be getting pretty sick of hearing about progesterone by now, but we’re not done. During pregnancy, this pesky hormone increases the flow of blood to your body, resulting in lower blood flow and pressure to your brain – giving you that disorienting feeling, especially when switching from a lying or sitting to standing position.
The conclusion to the 15 Signs and Symptoms of pregnancy
There you have it: the 15 early pregnancy signs that you can cross-check against yourself if you suspect that you now have a bun in the oven. With that said, it’s critical to note that pregnancy signs can crop up at different times in different expectant women; some may experience very few – if any – of these until they’re well into their pregnancies. Ultimately, no matter what symptoms you’re experiencing, the only way to know that you’re carrying a little one for sure is to make an appointment with your primary healthcare doctor.
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