what are the early signs of pregnancy

The obvious early sign of pregnancy is missing your period, but if your periods aren’t regular then that may not actually be that helpful. So we have put together a list of early signs of pregnancy that you can look out for, not all happen with all women and not all may happen early, it does vary from person to person.

MISSING YOUR PERIOD
This is the obvious one that sends women running out for a pregnancy test. If you have regular periods it is easy to know when your period is due, but can be more challenging if your period doesn’t come every 28 days (or whatever your cycle length is). If your period is late and you think you might be pregnant because you have had sex in the last month then take a pregnancy test to be sure, even if you are on the pill or used other protection, as unfortunately they are not 100% foolproof.

MORNING SICKNESS
This one is a bit misleading, as it is called morning sickness, but actually, women can get it at any time of the day or night. It could be just feeling like you are going to be sick or you could actually throw up.

TIREDNESS
This happens in the first trimester, your body is working hard to get your baby going, and therefore you may feel tired. Also, the increase in progesterone in your body from pregnancy can make you feel sleepy.

SMELL SENSITIVITY
In a 2017 study, they found that 66% of women reported problems in identifying and distinguishing smells in the 2nd trimester and 95% reported it in the first or third trimester. Smell sensitivity can also be odor intolerance, as certain odors could make you feel nauseous. The good news is that the researchers found that 6-12 weeks after birth women’s sense of smell returned to normal.

MILD CRAMPING OR SPOTTING
Your blood could be pink, red, or brown and is usually much less than the amount you’d have for your period. Probably best described as light bleeding, it never turns into a flow that needs a tampon and usually lasts less than three days, but can only last a few hours. The cramping is mild as well. This is one where if you are hoping that you are pregnant it can really freak you out. I have to say that I didn’t know it was so common when I was pregnant, in fact, research shows that 1 in 4 women get spotting in early pregnancy and it is usually in the first trimester.

TINGLING OR ACHING BREASTS
The change in hormones in your body can cause you to develop tender or swollen breasts, this is usually around weeks 4 to 6, the aching/tingling goes away after a few weeks once your body has gotten used to the hormones. Around week 11 your hormones cause your breasts to grow and the areola (the area around your nipple) may darken in colour and grow larger.

NEEDING TO WEE A LOT
During pregnancy, your body increases the amount of blood it pumps. This causes your kidneys to process more fluid than usual, which leads to more fluid in your bladder.

BLOATING
Like when you get your period bloating can be caused by your hormones which can slow down your digestive system causing constipation or bloating.

MOOD SWINGS
When you are pregnant your levels of estrogen and progesterone increase, which can affect your mood and make you feel more emotional. This is something to take particular note of if you suffer from depression or anxiety and talk to your doctor about as it needs to be closely monitored during pregnancy.

TEMPERATURE CHANGES
A higher body temperature may be a sign of pregnancy, if you have been tracking your temperature for ovulation this is something you can easily test and compare. Otherwise, it may just be that you feel hotter when exercising or in hot weather, either way, it is best to stay hydrated.

INCREASED HEART RATE
Again due to the hormones pumping around your body your heart can start to beat faster, it doesn’t usually occur until weeks 8-10, by which time you might already have confirmed that you are pregnant.

The hard thing I think about these early signs of pregnancy is that many of them could easily be something else, like your period arriving or being under the weather, or stressed. To be sure take a pregnancy test on the day your period is due, if you aren’t sure when this is you can still take a test, but if it is negative and you still think you might be pregnant try testing the next day. If you have experienced any unusual early signs of pregnancy please comment below I’d love to hear 🙂

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