They say that a baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty. There may be few joys in life as beautiful as welcoming your little bundle of sunshine into this big and bright world. If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a while now, you might be eager to know the results.
While pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the only sure ways to determine if you’re pregnant, there may be some early signs and symptoms you can look out for. Having said that, every woman is different and so are their personal experiences. Not every woman has the same symptoms. In fact, symptoms may not even be alike from one pregnancy to the next.
From fatigue to flatulence, weird cravings to painful cankles, you may go through it all. Here are ten tell-tale signs and symptoms of pregnancy early on.
Cramping and spotting
Immediately after conception, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. This can cause one of the earliest signs of pregnancy - spotting and cramping. Anywhere around six to twelve weeks after the egg is fertilized, implantation bleeding takes place which can be easily mistaken for menstrual cramps. The bleeding and cramps during pregnancy, however, are slight.
Tender, swollen breasts
Around weeks 4 and 6, you’re likely to develop tingling, aching, or growing breasts. This happens due to the sudden surge of hormones throughout your body that can make your breasts extra-sensitive and sore to touch. This discomfort will likely decline after a few weeks as your body begins to adjust to the fluctuating hormones.
During the first few weeks, your body is continuously working to support and play hostess to your little one for the next nine months. As a result, fatigue and weakness can set in quite easily. The soar in progesterone hormone following conception subsequently causes your basal body temperature to rise. This means that your heart is pumping almost twice as fast to deliver enough oxygen to your uterus - this can make you feel totally tuckered out.
Darkening of the nipples
Are your nipples looking darker than normal? Believe it or not, pregnancy hormones can also affect the activity of melanocytes - the cells in the nipples responsible for imparting their color. This explains why your areolas have suddenly become more pigmented and grown larger.
Nausea with or without vomiting can strike at any time of the day or night and often kickstarts one month after you become pregnant. Progesterone slows down your digestive processes and since your stomach does not empty as quickly as it normally does, you may feel nauseous. Once full-blown morning sickness takes control, you must remember to hydrate by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day!
If you’ve been feeling like you’ve put on some weight, chances are that it might just actually be some good ol’ bloating. Ramped-up levels of progesterone can slow down your digestive system and make your tummy feel puffier than usual, similar to how you feel at the start of a menstrual cycle.
You might think that a frequent need to pee might come on later when your growing baby presses on your bladder. But did you know that it can actually start pretty early on? The amount of blood increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process the extra fluids in your bladder. As a result, you’re more likely to take frequent bathroom breaks.
Unusual food cravings and aversions
With the budding of the first trimester, you may favor some foods over others. Your body is working tirelessly to accommodate your baby which is why it makes sense that the body is demanding extra carbs to easily metabolize and keep the energy levels up. However, some pregnant ladies may even show strong distaste for foods they normally loved.
Due to the drastic increase in blood volume, headaches may be easily triggered during the early days of pregnancy. These headaches can also happen if you are dehydrated or anemic, so be sure to get your blood work done. The good news though is that migraines become less frequent as pregnancy progresses!
Found yourself weeping at a puppy video on YouTube? With the rise and fall of hormones during the early stages of pregnancy, you’re likely to be hit with the massive thunderbolt of moodiness and fatigue. But don’t worry, it getting easier as your pregnancy progresses.
- Office of Women’s Health, “Stages of Pregnancy”-
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “How your fetus grows during pregnancy”-
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