Early signs that you might be pregnant.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Thoughts of pregnancy often bring to mind images of glowing women with serene expressions and perfect hair. But the reality is that for most pregnant women, pregnancy is a time of great physical and emotional change. While pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the only methods to definitely determine if you’re pregnant, you may check for other signs and symptoms as well. There are a number of symptoms that may indicate pregnancy. Some women experience them while others don’t, but they are worth noting and discussing with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any of these signs:
Breast and nipple changes
Breasts are one of the first places where you’ll notice changes if you are pregnant. For most women, their breasts will become larger, rounder and tender in the first few months of pregnancy. Breasts may also be more sensitive to any touch or pressure. The skin on your nipples may change its color as well. If you’re finding white spots on your nipples, you may be pregnant. These are often due to increased blood flow to your breasts and nipples, which can also cause them to look larger than normal. White spots on the nipple and areola are called Montgomery glands. Their primary function is to produce and release oils (lipoid fluid), which assist to moisturize, protect, and lubricate the nipple in preparation for a breastfed infant and changes to the breasts caused by pregnancy.
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, a missed period – or two – is often the first symptom of pregnancy. This may be accompanied by light nipple and breast soreness. If you’re not sure about whether your menstrual cycle has changed, take a pregnancy test to rule it out. There are different kinds of tests; some work sooner than others. One type is a urine test, which you can do at home. Others are blood tests that are done by your doctor’s office or clinic. If you have any doubt about whether or not to take the test, it’s best to go ahead and get yourself tested.
Many women also experience some nausea as a sign of pregnancy. Nausea can be accompanied by vomiting and may become progressively worse as the pregnancy continues. This is called morning sickness, although it’s not at all limited to mornings and can be experienced throughout the day and evening as well. It usually lasts for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy or so and then dissipates.
You might also find that you need to urinate more often than normal. This is because your blood flow increases during pregnancy, resulting in an increase in urine production. It’s not unusual to need to get up several times a night to go to the bathroom as well. This symptom can start as early as two weeks after conception.
You may also notice that you seem to be more bloated than usual during pregnancy, particularly in your abdomen and feet. This is another result of the increased blood flow throughout your body during pregnancy. It often goes away after you give birth, but not always completely. You can help reduce blooming by wearing comfortable clothing, avoiding foods that you haven’t eaten before, drinking lots of water, and taking regular walks.
Another early sign of pregnancy may be mood swings or heightened emotional sensitivity. You might feel abrupt feelings of happiness or sadness followed by bouts of crying for no clear reason. These changes are due to the hormones in your body changing as a result of the pregnancy. This can be difficult and you should speak to your doctor if symptoms seem severe or don’t go away. There are several solutions for this problem such as counseling and antidepressants if needed.
Many women experience constipation in the early weeks of pregnancy. You can help to ease yourself by drinking water, eating foods with high fiber content (such as fresh fruit and vegetables), exercising regularly, and cutting down on fatty foods like red meat, chocolate, cheese, dairy products (including milk, yogurt, and ice cream), oils, and fried foods. Unfortunately, constipation lasts the whole nine months for many women. If you find yourself in this category, there are medications your doctor can prescribe to help ease the problem.
There may be a slight change in your basal body temperature. Your body temperature will rise by around half a degree Fahrenheit when you are pregnant, but only if you take your temperature first thing in the morning before getting out of bed or drinking/eating anything. This is also known as the Basal Body Temperature method for determining whether or not you are pregnant. This can also help you to determine approximately how long you have been pregnant.
Another early sign is heartburn or acid indigestion. You might feel a burning sensation in your stomach and chest, particularly after eating heavy meals. This can be caused by the pressure of the growing uterus on your digestive tract. To help prevent this problem, eat smaller meals and do not lie down for at least half an hour after eating. You can also try elevating your feet when you eat and having a glass of milk before going to bed at night.
And of course, the final and most obvious physical sign that you might be pregnant is weight gain. You can expect to put on between half a pound and two pounds each week during the early stages of pregnancy, but this varies from woman to woman. If you notice that your clothes feel tighter and you can’t fit into your old bras anymore, it could be a sign that you are pregnant.
So, there you have it! Ten early signs of pregnancy. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to take a home pregnancy test or see your doctor for confirmation. Pregnancy can be an exciting time but also comes with its own set of challenges. Make sure to speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have and get started on your prenatal care as soon as possible. Congratulations on your pending arrival!