Pregnancy Signs may differ from one woman to another and one pregnancy to another. A missed period is not the only symptom of pregnancy. There are many other signs that a woman who is pregnant for the first time may not know about. When do these signs start appearing?
When do early pregnancy signs appear?
The time of pregnancy symptoms appearance is different from one woman to another. Some women may take notice of the symptoms at a very early time, a week after, for example, this is when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall. Some others notice the pregnancy symptoms only after a few months.
What Happens First?
Am I pregnant? This question can only be answered through a test. But, there are early and classic pregnancy signs and symptoms. These early signs include the following:
1- Missed Period: This is the most common early sign of pregnancy. Most women take notice of their pregnancy when a week or more has passed without the start of their expected menstrual cycle. However, this sign may be misleading when your menstrual cycle is usually irregular.
Tip: Time to get a test!
2- Breast Changes: During the first weeks of your pregnancy, you will probably develop swollen, tender, and sensitive breasts due to changes in hormones. One of the early pregnancy signs is pain and snitching in breasts, which may go away a few weeks later. Also, you will notice that your areola ( which is the area around the nipples) became larger and darker.
Tip: Adjust your undergarments to your breast changes. Start using a maternity bra that is supportive, comfortable, made of cotton, and underwire-free.
3- Morning Sickness: Here’s a fun fact! Although it is called Morning Sickness, pregnancy sickness and nausea may occur at any time of the day or night. For some women, Morning Sickness usually starts after 4 weeks of pregnancy. While, for others, it starts at an earlier time. Many women don’t even have to deal with it. This sign differs from one mom to another.
Tip: Keep a package of saltine crackers in your handbag or near your bed
4- Fatigue: Although it is very common in early pregnancy, fatigue may develop at any stage of pregnancy. Considering that the levels of your hormone “Progesterone” will go higher, you will feel more sleepy and tired almost all the time. Motherhood is exhausting right?!
Tip: Get enough sleep!
5- Frequent Urination: During pregnancy and since its first weeks, you will notice that you tend to visit the W.C more often. Since the amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, your kidneys will proceed more fluid than usual. Hormones too cause more urination.
Tip: Drink about 300 mL (a little more than a cup) of extra fluids each day.
6- Bloating and Gas Or Constipation: Hormonal changes make the digestive system work in a slower way which may lead to constipation. Another symptom that is very confusing for some women since it is similar to menstrual cycle symptoms, bloating is one of the early signs of pregnancy and it is confusing for many women.
Tip: Drink enough fluids like juice and milk or green tea to help with gas.
7- Mood Swings: The changes of hormones in your body will lead to mood changes. For a moment, you are angry, and for another you are sad. Due to the high levels of Estrogen and Progesterone levels in your blood, you may feel more sensitive than usual. Common feelings included in mood swings caused by pregnancy are depression, fear, anxiety, anger, euphoria…
Tip: Go for a walk, do some yoga, breathe and don’t panic!
8- Implantation Bleeding: Light blood spotting is usually a sign of pregnancy at its first stages. It is not that different from your period blood, but that’s what is called “Implantation Bleeding”. It happens when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus 10 to 14 days after conception. Implantation bleeding occurs around the period of the menstrual cycle. This sign does not occur with all women.
Tip: Check with your doctor to make sure you are pregnant.
9- Food Aversions: By being pregnant, you may develop a sensitivity to certain foods or smells which is related to hormonal changes. Smell sensitivity and food aversions are significant considering that they usually trigger nausea and vomiting.
Tip: Make sure you are getting the nutrients you missed from the foods you hated.
10- Physical changes: What is meant by physical changes is high blood pressure, raised heart rate, and increased body temperature. Any of these changes in your body are considered a sign of pregnancy. At this stage, your body is still getting used to the changes that come along with pregnancy and hormones and adapting to it.
Tip: Learn how to track your blood pressure regularly.