9 Early Signs of Pregnancy
During the early stages of falling pregnant, there are a number of little signs and symptoms that you might just miss or dismiss as something else – a busy week, your menstrual cycle, or other life events.
This probably more the case if you’ve only just started trying to get pregnant, and weren’t expecting it to happen so quickly, or if you’re not actively trying.
Even if you have been trying to get pregnant for a little while, you might not pick up on those early symptoms right away.
What do you mean by early signs?
If you’re trying to get pregnant, the most common indication that you’ve been successful is a missed period.
It’s always a good idea to make sure you know your cycle, are aware when you’re due to ovulate and when your period is due, so that you can pick up straight away if it’s late. Some women are not entirely sure, or experience differing cycle lengths, so knowing what the early signs to look out for are can really help.
Early signs simply means other changes in your body that could indicate your pregnant before you notice a missed period.
What are the early signs to look out for?
This can differ from woman to woman, and you might experience, some, all of them or none.
But it’s good to know what to look out. Here are some of the early indications that you might be pregnant:
#1 Nausea / Vomiting
Commonly referred to as ‘morning sickness’, nausea – or vomiting – is the most common early sign of pregnancy. Many women who haven’t really been trying for a baby who experience morning sickness put it down to food poisoning, or a stomach bug. If you’ve been trying for a baby and you suddenly find yourself being sick with no real explanation, this could be a good indication that you are in fact pregnant! Remember, just because it’s called ‘morning’ sickness doesn’t mean it always occurs in the morning. Some women get nausea throughout the day or in the evening too.
#2 Increased urinary frequency
Due to increased pressure on the bladder, pregnant women tend to urinate more frequently. Even in the early signs you might notice this more as your uterus holds onto your baby and starts to ‘pad out’ with blood vessels to prepare for your baby’s growth.
This refers to light vaginal bleeding that can occur in some pregnant women during the implantation stage of falling pregnant. This happens during the very early stages of pregnancy when the embryo attaches itself to the lining of the uterine wall.
#4 Lower abdominal pain
This could be a dull ache, or full on cramping. This pain, which occurs due to the implantation of the embryo, is usually right-sided and can be easily confused with normal menstrual pain in the early stages.
#5 Breast tenderness
As the hormones in your body change and your body acknowledges that it needs to get ready for the arrival of a baby, you will notice your breasts may start to feel more tender. Many women experience this any way during their monthly cycle, so it’s a symptom you might not associate with the early stages of pregnancy – but it’s one to look out for!
#6 Dizziness or headaches
These tend to be less common symptoms, but could still be an indication of early pregnancy. They may occur due to increasing levels of different pregnancy hormones, such as ?-hCG (?-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin).
As your body gets busy putting all its internal energy in building a suitable home for your new growing baby, issuing hormone changes and adapting to being an expectant mother you may notice that you start feel much more lethargic. In the early stages before you know you’re pregnancy this can seem confusing, so if you’ve been trying for a baby keep this one in mind.
#8 Changes in appetite
Many people are familiar with the stereotype of the pregnant woman having crazy food cravings! While a lot of women won’t experience weird and wacky food cravings, you may notice that your appetite for certain foods increases or decreases. In the early stages of being pregnant this can be due to your body steering you towards different nutrients it needs and the foods it can get them from, or steering you away from foods that could be potentially harmful to the baby. If you start to notice changes in your appetite, this could be a sign of early pregnancy!
#9 Sensitive to smells
It’s another uncommon symptom, but many pregnant women report suddenly finding their sense of smell becoming much sharper and becoming more sensitive to different smells. If you find you suddenly have a new strong sense of smell, it could be a sign of early pregnancy.
What should I do if I notice any of these signs?
As mentioned, if you’ve been trying to fall pregnant and you start to notice some of these symptoms it could be a positive indication.
You should really wait for the most clear sign – a missed period – before jumping to any conclusions however. After a missed period, you can carry out a home pregnancy test (which can give you a quick indication of your status). Home pregnancy tests are available from many pharmacies and supermarkets, and come with clear instructions.
Not all tests are conclusive, so you might want to do a couple to see if you get the same result. If it’s definitely positive then it’s time to make an appointment to see your doctor who can set in motion the support you’ll need for a happy, healthy pregnancy.