Confirmation of pregnancy is usually done using a home pregnancy test (HPT) or by certain blood tests advised by your doctor. But, your body also gives certain clues that you may be pregnant. So, look out for these signs and spot them early.
It should be kept in mind that few early signs of pregnancy may be similar to your premenstrual symptoms, so it may be hard to distinguish between the two.
So, what are the early signs of pregnancy?
The first sign would be your missed period. Apart from that, the other signs include:
- Implantation bleeding: If you notice slight bleeding/spotting round about the time of your period, it may be implantation bleeding (6 – 12 days after the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus). But you may miss this sign mistaking it for the start of your period.
- Tender, swollen breasts: Starts as early as two weeks after conception. The hormonal changes make your breasts tender, sore and sensitive. In some cases, they may feel full or heavy. You may also notice them darken, and it is normal.
- Morning sickness: Nausea (with or without vomiting) occurs at any time. If it is in the morning hours, it is called morning sickness. It is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy. Most pregnant women feel the queasiness start as early as two weeks post-conception. Nausea is caused by the increased levels of your hormones(hence the stomach empties more slowly) and by a heightened sense of smell which makes you aversive to food and other substances.
- Food cravings (aversions): Don’t be surprised if you start feeling nauseous when you think of your favorite food! You may also start craving things which you normally dislike. All this is quite common and more so in the early days of your pregnancy.
- Headaches: Increased blood flow (due to the hormones) may cause more headache.
- Mood swings: Your hormones will make you go crazy, so it is all normal. These mood swings are more intense during your first trimester.
- Increased urination: You will feel the need to frequent the bathroom more often to pee. This is more common during the night time.
- Fatigue & tiredness: You may feel tired and fatigued more often. This is mainly due to the hormone progesterone.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: Your dilated vessels may also leave you dizzy and light-headed.
- Constipation: The changes in your hormones also may leave you constipated. This is mainly due to the slow movement of food in your gut.
There are other changes seen during the first few weeks of your pregnancy including:
- Back pain – mild or chronic
- Heartburn – acid reflux into the esophagus because of the hormonal action on the stomach muscles leads to heartburn
- Weight gain – slight weight gain is normal and depends on your BMI before your conception
- Raised basal body temperature
- Itchy and scratchy skin – especially in areas where your skin stretches due to your body changes
- Shortness of breath
Last but not the least, you may have the “feeling” of being pregnant! You know that something is “different” and your mind automatically goes to the thought that you could be pregnant. This has happened to a lot of women during their pregnancy – you know your body best after all!
These are the few symptoms that you may face during the initial days of your pregnancy. But don’t worry, if you miss a few, it’s perfectly all right. Each pregnancy is different and so are the symptoms. Just know that whatever you will be facing, it will all be worth it when you see your little one in your arms!