Are You Pregnant? The Early Signs Of Pregnancy

Early Signs of Pregnancy

When you are trying to conceive it can be agonizing having to wait until you’re far enough along for the two lines to appear.  Any minor change can have your heart pounding! But what are the first signs of pregnancy you should really be looking for?

We will go through some of the earliest signs of pregnancy along with what you can do to ease any discomfort you might have.

 

When do Pregnancy Symptoms start?

There is no exact date as to when you will start feeling the signs, some women begin feeling the early signs of pregnancy one to two weeks after conception while others start noticing them around four to five weeks after. It is so different for each woman, in fact some women may not experience any of the earliest signs.

Now obviously the only way to know for sure if you are pregnant is to take a test and go see a doctor. Especially since some of the signs can overlap with signs of PMS. Here are some of the earliest signs of pregnancy:

1.Sore Breasts

Do your boobs feel swollen or tender? Are they killing you? It could be a possibility that you are pregnant. Most often the first sign of pregnancy is sore breasts and nipples. Which can be confusing because a lot of women experience this soreness as a normal part of their monthly menstruation. The biggest difference is that with normal PMS breast tenderness and soreness goes away while pregnancy soreness can often get worse as time passes. Not to worry though it often levels off around the end of the first trimester.

Why do my boobs hurt?

During your first weeks of pregnancy your hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone spike! This in turn increases blood flow to your breasts. If you have conceived most likely your hormone levels will rise causing sore nipples and breasts.

Sore boobs normal?

Yes! Don’t panic, you aren’t the only one dealing with breast pain! This is the most common early pregnancy symptom. For some women it only lasts a few weeks but for others it last the majority of the pregnancy.

What Can I Do?

Getting a comfortable supportive bra can be a big help. Remember to get one that has a little growing room too, they are going to keep growing. Using warm and cold compresses can also help if you are really hurting.

2. Darkening Areolas

Your areolas (the area around your nipples) can darken and also appear larger. This can happen a few weeks after conception. You may also notice little bumps around your areolas (Montgomery Tubercles) start to form, they are supposed to help with lubrication of your nipples once baby is here and ready to nurse (if you choose to do so). The veins in your breast might also be more noticeable. Your boobs go through A LOT of changes throughout the whole pregnancy experience.

Why Are They Dark and Bumpy?

HORMONES! Pregnancy causes your hormones to go crazy. Mainly human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) causes the surge of hormones that affects your breasts earliest of all.

Big and Bumpy Areolas Normal?

Veins and the darkening areolas are both extremely common and nothing you should worry about. They may continue to grow and get darker throughout your pregnancy. Do they stay this way? Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Everyone’s body reacts different.

What Can I Do?

These symptoms shouldn’t cause you too much concern. The darkening and bumps are harmless. Your nipples will probably be very tender, especially when you are cold or when something rubs against them. Again, applying a warm compress to them will help make it more bearable.

3. Spotting

Can bleeding be a sign of pregnancy? Yes! You may experience light spotting about a week before you normal period. Implantation bleeding happens about 6-12 days after conception. Implantation bleeding is caused when a fertilized egg is burrowing into the lining of your uterus – it causes some irritation which is why you might experience spotting.

Why am I Spotting?

Once the egg is fertilized it attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. This is when it becomes reliant on the mother’s body for the first time. This is when it irritates the tiny blood vessels in the spot it attaches to, causing spotting. Don’t worry though, the endometrium recovers! The spotting can range in color from pinkish to brownish.

What Do I Do?

If your period is late be sure to take a pregnancy test, this could be a good sign. If you end up not being pregnant, be sure to keep track of when you started to spot and which cycle day you were on. If this continues with your next few cycles make sure to contact your OB-GYN, it could be a medical condition that would require a doctor’s diagnosis.

4. Cramping

Cramping is a very common early pregnancy symptom just like sore breasts. Your cramping shouldn’t be too severe though, if you are in intense pain make sure to contact your doctor.

Why the Cramping?

This is another symptom that can be difficult to distinguish between normal PMS and early pregnancy. Though they may feel the same they are caused by different things. Pregnancy cramps are caused by increased blood flow to the uterus while normal period cramps are caused by increased prostaglandins which helps the uterus prepare to shed its lining.

Cramping Common?

Yes! Most women experience cramping at some point in their pregnancy. Remember to contact your doctor if it becomes too severe or starts to be worrisome.

What Should I Do?

Remain calm. Most women panic and fear they might be having a miscarriage. Mild cramping can be normal in pregnancy but don’t hesitate to call your doctor if it becomes too much.

5. Fatigue

Are you totally exhausted? Dozing off, can’t keep your eyes open tired? This can be a very difficult symptom to deal with, that will most likely follow you through your first trimester. This fatigue will start to affect you because your hormones are going wild and your body is sending all of its efforts to your baby’s development.

Why Am I So Tired?

Your body is now working overtime to make sure you and your baby are receiving all of the nutrients you need. Your body is producing more blood to carry nutrients to your baby which in turn lowers your blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This plus your hormones going crazy can make you more than ready for a midday nap.

Is it Common?

Unfortunately, yes, although it is not a cause for concern. You should start to have more energy as you get closer to your second trimester.

What Can I Do?

Definitely take that early evening nap you’ve been thinking about all day and don’t feel too bad when you push the snooze button 3 times. Remember your baby is feeling everything you feel, so the better you feel the better the baby feels. Take care of yourself.

6. Peeing Every 5 Minutes

Frequent urination is another one of those grin and bear it symptoms. It may not kick in until the second or third week after conception, but it is completely normal.

Why do I Feel like I’m going to Pee my Pants?

Another hCG side effect is having to use the restroom more often. Once the egg has implanted in your uterus, your hCG hormone kicks it into gear and production begins to increase dramatically. Good news is that rising hCG hormones is how you detect you are pregnant in your urine.

Is it Common?

Everyone will have increased hCG levels but not every woman will deal with the frequent urge to pee. This is nothing to be concerned about though, increased hCG levels is what you want. Get use to your walks to the bathroom because as your pregnancy journey continues, your baby will get bigger and eventually start pushing on your bladder making you have to pee that much more.

What Should I Do?

If you are taking more than your fair share trips to the bathroom, you could possibly be pregnant. Take a pregnancy test and call your doctor!.

 

7. Missed Period

Visiting the bathroom around your monthly cycle is enough to make your heart beat out of your chest. Missing your period even by a day or two can be a little exciting, since it is one of the first signs of being pregnant. Remember those hCG levels? Many pregnancy tests can detect them up to 5 days before your cycle should start! However they are more accurate the longer you wait (your hCG levels continue to rise).

Where is my Period?

There is a good chance that if you miss your period you may have a bun in the oven! When you normally get your period it is because your egg hasn’t been fertilized. That is when it starts to break apart, your hormone levels drop and then your uterine lining begins to shed.

Missed Period Normal?

All expectant women will have a missed period. Remember spotting can also be common (implantation bleeding) so don’t freak out if you start spotting.

What Should I Do?

If your cycle is regular there is a definite chance you could be pregnant. Try taking a pregnancy test and call your doctor to confirm. Having irregular periods could mean you just skipped a month but there is still a possibility that you could be pregnant.

 

8. Morning Sickness

Around week 6 feeling nauseous or vomiting is a very common early on symptom. You may feel worse in the morning (before you have had breakfast) due to an empty stomach. Although it can occur anytime throughout the day.

Why am I Losing my Cookies?

The dramatic rise of hormones can also affect how well you can hold your food down. Most often women who are more sensitive to motion sickness or easily throw up when they have the flu experience morning sickness.

Is this Normal?

Experts say 50-90 percent of women experience this, you are not alone! GOOD news though, it normally doesn’t follow you past your first trimester so you shouldn’t have to deal with it for very long.

What Can I Do?

Listen to your body, try to breath and stay calm. Eating small frequent meals throughout the day, munching on crackers, and even getting vitamin B12 tablets can help with the nausea. If you start losing significant amounts of weight or can’t keep anything down talk with your doctor.

 

Written by Whitney Rowley