Signs you may be pregnant: Early symptoms and tips
Pregnancy symptoms can be very similar to that of getting your period. If you are wondering if you may have a baby on board, don’t you wish there was an easy way to tell? There are signs that your body will give you in the early stages of pregnancy. Read below to see if you have any of the pregnancy symptoms before you try and pee on that stick.
Some symptoms of pregnancy are very similar to symptoms that you experience before your period. Read below and see how many of the pregnancy symptoms you have.
Swollen or tender breasts:
Your breasts will start to change in the early stages of pregnancy. Your breasts start to fill out as they prepare to hold milk for your bun in the oven. The hormones created after the egg is fertilised (progesterone and hCG) increase the blood volume and can may the breast swell and feel heavy. This can mean that your breasts will be very tender and sensitive for a few months. Not all women experience this as a result of being on the pill.
The cramps you feel may be very similar to those you experience when you start your period. This is due to the fertilised eggs attaching to the uterine wall. The Uterus begins to stretch (hence the cramps) to accommodate the growing baby over the next few months.
Many women experience this their breasts looking a bit different to normal. Pregnancy hormones affect the activity of melanocytes causing the aureolas to widen and darken in preparation for breastfeeding. Darker-complexioned women may not notice this until around 10 weeks or so.
This can be very alarming to pregnant women as it may look like a light period, but up to 25% of pregnant women experience spotting. This is caused by the embryo implanting into the uterus. If this differs from your normal period, in duration, flow, etc. you may in fact be pregnant and just experiencing spotting.
If all you can think about at work is having a nap, and you just can’t find the energy for all the activities you normally enjoy – you may be pregnant. There is tired and then there is pregnancy fatigue! It takes a lot of energy to create a baby, even in the first 2 weeks. Chances are you will start to feel less tired around week 12 when the placenta is fully formed.
Nausea or morning sickness:
This is one of the common symptoms of pregnancy, affecting up to 85% of pregnant women. This is caused by increases in hormone levels during the first 3 months of pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy you may experience motion sickness, with morning sickness starting a little bit later on in your pregnancy. Find out how to reduce your nausea.
Bloating or constipation:
The increased levels of progesterone slow down your digestive track and can make you bloat more than usual. This is also a common symptom when you have your period. These hormones also cause constipation in the early stages. The added pressure of the uterus later on in your pregnancy make increase constipation.
Peeing more often:
Having more bathroom breaks is a sign that your kidneys have started to kick into overdrive with the baby on board. They now have to filter fluid more efficiently due to your plus one. At later stages of pregnancy this has to do with your uterus pressing on your bladder.
Cravings are a well known symptom of pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, you are likely to crave carb-based foods as a way to give your body more energy. Experts say that you need about 300 calories every day to grow the baby. Later on in the pregnancy you may find yourself craving foods that you normally would never dream of eating.
The frequency of tension headaches or mild migraines may increase with pregnancy, this is due to the increased blood volume. In the early stages of pregnancy your body is adjusting to the increased hormone levels and you may experience headaches. For those who normally experience migraines, they may experience the opposite and in fact get a break from headaches while pregnant.
Pregnancy is a very emotional time and many women experience mood swings. It is completely normal to go through the full spectrum of emotions as the body is changing. As your levels of hCG increase your moodiness will also increase because of the extreme fatigue.
Many pregnant women experience a heightened sense of smell. This pregnancy symptom can occur during the very early stages of pregnancy. Experts believe this is heightened to help pregnant women to avoid eating spoiled food, protecting them and baby from toxins.
Measuring your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) can be used as a sign that you are ovulating. If you are charting your BBT and notice that is has risen by half a degree or more, but has remained elevated, it may be a sign that you are pregnant. If this rise lasts more than 2 weeks it is a very good sign that you are pregnant.
As your heart beats faster to pump all the extra oxygenated blood around your body you may feel a bit dizzy. The shifting hormones combined with a faster beating heart can cause low blood pressure.
Some pregnant women complain about a metallic taste in their mouth that can last the entire duration of their pregnancy. For others this is only experienced in the first trimester. This is called Dysgeusia and refers to the change in your taste buds, specifically the feeling of a metallic or sour taste. Although there is no scientific explanation for this it can be attributed to hormone levels and heightened sense of smell.
During pregnancy your dreams can seem bizarre, dreams seem to intensify for most pregnant women. This is thanks to your surging hormones. Dreams are natures way of dealing with thoughts and feelings that you experience in your daily life. Your brain is full of anxious and exciting thoughts and dreaming is a way of organising these thoughts.
This can be the most obvious indicator that you are expecting! Stress, diet or an irregular schedule can also cause you to miss a period so make sure to have a test before making the big announcement.