If you’re planning for a pregnancy or recently had sexual intercourse without protection, then knowing and understanding these 10 signs of pregnancy would be something worth reading about. Understanding our body language can be difficult at times because common early pregnancy signs can also be a result of other body changes that does not relate to pregnancy – menstruation, hormonal changes, menopause, etc.
Because each woman’s body is unique, early pregnancy signs differ among women. One may start with nausea and morning sickness; meanwhile, another can have an intense craving for some orange juice or chocolate. Whatever the sign is, let’s learn more about common pregnancy symptoms you can take note of.
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1. Missed Period
One of the most common early signs of pregnancy is a missed period. If you know your regular menstrual cycle, then having a missed period is one that can’t go unnoticed. For those with an abnormal menstrual cycle, it may be more difficult to use a missed period as an indicator of pregnancy because you may already have experience with having missed periods. Use a period tracker to easily track your periods and other menstruation symptoms.
2. Tender, Swollen Breasts
Some women can experience tender, swollen breasts as their first sign of pregnancy. Swollen breasts may feel sensitive, sore, and fuller than it was before. However, just because your breasts are swollen or tender, it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to relieve the pain. You can opt for loose clothing, create a “no-touch” zone, or upgrade the size of your bra. Let the pain pass and before you know, you’ll feel better in no time.
Nausea (also known as morning sickness) is a pregnancy symptom most women experience beginning in their first trimester, which can be accompanied by vomiting. As your hormones change, you may notice that you’ve become sensitive to certain smells or foods. In some cases, just “thinking” about a food can cause nauseousness.
Some ways you can relieve nausea include:
- Ginger Tea
- Peppermint Leaves
- Sniffing Lemons
4. Food Aversions or Cravings
Having an increased appetite in something you’ve never liked before? You may be experiencing food cravings. Having a bad reaction to certain foods? You may be having food aversions. Both symptoms can occur randomly and may last a day, a few weeks, or even more.
Most doctors recommend pregnant women keeping a pregnancy diet of certain amount of calories and making sure you have “#” amount of nutrition a day – which is great! – however it is also true that eating anything you crave is also okay. Eat your cravings and when you feel better, switch up your diet to healthy foods!
If you’re looking for a great and better way to consume healthy foods, I recommend making fruit smoothies or green juices to help you fulfill the health recommendations your body needs. I often struggle with eating “just carrots” or “just apples” when I know I would eat more of it in smoothie-style!
5. Light Bleeding (Spotting)
Spotting can be an early pregnancy sign of pregnancy that is often confused with a period. Spotting occurs as a result of implantation bleeding when the fertilized egg is attached to the lining of the uterus. Vaginal blood discharge can appear lighter than a normal period and usually does not last long. You can rest well and avoid heavy lifting to lessen the spotting.
Feeling more tired than usual? Exhaustion is one pregnancy symptom that can be a difficult one to monitor; however, if you notice that you are resting more than usual or is napping more than before, it might be one to look into. You may feel less energized and less motivated to do things. As your body gets ready to nurture a new life, all your energy and strength is used to adapt to the new changes going around in your body. A combination of low blood sugar levels, low blood pressure, and increase progesterone levels can also contribute to fatigue.
Learn how to combat pregnancy exhaustion with these tips below:
- Eat frequently (every 4 hours) to re-energize
- Stay hydrated (it is recommended that you take 10 8-oz. glass cups a day)
- Maintain a balanced diet (whole grains, milk, fruits, vegetables)
- Reduce caffeine intake (it is recommended that you take no more than 200 mg a day of caffeine)
Last but not least – rest well! Make sure you are resting well so your body has time to recover.
7. Back Pain
Ouch! – back pain is one I’d hate to have but if you’re feeling like your lower back or pelvic is more painful than before, you may be experiencing back pain as your first sign of pregnancy.
Back pain can occur for several reasons:
- While sleeping on your back, your growing uterus can be pushed down onto your spine and strain your back muscles
- A pregnancy hormone called relaxin, is created and released into your body, relaxing the ligaments in the pelvis and loosening the joints
- A change in posture – Your lower back will lean in more as your upper back leans backward
If you experience back pain, try my favorite tools for relieving back pain in pregnancy and try sleeping on your side.
8. Mood Swings
Feeling a little “moody’? Perhaps you’re having a fun and excited day when all of a sudden, feel sad, angry, or lonely. Been there, done that. These “mood swings” can be a result of your first sign of pregnancy and can be a wild way to start a life changing event. Your mood swings are caused by changing hormones and can sometimes affect your mood for the day.
9. Dizziness or Headaches
Pregnancy hormones can also cause dizziness or headaches. As your blood vessels relax and widens, it slows the blood flow to your heart and brain and causes light headaches or dizziness. If you’re in a sleeping position, the slowing uterus can also strain your blood vessels, slowing the blood flow to your heart and brain.
If you experience dizziness, here are a few things you can do to prevent it:
- Slowly get up from a sitting or sleeping position
- Eat often to avoid low blood sugar
- Make sure you are consuming enough iron – iron is used to create hemoglobin so that red blood cells can carry oxygen around the body
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid standing for long periods or time
- When sleeping, sleep on the side rather than on the back so that your growing uterus does not apply pressure to your blood vessels
10. Frequent Urination
It’s 5 a.m. and it has been 3 times since you’ve woke up to use the restroom…
If you find yourself using the bathroom more often than before, this can also be another sign of pregnancy. Frequent urination may occur for two reasons: pressure on your bladder or increased blood flow.
As your uterus begins to grow, the pressure on your gall bladder increases and there is less room to store urine. You might find yourself getting up multiple times throughout the night to use the restroom in your first trimester (and in the third trimester). The increased blood flow to your kidney can also be a contributing factor. The more blood that flows over, the more effective your kidney becomes. Thus, your kidney removes waste more frequently.
To prevent frequent bathroom trips, try not to drink water before bedtime and avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it increases the production of urine and increases the passing of urine.
My Early Signs of Pregnancy
When I first became pregnant with my daughter, I was unaware of the signs that my body was giving me. I only knew I was experiencing breast tenderness, nausea, and discomfort. It has been a few days that I felt this way and by the fourth day, I even felt feverish.
It was only until I consulted with my husband that he suggested I take a pregnancy test. Being the nervous person I am (in a good way), I bought two pregnancy tests immediately the next day and yes indeed, the test came back positive!
Not only was I in awe, but I was also exploding with happiness and excitement. Knowing that I was now carrying, nurturing, and growing a new life inside of me gave me a whole new purpose in the months to come and becoming a mom (my daughter is now 17 months old) was the best decision I ever made.
What are your first signs of pregnancy?
Did you experience more than one early pregnancy sign as well? Share with us below~
Oh, and one more thing.
If you enjoyed this post, please share? Other soon-to-be Mamas may find it useful as well!
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