11 Early Pregnancy Signs to Look Out For

early pregnancy signs

Are you expecting a child? Keep an eye out for these early pregnancy signs. Some of these early pregnancy indications can appear as soon as a few weeks after fertilization.

You may get a heads-up in the shape of early pregnancy symptoms before you even pass that pregnancy test and know for sure that you’ve got a baby on board.

However, because many of these early indicators of pregnancy are similar to symptoms you may have just before your period, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.

While pregnancy tests and your doctor can provide conclusive answers, here are 11 early pregnancy signs that could indicate you’re pregnant:

Missed period

It may seem self-evident, but if you haven’t had your period in a while (especially if your periods are generally regular), you’re definitely pregnant, and rightfully so. A missed period is a common early pregnancy symptom for all expecting mothers!

After they’ve already gotten pregnant, some women have what appears to be an exceptionally brief or light period. It’s usually implantation bleeding (more on that below), but it’s easy to confuse with your previous menstrual period. So, at least at first, you may not notice you haven’t had your period.

Fatigue

Imagine ascending a mountain without any prior training and carrying a load that grows heavier by the day. In a nutshell, that’s pregnancy!

To put it another way, it’s a lot of work, which is why exhaustion is a common early pregnancy symptom for almost every expecting mother.

When you’re pregnant, you put a lot of effort into growing a placenta, which is your baby’s life support system. All of these can deplete your energy levels and lead to pregnant fatigue quickly after conception.

Sensitivity to smell

Early pregnancy symptoms include a heightened sense of smell, which makes previously moderate scents overwhelming and disagreeable. Babies could be in the air if your nose has suddenly become more sensitive and easily irritated, as it is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy that many women notice.

Nausea or morning sickness

Morning sickness can attack at any time of day, and it usually starts about 6 weeks pregnant, however, it can vary and strike even earlier.

Hormones, particularly higher progesterone levels (though estrogen and hCG might also play a role), can cause the stomach to empty more slowly, resulting in this early pregnancy symptom that feels like seasickness.

Food aversions

Another early indicator of pregnancy may be food aversions, which occur when the thought, sight, or smell of things you generally enjoy turns your stomach (or worse, contribute to your morning sickness).

This early pregnancy symptom can be induced by anything from familiar foods like chicken to seemingly harmless foods like salad.

Though this isn’t one of the initial indicators of pregnancy, it does appear over the first three months. Again, blame those pregnancy hormones, especially early on when your body is inundated with them and your body is still adjusting to all the hormonal changes. Don’t worry: By the second trimester, when things have calmed down in there, this early pregnancy symptom will have passed.

Mood swings

Again, pregnancy-related hormonal changes are to blame for any mood swings you may experience after you’re expecting. You may experience PMS-like moodiness as early as 4 weeks into your pregnancy; later in the first trimester, and regularly during the duration of your pregnancy, you may be up one minute and anxious, then down the next.

Aside from pregnant hormones running amok, your life is going to change dramatically, so it’s entirely understandable if your moods are all over the place. Give yourself a break by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and pampering yourself. Take a deep breath! Everything will be OK.

Breast changes

Breast changes that occur early in pregnancy include tender, puffy breasts, and darker, bumpy areolas. Most of the credit (or blame) for this early pregnancy symptom goes to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The breast discomfort, on the other hand, comes with it again because it’s part of your body’s preparation for the upcoming milk production.

Your areolas (circles surrounding your nipples) may get darker and larger in size. On your areolas, you’ll probably notice little bumps expanding in size and number. These bumps, known as Montgomery’s tubercles, have always been there, but as the baby starts nursing, they’re gearing up to create additional oils that lubricate your nipples.

Frequent urination

You may experience an increased need to pee two to three weeks following conception. The pregnancy hormone hCG improves blood flow to your kidneys, allowing them to more efficiently empty your body (and, eventually, your baby’s body) of waste. This new need to go normally appears two to three weeks after conception.

Your growing uterus is also beginning to put some pressure on your bladder, leaving less storage space for urine and making you head for the toilet more frequently.

Bloating

Do you have a hard time buttoning your jeans? Early pregnancy bloating is difficult to distinguish from pre-period bloating, but it is a common early pregnancy symptom experienced by many women shortly after conception.

You can’t blame that puffy, overeating sensation on your baby just yet, but you can blame it on the hormone progesterone, which slows digestion and allows nutrients from your food to enter your circulation and reach your baby more quickly.

Constipation is frequently associated with bloating. Getting enough fiber in your diet can help you maintain your regularity.

Raised basal body temperature

If you’ve been tracking your first-morning temperature with a special basal body thermometer, you’ll see that it rises roughly 1 degree when you conceive and stays raised throughout your pregnancy.

Though not a reliable early pregnancy symptom (your temperature might rise for a variety of causes), it could offer you a heads-up on the big news.

Implantation bleeding

Light spotting or implantation bleeding before your period (approximately six to 12 days after conception) can be an early pregnancy symptom suggesting that an embryo has implanted itself into the uterine wall, which may or may not is followed by menstrual-like cramping for up to 30% of new moms.

How soon can you notice Early Pregnancy Signs?

Early pregnancy symptoms (such as sensitivity to scent and sore breasts) might develop as soon as a few days after conception, while other early indicators of pregnancy (such as spotting) can appear one week after sperm meets egg. Others, such as urinary frequency, usually develop two weeks or so after conception.

Early pregnancy symptoms, on the other hand, appear at different dates in different women. Some women don’t notice any of these symptoms until several weeks into their pregnancy.

While many women experience none of the early pregnancy symptoms, some do. If you haven’t had your period in a while and are suffering exhaustion, morning nausea, spotting, or sensitive breasts, you should take a home pregnancy test and then go to the doctor for a blood test to confirm it.

The only way to tell for sure if you’re pregnant, no matter what symptoms you’re experiencing, is to schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.

If it turns out that you’re having early pregnancy symptoms, make an appointment as soon as possible so you may get the finest care available straight away. And, if you’re expecting a child, congrats! You’re about to go on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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