Top 12 Signs You Might Be Pregnant
Pregnancy symptoms are different for every woman and may even differ from pregnancy to pregnancy. While the most common sign of a pregnancy is indeed a missed period, there are more subtle ways to tell—if you know what to look for. I've made a list of some typical staples of pregnancy that can help you discover if there is a baby in your future, even before a test can.
Spotting or Cramping
Even though it seems like any bleeding would mean “not pregnant,” in some cases, it can actually mean the opposite. Implantation bleeding, when it happens, occurs a few days after conception. The fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall 6 to 12 days after fertilization. In addition, there may be a white milky discharge from the increased growth of cells lining and thickening in the vagina.
Nausea and Vomiting
Referred to as “morning sickness,” this nauseous feeling can begin as early as week 6, usually lessens around week 13 or 14 of gestation, and typically stops altogether by week 19. Feeling sick is attributed to the rising hCG hormone levels in the woman's body. This may also cause food cravings and aversions. Another reason a woman may feel sick is because she lets her stomach get too empty. Eating several small meals throughout the day will deter the nausea.
Urinating more often is very common in the beginning of a pregnancy. Higher hormone levels and uterine growth pushing on the bladder all contribute to this sometimes annoying pregnancy symptom.
Dizziness or Fainting
Some pregnant women experience dizziness or shortness of breath in the beginning of a pregnancy. Though it can be scary, it is typically short lived and not something to worry over. Feeling faint is due to dilating blood vessels, lower blood sugar, and lower blood pressure.
The majority of pregnant women notice they are substantially more tired than their non-pregnant selves were. The same lower levels of blood sugar and blood pressure that can cause dizziness can cause fatigue. Higher levels of progesterone and a boost in blood production can also contribute. Eating foods rich in iron and protein can help fight fatigue.
The rapidly changing hormone levels cause breasts to become swollen, tingly, and tender, and to feel fuller or heavier. Increased blood flow may cause veins in the breasts to become more prominent, and the areolas may darken up.
The increased progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines, thus causing constipation. That's why it is important for pregnant women to drink lots of water, exercise, and eat foods high in fiber.
Sharper Sense of Smell
Some pregnant women report their sense of smell becoming more heightened—both with smells they like and don't like. Sometimes things that used to smell good now smell bad and vice versa.
Aches and Pains
Headaches and lower backaches are common during pregnancy. Using warming wraps and blankets may be of help in alleviating the symptoms. Mood swings are also common in the first trimester.
Most women experience at least some form of heartburn during their pregnancies. Usually, it's not until the second or third trimester when the child is growing larger and crowding the abdomen, which can cause stomach acids to be pushed upward. Hormones can also cause the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax.
As stated before, the most common pregnancy symptom is a missed period, but there can be other reasons besides pregnancy for a missed period, such as hormonal problems, stress, weight change, or stopping birth control pills. That's why it is important to take a test as soon as possible to confirm whether you are, in fact, pregnant.
What was your first pregnancy sign?