“Am I pregnant?”, “symptoms of pregnancy”, “what are early signs I could be pregnant” are some very common thoughts (and internet searches!) for women trying to conceive as well as those trying to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Taking a pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure if you are pregnant or not, but many women report having signs of a pregnancy very early on. Being aware and detecting one of these early signs may be what prompts you to take a pregnancy test.
It’s important to remember that every pregnancy and person is different and these symptoms can vary greatly; there are many who will become pregnant and have none of these signs.
It’s no surprise that making a baby is TIRING WORK! This type of out-of-this-world tiredness can hit you right from the start. For some, it creeps up slowly and for many it persists throughout pregnancy. (although the second trimester often brings with it a lovely boost of energy) The best thing you can do for yourself is to get plenty of rest, eat a well balanced diet and stay hydrated!
Within one to four weeks of conception some women report mild cramping and spotting. This is a normal symptom of pregnancy known as implantation bleeding and happens when the fetal tissue attaches to the uterine lining and some may mistake this as a period. If there is a lot of bleeding or a foul smell present, contact your doctor or midwife right away.
This is the most common early sign that you have a baby on board. Missing a period is a clear sign you should take an at home pregnancy test. However, for women who have irregular periods, this may not raise a red flag and you may have to stay in tune with your body to pick up other possible signs.
Pregnancy brings on many changes to the breasts including tenderness, swelling and sometimes tingling. Your areolas may also darken and get larger. This can take some time to happen but for some women this is their first clues that they may be expecting.
Because of all the hormonal changes that pregnancy brings it’s common to have some nausea and even vomiting. Although you can have “morning” sickness anytime of the day or night, it is common in the morning partly due to having a lower blood sugar upon waking. You can try to remedy this by keeping some grapes, dried fruit or nuts in your room and eat a small handful when you get up to use the bathroom throughout the night.
There’s some less common changes that can happen to you as well. With my first child, I had frequent urination as early as the first few weeks of conception. I know some women who have had intense mood swings and find themselves very emotional before they even missed their period.
If you suspect you are pregnant, take an at home test. If it is negative and you still feel you may be expecting, wait a few days (or a week if you can!) and test again. Your local health department can also help confirm a pregnancy, free of charge. If it’s positive, congratulations! Contact your doctor or midwife for your first appointment.