How to recognise the early signs of pregnancy.
Even if it’s very early on in a pregnancy, there are some changes you may notice in your body. One of the most obvious signs of pregnancy is a missed period. However, if you haven’t missed your period yet, there are some other signs that may indicate you’re pregnant.
For example, do you feel tired or nauseus? Remember, everybody is different and symptoms can vary greatly. Some women know they’re pregnant within hours of conceiving, while others arrive at the hospital with stomach cramps only to realise they are pregnant and about to give birth.
To help guide you through this uncertain time, here are some common signs of early pregnancy:
This is the most obvious sign you’re pregnant. If you’ve missed your period and suspect you might be pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test. These are widely available – you can get them at the chemist, the supermarket, online or you can visit your GP or Family Planning Clinic. It’s recommended you wait until after your missed period to take a pregnancy test. If you take it before then, you may not get an accurate result.
Feeling sick or actually vomiting is a common sign of pregnancy. However, some women don’t experience nausea or vomiting at all. You may feel sick or vomit any time during the day or only at particular times such as late afternoon or early morning.
Hormonal changes early on in pregnancy can make your breasts tender or swollen. They may feel sore, fuller or heavier. The area around your nipple may get darker and bigger.
Pregnancy can make you feel exhausted. You may feel wiped out and like you constantly need to nap. This overwhelming tiredness tends to reduce in the second trimester, then return again in the last trimester.
Pregnancy can make you feel emotional due to the changes in your hormones. Also, you may be a lot hungrier, which can make you feel irritable. Hormones aside, the prospect of becoming a parent naturally stirs up a wide range of emotions. It’s a huge life event so it can seem somewhat overwhelming.
You may find yourself having to urinate more often than usual. This is due to hormonal changes.
Light spotting and cramping
Sometimes in early pregnancy a small amount of spotting or bleeding is normal. This is caused by the fertilised egg attaching to the lining of the uterus. However, see your doctor if it’s heavy or persistent. Mild cramping can also occur in the early stages.
While not everybody gets cravings, you may suddenly feel an overwhelming desire to eat a certain type of food. It can range from things you don’t normally eat to something you’re familiar with.
One of the more unusual symptoms of pregnancy can be a strange metallic taste in the mouth. This is known as dysgeusia. It can even occur before you have a positive pregnancy test. The cause of the taste is thought to be hormonal, particularly the increased oestrogen associated with pregnancy. This sensation usually improves greatly or ends entirely after the first trimester.