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Look out for early pregnancy symptoms

Reviewed by Stephen Willis, MD
Look out for early pregnancy symptoms
The early pregnancy symptoms experienced can vary greatly from woman to woman, in intensity, frequency and duration. Many of the easily pregnancy symptoms can easily be mistaken or confused for pre-menstrual pains and changes. Most women who are not planning or trying to conceive will often not notice the early pregnancy symptoms because they are simply not looking for them. Some symptoms will be emotional and many will be physical and most can occur very early in the pregnancy or later on. So here are some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms.

A missed or “late” period

This is often one of the first signs of pregnancy for women. This may then trigger the woman into thinking about whether she is experiencing any other symptoms, which she had so far disregarded.

Tender breasts

This is another of the very early pregnancy symptoms as the breasts start preparing for milk production as soon as the baby has been conceived. Breasts will feel sore, swollen and tender and the nipples will darken in colour and become sensitive.  

Fatigue

Another of the early pregnancy symptoms is a feeling of fatigue or general tiredness. It may become harder to get out of beds in the morning and harder to stay up so late. This is due to all of the incredible changes that your body goes through, requiring tremendous amounts of energy. This is what gives you that feeling of being drained and once you know that pregnancy is the reason for this, you should allow yourself little catnaps throughout the day.


A sudden “feeling” of being pregnant

Many pregnant women believe in an intuition that simply tells them they are pregnant. Some women even say they could feel it from the moment of conception while other report it coming to them in a dream. 

Urinating more frequently

Frequent trips to the bathroom may be another of the early pregnancy symptoms that you notice. Family and friends may notice this before you do if you keep getting up and down. It is caused by the uterus pushing down on the bladder and unfortunately will probably get worse throughout the pregnancy. 

Nausea

Sudden nausea and vomiting can come on very quickly, often taking women who are not yet aware that they are pregnant by surprise. These early pregnancy symptoms can occur as early as a week into pregnancy. Try eating smaller but more frequent meals and avoid drinking coffee with an empty stomach. Some women also find that saltine crackers help. 

Felling dizzy or faint

Doing what is otherwise considered normal activity, when pregnant can cause you to unexpectedly faint or have a dizzy spell. For example standing up after sitting for too long or walking up the stairs, especially if you haven’t eaten for a while. Keep snacks on you so if you ever begin feeling light headed you are prepared for it. 


 
Craving food or sudden aversions to food

This is somewhat of a cliché of pregnant women but it exists none the less. Every woman develops different cravings and aversions and there are supplement available that can help to ease some cravings and prevent extra weight gain. Check with your doctor which vitamins and fish oils are recommended to also benefit the health of the baby. 

Morning sickness

This is the well-known early pregnancy symptom and is related to nausea. Despite its name, sickness is not restricted to the mornings. However, that is when most women experience it, probably due to their stomachs being empty when they wake up. 

Sensitive to aromas

Heightened sensitivity to smells is another sign of pregnancy. A scent or aroma, that you once loved can suddenly cause you to gag. This is thought to have a link to the high amounts of oestrogen in your body. 


 
Mood swings

What with all the increased hormone levels, changes to your body and emotional aspect of pregnancy to deal with it is not a big surprise that mood swings and irritability are common. Mixed emotions are normal and it is often useful to explain what you are going through to your partner so that they can be as emotionally supportive as possible.

Lower back pain

This is due to the many changes that your body is going through, including weight gain, a growing uterus and your body changing in preparation for childbirth. 

Discharge

Vaginal discharge s common in the early stages of pregnancy and often continues throughout.

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