Early Pregnancy Symptoms & Signs To Look For
Taking a pregnancy test, blood or urine, or attending an ultrasound appointment are the only true ways to confirm pregnancy. There are of course more discussed ways of tell tale signs of being pregnant. From the earliest onset of a missed period, to sensitivity to smells and sounds, increased tiredness, and even morning sickness. We can be assured, that going in for that pregnancy test is just a formality in some cases.
The Onset Of Symptoms
Although we would naturally count pregnancy from the date of conception, it is actually counted from the date of your last period. With it being the first ‘true’ first week of your pregnancy, even though you may not have even conceived yet! The expected delivery date is calculated using the first day of your last period. For that reason, the first few weeks where you may not have symptoms also count toward your 40-week pregnancy.
Cramping & Even Spotting
From week one to week four, everything is on a cellular level. The fertilized egg creates a blastocyst (a fluid-filled group of cells) that will develop into the baby’s organs and body. About 10 to 14 days (week four) after conception, the blastocyst will implant in the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This can cause implantation bleeding which may be mistaken for a light period, or sometimes the first signs of pregnancy if you’re tracking ovulation.
Here are some signs of implantation bleeding:
- Color: The color of each episode may be pink, red, or brown.
- Bleeding: Bleeding is usually compared to your regular menstrual period. Spotting is defined by blood present only when wiping.
- Pain: Pain may be mild, moderate, or severe. According to a study of 4539 women, 28 percent of women associated their spotting and light bleeding with pain.
- Episodes: Implantation bleeding is likely to last less than three days and doesn’t require treatment.
Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illicit drugs, which are associated with heavy bleeding.
The missed period, the ultimate tell tale sign of an early pregnancy symptom. When your body is finished with implantation, it then starts to produce a hormone called ‘human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG for short. The hormone increases in numbers as the pregnancy continues, and a phrase you may get used to hearing is ‘increased HCG noted’. People who are pregnant with multiples will naturally have a higher HCG level than someone with a singleton pregnancy.
It’s Getting Hot In Here!
When pregnant, our body temperature increases a little more easily. We may find ourselves with flushes faces after even smaller tasks after walking a flight of stairs. You’ll need to take more caution to your fluid consumption and to also remember to take it a little easier when moving around.
Tiredness Is No Joke!
Tiredness during the first trimester is crippling, and you may find yourself nodding off at your desk, even after a full nights sleep. Progesterone levels increasing during this time will cause us to need more sleep. Ensure that you’re getting enough rest, and catnap when you can.
Racing Heart Rate
As you get into the swing of the first trimester, this causes an increased level of hormones and blood flow. Which in turn causes heart palpitations. Although an extremely common pregnancy side effect, it is often worrying to first time parents who have never experienced it before. However, if you do suffer from any medical problems, please see your local general practitioner.
Aches & Pains
Around the same time, you’ll notice a lot of swelling, pains and especially tenderness to your breasts. These are caused by hormonal changes in the body.
Where Is The Nearest Bathroom? STAT!
Needing to pee, and needing to pee often are common signs of pregnancy. As your blood flow is a little more rapid that usual, it in turn causes your kidneys to process more fluid than normally. Around this stage, it is suggested to keep some sanitary pads on hand for accidential and common leaking that occurs.
Morning Sickness & Nausea
While gaining weight during pregnancy is completely expected and normal, there are instances where people simply do not gain a lot of weight. Please always defer back to your midwife or doctor’s opinion and realize that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to how much weight you should gain during early and even late pregnancy.
Moving To The Second Trimester
Many of the body changes and symptoms of pregnancy you experience in the first trimester will start to fade once you reach the second trimester. Talk with your doctor about any symptoms that interfere with your daily life. Together, you can find relief and comfort for your pregnancy.