Early Signs of Pregnancy
Many women feel very tired early in pregnancy (it takes lots of energy to create a baby!). In fact, fatigue is often one of the first signs of pregnancy. If you are signs and symptoms of pregnancy - find out what are commonly the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms can be different not only for Early Pregnancy symptoms, signs of pregnancy and possible other causes for the symptoms of pregnancy are discussed.
* Prickling, tingling nipples This can be one of the very earliest signs of pregnancy, kicking in within a week or so of conception. You may feel a tingling sensation as pregnancy hormones increase the blood supply to your breasts, particularly around the nipples. Once your body gets used to the hormone surge, the sensation will subside.
* Spotting and cramping It's common to have some spotting, a slight pink or brown-coloured stain in your knickers or when you pee, as well as cramping. Spotting in very early pregnancy could be caused by the egg implanting in your uterus. A little bleeding at around the time you'd normally expect your period may be caused by the hormones that control your periods breaking through.
* Feeling sick If you're lucky you'll escape this completely. However morning sickness is a common symptom of early pregnancy. It often starts when you're four to six weeks pregnant. You may feel nauseated and queasy, or even vomit. Despite its name, morning sickness can affect you morning, noon or night.
* Tender, swollen breasts From about six weeks pregnant, your breasts may become increasingly tender to the touch. It’s similar to how they feel before your period, only more so. You may notice that your breasts are larger and swollen, with blue veins visible just below the skin. Tenderness tends to be most common in the first trimester, easing as pregnancy progresses.
* Fatigue Feeling tired? No, make that exhausted. You may find yourself diving for your duvet as your body cranks up to support your baby right from the early stages of pregnancy. Though fatigue is not a sure-fire symptom on its own, it's a common pregnancy symptom. You may find tiredness wipes you out most in the first and third trimesters.
* Needing to pee frequently From about six weeks pregnant, you may notice that you're going to the loo more often. This is down to a combination of pregnancy hormones, a larger volume of blood in your system and your kidneys working extra hard. Watch out though, if you get pain or a burning sensation when you pee, it might be a urinary tract infection.
* Darkening of your nipples Skin changes are common during pregnancy. One of the first ones you may notice is the circle of skin round your nipples (your areolas) getting darker. This can happen from about eight weeks. You may also find that the bumps around your nipples become more pronounced or your nipples are more erect. At this time your vulva and vagina may change to a deeper, purplish red too.
* Altered sense of taste You may go off some foods, but develop a craving for others. Some women report a metallic taste in their mouth, others that they can’t stand the taste of coffee, tea or a food they usually like. It's a cliché, but food cravings or aversions sometimes can be a sign of pregnancy. If they're accompanied by some of the other symptoms on this list, start counting the days from your last period.
* A missed period If you're usually pretty regular and your period doesn't start on time, you'll probably take a pregnancy test before you notice any other symptoms. A missed period is one of the surest signs of pregnancy. But if your periods are irregular or you lost track of when your next one was due, you won’t realise your period is late. In this case, tender breasts, feeling queasy and needing extra trips to the loo may be early clues that you’re pregnant. And finally...
* The proof: A positive home pregnancy test Most home tests will give you a reliable result if you wait until at least the first day of a missed period. If a blue line appears in the test window, you're probably expecting. Make an appointment with your midwife, read our article, 50 reasons to be glad you're pregnant. Congratulations!