When it comes to early pregnancy symptoms, a missed period is usually the first sign that something might be up.
Did you know that a missed period isn’t even one of the top 5 very early symptoms of pregnancy? By the time a woman has realized she’s missed her period, at least 5 other symptoms may have presented themselves, possibly weeks before the scheduled period.
For all the mothers out there who are hoping to conceive or are in the early stages of their pregnancy, here are five signs that you can look out for that may indicate that you are pregnant even before you miss your first period.
Elevated Basal Body Temperature
The basal temperature of the body (the lowest temperature that happens during rest) begins to increase after ovulation. This happens because the egg is released from the ovary and is ready to be fertilized by a sperm. The implantation of a fertilized egg normally takes place 6 to 12 days after ovulation, which is about two to three weeks before the next period is missed.
A one-half to one degree Fahrenheit increase in basal body temperature is a subtle but early warning sign of pregnancy. This change in basal body temperature, which is measured by a special, more accurate thermometer, can happen as early as two days after ovulation – which can be two weeks before you notice a missed period.
Breast Tenderness, Nipple Enlargement And Increased Breast Size
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is changes in the nipples, including increased swelling and tenderness. Often, a woman may notice these changes and assume they are due to an ill-fitting bra or other article of clothing. However, a more sensitive woman will recognize these changes for what they are – a new life is beginning to grow inside her.
During pregnancy, the nipples and the darker area around the nipple (the areola) enlarge and darken in color in preparation for breastfeeding. These changes are caused almost entirely by hormone releases in the body – all of which are preparing the breasts for sustaining new life. Some experts believe that the darkening of the areolas serves a purpose – it makes it easier for a newborn to find and latch onto the nipple during feeding. After childbirth, these changes to the breast and nipple area should return to normal.
Nausea And Vomiting
Usually occurring around the sixth week of pregnancy, morning sickness (as it is colloquially known) is an early and discomforting sign of pregnancy that affects approximately half of all expecting mothers. Although symptoms may vary from person to person, morning sickness generally includes nausea and sometimes also vomiting. Morning sickness can be a normal and healthy part of pregnancy for some women. According to some doctors, increased hormone levels in the body are often attributed to morning sickness. They feel that this is actually a good sign indicating that the baby is healthy and developing normally. If your morning sickness is accompanied by vomiting, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and keeping your electrolyte levels within range. Get plenty of rest and nap whenever you can throughout the day.
Did you know that constipation is often an early sign of pregnancy? Constipation is defined as having less than three bowel movements per week, and it’s something that many women experience at some point during their pregnancy. If you’re constipated and think you might be pregnant, be sure to take a pregnancy test to find out for sure.
Progesterone levels fluctuate constantly throughout pregnancy, and this can cause all sorts of digestive issues, including constipation. Many women write this off as an unrelated and irritating problem, but it can actually be a sign that you’re pregnant. Paying close attention to your body and the changes it’s going through can help you to know what’s going on.
Fatigue And Exhaustion
There is a big difference between fatigue and tiredness. Feeling tired and sleepy after a long day’s work is completely normal and expected. Sleep, which usually happens after tiredness, is the remedy for a body needing rest. Sleep allows the body to repair itself and get ready for another hard day.
However, if you’re constantly feeling fatigued, even after a full night’s sleep, it could be a sign of something more serious. Fatigue is a feeling of complete and utter exhaustion that isn’t cured by sleep. If you’re constantly feeling fatigued, make sure to see a doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Fatigue is not a normal bodily function and is usually a sign of some underlying condition. Although fatigue and tiredness are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Fatigue is different from tiredness in that it cannot be resolved by sleep. Fatigue can be a sign of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, pregnancy, and a host of other conditions. If you are experiencing fatigue, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Feeling fatigued during pregnancy is incredibly common, especially during the first trimester, and is often due to the radical increase in the hormone progesterone. Pregnancy also takes a serious toll on every bodily function, so it’s no wonder that you might feel exhausted by the end of the day.
Home pregnancy tests are available at your local drug store if you suspect you might be pregnant and would like to know for sure. If the test is positive, then you can notify your doctor and begin prenatal care for your new baby. These are some early pregnancy symptoms to look out for:
– Missed period
– Slight bleeding or spotting
– Nausea and vomiting
– Breast tenderness and enlargement
– Urination frequency