Though every pregnancy is different, and some women don’t feel pregnant at all, there are certain signs of pregnancy that are relatively common among expectant mothers. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with pregnancy:
1. Sensitive Taste Buds and Smell
If you’re pregnant, you might find that foods you used to enjoy now taste awful, or make you nauseous. If your favorite foods are making you sick, it’s one of the earliest possible signs of pregnancy.
2. Missing your Period
Irregular periods are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Many factors can cause irregular periods, including: weight gain or loss, chemotherapy, medications, stress, caffeine, drug use, smoking, too much exercise, poor nutrition, and eating disorders. However, in most cases a missed period is a clear indication that a woman is pregnant.
3. Sore Breasts
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is sore breasts. You may notice this tenderness just a few days after conception. Breast tenderness during pregnancy is a common thing, usually beginning during the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy and continuing through the first trimester. However, many women find that their sore breasts go away during the second and third trimesters.
If you’re experiencing morning sickness, there’s a good chance you’re pregnant. Over 50% of all women will experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, which is caused by the increased number of hormones in your body. Morning sickness is actually a good sign, as it means the placenta is developing well. Symptoms usually go away after the first trimester.
5. Feeling Exhausted All the Time
Being pregnant can be taxing on your energy levels, so it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself by snacking on healthy foods throughout the day. Though fatigue is a common and normal symptom of pregnancy, it can also be indicative of other health concerns. If you’re feeling particularly tired, make sure to consult with your doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
6. Dark Areola
A dark areola is a physical symptom of pregnancy that can occur at any point during the pregnancy.
7. Basal Body Temperature
Women who are trying to conceive often take their oral temperature when they wake up in the morning as a way to pinpoint their fertility period. This is extremely useful in detecting the earliest possible signs of pregnancy. Your temperature will return to normal when you have your period, but if you’re pregnant, your temperature will be higher than average.
8. Mood Swings
If you’re feeling extra emotional lately and find yourself crying more often than usual, it’s likely due to hormonal changes and nothing to do with your mental state. These mood swings are normal and will subside in a few weeks as your body readjusts to the new hormone levels.
Cramps can range from mild to severe. It can be a signal of a problem or just another sign that your uterus is growing and stretching. Also, since your uterus has begun to grow, you may feel some discomfort in your abdomen.
25% or more of all pregnant women will have light bleeding at some point during their pregnancy – often times, around the time they would have otherwise gotten their period. Some women might mistake this light bleeding for an initial sign of menstruation but as long as the bleeding is shorter or lighter in comparison to a typical period, it’s likely that the woman has missed her period entirely and is instead experiencing pregnancy spotting.
If you find yourself struggling to zip up your jeans, it might be time to buy a pregnancy test. Bloating right before your period is common, but if the bloating persists even after your period, it could be a sign that you’re pregnant. Of course, there are other causes of bloating, so if you’re not sure, it’s always best to consult with a doctor. But if you are pregnant, congrats! Time to start stocking up on baby clothes.
12. Bathroom Breaks Often
Disruptions in your normal bathroom habits can be an early sign of pregnancy, especially if you find yourself going more often during the night or can’t seem to make it through the work day without a trip (or two, or three) to the restroom. In the first trimester, as your baby begins to grow and take up more space in your womb, this increased pressure on your bladder will likely lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom. And during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, as your baby drops lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth, you may find yourself making even more frequent trips as they use your bladder as a trampoline!
13. Starving All The Time
Do you find yourself having cravings for certain foods that you can’t resist? If you’re eating more than you normally would, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs by eating a balanced diet.
Expectant mothers tend to suffer from more headaches than the general population for two reasons: an increase in blood volume and hormonal fluctuations.
Although it’s certainly not comfortable, being constipated during pregnancy does serve a purpose. Your body is making your digestive tract slow down, so it can absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat. To help ease constipation, you should increase the water and fiber in your diet. Unfortunately, this side effect will likely stay with you until the end of your pregnancy.
Seeing your doctor as soon as you think you might be pregnant is always the best idea. That way you can get a professional opinion and figure out the best course of action for you and your baby. If you’re experiencing any (or all) of these pregnancy symptoms, it’s better to know sooner rather than later so that your baby can get the proper nourishment and care.