pregnancy signs

The 10 most common early pregnancy signs

1.     Missed period

If your period is late, it’s worth taking a pregnancy test. The best time to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning, using your first pee of the day. That’s because the test will be looking for elevated hCG hormone levels and the concentration of hCG is highest first-thing in the morning.

 

2.     Sore boobs

Just like your boobs may get sore before your period, hormonal changes may make them sore in the earlier half of pregnancy. With my first pregnancy, I discovered that I was pregnant because my boobs were so sore, I felt like I needed to wear two bras to get the support I needed!

 

3.     Fatigue

Hormones, again, are responsible for the crippling fatigue most pregnant women experience in the first trimester. The hormone, progesterone, soars to up to 100 times its normal amount in a pregnant woman’s body. Progesterone relaxes the uterus and protects the growing baby, but it also acts as a sedative and makes the pregnant woman more tired. If you feel like you can’t get through the day without a nap, or an earlier bedtime, it could be a sign that you’re pregnant.

 

4.     Nausea

Despite the name “morning sickness”, nausea and vomiting can strike any time of day and can last the whole day for some women. With my second pregnancy, my nausea and vomiting was worse in the afternoon until bedtime, so keep this in mind if you expectantly experience nausea and vomiting and it’s not food poisoning or a gastro bug.

 

5.     Light spotting

Light spotting happens for some women when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus wall, where it will make its home and grow into a fetus from there. Light spotting happens around the time you would normally get your period. The only difference is that the bleeding won’t be heavy enough to fill a pad or tampon.

 

6.     Cramping

Just like light spotting, some women experience cramps when the fertilized egg implants itself onto the uterus wall. These cramps feel very similar to your usual period cramps. With my second pregnancy, I experienced these cramps and thought my period was on the way. However, it didn’t come and sure enough, I was pregnant!

 

7.     Change in your cervical mucus

If you’ve been tracking changes in your cervical mucus for ovulation and fertility, you’d be familiar with how your cervical mucus changes around the time you’re ovulating. It’s thicker, almost the consistency of runny egg white. This mucus will change to become clear and thin, almost disappearing before your period comes. However, if you’re pregnant, your mucus will stay thick and white. That’s because this mucus is part of your body’s way of protecting the growing fetus from bacteria and microbes that could otherwise enter through the vagina.

 

8.     Food aversions

Just like nausea, food aversions are a common early pregnancy sign. If you experience a sudden dislike for a food (or smell) you’ve always loved, and you can’t explain the dislike, it could be a sign that you’re pregnant. One of the tell-tales signs for me in my first pregnancy, was my sudden dislike for the smell and taste of bacon (which I ate a few times a week prior to pregnancy!).

 

9.     Cold-like symptoms

During the earlier half of pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is naturally lowered to protect the baby from being rejected by the mother’s body. Pregnant women are more susceptible to colds and flu and it’s not uncommon to wake up with a stuffy nose or a sore throat or to have cold symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing throughout the day.

 

10.  More emotional

The hormonal rollercoaster is real. Just like hormonal changes can bring on PMS before your period, hormonal changes during pregnancy can you more emotional or irritable, especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy where hormone levels are escalating each day. It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to be more teary and emotional... I know I certainly am during pregnancy!