Have you missed your period? Are you showing signs of fatigue? Does this mean you could be pregnant? With a missed period you may expect to be pregnant and Pregnancy tests and ultrasounds can determine for sure whether or not you are pregnant. However, the signs and symptoms are noticeable within a week of conception. This is the biological indication that you may actually be pregnant. Here are 10 early symptoms of pregnancy that can help you and act as a guideline.
High blood pressure
A number of women complain of raised blood pressure levels during the early stages of their pregnancy. This can often add to the pre-mentioned feelings of nausea and cause you to feel dizzy, since this entails dilation of the blood vessels. Elevated levels of blood pressure are often hard to measure. If you have hypertension, this may further complicate the issues as hypertension can be an indicator of some underlying issues with the pregnancy. While it may be present from before your pregnancy, it may also develop during the early stages. It is advisable to visit a doctor at the earliest as they can help establish the baseline to help you get a basal reading for blood pressure to help track it.
Aversion to certain foods and cravings
While the symptom is generally very dependent on the individual, there is very little evidence that this is linked to pregnancy hormones. However, a number of women report the occurrence of a smell sensitivity issue, especially in the first trimester of the pregnancy. This can often trigger vomiting and nausea due to the sensitivity. A number of women also report issues with food aversions and establish relationships between pregnancy and smells. Researchers have established an increase in smell sensitivity making odors most intense.
Near the end of the first trimester, there is an increase in the weight you are likely to gain. People generally gain around 1-4 pounds during the first few months. During the early stages of pregnancy, you are not likely to have an increased calorific requirement as compared to the usual diet; however, it increases as the stages of pregnancy progress.
A number of hormonal changes associated with the stages of pregnancy are linked to the relaxation of the valves between the esophagus and the stomach. This can cause a leak in stomach acids, which can lead to heartburn. However, it is relatively preventable by taking a few steps. The first step is to consume smaller meals throughout the entire day instead of going for a larger meal. You can also try to allow the food more time to get digested by sitting upright for an hour after meals and look for safe antacid options.
A number of women report issues with their skin during their pregnancy. While generally they get what is called the “pregnancy glow” due to the secreation of oil from the glands, due to the effects of increased hormones and blood flow, they may also develop acne.
Increased levels of basal body temperature
The oral temperature of your body when you wake up each morning is referred to as the basal body temperature. Studies have shown that the basal temperature increases very slightly after you ovulate and stays at the level till you get your next period. If you keep track of the basal body temperature, you can determine the time when you will start ovulating. If the temperature remains high for over two weeks, it may indicate pregnancy.
This is the most obvious and practical way to determine pregnancy. If you are regular and always keep track of your menstrual cycle, a missed period may compel you to do a pregnancy test. But if you are not then there are other signs such as nausea, fatigue and frequent trips to the restroom.
This is a common early symptom of pregnancy. It is due to the increased levels of progesterone hormone. A good dose of this hormone is enough to put you to sleep.
Pro tip- It is important to get good sleep and enough rest in the first few weeks of pregnancy to ensure that you stay healthy. It is important to maintain the room temperature and keep the bedroom cool as basal body temperature is on the rise. If you are pregnant basal body temperature remains elevated for more than two weeks after ovulation.
Tender and swollen breast
Due to hormonal changes you are likely to develop tender, swollen breasts within a few weeks. The hormones also cause your breasts to grow. They be sore or tingly and may feel heavier. Changes in the nipple can occur- the areola may change colour and enlarge in size.
Pro tip- To deal with tender breasts it is advisable to invest in a maternity bra which is comfortable and non-restraining without an underwire.
Bleeding or spotting
Within 10-14days there might be light bleeding or spotting. Don’t fret as this is normal. It occurs due to the implantation of the fertilized egg into the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus). It may last for about three days and here is no need for treatment.
Faintness and dizziness
Your blood pressure may fluctuate and you may feel dizziness as a result of dilated blood vessels.
Pro tip- Consult your doctor and track your blood pressure levels regularly. Follow a dietary plan and drink plenty of water. Do regular exercise or yoga that is pregnancy friendly.
Vomiting, nausea or morning sickness is bound to happen to pregnant women as early as two weeks after conception or in about a month. It is called morning sickness however, it may occur at any time of the day. The nauseous feeling occurs normally due to the rapid increase in estrogen levels causing the stomach to clear up slowly. You may also have a heightened sense of smell- odors, perfume, food smell and cigarette may trigger you to feel nauseous and vomit.
Pro tip- If you can’t eat due to the nausea, don’t force it. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Call in a doctor if it gets any worse.
The increase in progesterone leading to food being processed slowly in the stomach can cause constipation.
Due to the influx and increased levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body, you may experience mood swings and this is quite a common occurrence among pregnant women. Different women respond to these changes differently. Some heightened emotions may be good or bad or others may experience a whole different level of emotional rollercoaster.
Pro tip- If you feel sad, anxious, depressed or unable to cope or concentrate with day to day activities, consult a professional right away. It may help you in the long run and also the baby.
There is an increased amount of blood flow through your kidneys during pregnancy as a result of hormonal change. Therefore, the kidney processes more fluids than usual, leading to more fluids in the bladder. Therefore, you may have an increased urge to frequent the restroom.
Increased heart beat rate
About two months after conception your heart beat rate may increase causing it to pump faster and harder.
Pro tip- If you happen to have any underlying heart problems or disease, consult your doctor.
These are a few signs that can help you determine whether you are pregnant or not. Other signs include frequent and mild headaches due to the hormonal changes. You may also notice your skin to have flushed or oily appearance. It is a result of the hormonal changes and this may result in acne breakouts. Keep in mind that many of these symptoms will decrease after the first trimester. If you experience all of the above mentioned signs, it is advisable to do a pregnancy test and consult your doctor.