Most women are aware of some tell-tale signs of pregnancy. Missing your period, morning sickness, and unusual food cravings are typically the first symptoms that come to mind.
But there are many more symptoms that are common to early pregnancy.
What are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?
Early in pregnancy, your body produces high levels of progesterone, which can make you more feel more tired than normal.
Swelling and tenderness in the breasts
Your fluctuating hormones might make your breasts feel sore or more sensitive, or cause them swell and feel heavier.
Nausea and vomiting
“Morning sickness” is really a misnomer. The idea that you’ll only feel ill in the morning is a myth. Nausea and vomiting can affect you at any time of the day, and usually begins at around 3-4 weeks. Many women say that certain smells trigger the nauseous reaction.
Food aversions or cravings
Foods you loved before might make you sick during pregnancy, and you may experience strong cravings for particular foods at odd hours.
Fluctuating hormones can make us moody or irritable during pregnancy.
After the egg is fertilized by a sperm, it usually takes up to 2 weeks for the egg to implant in the uterus. When this happens, it’s common to experience some light vaginal bleeding. It’s called implantation bleeding, and it can be one of the first signs that you are pregnant.
Mild uterine cramping is another common symptom in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones can have a slowing effect on your digestive system, causing constipation.
Symptoms of the Second and Third Trimester
You might notice uneven streaks of pink, red, or purple developing along your body as it expands. Your thighs, bottom, breasts, and abdomen are the most common places. Although stretch marks are permanent features of your skin, they should become less noticeable with time.
Pruritis (itchy skin)
Your skin might become itchy where it’s stretching. It is important to moisturize to relieve itchiness and help prevent stretch marks. Itching on your feet and palms of your hands might indicate another medical condition called cholestasis.
Due to the hormones in pregnancy, your skin may develop darker patches of pigmentation on the face, shoulders, forearms, or the line running down from your navel. Some women’s nipples, genitals, and freckles become darker or more pronounced. Be sure to protect these areas by wearing SPF 30 or higher while outdoors.
Pregnancy can lower some women’s blood pressure, which can lead to dizzy spells when getting up or laying down too quickly. Take it easy when changing positions and drink plenty of fluids.
Increased Vaginal Discharge
A white, watery discharge is normal during the second trimester. You can wear panty liners to keep yourself more comfortable. If the discharge has a green or yellow tint, has an odor, or if you develop pain or itching in your vagina, you may want to have a pelvic exam to check for infections.
When your baby starts growing, the pregnancy will put pressure on your bladder. As a result, you’ll need to urinate more often. A panty liner can help you manage leaks when you cough, laugh, or sneeze.
Round ligament pain
That sharp, stabbing feeling in your lower pelvic area can be the result of round ligament stretching and tightening. This ligament attaches the front of your uterus to your groin. The tightening causes a spasm on either one or both sides of the groin. The pain may be triggered by sudden movements, like laughing, sneezing, or coughing.
These are swollen veins appearing around the anus that can cause itching and pain. You can use an over-the-counter cream or a stool softener to ease the discomfort.
The veins in your legs and vulva can become swollen and purple during the latter half of pregnancy. You can’t really prevent varicose veins, but you can minimize them by moving around throughout the day, propping your legs up when resting, and wearing supportive hosiery. The veins should improve after delivery.
As your baby grows and your body changes to sustain it, you will gain weight. Many women ask how much weight they should be gaining. We know that a woman of average weight tends to gain around ½ to 1 pound each week during the third trimester. However, every woman is different. Your doctor will give you guidance based on your specific case and help you keep a healthy weight for your body.
Swelling in your hands, fingers, feet, and ankles is another common symptom of pregnancy. You can reduce swelling by elevating your feet when you’re sitting for a long period of time or at night while you sleep.
One in three women will experience some anxiety and depression during pregnancy. Although these feelings are normal, we still take them seriously and want you to feel comfortable talking to us about your concerns. There are resources and therapy options available for you.