by Jennifer Shakeel
Pregnancy symptoms vary from women to women. Are you wondering if you are pregnant, but you haven’t missed your period yet, and haven’t taken a pregnancy test? Believe it or not there are symptoms of pregnancy that you can experience before you miss your period. I should pause for a moment and tell you that some of these symptoms can also be a signal that your period is about to start. What you need to pay attention to is whether or not these are symptoms that you have every month or if they are new. Also, it is possible for you to have a period and still be pregnant. If your period is lighter than usual or if the length of it is shorter, and/or if the symptoms you are experiencing are new, you could be pregnant. Here are a few symptoms that can be early signs of pregnancy.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
Fatigue can be a big indicator of a possible pregnancy. It is during early pregnancy that our levels of progesterone hit new heights, which can put us to sleep. Fatigue in early pregnancy can also be triggered by low blood sugar, low blood pressure coupled with increased blood production.
Soar, tender and swollen breasts are often one of the very first signs of pregnancy. You can experience this as soon as two weeks after conception. However for many women this is also a sign that their period is going to be starting.
Nausea accompanied by or not accompanied by vomiting, also known as morning sickness can be an early sign of pregnancy. Though it is called morning sickness it can happen at anytime of the day. For some women this can happen as early as two weeks post conception. The nausea seems to be connected to the rapidly increasing amount of estrogen in the body, which can make the stomach empty at a slower rate than usual.
Headaches, I almost laugh at this… only because I believe that is a sign of motherhood, but it also is a sign of pregnancy. The headaches are caused by the increased blood circulation that is caused by the changes in the hormone levels. Headaches in motherhood can be triggered by lack of sleep accompanied by to much caffeine and the increased amount of demands placed on you in a day. The plus, both types of headaches are worth every moment of discomfort they cause.
Cramping and slight bleeding can also be one of the first signs you may be pregnant. This is called implantation bleeding and it can happen when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of your uterus. This takes place about 10 to 14 days after fertilization. How is this bleeding different then your usually monthly bleeding, well it is spottier, lighter in color and doesn’t last very long.
Cravings or food aversions can also signal that you may have a “bun in the oven.” So if foods that you used to love suddenly make you feel queasy, or all of a sudden you can’t get enough of potatoes or other foods you could be pregnant. For example, with my first child I craved potatoes… I also gained 55 pounds with her. With my son I couldn’t eat spicy foods, and with our last I couldn’t eat enough veggies.
Constipation can also be an early sign of pregnancy… and it can also accompany you all through your pregnancy. This is dues to the increased amount of progesterone which causes the food you consume to pass at a much slower rate through the intestines.
Mood swings, caused by the influx of hormones racing through your body. Of course, we all know that mood swings are also a sign that they are menstruating. Not that we admit it when it is happening, when you are pregnant you may find yourself asking yourself why you are acting this way.
You may also notice that you feel warmer, really what that is, is an increase in your basal body temperature. Your body temp typically rises slightly after ovulation and then stays elevated until you have a period. If you don’t have a period, but your body temp remains high for longer than two weeks, you could be pregnant.
Depending on which pregnancy this is for you, weight gain could also be an early sign that you are pregnant. For example, with my first it took me three months to gain weight. With my second, I’d day that it was the second month I noticed clothes getting a little uncomfortable. With this last one, I swear the moment I conceived I was no longer able to fit into my clothes.
The bottom line is that you have to know what is normal for you. When you are experiencing any of these and they are out of the “norm” for you then you should get a pregnancy test from the store and take it in the morning using your first morning urine.
Jennifer Shakeel is a writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience. As a mother of two incredible children with one on the way, I am here to share with you what I have learned about parenting and the joys and changes that take place during pregnancy. Together we can laugh and cry and rejoice in the fact that we are moms!