Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and enthralling experiences in a woman’s life. From a young woman to a new mother, a pregnant woman’s journey is filled with happiness, anxieties, doubts and fears.
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Along with this differing emotional chaos, a pregnant woman’s body undergoes tremendous physical changes starting from changes in the skin to an increasing body weight. But there are remedies for skin irritations during pregnancy to ways to cope with the body weight. This said, each woman’s pregnancy is said to be different and it’s also different each time.
Below mentioned are a few early symptoms of pregnancy that helps to identify if one is really pregnant and needs to get a pregnancy check done.
Nausea and Vomiting
This is one of the most commonly experienced early symptoms of pregnancy. Nausea is caused due to the increased hormonal changes in the pregnant woman’s body. For some women this can be a sign of the onset of pregnancy while for others it may begin much later into the second trimester of pregnancy.
Nausea attack can happen at any time of the day or even last for the entire day. Most pregnant women feel it more strongly in the mornings. The key to tide over nausea is by eating small meals at short intervals so as to not let your stomach be empty. Also keep yourself well hydrated during this period.
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Another sure shot sign of being pregnant is the heightened sense of smell. In the early phase of pregnancy, a woman becomes very aware of the various odours around her. Certain smells may trigger vomiting, headaches or nausea.
For a person who always loved eating fish, this smell sensitivity symptom prevented me from having my favourite food right from the onset of my pregnancy till the completion of my first trimester. In such a scenario it is preferable to get someone to do your cooking. This will ensure there is no compromise in nutrition on account of this early pregnancy symptom and there is healthy eating for the entire duration of your pregnancy.
Unusual Hunger Cravings
Even in the initial days of pregnancy, cravings towards certain food or food types may arise. As a pregnant woman’s body is working extra hard the food requirement needed to fuel this process increases manifold thereby leading to hunger pangs and cravings.
Some women crave for sour and acidic tasting foods in the very early stages of their pregnancy while others may develop a sweet tooth. Many a times there is a total change in the woman’s tastes and palate.
I have come across many cases where non-vegetarians have changed over to vegetarian food throughout their pregnancy and vice versa. Often women are found to crave for their mother’s home cooked meals.
Yet another early symptom of pregnancy is headaches. Some women experience excruciating headaches due to the hormonal upheaval and increased blood flow in their pregnant body.
The occurrence of headaches is not restricted to women who have had a history of migraine attacks but it can be caused in others too. Rest and staying away from stress will certainly help in reducing its frequency and intensity.
This is one of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. The various changes happening inside your body, the increased level of hormones and blood production all result in the feeling of tiredness throughout the day.
A woman in her early pregnancy stage can dose off at any point of time. This is her body’s coping mechanism. The only way to resolve this is to try and get as much rest as possible and to avoid caffeine and other stimulants that will hamper your sleep.
Generally, this symptom vanishes within a couple of months as the pregnancy progresses and the woman’s body adjusts to the pregnancy changes.
Mood swings are one crazy sign of being pregnant. Women in the early days of pregnancy can go from crying to anger to laughing out heartily in just one minute. Strange as it may sound, they are just another early symptom of being pregnant.
The hormonal changes create havoc in the woman’s body thereby resulting her becoming like an emotional yo-yo. She has no control over her emotions at this juncture and is quite helpless. Meditating and calming techniques are some of the methods to control mood swings during pregnancy.
Feeling Faint or Dizzy
A pregnant woman’s heart beats faster and harder to pump more blood. This may result in her blood pressure dropping which in turn may make her feel dizzy. Many women experience this symptom in the early stages of their pregnancy. Once the body adapts to the pregnancy this symptom disappears so long as the blood pressure remains in control.
In such a circumstance the woman must remember to sit as soon as the feeling of dizziness arises. Do not try to ignore or work through it. There are chances of injury to self and your growing foetus in case proper care is not taken at such times.
Tenderness and Swelling in Breast
Soreness and tenderness in the breasts is another early symptom of pregnancy. Right from the time of conceiving a woman’s breasts begins to swell. This is the process of getting ready to produce milk.
This is the most commonly experienced early sign of pregnancy. The increased hormonal changes result in the breasts becoming fuller, getting tender and hyper sensitive to touch. The tenderness subsides as your pregnancy progresses. Nipples too become extra sensitive to touch. During the advanced stages of pregnancy your breasts might leak too. Wearing proper breast pads will help you manage your leaking breasts during pregnancy.
Along with the swelling and sensitivity in the early stage of pregnancy breasts undergo other changes so as to start preparing for the breastfeeding stage. Hormonal alterations cause the area around the nipples called the areolas to become dark and slightly bumpy.
Nipples too enlarge. This is to help the baby suckle at the time of birth. These changes begin to occur during the early stages of pregnancy and are also one of the most common and early symptom of pregnancy.
Many women experience stomach cramping in the early stages of pregnancy. Though many women may confuse it with their PMS cramping, there are others who feel such sensations for the first time.
The stomach cramps in the early stage of pregnancy are more like pokes, contractions and squeezing in the lower abdomen. Stomach cramps in the early days of pregnancy is normal and one should not be worried about it unless it is accompanied by any other alarming signs. Once the embryo settles in the uterus the cramping subsides.
Bloating and Constipation
With the increase in the progesterone levels in her body a woman feels bloated and heavy in her stomach. The hormonal changes affect and slow the process of digestion thereby resulting in the bloated stomach feeling.
Many women also complain of constipation that also occurs due to the increased progesterone levels in their body. Drinking adequate amount of water and having a nutritious diet is the key to keep this early pregnancy symptom in check.
Heightened Basal Body Temperature
Basal body temperature is orally checked in the morning. Another confirmed sign of early pregnancy is the elevated basal body temperature.
At the time of ovulation the basal body temperature rises and remains constant for a few days till the onset of one’s periods. But if the increase in the basal body temperature continues for a longer period of time it means a confirmed pregnancy.
This symptom lasts and in fact increases during the entire pregnancy period. Right from the time of conception, when the embryo gets fixed in the uterus, the tendency to urinate increases manifold.
Every new mother-to-be definitely goes through this early symptom of pregnancy. As the baby grows the frequency of urination increases as the growing uterus puts additional pressure on the bladder.
Missing one’s period is the most common and obvious indicator of a pregnancy. And once you are pregnant you cannot have periods. In case your menstrual cycle is regular, one should get the pregnancy test done immediately. But nowadays there are many other causes of a missed period like stress, excessive loss of weight or even certain oral medication.
In such a scenario, the other symptoms like nausea, tenderness in the breasts, dizziness, stomach cramps can be considered as the indicator of conceiving.
This symptom occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the blood thickened uterus. This is another very early symptom of pregnancy and is often confused as the beginning of the menstrual cycle itself.
But this bleeding is very minuscule and doesn’t continue for many days like it happens during one’s period. It is advisable to do a pregnancy test at this juncture. Do not let the cramps and spotting be associated to the onset of PMS.
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned early symptoms of pregnancy it is advisable to get yourself checked so as to ensure the required medical attention and guidance from the initial days of pregnancy itself.
Knowing that you are pregnant is one of the best moments in a woman’s life. Keeping a check on these early symptoms of pregnancy will help you cherish, nurture and enjoy this wonderful stage of life right from the first moment of conceiving till the birth of your child.