Are you waiting to start a family? Pregnancy can be detected by ultrasounds, urine, and blood tests. But these can only be done after a few weeks of being pregnant. Want to hear some good news even before taking that home pregnancy test? Then stick around!
Today we’re discussing signs and symptoms that might indicate you’re pregnant. We’re talking so much more than the typical food cravings and vomiting. Can stomach cramps mean pregnancy? What about changes in your breasts? We’re discussing all that and more.
Let’s begin with the most obvious- A Missed Period.
After conception, the levels of a hormone called hCG start surging in the body. It signals your ovaries to stop releasing eggs every month. If it has been more than a week after your expected period date then you could be pregnant. But this is not always true. A missed period doesn’t always mean you’re expecting. It is important to consider other signs, too.
The next early sign is Bluish Discoloration Of Vaginal Tissue.
This is often called Chadwick’s sign or Jacquemier’s sign by doctors. An increase in the hormone estrogen triggers an increase in blood flow. As the blood in the veins increases the soft tissue of the vagina, vulva, and cervix changes color. It changes to dark blue or purple. But this sign is not definite. A few disorders like endometriosis can also cause a color change.
Moving along, pay attention to the Changes In Your Breasts.
This could be tricky because a few women confuse it with premenstrual syndrome. The gush of pregnancy hormones around 4 to 6 weeks causes change. You may experience breast tenderness, a change in the size of the breasts, or tingling on your nipples. The area around the nipples called the areola also may start getting darker. This is your body’s way to prepare for nursing the baby. Choose comfortable maternity clothes to reduce the friction on swollen breasts.
What else to look for? Spotting!
After the egg has fertilized it attaches itself to the walls of the uterus to get nutrition and grow. The process is called implantation. It is accompanied by light-colored or unusual bleeding which is called implantation bleeding. It may not occur in everyone and happens around four weeks, usually around the time of your regular period.
The blood flow is not heavy as compared to a regular menstrual period and does not last more than 3 days. Sometimes it is just for a few hours. Don’t be surprised if you experience mild cramping. Generally, it’s milder than menstrual pain.
Adding to the list is Constipation.
Research shows that almost 11 to 38% of pregnant people can feel constipated during pregnancy. If you have infrequent bowel movements or difficulty with evacuation you might be with child.
Progesterone is a hormone that is important to sustain the pregnancy. This hormone can bring changes in your gastrointestinal tract also. It increases the transit time of your stool. It can also make your stool dry due to the added water absorption from the intestine. Iron and Calcium supplements can also slow down your bowel movements. A few simple remedies are to up your fluid intake and eat fiber-rich foods and probiotics like yogurt. They will help push things ahead.
Are you experiencing Morning Sickness?
Nausea and vomiting in the morning are classic symptoms of pregnancy. But a few folks can experience nausea during any time, day or night. It affects almost 70 to 80% of pregnant people. The symptoms become more severe as the pregnancy advances. As the levels of hCG peak, vomiting and nausea can get worse. Eating saturated fats, smoking, and alcohol consumption can heighten this feeling.
Try munching on some salty crackers first thing when you get up in the morning. It will alleviate that urge to throw up. If you are actually vomiting then pay close attention to your fluid intake. Stay hydrated since the developing fetus requires a healthy balance of amniotic fluid.
Ever heard of Urinary Incontinence?
If you are having a difficult time holding in your pee then there might be a baby on the way. Your body is triggered to pump lots of blood during pregnancy. This makes your kidneys filter more fluid and produce more urine. That is why you may feel the urge to pee frequently during the night. At times you may even leak accidentally.
The fertilized egg is very small and does not exert any physical pressure on your bladder. Urinary incontinence increases in the third trimester when the size of the baby increases. Studies say that this phenomenon affects your everyday life including the mental and social aspects.
Is your Skin changing?
Take a look in the mirror. Have you gotten rid of that dull lifeless skin? It’s definitely the pregnancy glow! Your hormones can do wonders for your skin that no cream or lotion would ever do. A mixture of increased blood volume and a hormone surge gives you a flushed and youthful appearance. The hormones also make your oil glands produce more sebum. That’s why a few might experience breakouts. But don’t worry, the acne is not permanent. It will subside once the hormonal fluctuations level out.
Feeling an increase in your Body Temperature?
Your basal body temperature can increase during early pregnancy. This can happen especially in the morning. You might want to lower the temperature of your thermostat despite the cold weather. If you are working out or exercising you will feel more exhausted due to the heat. If it’s already hot outside it’s just going to make you feel burning hot. You know your body the best. So if you find your body responding unusually to different temperatures then take it as a sign of pregnancy.
Fatigue And Tiredness can also tell if a baby is brewing.
Do you feel exhausted right after you wake up in the morning? You can again blame it on progesterone. It relaxes your body. You might chug down mugs of coffee but it really won’t help. Try to get enough sleep and take small breaks.
Studies show that higher progesterone levels can make you really sleepy and lethargic. The physiological and psychological changes during the first trimester can deplete your energy stores. This energy slump continues through your first trimester.
The next sign is Elevated Heart Rate.
Try to closely monitor your heart rate. Is your heart beating faster than usual? At about 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, your heart may pump harder. You may also feel the palpitations while resting. Your heart will be put to extra work due to the hormones. Studies show that pregnancy can increase your blood flow by 32-50%. If you’re already taking medication for blood pressure try talking to your doctor.
You may also experience elevated blood pressure which is common during early pregnancy. But a few people can experience the total opposite. A drop in blood pressure with dizziness can also tell you you’re expecting. So look out for both signs.
Another heart-related symptom is Heartburn.
Getting that fiery feeling in the upper part of your digestive tract after eating spicy food is common. But if you are eating bland food and still getting heartburn then that might point towards pregnancy. Stop taking antacids for indigestion. Instead, try having smaller meals throughout the day. Don’t lie down immediately after having food, try to sit up for at least 1 hour instead. Pregnancy hormones relax the valve between your stomach and the esophagus. This can cause backflow of stomach acids causing pregnancy-related heartburn.
Has your Sense Of Smell changed?
You may find something strange happening with the sense of smell, too. If you’re pregnant the power of your sniffer can heighten or lessen. You might have heard about pregnant folks feeling sick even by the smell of meat. Well, that’s true to some extent! Usual smells can set off nausea and vomiting, creating strong aversions to food. On the contrary, foods that you never enjoyed before could become your best friend. I know, pregnancy can be confusing.
Do you have Swollen Gums?
In spite of making no change in your oral hygiene habits, your gums might seem inflamed. Pregnancy reduces your body’s overall immunity. The oral bacteria get a chance to grow and flourish. Since the volume of blood increases the blood flow in the oral soft tissues also increases. It may even cause bleeding while brushing.
Another noteworthy oral change is Increased Salivation.
Drooling can tell you if you are preggers and there are a couple of reasons for it. Frankly, it has got nothing to do with tasty food. Since the volume of the fluid is increasing, the salivary output also increases, just like your urine. Another reason is that nausea and vomiting usually have a prequel i.e too much salivation. Acid reflux can also make your mouth produce more saliva to reduce the harmful effects of the acid. Studies show that the salivary output can go up to 2 liters per day due to swollen salivary glands during pregnancy.
Getting a Metallic Taste?
This is a weird sign that only a few people experience. It’s called dysgeusia in the medical world. Elevated estrogen levels in the first trimester can make you feel as if you are eating coins or aluminum.
Eat Citric food like tart cherries or lemonade to get rid of that feeling. You can also gargle with salt water or baking soda to fight off that metallic taste. Studies show that a few folks also have an increased sensation of bitter foods or a decreased sweet response.
Last but not least is Moodiness.
It is natural to feel overwhelmed when your hormones are constantly changing. Let’s be real, you are growing a new life inside you. So it’s alright to feel depressed, anxious, stressed, and irritable at times. Research shows that emotions can take a toll on your pre-pregnancy and Postpartum life. It’s important to destress. Do whatever makes you happy for better mental health.
Pregnant or not you need to fuel your body with healthy foods.