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Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Think you may be pregnant? Learn about early pregnancy symptoms that many women experience during the first stages of their pregnancy. Keep reading to see what types of symptoms you may expect during the first trimester or so of your pregnancy.
There are a number of symptoms or signs of pregnancy that appear quite early as a woman’s body begins to make the changes that will allow a fetus to grow to term within her uterus. This article will give an overview of some of the early pregnancy symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that some of these symptoms, while associated with early pregnancy, may also arise due to other causes and that not every woman experiences the same early pregnancy symptoms. Even women who do have the same symptoms may not have them with the same intensity or severity or experience them at exactly the same time in their pregnancy.
Elevated basal body temperature can be one of the early pregnancy symptoms. Many people may not notice it, but women who have charted their basal body temperature to try to figure out when they ovulate will see that their temperature remains elevated even after two weeks has passed since ovulation. Note that, as with other early pregnancy symptoms, there can be other reasons for this phenomenon.
Sooner or later in a pregnancy, women will begin missing their menstrual period, but this does not always happen in the first month. Some women will also experience spotting at irregular times, and once a woman knows she is pregnant, any spotting or period-like manifestation should be reported to her health care provider.
Another early pregnancy symptom is swelling, tenderness, and or pain of the breasts. A pregnant woman’s breasts may also feel heavy or full from a time shortly after conception. For some women, these sensations may be similar to feelings that occur at certain moments of their usual menstrual cycle.
Darkening of the areola around the nipple and the linea negra - the vertical line going down the center of a woman’s abdomen may also occur in early pregnancy, and may or may not persist afterwards. More generalized darkening of the skin, called either chloasma or melasma, and also known as “the mask of pregnancy,” may also occur.
The nausea and vomiting that is often associated with early pregnancy symptons is referred to commonly as “morning sickness,” though in point of fact, it is not necessarily limited to the morning hours. It is often connected to a heightening of the sense of smell. This may be aided by various diet adjustments, though no one approach works for everyone. Some people swear by a “white diet,” eating bland foods like white toast, potatoes, pasta, and bananas, while others eat frequent, small snacks, some try salty crackers and ginger ale, and others turn to sweet mint tea.
Cutting back on food, as well as other pregnancy body changes, can cause pregnant women to feel dizzy or faint. This can be caused by either low blood pressure or low blood sugar.
Oddly enough, even while feeling aversions to some foods, some women during early pregnancy will already be experiencing the stereotypical cravings that have led to jokes about pregnant women eating strawberry ice cream and pickles. Feelings of abdominal bloating is another typical early pregnancy symptom, even though there may have been very little pregnancy weight gain as of yet.
Tiredness and/or fatigue are two common early pregnancy symptoms. It is not unusual for pregnant women to fall asleep much earlier than usual, or need a nap in the afternoon to get through the day. Another symptom that may increase fatigue is the need for frequent urination, which can disrupt a pregnant woman’s sleep patterns.
Irritability, dramatic mood swings, and headaches may also disturb the peace of a woman who, prior to pregnancy, was mellow and good-tempered. Arguments over nothing, crying spells, and drastic emotional changes from moment to moment are believed to be connected to changes in hormone level.
Of course, one pretty sure-fire symptom of early pregnancy is a positive pregnancy test. But keep in mind that false negatives are possible if it’s very early in the process.
Related Article: Pregnancy by Trimester >>