Excitement is building. You and your partner have been trying to conceive over the past few weeks, months or maybe even years. Before you go running to the store to buy a pregnancy test, let’s have a look at 10 early signs of pregnancy. You can use them as a little checklist to establish if you are pregnant.
1. Mood Swings
Your body is full of raging hormones causing a myriad of strange emotions and body changes. One minute you are feeling overjoyed and the next minute you find yourself crying over spilled milk. Can it be this drastic? Yes.
The good news is that your mood will stabilise. Eating the right food and getting a lot of rest will help you better manage your mood swings. Be kind to yourself. Tell your partner that you are moody and it will pass.
2. Dizziness or fainting
In the first couple of months of your pregnancy, your blood levels may drop and you may experience a decrease in your blood sugar level. As a result, you may get dizzy or even have fainting spells.
Try to keep well hydrated and eat small regular meals or snacks. Don’t get up quickly, take your time. If you feel your head spinning, stop and take a few deep breaths. The dizziness will settle closer to the second trimester.
3. Cramping and spotting
As the process of conception causes the fertilized embryo to be implanted in your uterus, you may experience something similar to period cramping and potentially some spotting. This is part of being pregnant. Not all pregnant women experience spotting.
Cramping is also part of your uterus preparing itself for the stretch it is about to undergo in the next nine months. Cramps shouldn’t be more than bad period pains and they will settle in the weeks to come.
4. Bloated and constipated
The extra progesterone released in your body thanks to pregnancy will cause you to feel bloated and be constipated. Your jeans may feel tighter than usual. Progesterone levels are causing your muscles and tissues to slow down. This allows your body to access its nutrients and feed it to your small and fast growing baby.
Out of the blue, you are feeling quite tired. Whilst you didn’t need to nap before or you could stay up into the late hours of the evening, you now find yourself napping more or going to bed earlier.
Fatigue is a common sign in the first trimester of a pregnancy. Growing a baby takes a lot of energy from your body, not to mention the differing levels of hormones being released. Listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.
Many women experience nausea and/or morning sickness in the first trimester of their pregnancy. Usually, it starts around six weeks in your pregnancy; however, some women can experience it as early as four weeks. The cause of nausea is not established although hormones are suspected to be the culprit. Either way, it is part of being pregnant and can be experienced at any time of the day, not only in the ‘morning’!
Should you experience nausea, try to eat small frequent meals. You may find ginger, mint, and dry foods help you survive the next seven to ten weeks of the first trimester.
7. Heightened smell
Not all women experience a heightened sense of smell in their pregnancy. Heightened smell is considered to be an early sign of pregnancy. You might find that the smell of raw chicken or meat is too strong for you to stomach. You may be more alert to toxic smells or other smells around you. As much as possible, avoid these for the next few weeks. By the second trimester, your smell will return to normal.
8. Tender breasts
Thanks to increased hormone levels, your blood supply has increased and the first place in your body where this is noticeable is your breast. After the first six weeks of your pregnancy, your breasts will undergo changes. They may be sore, tender, show more veins or develop darker areolas. A good supportive bra will help you. Communicate with your partner so he can be gentle when embracing you.
9. Missed period
Skipping your period is one of the most accurate signs of pregnancy. This is especially true if you are aware of your cycle. If you have a regular cycle, there is a higher chance that you are pregnant. If you have an irregular cycle, monitor your body closely to determine if your cycle is late due to its irregularity or pregnancy.
10. Cravings or aversions
Another early sign of pregnancy is a craving for certain types of food, for example, pies, citrus, pickles, etc…Or you may experience the complete opposite whereby you cannot stomach chicken, fish, or cereals. All of a sudden, you have become a fussy eater.
It’s ok. Do your best to eat healthy foods while listening to your body’s cravings or aversions. You may find that you will crave various foods throughout your pregnancy or it may be intermittent.
Am I really pregnant?
Now that you’ve looked at these early signs of pregnancy, your excitement may be building as you mentally tick off several of these signs. If you have not missed a period, you may still need to wait a little bit longer before doing a home pregnancy test. If you have missed your period, go to the store and get yourself a pregnancy test.
Find the home pregnancy test that is within your budget – some pregnancy tests are advanced thus cost more than a simple test. It’s up to you what type of test you buy.
The best time to take a home pregnancy test is in the morning when you go to the toilet for the first time. This is when the Hcg hormones are most concentrated thus giving you a more accurate result. Don’t forget to wait a few minutes. You might find you need to leave the bathroom and get a cup of tea while you wait. When you get back you will see the results as per the leaflet.
I hope that the test results are positive!