The 6 Most Common Pregnancy Symptoms to Look Out for in Pregnancy
Our bodies are amazing. They have the ability to change to make room for new life, and with pregnancy, our body lets us know this by sending out signals. Known as pregnancy symptoms, these signals tell us that we might be pregnant.
Of course, taking a pregnancy test is the only guaranteed way to find out, but noticing early signs of pregnancy is a good indication as to whether you should take a pregnancy test.
There are many common pregnancy symptoms, from bloating and mood swings to high blood pressure and weight gain. Every woman is different, so these symptoms can completely vary, even if you’ve been pregnant before. Some symptoms even replicate those of your menstrual cycle, so it’s good to be aware that these symptoms might not necessarily mean you’re pregnant.
Joy Of Life have put together a list of the 6 most common pregnancy symptoms to look out for if you think you might be pregnant.
If you need relief for symptoms later in your pregnancy, then read our tips here.
Missing Your Period
One of the most common, and perhaps most obvious symptoms that suggest pregnancy, is missing your period. Your menstrual period happens once a month, at the end of your cycle, in preparation for a potential pregnancy. However, if the egg is not fertilized then your body will menstruate instead and there will be no pregnancy.
If you notice your period is later than usual, this can be a sign that the egg has been fertilized. It’s most likely that you will miss your next period 4 weeks after the conception, so if your period is usually irregular, then this can be harder to recognize.
Tracking your period is a useful way to be aware of changes in the body and monitor your cycle. Over time, you will notice patterns that can help you predict period symptoms, so you are more likely to detect any changes. Using a period tracking app is a great tool to learn more about your body and your cycle.
Morning sickness is a symptom often associated with early signs of pregnancy. Morning sickness, or nausea, is a pregnancy symptom that usually begins around 4-6 weeks into the pregnancy. The first-trimester tends to be where morning sickness reaches its peak, increasing in intensity by the end. For most women, the severity of morning sickness will decrease in the second trimester. For more information about when morning sickness ends, read our blog here.
Because of its name, we often assume morning sickness is a morning occurrence, but nausea and vomiting can actually happen at any time of the day. There are ways to ease the nausea, but if these don’t work, then it’s worth consulting with your doctor or midwife who may be able to give you medication.
Tips to help with morning sickness include;
- Drinking plenty of water (or other fluids) to prevent dehydration
- Getting enough rest as tiredness can affect the nausea
- There’s evidence that ginger can help ease nausea, so if possible include ginger in food or drink. Even adding ginger to hot water makes for a soothing drink.
- Eating something plain, like a biscuit or toast before you get up in the morning can help settle your stomach
- Eating smaller meals more frequently can be effective, especially foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fats
Sensitivities to Smells and Certain Foods
Another symptom often associated with early pregnancy is sensitivity to smell. This is usually heightened, which seems to be most prominent during the first and third trimesters. Smells that you may have never particularly thought about before, or even smells that you had enjoyed, might suddenly feel overwhelming, and can sometimes trigger nausea or vomiting.
You may also notice a change in appetite or sudden aversion to certain foods. There is evidence to show that 6 out of 10 pregnant women experience a distaste for food. This can lead to a loss in appetite and a fluctuation in weight.
Because of this change, most pregnant women choose to eat food that is plain, avoiding flavor or spice. It’s ok to eat food that makes you feel better, but make sure you’re still getting the right nutrients for you and your baby. If you have an aversion to certain vegetables, for example, you could blend them with fruit to make a smoothie to avoid the taste, while still getting enough nutrients in your diet.
Some of the most common food aversions include;
- Dairy products like eggs and milk
- Spicy food
- Tea and coffee
We have a pregnancy diet plan that will help you make the most of food during your pregnancy.
While many women experience food aversions, they might also have food cravings too. Although there seems to be no explanation for these cravings, women tend to experience them during the first trimester of their pregnancy, which increases throughout the second and usually reduces in the third trimester.
These cravings have no pattern, and you may crave a certain food one day, and want something completely different the next. Cravings differ from pregnancy to pregnancy, so are actually personal preferences. There is often an increase in sweet foods and fast foods, but also in fruit and vegetables. Food cravings are often associated with pregnancy symptoms because strange food combinations are sometimes desired, like pickles and ice cream!
Although there can be breast tenderness during your menstrual cycle, breast changes also occur in the early stages of pregnancy. This happens between the 4th and 6th weeks of the first-trimester. Because of hormone changes in the body, you might notice that your breasts become tender and swollen. The nipple may also experience changes.
As the body begins to adjust to these new hormones, the breast changes usually reduce after a few weeks. If you’re struggling with sore breasts, you can relieve some of the pain by wearing soft, underwire-free maternity bras. It’s recommended that you select a bra that has varying clasps because this allows more room for breast growth throughout the pregnancy. Breast pads are also available to help with nipple pain.
Often linked to happiness, the pregnancy glow is a pregnancy symptom that is physically visible, and you may find people complimenting the glow on your face. There’s research to suggest that this happens because of the changes in hormones, the stretching of your skin, along with an oil increase in your skin, and an increase in blood flow.
On the other hand, if you suffer from problematic skin, such as eczema, you may find that this actually worsens during pregnancy.
Being aware of these pregnancy symptoms may help you establish the next step. The most dramatic changes will be during the early stages of pregnancy, so it’s likely these changes to your body will be fairly obvious to you.
If you think you could be pregnant, it’s worth getting a home pregnancy test from your local drugstore, as no prescription is required. When used correctly, drugstore pregnancy tests are 99% accurate, and it’s recommended that you take a pregnancy test as soon as you miss your period.
If the test comes back positive, it’s then best to book an appointment with your doctor who can examine you and confirm the pregnancy.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a surrogate mother, get in touch with us.