A missed period isn’t the only sign that there’s a potential bun in the oven! There’s usually some other tell-tale signals that may appear not long after your monthly is normally due. Often, signs of pregnancy may feel a little similar to premenstrual symptoms, but if they occur along with a period that fails to make an appearance, then it might be time to pee on that stick.
So, what are the most common early signs of pregnancy?
Let’s take a closer look, and fingers crossed they’ll be making an appearance for you soon!
A missed period is usually the first clue that you could be on your way to motherhood. However, some women can continue to have periods throughout their pregnancy. If you don’t have a regular cycle, you may also not be confident relying on this alone before you head off for a pregnancy test.
Your boobs will undergo a bit of a transformation, even from early on. First you’ll likely notice that they become larger, tender, and your nipple sensitivity may skyrocket. You may notice that veins become more visible, that your areola darkens or that the little bumps on your nipple start to protrude a little more than usual. Breast tenderness is also a common premenstrual tension, so keep an eye out for other symptoms too.
Feeling tired ZzzZz
For many of us living busy lives, tiredness is status quo. However, if you’re feeling even more exhausted or find yourself needing to sneak in an afternoon nap, your body could be sending you the message that you’re about to start brewing a baby. This is due partly to the sedative effect of heightened progesterone levels in your body, and also due to your metabolism speeding up in order to support the new growth and development of your embryo.
That woozy feeling..
We’ve all heard about the horrors of morning (and afternoon… and evening..) sickness. For some women, this feeling that you want to vomit can begin as early as two weeks after conception. Nausea will often feel worse in the morning because you’re operating on an empty stomach with lower blood sugar levels - (Side Tip! - I found eating a gingernut and a couple of mints before getting out of bed in the morning helped lessen the sick feeling).
The upside is that this nausea is a good sign that your hormone levels are high enough to support a well-established pregnancy, and will (hopefully) abate after the first trimester. Keep an eye on whether you’re feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed. Early in pregnancy this is often down to lowered blood sugar levels too.
Changes in taste and smell!
Are you suddenly experiencing some weird cravings, strange aversions or a super sensitive sense of smell - when pregnant with both my boys my tell tale signs began when I could pin-point what my colleagues were having for lunch without even stepping foot near the meal room! These are all signs that can appear in those early weeks of pregnancy! You might suddenly start turning your nose up at smells and tastes that you once loved, or you could find yourself going on late night missions to the supermarket to fulfil those food cravings. Many women also report experiencing a metallic taste in their mouth.
You need to pee.. A lot!
Are you finding that your trips to the loo are becoming more frequent? This is because that little embryo is already secreting the hormone hCG which is increasing the blood supply to your pelvic region, which in turn is aggravating your bladder and sending the signal that it wants to empty out more often. On the other end, you may find that things are little ‘blocked up’, as an increase in progesterone causes food to pass slower through your intestines. And sorry ladies, you’ll likely be passing a little extra wind, too. Toot toot.
OK, cranky pants!
Those unreasonable mood swings… maybe not so inexplicable after all! Your hormones are going nuts right now, making you emotional, weepy and up and down. So, if you find yourself crying at TV commercials, you could be a huge softy, or… you could be pregnant!
Let’s talk about what’s going on down below!
A small amount of bleeding or ‘spotting’ is a common early sign of pregnancy. This is what’s known as implantation bleeding, which occurs when the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus lining. It will usually appear lighter than a normal period and only last for a short time. It’s not uncommon to also experience cramps, which could feel like your usual menstrual cramps. Some mums-to-be find that they spot, changes in their vaginal discharge - usually that they seem to have more than usual. In the early days of your pregnancy, mucus is commonly thin and slippery, then thickens as your progesterone levels increase. If you have any concerns about bleeding and the possibility of pregnancy - consult your GP.
Time for a test?
While some women may not experience these pregnancy symptoms straight away, around 90 percent of mums-to-be will have some of these signs of pregnancy appear by the time they are 8 weeks along. Of course, it is possible to not experience any or all symptoms early on, so if you think there is a possibility you could be pregnant, or if you’ve been trying, then the best way to put your mind at ease is to take a test. Pregnancy tests work best after your period is due, but even if the result is negative, it can be a good idea to try again in a few days just to be sure!
After generally feeling rubbish in the first trimester, the second trimester should – hopefully – bring some relief from any nausea and vomiting you may have experienced. You may also start to “pop” now (if you haven’t already) and you might finally announce your pregnancy to friends and family, which can be a huge relief, as it’s hard to keep such exciting news under wraps!
Here are some hacks to make the most of your second trimester …