Are you suspecting you are pregnant? Are you anxious to find out what are the early signs of pregnancy before you pay a visit to the nearest clinic or hospital? If you are looking for an answer, here is the right article for you.
Getting to know that you are pregnant is the most happiest moment after marriage. Not only you but your whole family will be celebrating this precious moment when doctor told both of you that you are going to be a parent soon! Besides getting too excited about the good news, have you noticed any changes in your body lately before you found out you are pregnant? The only way to know if you are pregnant is to test positive in a pregnancy test and go for an ultrasound. But are there other ways to know even before taking a test?
What are the early signs of pregnancy?
Here are the early signs and symptoms that you’re pregnant. If you experience any of these, it is best to take a pregnancy test and consult your doctor.
Mild Cramping and Spotting
Your fertilized egg creates a fluid-filled group of cells that will soon develop into your baby’s body parts. In the fourth week, it will implant the cell onto your endometrium or the uterus’ lining, which can cause implantation bleeding.
You might mistake it as a light period that is either pink, brown, or red when wiping. It is associated with mild pain, but don’t worry because it does not require treatment. If you ever experience this early sign of pregnancy, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking.
You may feel sleepy any time of the day. Exhausted, even. This is because your progesterone level is rising. The best way to deal with this is to allocate time to rest. Get yourself enough sleep. Also, because your body temperature may be a little higher, we recommend keeping your bedroom cool.
When implantation is done, your body will start to produce a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or (hCG). It also tells your body, “Hey, you’re finally pregnant! And I’m here to help develop your embryo”. A blood test can detect the levels of the hCG at about eleven days after conception. In comparison, a urine test can only detect it two weeks after conception.
It doubles up every seventy-two hours, and once it reaches the first eight – eleven weeks, it will then level off for the rest of your pregnancy. Here’s what your hCG levels looks like during pregnancy:
Guideline to hCG levels during pregnancy in weeks since last menstrual period:
|3 weeks||5 – 50 mIU/ml|
|4 weeks||5 – 426 mIU/ml|
|5 weeks||18 – 7,340 mIU/ ml|
|6 weeks||1,080 – 56,500 mIU/ ml|
|7 – 8 weeks||7,650 – 229,000 mIU/ ml|
|13 – 16 weeks||13,300 – 254,000 mIU/ ml|
|17 – 24 weeks||4,060 – 165,400 mIU/ ml|
|25 – 40 weeks||3,640 – 117,000 mIU/ m|
A low hCG level can mean a miscalculation of pregnancy dating or a possible miscarriage. A high level can mean multiple pregnancies.
Nausea with or without Vomiting
Welcome to morning sickness that can occur any time of the day or night. It is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy. The severity of morning sickness can range from mild to intense, which will be less severe once you enter the second trimester.
At this point, it is best to keep yourself hydrated and eat a few biscuits even before you get up in the morning. An empty stomach won’t help with morning sickness so try to get something down to your stomach.
Hurrah! Your breast is growing! After this pregnancy, you might find your breast size 3x bigger. Your breast will feel swollen, and the area around your nipple may change to a darker color and will also grow larger. You can feel them a little heavy, especially upon waking up in the morning.
Get yourself a comfortable maternity bra made of cotton. If possible, an underwire-free bra so you’ll feel more comfortable. You can also purchase breast pads to reduce friction on your nipples.
Frequency in Urination
You’ll find yourself going to a lot of bathroom breaks. The amount of blood in your body also increases, which cause your kidney to process extra fluid in your bladder. Drink extra fluids each day and plan your bathroom trips to avoid inconvenience.
Aside from bathroom breaks, you’ll also find yourself struggling with your toilet breaks because of constipation. And there’s no one to blame but your hormones. When we’re pregnant, our intestines and digestions move slower. This helps our babies to absorb the much-needed nutrients. Again, drinking plenty of fluids can help with this.
Because of slower digestion, gas builds up, which results in bloating, burping and flatulence. It is not pretty when you can’t stop farting either! What you can do is fill up on fiber and get moving. It can help speed up digestion, avoiding that bloating feeling.
Your progesterone and estrogen levels are increasing during pregnancy. This will make you feel easily irritated, a little depressed, anxious, and euphoric. It is not easy to deal with this on your own, so speak with your partner or family members and give them a head’s up to avoid misunderstandings.
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Towards the end of the first trimester, you’ll find yourself gaining about four pounds. Although your calorie count does not change much in the past months, you’ll have to eat more in the next several months. No, it does not mean eating for two. You’ll have to increase your calorie intake by about 340 – 450 extra a day. To manage your weight, ask your doctor about an exercise program and a healthy diet suitable for you.
Acid reflux or the burning sensation on your chest is common. Try to sit upright when you eat to take the pressure from your stomach. Cutting down caffeine and watching out for what you eat can also help. Avoid overeating because it will affect both you and your baby.
The Pregnancy Glow
Some say it’s because of happiness and excitement, while others think it can indicate the sex of your baby. If you are pregnant, your skin looks extra flushed, oilier, and stretchy because of the blood volume bringing more blood to your vessels. Stronger nails and thicker hair are other advantages of the pregnancy glow.
Your doctor can confirm these early signs of pregnancy, so don’t skip the pregnancy test and the ultrasound. If you are pregnant, you will be prescribed vitamins and get proper advice for your pregnancy.
Once you reach the second trimester, these symptoms will begin to fade. Then comes another set of things you need to deal with and prepare for. If you have any symptoms that you are struggling with, check with your doctor to find relief through your pregnancy.