What Are Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy And How To Manage Them
Pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are proven ways to confirm your pregnancy. And a missed period is considered the first sign of pregnancy.
Do you know there are also some uncommon signs and symptoms of early pregnancy?
In this article, we will discuss everything about the signs and symptoms of pregnancy and how to identify them.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
If you want to know whether you are pregnant or not, notice what’s going on with your body. Your body gives you different signals so that you know you are expecting a baby.
The three most common early pregnancy signs include:
Some women also experience other symptoms such as:
- Mild cramping and spotting
- Missed period
- Tingling or aching breast
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
- Body temperature changes
And some are less common signs that also hint at pregnancy are:
- High blood pressure
- Extreme fatigue and heartburn
- Faster heartbeat
- Breast and nipple changes
- Pregnancy glow, backache, or headache
- Noticeable weight gain
- Cramping and spotting during early pregnancy
We are going to discuss many of these early pregnancy signs and show you how you can manage the symptoms. Keep on reading.
1. Implantation Bleeding
Implantation bleeding is not common and some women mistake this bleeding as a light period because it usually happens when you are expecting your period.
What is Implantation Bleeding?
The fertilization of the egg starts within 1 to 4 weeks and then transforms into a blastocyst. The blastocyst is the structure that develops into the body parts of your fetus. After about 4 weeks the blastocyst implants in the endometrium which leads to bleeding and this bleeding is known as Implantation bleeding.
The following are some signs of implantation bleeding:
- Color: The spotting will appear as pinkish, reddish, or brownish.
- Bleeding: Implantation bleeding is light bleeding that is less than your usual periods.
- Pain: The pain might be mild to intense cramping.
How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?
Implantation bleeding lasts for less than 3 days or sometimes just for a few hours. It does not need any treatment and usually goes on its own.
Tips to Prevent Implantation Bleeding
Some tips that can help to prevent the risk of implantation bleeding include:
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol: The use of illegal drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol can increase the risk of implantation bleeding. Therefore, you should avoid using them.
- Avoid using tampons: The use of tampons can lead to infection and can also cause other difficulties. So, it is better to avoid using tampons when you are experiencing implantation bleeding.
- Take a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy. You might miss your periods after implantation. Therefore, it is recommended to do a pregnancy test when you experience irregular periods. The home pregnancy test can confirm your pregnancy 8 days after a missed period.
- Stop using any medication if your test is positive and talk to your doctor for your prenatal appointment.
2. Raised body temperature
A high body temperature is another sign of early pregnancy.
How to deal with it?
When you are pregnant your body sweats a lot with little effort or workout. At this time your body may lose fluids quickly therefore you should try to stay hydrated and drink a lot of water and fluids.
Fatigue during pregnancy is a common condition and mostly occurs early in pregnancy.
How to deal with it?
- The initial weeks of pregnancy are very hard and women feel exhausted at this time. Therefore, you should try to get enough sleep.
- Keeping the temperature of your bathroom moderate can also help with your raised body temperature.
4. Increased Heart Rate
During pregnancy, your heartbeat also starts pumping faster and even harder. It can increase up to 50%. Palpitations and arrhythmias are common pregnancy conditions because of the fluctuation of hormones.
If you have any cardiovascular history it's time to discuss it with your healthcare provider.
5. Changes To Your Breasts: Tingling, Aching, and Growing
During weeks 4 to 6, your breast will start to change and grow. It becomes swollen and tender because of hormonal changes. But you don’t need to worry about it as it is normal and your body can adjust to it.
Your nipple also starts to change in its appearance in week 11. The areola (the area around your nipple) starts getting darker and bigger.
How to handle breast changes?
- The tenderness with growing breasts can be treated with a supportive maternity bra. Cotton and underwire-free bra also seem very effective.
- As your breasts are growing larger, therefore, you should wear a bra with varying clasps. This will give room to your growing breasts.
- You can also use breast pads to support your breast and reduce pain.
6. Mood Swings
The level of estrogen and progesterone will also start to increase during pregnancy. It will affect your mood. The mood swings will lead to other feelings such as:
7. Frequent Urination and Incontinence
Pregnancy causes an increased amount of blood in your body. More blood leads to more fluid production which leads to frequent urination.
How to manage frequent urination?
Frequent urination causes a lower level of fluids in your body. Therefore, you should try to drink a lot of water to compensate for this loss. Drink at least 300 milliliters of water every day to keep yourself hydrated.
Set your schedule for bathroom visits to avoid incontinence or frequent urination.
8. Bloating and Constipation
The fluctuating hormones can affect the normal functioning of your stomach. As a result, abdominal bloating and constipation occur. Bloating and constipation are the common symptoms of early pregnancy.
9. Morning Sickness, Nausea, and Vomiting
There is no exact evidence of the main cause of morning sickness and nausea. It is believed that fluctuating hormones are responsible for these health conditions.
Morning sickness and nausea usually start from week 4 to 6. The condition might get intense when you hit week 9.
Morning sickness not only occurs in the morning but can also occur at any time of the day or even at night. It usually starts during the first trimester and can be mild or severe.
Morning sickness becomes worst in the last days of the first trimester but it gradually slows down as you enter the second trimester.
How to deal with morning sickness and nausea?
- You can keep a pack of saltine crackers by your bedside. Take bites from it when you get up in the morning. This will help you with morning sickness.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- You can also try anti-nausea wrist bands
- Talk to your doctor if your stomach is disturbed.
10. Smell sensitivity, and food aversions
Smell sensitivity, also known as Hyperosmia, is a common sign of early pregnancy and there is no exact evidence at what time it usually happens. But it is common during the first and third trimesters.
Because of the smell sensitivity, you will find things unpleasing that never bothered you before. Smell sensitivity also triggers nausea and vomiting. Your food preference might also change during pregnancy.
Your smell sensitivity will be back on its own after your delivery or within 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.
11. Weight gain
You know that your belly will grow in pregnancy. But pregnancy also affects almost every part of your body. You will feel a gradual increase in your body weight.
You might feel a drastic change in:
- Breast: Your breast will increase from about 1 to 3 pounds
- Uterus: Your uterus increase from 1 to 2 pounds
- Placenta: Your placenta will increase from about 1 to ½ pounds
- Amniotic fluid: The amount of Amniotic fluid will increase from about 2 pounds
- Blood level: 5 to 7 pounds increase in blood and fluid amounts
- Fats: Total fats in your body will increase from 6 to 8 pounds
Fluctuating hormones can cause the valves between your stomach and esophagus to relax. As a result, the stomach acids leak and cause heartburn.
How to deal with heartburn?
- Heartburn can be prevented by eating your food in intervals. You should eat smaller portions at a time. It is better to consume several small meals instead of eating a huge meal all at once.
- Sitting in a straight upright position for about an hour after eating is also very effective to digest your food.
- Talk to your doctor about antacids, if needed.
Your body will undergo a lot of changes in early pregnancy. Other than missed periods, you might also experience nausea and breast tenderness. But sometimes it is hard to identify pregnancy.
If you think you are pregnant, takes a home pregnancy test to confirm. A urine test is an easy and reliable test to confirm pregnancy