When you think you might be pregnant (whether you were trying or not), it’s a really exciting time. But deciphering pregnancy symptoms can be really difficult at times: is this really a sign of pregnancy, or not?
Having been through this three times (and every time searching desperately through the internet for something that would tell for sure, even though I knew no such thing existed), I know how it feels. So here are the top 10 early pregnancy symptoms:
1) Vague nausea — It won’t be severe early on, but you might feel just a little off or slightly queasy at times. This is due to your hormones surging. If it’s really pregnancy, it’ll probably intensify over the next few weeks, peaking for many women around 7 – 8 weeks and tapering off by 12 or 13 weeks.
2) Fatigue — Suddenly you’re so tired you could lie down on the floor and take a nap at the grocery store. Especially if this isn’t like you, and you don’t have any other reason for fatigue (read: if your toddler woke you up 8 times the previous night, you have another reason!), pregnancy may be it.
3) Sore breasts — Your breasts may swell slightly and become really sore…to the point where, if your husband brushes against them, you yelp in pain. Tenderness is also due to surging hormones and a good sign of pregnancy (but, sadly, also an impending period for some women).
4) Mood swings — Your husband slams the door and you jump and scream at him…because that was the worst thing he could have possibly done. For no reason. But then two minutes later you love him and have to give him a hug…. And worst of all you have no idea why you feel this way. Hello, mood swings…and potential pregnancy.
5) Unusually sensitive — Early in my pregnancies I had times where I would absolutely freak out if anyone touched me. I couldn’t stand it. I felt like my skin was crawling because I was just overly sensitive.
6) Cramping — This can, of course, be a sign that your period is on its way. But cramping, especially if it comes and goes or is one-sided and “different” than usual, can be a sign of pregnancy. Your body forms a “corpus luteum cyst” on the side where you ovulated, which provides progesterone until the placenta is ready to take over. Sometimes that causes cramping (it’s normal and healthy).
7) Headaches — Suddenly prone to headaches? Surging hormones may be responsible, signaling pregnancy!
8) Increase in white discharge — Before your period you should not have much discharge. Until it starts, anyway. But if you seem to have a lot more whitish discharge, it can be a sign of pregnancy (it’s because of your mucus plug forming). You may not notice this until a couple after you have missed your period, though.
9) Elevated BBT — This is your “basal body temperature,” or temperature immediately upon waking. It rises slightly after ovulation, and if it remains at that higher level for 18 days or more, pregnancy is highly likely. A second “rise” also occurs in some women when they are pregnant.
10) Positive Pregnancy Test — Yes I know, of course. But I just wanted to mention that “a line is a line,” so even if that second line is really faint, or takes a few minutes to appear, yes, it’s still a positive test! (If the line is grayish and appears only a few hours after you took the test, as its drying, that’s an evaporation line and not a positive. Check the directions, but most tests specify a 10-minute window. If that line appears more strongly after a few hours and is red, not gray, it’s probably still a positive. Check again with another test. This happened to me with my second pregnancy…I kept re-checking and as hours passed I was sure there was a line. A second test confirmed it!)
What were your earliest pregnancy signs?
Top image by esparita