Bringing a new life into the world is an incredible thing. From that first pregnancy test (or five!) through to eventually meeting your little one, the journey from bump to birth is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking.
However exciting and nerve-wracking it may be, you can’t always be sure if you’re pregnant right away. That’s why we at The Parents Class thought it worthwhile to put together a list of 7 early signs of pregnancy to look out for.
While not by any means a completely comprehensive list, checking for these 7 early signs could give you a better idea about whether or not you could be expecting!
1. Missed Period
Perhaps the most surefire and most well-known early signs of pregnancy is a missed period. Missing a period, particular if your cycle is regular, could be an indication that your body has started preparing for pregnancy.
Following conception, your body releases hormones that stop the shedding of the lining of your uterus and stop ovulation. This means a pause in your periods until your baby is born.
However, it’s important to note that other factors, such as stress or changes in weight, can also impact your menstrual cycle and cause you to have a late or missed period.
2. Tender Breasts
Another very noticeable early sign of pregnancy is increased sensitivity in your breasts.
Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can lead to breasts feeling more tender than usual, like how they might usually feel around the arrival of your period, only more so. Your areolas – the area around the nipple, that is – might also darken in colour and increase in size.
If you notice your breasts feeling tender, swollen, or heavier than usual, it could be an early indicator of pregnancy.
3. Nausea and Morning Sickness
Morning sickness can begin as early as six weeks into pregnancy, and can be an indicator of its early stages.
Don’t let the name fool you, morning sickness can strike at any time of the day, with symptoms usually manifesting as mild feelings of nausea and a predisposition to vomiting. However, not all women experience vomiting and the severity of the nausea can vary from person to person.
A fairly normal symptom of pregnancy, morning sickness could be a giveaway sign during the early stages.
For tips on helping to deal with morning sickness head to our blog on how to cope with pregnancy symptoms
Pregnancy is hard work! It makes sense then that one of its earliest signs can be heightened fatigue in its first weeks. In fact, this fatigue is due to increased progesterone levels, the hormone responsible for maintaining pregnancy.
If you find yourself needing more rest than you usually do or feeling exhausted despite a good night’s sleep, it might be worth taking a pregnancy test.
5. Changes in Appetite and Food Cravings
Hormonal fluctuations relating to pregnancy can also impact your sense of taste and smell, resulting in changes to your appetite and food cravings.
Are you finding yourself suddenly drawn to certain foods and repelled by others? Your body might be sending you a signal. Changes in your food likes and dislikes could be an early sign of the sort of appetite fluctuation that will happen throughout pregnancy.
6. Going to the Bathroom More Often
One of the very earliest signs of pregnancy, earlier even than a missed period, is an increased frequency in urination. As your body prepares for pregnancy, your body’s blood supply drastically increases. Your kidneys filter the blood for waste which is then expelled as pee. The more blood, the more pee!
If you find yourself making more visits to the loo than usual, it could be an early sign of pregnancy.
7. Mood Swings
One of the less common early signs of pregnancy, rapid and frequent shifts in mood can nevertheless be an indicator that your body is preparing itself for pregnancy.
The huge inundation of hormones during this time can hugely affect your emotions and you may find yourself feeling more tearful, irritable and moody than usual. If you do find yourself feeling more emotional or sensitive than you normally are, it might be the result of the hormonal roller coaster accompanying early pregnancy.
While these early signs can be indicative of pregnancy, it’s important to remember that they can also be caused by other factors. If you do think you might be pregnant, we’d encourage you to take a reliable pregnancy test and/or visit your healthcare provider. After all, paying attention to your body and seeking medical advice can help you better navigate this exciting and life-changing journey with confidence.
Have you had any early signs of pregnancy? Join The Parents Class
It’s never too early to get evidence-based information about your pregnancy. That’s why The Parents Class have developed a Mid-Pregnancy Course, specially tailored to your needs during the second trimester.
To find out more about the courses we offer, or to book your nearest course now, head to our courses page, here!