Many women want to get pregnant and become mothers. However, especially for women who are going through their first pregnancies, the thought of carrying life inside them for nine months can be very daunting. So, as much as possible, they want to immediately know when they are finally carrying a child.
The time it takes to start showing during pregnancy varies between women, but baby bumps can start to appear by 12 to 16 weeks. That’s three months of not knowing you’re carrying a fetus inside you. But, fear not: if you catch these early pregnancy symptoms within the first few months, you’ll know your pregnant long before you start to show.
It’s normal for women to have their periods be late by a day or two and still not be pregnant. But if you miss an entire period, it’s either amenorrhea (which has many causes like contraceptives, medication, and menopause) or a sign of pregnancy.
Your period blood is basically a mixture of the uterus lining and unfertilized eggs. A pregnant woman’s ovaries will not release more eggs when there is already a fertilized egg in the uterus, so there wouldn’t be anything to shed from your reproductive system while you are pregnant.
If you notice a light pink or dark brown traces of blood even while you’re pregnant, this is not your period. Rather, this is spotting blood from the fertilized egg planting itself into your uterus. If it’s very minimal bleeding that ends up being only a few drops, this is spotting. But if you’re pregnant and start to heavily bleed, you should head to the emergency room because it might be a sign of a pregnancy complication.
Sensitive, Larger Breasts
As early as six weeks into your pregnancy, you’ll notice that your breasts have grown bigger and heavier than you might find your usual bra cups are now too small for you. This is because, as soon as you get pregnant, your hormones change to add more fatty tissue and blood flow to your breasts to make your milk ducts and mammary glands grow. This will help with breastfeeding by the time your baby comes.
Aside from the breast size, you’ll find that your breasts feel more sensitive – and sometimes even painful and aching. This is because all the blood and tissue going to your breasts make the nerve endings in your breasts more sensitive. You might also notice that the veins around your breasts have darker colors. This is because they are growing due to the increased blood flow.
Nausea and Vomiting
Often the most popular pregnancy symptom portrayed in films and television, a pregnant woman may find herself feeling dizzy and vomiting more frequently as early as the first month of her pregnancy. Contrary to its name, the term “morning sickness” can occur at any time of the day.
The cause of morning sickness is still unknown, but it likely has to do with the rapid hormone changes in your body. If these hormones affect your stomach and intestine muscles, it could lead to nausea.
Nausea and vomiting usually end by the fourth month of pregnancy, when your body has enough time to adjust to the hormone changes. Not all women will experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy, as a lot of them may never have to feel sick during their pregnancy. However, a few women may also experience severe versions of morning sickness. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, for example, is known to suffer hyperemesis gravidum every time she was carrying her three children. This is the severest form of nausea during pregnancies that it makes it difficult for a woman to continue with her daily routine during her pregnancy and can cause health complications.
As early as eight to nine weeks of pregnancy, you’ll notice that you begin to urinate more often. This is because of two reasons: first, there is an increased amount of blood flow on a woman’s kidneys. This makes a woman produce more urine than she normally does. Second, this is due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the bladder. This is why around 12 to 14 weeks, your need to pee will increase even more.
However, your body will eventually adjust to these changes, and you’ll pee less often by 16 weeks or so. While it may seem inconvenient to want to urinate multiple times in an hour, you shouldn’t try to lessen your fluid intake in an attempt to lower the amount of times you need to go to the toilet. You should stay hydrated to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Given the internal changes to your organs, the fluctuating hormones, and all the bodily changes you don’t really see, it’s normal for pregnant women to suddenly feel tired for no reason. This may affect women from performing their regular tasks and daily routines, but not all women will feel severe fatigue and can continue with their lives as normal. This can start early into the first trimester, cool down on the second, and then return in the third trimester.
Other Hormonal Changes
Because of the hormonal changes, you might also experience moodiness, bloating, constipation, and food aversions. This should start within the first few weeks of a pregnancy. However, because these symptoms are so common with many other conditions aside from pregnancy, there’s really no telling whether you are experiencing this because of a pregnancy or because of something else.
Am I Really Pregnant?
Like the common hormonal changes, all these symptoms on this list could be the symptoms of another bodily condition. For example, fatigue, nausea, and other hormonal changes are common symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. And the feeling of bloating can be due to a number of reasons.
If you see these signs, though, and suspect you are pregnant, the best thing you can do is to buy a home pregnancy test from your local drugstore. These pregnancy tests detect a hormone in your urine called human chorionic gonadotropin that appears in your urine only after a fertilized egg attaches itself to your uterus. Most pregnancy tests can detect this hormone as early as three weeks after conception.
If it comes out as positive, visit your obstetrician just to be sure. If it comes out negative but you see more than one pregnancy symptom, you can also visit your obstetrician just to be safe. Not all pregnancy tests are a hundred percent accurate, and it’s possible that you could be pregnant and still get a negative pregnancy test result.