Gif: 10 Signs of Pregnancy
Are you trying for a baby? Check out these ten subtle signs that you might already be pregnant
5 min read
According to the movies, it’s super simple to figure out you’re pregnant. You skip a period and then you’re throwing up in the bin under your desk while your boobs spill out of your bra.
Like most things in the movies, this isn’t quite true. Some women get obvious pregnancy symptoms. Some get none. And some dismiss their symptoms as an illness or pre-existing medical condition.
So, if you’re wondering whether you’re pregnant, or if you want to know what to look out for, here are some early signs of pregnancy.
1. Changes to your breasts and nipples
Once you’re pregnant, your body starts pumping out pregnancy hormones. These hormones increase blood supply to your breasts. You might feel this as prickling, tingling nipples. Once your body is used to all the new hormones whizzing around, this feeling will subside. The skin around your nipples, areolas, may darken too or the little bumps around them may become more pronounced.
Your breasts themselves may feel tender and sensitive, a bit like how they feel before your period. They might look larger and swollen.
2. Spotting and cramping
Experts think your developing placenta may be why you have some slight spotting when you’re first pregnant. It’ll look like pink or brown-coloured stains on your underwear, or when you pee. You also might notice minor cramping.
If you’re worried by bleeding or cramps, see your GP.
3. Nausea and vomiting
The movies got one thing right: morning sickness is real and very common. It affects around 85% of women in their first trimester and can start from 4-6 weeks. You might feel queasy or you might throw up. Even though it’s called morning sickness, it can strike any time, day or night.
If you’re seriously struggling with vomiting and unable to keep any food or fluids down, go to your GP. You could have hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
Your pregnant body does a good job of preparing you for the sleeplessness associated with having a newborn. When you’re first pregnant, you could feel utterly exhausted and like you want to hunker down under the duvet.
Again, it’s those pesky pregnancy hormones. The tiredness will settle down by the time you hit the second trimester.
5. Peeing more often
Think you only need to pee all the time once you’ve got a large baby bump? Think again. From about 6 weeks, you may find yourself dashing to the toilet more often, even overnight. Thank your pregnancy hormones plus the larger volume of blood in your system and your extra hardworking kidneys.
6. Taste and smell changes
We’ve all heard the stories about pregnant women suddenly wanting to devour gherkins with ice cream or developing a taste for concrete. It’s likely any cravings you have will be a bit more normal – maybe for a sweet or salty taste.
As well as cravings, you’ll probably find you go off certain flavours. You might not be able to stomach your morning coffee or your lunchtime eggs. You may also have a metallic taste in your mouth.
Your sense of smell may heighten as you become more sensitive to smells, like food, cooking, smoking and even perfume.
Pregnancy hormones can relax your body’s muscles, including your intestines. Slower intestines mean slower digestion, which may mean constipation.
To combat constipation, eat plenty of fibre each day (like fresh fruit, veg, beans, peas, lentils and wholegrain bread) and drink lots of water.
Surging hormone levels and an increase in blood volume can cause frequent headaches. These should become less frequent.
9. Mood swings
Pregnancy hormones are the gift that keeps on giving. Combine them with your fatigue and you’ll find yourself vulnerable to mood swings. Hang in there through the laughing and crying and raging – they should settle down once you’re through the first trimester.
10. A missed period
One of the surest symptoms of pregnancy is missing your period. But if your periods are always irregular or you’re not sure when your period is due, look out for extra pregnancy signs – especially tender breasts, nausea and more frequent trips to the loo.
How do I know if I’m pregnant?
At-home pregnancy tests are quick and reliable. If you get a positive test result, it’s almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. If you think you might be pregnant, wait a week and try again.
You can also go to your GP for a pregnancy test (it’ll be free if you are pregnant).