How can you tell? A quick head to toe list.
The onset and degree of pregnancy symptoms will vary within women. Many women experience them within days of conception, others take a few weeks before pregnancy symptoms kick in and a lucky few feel no discomfort at all. The early pregnancy symptoms listed here generally can be felt once implantation occurs (8 - 10 days from ovulation) and will lessen after the first trimester. It is frustrating to realize that many pregnancy symptoms are very similar to those that occur right before menstruating. However, combined with high temperatures and a longer luteal phase - they are key indications that you are pregnant!
Nausea and Vomiting
- Nausea and vomiting may come as early as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience illness in the morning (morning sickness), some in the afternoon or evening, others feel nausea throughout the entire day. There is no explanation as to why pregnant women feel this or even a solution as to how to prevent it - however, eating small frequent meals, and snacking on saltine crackers seems to give some kind of relief. Eating a protein/carbo-hydrate at bedtime (try an apple and a glass of milk) tends to lessen the nausea that occurs in the morning.
- Breasts may be very tender, swollen and start to enlarge. Many times the veins within the breast will become more visible. Your nipples may start to darken in color, become more erect and be extremely sensitive. These symptoms are due to increasing amount of HCG hormone that begins at implantation.
- Pregnancy causes the uterus to swell and it will start to enlarge for the growing fetus immediately. The uterus puts pressure on your bladder making you feel the need for more frequent urination. Many women start to feel this symptom within a week or two after pregnancy has occurred.
Feeling Tired / Sluggish
- This one is pretty obvious. When pregnant your body is going through some major hormonal changes. HCG levels alone go from 0 - 250,000 mIU/ml in just twelve weeks. Your temperature is also higher due to the amount progesterone circulating through your body which will also make you feel a little sluggish.
Missed Period / Light Bleeding
- Light bleeding (spotting) may occur approximately 8 - 10 days from ovulation. It usually happens around the same time you would have gotten your menstrual period. Some women assume they have started their period when in fact they are pregnant. The spotting is caused from implantation which is when the fertilized egg burrows into the endometrial lining.
Dizziness and/or Fainting
- When standing in one place you may feel dizzy or even faint. The growing uterus compresses major arteries in your legs which causes your blood pressure to drop making you extremely light headed. Skipping meals or going too long without eating may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. When not eating frequently enough it causes low blood sugar. Blood sugar is the primary source of food for your baby so it will be depleted much more quickly.
- Pregnancy hormones will slow down bowel functions to give maximum absorption time of vitamins and nutrients. Unfortunately, this symptom usually only gets worse as the pregnancy progresses.
- Raging hormones are the cause of this...along with having to put up with all the other symptoms. This symptom should decrease soon into the second trimester but until then, a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of sleep should help the crabbiness somewhat.
- The uterus is very swollen and starts to push upward as it grows. The increasing levels of HCG will also slow down digestion making your stomach not empty as fast which increases the stomach acid.
Courtesy of webwomb.com
Of course, if you think you might be pregnant you should see a good doctor.
24 Hour Pregnancy Hotlines
Option Line: 1-800-395-HELP(24 Hour Line)
Crisis Pregnancy Help Line: 1-800-672-2296
National Life Center: 1-800-848-LOVE
Hotlines That Refer To Places For Help
Birthright: 1-800-550-4900 (24 Hour)
The National Crisis Pregnancy Helpline: 1-800-521-5530 (24 Hour)
The Nurturing Network: 1-800-TNN-4MOM (M-F, 9-5)
Birthright International: 1-800-550-4900 (24 Hour)
National Life Center: 1-800-848-LOVE (24 Hour)
If you have questions and you'd like answers from the StandUpGirl community -- you can post in the Pregnancy Questions and Symptoms Forum