Early symptoms of pregnancy are those that usually occur during the first trimester. Some women can witness a few of them while others can witness all these 25 symptoms.
Some symptoms can also delay in some women while in others they can even come as early as the first week or few weeks.
The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy are;
#1 Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are very common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Almost every woman experiences this within the first few weeks of pregnancy.
In most women, it starts in the 6th week of pregnancy and clears off in the 12th week.
The actual cause of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy is not known.
Some studies have stated that the increase in hormones might have caused the stomach and intestine muscles to fluctuate in contraction and relaxation thus causing a person to feel nauseatic and then vomit but there is no scientific backing for this.
It has also been stated that an increase in estrogen causes queasiness in the body.
You can reduce nausea and vomiting by;
- Taking fruits more often during the day
- Eating dry toast in the morning – it helps avert morning nausea and vomiting
- Eating multivitamin
- Avoiding smells that trigger it
- Eating small manageable quantities of food
It is also believed that being pregnant for twins increases nausea and also expecting a baby girl increases it but there’s no scientific backing for this.
#2 Increased body temperature is an early sign of pregnancy
An increase in body temperature is also a common symptom of early pregnancy. In most women, the temperature can rise to 37.8 degrees Celsius up from the normal 37 degrees Celsius.
Studies have shown that an increase in body temperature during pregnancy is caused by an increase in body metabolism which increases energy in the body and thus raises the body temperature.
You can manage high body temperature in pregnancy by;
- Drinking plenty of water
- Wearing light clothes
- Taking a tepid shower or bath
Constipation is also a common symptom of early pregnancy. It is believed that an increase in hormones in the body causes the muscle of the intestines to relax and this causes food and wastes to move very slowly through the system thus leading to constipation.
The pressure exerted by the expanding uterus has also been associated with constipation as the pressure is exerted to the intestines.
To reduce constipation when pregnant you can;
- Reduce consumption of refined foods
- Drink more water
- Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods
- Exercise regularly
- Eat moderately
- Consider taking some supplements and medications
#4 Missing period as an early sign of pregnancy
Missing periods is almost a common sign of pregnancy in most women. It is the first sign that most women notice and they get a clue of being pregnant.
A sign of a missed period gives a person a good reason to carry out a pregnancy test without delay.
Missing a period usually happened because the fertilized egg has implanted in the walls of the uterus and thus the endometrium cannot shed off again.
#5 Increased heartbeat
Increased heart rate is one of the early symptoms of pregnancy is not a new term for many women who have already given birth or even expecting.
It is among the initial signs that a woman is expecting.
A study has shown that an increased heart rate is due to the increase in demand for more blood in the body. It is believed that blood pumped from the heart increase by approximately 40% during pregnancy. Also, the blood vessels dilate to allow more blood flow to supply the growing fetus with nutrients. This high requirement of blood and nutrients in most parts of the body causes the heartbeat to be too frequent.
#6 High blood pressure
High blood pressure is also an early sign of pregnancy. This usually happens within the first few weeks of pregnancy before the blood vessels dilate and allow more blood to pass through it.
You are at a higher risk of having high blood pressure in your early pregnancy weeks if you are pregnant for the first time because the blood vessels will take some time to adapt to the high blood requirement and dilate to allow more blood to pass through.
Expecting twins is also likely going to cause high blood pressure because the blood circulation will be required to be twice as more but the vessels will be having a small space thus causing more pressure to be exerted on their walls.
In the United States, an estimated 1 out of every 25 pregnant women experiences high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be very dangerous to both the mother and the baby.
You can reduce the effects of high blood pressure by;
- Taking medication
- Exercising regularly
- Eating healthy foods
- Keeping all prenatal appointments without missing any.
#7 Shortness of breath
Experiencing shortness of breath can also be an early sign of pregnancy in most women.
This is caused by an increased heart rate due to increased body processes. The dilated blood vessels require more blood and nutrients to pass through as well as oxygen thus the mother will have an increased heart rate and at some point, she can feel as if she is overworking and the breath shortens.
This is mostly witnessed when the person tries to walk around, jog or just engage in simple exercises. It can even cause a person to faint if not checked.
Here is what you can do to manage increased heart rate;
- Drink more water
- Avoid consuming laxatives such as caffeinated drinks
- Eat a healthy diet rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium
#8 Back pain is also an early sign of pregnancy
Back pain is very common as one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. It is usually experienced by almost half of the women who are pregnant.
Those who are pregnant for the first time have a high likelihood of experiencing back pain than those in second or third pregnancies.
It is usually caused by the loosening and expansion of ligaments at the pelvic area to increase the space of the womb and also preparing for the delivery by increasing the cervix.
This back pain is usually felt at the lower abdomen.
You can reduce back pain effects by;
- Sleeping on your side
- Standing straight
- Engaging yourself in simple exercises
- Doing a massage
- Wearing low-heeled shoes
#9 Breast changes occur as early signs of pregnancy
Breast changes in pregnancy is also a sign that is witnessed in every woman. The breasts increase in size in preparation for lactation. The breasts can enlarge up to 2 – 4 band sizes in some women.
An increase in the production of hormones causes the breasts to feel sore.
The nipples will increase in sensitivity and in some women they can feel it hurts mildly.
The veins in the breasts also expand in preparation for lactation.
Try getting a supportive bra to help in managing these breast changes.
#10 Darkened areola
The areola is a circular part of hyperpigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
During pregnancy, the areola becomes darker and increases in circumference.
The darkening of the areola is very common and easily witnessed in black women than light-skinned women.
#11 Pregnancy glow
Pregnancy glow is another one in the early symptoms of pregnancy. The face becomes brighter than on normal days.
This is usually caused by an increase in blood circulation in the body which improves blood circulation to the surface of the skin.
An increase in estrogen and progesterone increases the production of sebum on the skin. Sebum is a waxy and oily substance. The increased amount of sebum on the skin makes it become oily, brighter and rejuvenated.
#12 Heartburn is an early sign of pregnancy
Heartburn is also a common early sign of pregnancy.
Excess progesterone in the body during pregnancy causes the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to relax. This relaxation creates room for acid from the stomach to enter into the esophagus through a reflux action and cause heartburn.
You can reduce heartburn in pregnancy by;
- Eating smaller meals but occasionally
- Relaxing upright for sometime after meals
- Avoid foods that you know trigger your heartburn
- Eating slowly
#13 Weight gain
Weight gain is a common sign in most women during pregnancy. It is recommended that underweight women should add between 28 – 40 pounds during pregnancy. Normal weight women add 15 – 30 pounds while overweight women add 15 – 25 pounds during the entire pregnancy cycle.
In the first 12 months, a woman can add anything above 5 pounds.
You can avoid gaining too much weight in pregnancy by;
- Drinking water in plenty
- Eating moderately but often
- Consume healthy foods
- Engage yourself in exercise
#14 Headache is also an early sign of pregnancy
Headache is also one of the common early symptoms of pregnancy.
Some studies claim that headache during pregnancy is caused by the expansion of blood vessels in the brain while others claim that it is caused by dehydration and caffeine withdrawal.
During pregnancy, a headache can be alleviated by stress and other environmental factors.
You can manage a headache during pregnancy by;
- Getting enough rest and relaxation
- Eating a healthy well-balanced diet
- Drinking plenty of water
- Engage yourself in exercise
#15 Frequent urination
Most women experience frequent urination during pregnancy when at the 4th – 12th month. A pregnant woman can urinate for 4 – 10 times a day or even more.
Frequent urination is caused by the increased blood circulation which makes the kidneys to produce 20% more urine. It is also caused by the pressure exerted on the bladder by the expanding uterus which causes urine not to stay at the bladder for any longer.
You can try to manage frequent urination in pregnancy by;
- Avoiding caffeinated drinks
- Avoid drinking plenty of water at night to avoid frequent urination at night
- Leaning forward when urinating in order to empty the bladder fully.
#16 Tender and swollen breast is also an early sign of pregnancy
The swelling of breasts is a common symptom of early pregnancy.
This is caused by an increase in hormones that increase blood circulation to the breasts and thus expanding the blood vessels which in turn leads to an increase in breast size. The breasts will also be tender when touched.
Fatigue is a common early sign of pregnancy. Many women feel it during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Hormonal changes that make the body to produce more blood for supplying the baby with nutrients are the major cause of fatigue.
During early pregnancy, the blood sugar level decreases and this is a potential cause of you feeling tired and fatigued.
You can try reducing fatigue in pregnancy by;
- Reducing caffeine intake
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting enough relaxation time
- Engaging in exercise
- Eating a healthy diet
#18 Spotting and cramping as early signs of pregnancy
Spotting and cramping are the common early signs of pregnancy. It occurs 6 – 12 days after fertilization has taken place.
After the fertilized egg implants on the walls of the uterus, there is mild bleeding that occurs and this is what is called spotting.
Some women can mistake it for the onset of menstruation.
Spotting and cramping last from few hours to few days. It defers from one woman to another.
#19 Food aversions and cravings
Food aversions are also very common symptoms of pregnancy. A woman can develop aversiveness to meat or eggs or even any other food.
Some women can crave dirt or chalk. This will show the possibility of a medical condition like calcium deficiency.
#20 Mood swings as an early sign of pregnancy
Mood swings are also early symptoms of pregnancy that most women experience.
A woman can just feel angered or pissed off without any particular problem. Small provocation sparks up her anger.
This is caused by the increase in estrogen and progesterone which increases body activities. All these adjustments in the body functions can trigger mood changes though not scientifically proven.
You can try to manage mood swings in pregnancy by;
- Taking a walk and engaging in exercise
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting enough rest
- Eating healthy diet foods
#21 Smell sensitivity
Some women become very sensitive to smell when pregnant. They can develop sensitivity to perfumes, food, toiletries, and even other people who are unkempt.
You can reduce this by avoiding strongly scented perfumes, using odorless toiletries and even washing clothes frequently to remove odor.
#22 Melasma in early pregnancy
Melasma is the development of brown patches on the face. It is caused by hormonal changes in pregnancy.
An increase in progesterone makes the body to produce more sebum which settles on the skin and then clogs the pores. This causes the build-up of bacteria and dead cells.
Dizziness is one of the common early symptoms of pregnancy weeks. It is caused by the increase in estrogen and progesterone hormones which cause relaxation of blood vessel walls, thus causing blood pressure to fall.
#24 Vaginal discharge as an early sign of pregnancy
Vaginal discharge is common in women even when not pregnant. The difference arises in that the discharge increases during pregnancy.
The vaginal discharge is sticky, white or pale-yellow.
The increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy is due to the increased blood circulation and hormones in the body.
#25 Bloating and gas
Bloating and gas is also an early symptom of pregnancy.
It is caused by the relaxation of intestinal muscles caused by progesterone. This relaxation slows down the movement of food in the intestines causing gas build.
It can also be caused by the pressure exerted by the uterus on the intestines which also causes the intestines to relax and reduces food and waste movement.