Am I Pregnant? 10 Dead Giveaways
Are you pregnant? Have several weeks passed since you “did the deed,” and now you can’t stand the wait to find out for sure? There is good news. There are several pregnancy indicators and symptoms that show up around the time you miss your period – or a few weeks later. The fact is, seven out of 10 women experience early pregnancy symptoms by the time they are six weeks along, which means all you have to do is pay attention to your body to know for sure.
If you don’t keep track of your menstrual cycle, or it changes from one month to the next, you may not know when your period is going to arrive. However, if you begin to feel some of the early pregnancy warning signs found here (not all women experience these), and you wonder why you haven’t received your period, there’s a good chance you’re pregnant.
Now you’re ready to know, right? There are various pregnancy tests out there to let you know for sure if you’re pregnant; however, many of these don’t work until you are several weeks into the pregnancy. The good news is, you can use other signs and symptoms to determine if you are pregnant.
Get to know the 10 most common signs you are pregnant here. When you know what these are, you can have a better idea regarding whether or not it is time to begin planning for the arrival of a little one. This is a huge life-experience, so knowing for sure is something most people want to find out as quickly as possible. These 10 symptoms and signs of pregnancy are definitely dead giveaways your family is about to grow.
10Shortness of Breath
The majority of pregnant women feel a shortness of breath both early and late in their pregnancy. This is typically harmless and doesn’t affect the oxygen your baby receives. During early pregnancy, usually within the first few weeks, the hormone known as progesterone is increased. This results in you breathing more often. In many women, it can feel and look like shortness of breath.
The job of the hormone is to expand your lung capacity. This ensures your body is ready to supply the large amounts of oxygen your unborn baby needs in the coming months. This is a completely normal part of the pregnancy process and nothing to worry about.
For some women, the feeling of shortness of breath goes away during the mid-part of gestation; however, may return as the baby grows. As the baby gets bigger, the shortness of breath episodes can increase because the uterus is taking up more room inside of you. As a result, the uterus is shifting and pushing on other organs in your body. During the 31st to 34th week of your pregnancy, the uterus begins to press on your diaphragm, which is the flat muscle that moves when you breathe. These changes make it more difficult for your lungs to completely expand. As a result, you may find your breathing is more shallow than usual and that you experience shortness of breath.
9Sore or Tender Breasts
Not only do your breasts grow during pregnancy, they are usually also extremely tender and sensitive. Breast tenderness is considered one of the most common signs of early pregnancy. Most women experience this between week four and seven of their pregnancy. In most cases, it lasts for the entire first trimester. However, don’t think you’re out of the woods when your breasts are no longer tender. You are likely going to experience interesting, unusual, and even weird changes with your breasts throughout your pregnancy.
The main cause of changes to your breasts during pregnancy, even in the first weeks, is the tag-team, hormone duo – progesterone and estrogen. However, other factors can play a role in these changes, as well. For example, fat builds up in the breasts and the blood flowing to the area increases. After all, in a few months, your breasts are going to constantly pump milk for your little one, which is why the breasts are preparing early on
Breast tenderness is just the beginning. As time passes, and your baby grows, you may also notice changes with your nipples and areolas. For example, your nipples are going to protrude more than usual and your areola (the dark area around the nipple) is likely going to get darker, bigger, and more spotted. While these changes may seem bothersome, it is only to help prepare your body for the months to come when your little one relies on you for nourishment.
Fatigue is another all-too-common early sign of pregnancy. There are some women who remain exhausted throughout their pregnancy, while others hardly feel tired at all. While the tiredness you feel can vary, the majority of women feel more tired than usual during the early weeks of their pregnancy. During the first trimester, this feeling of being tired all the time is almost constant, while it usually goes away somewhat during the second trimester. However, by the time the last few months arrive, you typically experience this tiredness again.
During the early weeks of your pregnancy, the main cause of your fatigue is hormonal changes. Your body is working constantly to produce more blood for carrying nutrients to your constantly growing baby. Your blood pressure and blood sugar levels are also lower during this time. Your hormones are all over the place, and increased levels of progesterone can make you sleepy. In addition to the obvious physical changes you undergo, you also have to deal with emotional changes and emotional stress, which can all result in reduced energy.
Some of the emotional drains on your energy include anxiety around the pregnancy and even conflicting feelings you may have about the pregnancy. Each of these factors can take a toll on your already tired body, making it difficult to get out of bed some days. However, don’t worry, all of this is considered a normal part of pregnancy and is going to pass with time and as you move further along in the process.
Perhaps the most well-known and equally dreaded symptom of pregnancy – nausea, better known as morning sickness. However, the term “morning sickness” is somewhat of a misnomer. For many pregnant women, the symptoms are worse during the morning hours and get better during the course of the day. Some have found, though, that this feeling of nausea remains throughout the day, and the intensity of the symptoms can vary from one woman to another.
Up to 75 percent of pregnant women suffer from a bout of vomiting or nausea during their first trimester, and approximately half only encounter vomiting. In most cases, this nauseated feeling begins around the six week mark of a pregnancy, but can start as early as four weeks. It usually gets worse during the following month.
For approximately half of the women who experience nausea while pregnant, they feel complete relief by the time they reach 14 weeks. For others, it can take another month or more for the queasiness to completely go away. A small number of women experience symptoms that continue almost until they deliver their baby.
Even though morning sickness is a completely normal part of any pregnancy, it doesn’t mean it is not a challenge to handle. Even mild cases of nausea can cause you to feel worn down, and if you experience consistent bouts of vomiting and nausea, you are likely going to feel miserable and exhausted. In some cases, your doctor can give you some medication to help with the symptoms, providing a bit of relief.
If you have to get up more often than usual to urinate, there is a good chance you are pregnant. In fact, this is another one of the most common signs of early pregnancy. This increased urge to go typically shows up about six weeks into your first trimester. Why the change, you may wonder? Right after you get pregnant, your hormones kick into high gear, causing the blood to flow more quickly through your kidneys, which fills up your bladder more often than before.
Also, during the duration of your pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases until you have about 50 percent more than you had prior to getting pregnant. This results in quite a bit of extra fluid being processed through your kidneys and going into your bladder. Eventually, you may also begin to feel pressure on your bladder from your ever-expanding uterus, which makes the problem of having “to go” even worse.
In most cases, this increased urge to go is seen most urgently at night. This is because when you lie down, some of the fluid retained in your feet and legs during the day makes its way back into your bloodstream and eventually, winds up in your bladder. There are some pregnancy books that claim some of this urge to go is reduced during the second trimester as the uterus moves up and out of the pelvic region; however, most scientific research doesn’t support this claim.
When you are pregnant, the chances of developing a headache are higher. However, during this time, it is unwise to take pain killers because of the harm they can do to your unborn child. Experiencing headaches during the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy can result from hormonal issues, but may also arise because of the increased blood circulating through your system.
Also, having to adjust to a new pregnancy is quite stressful for many women. As a result, headaches can result from tension and stress. In some cases, if you are prone to developing migraines or headaches, you may discover your pain is eliminated altogether, while other people’s pain is increased during this time.
Some ways to alleviate some of this headache pain is to sleep in a bit on weekends or put your feet up during the day. If possible, you can ask your family members or friends to help out with your other kids so you can get a bit more rest. While it is not a good idea to take pain killers for pregnancy-related headache pain, there are other methods that can help you find relief. For example, you can get more rest, make better, healthier food selections, and avoid crowds and other noisy areas.
If you ever experience headaches along with puffiness in your face or hands or blurred vision, it is a good idea to seek medical advice to make sure this isn’t a more serious condition that requires intervention.
4Backaches and Back Pain
Many women experience back pain during their first trimester of pregnancy. This is typically a normal and healthy indication of changes in your body. For example, as the uterus grows to accommodate your growing baby and the fluid around it the tissues that are connecting the uterus to the pelvic and abdomen area can get stretched. The stretching is often painful and referred to as round ligament pain. Many women feel this pain within the first few weeks of getting pregnant and toward the end of their first trimester. Laughing, sneezing, and moving can all cause the pain to intensify. Making slow movements and resting can help to minimize the discomfort.
Another cause of back pain during the first weeks of pregnancy is if you change your posture. This also relates to your growing uterus. As the uterus gets bigger, it can put more stress on your back. Your center of gravity changes as your stomach grows. This results in you leaning backward or standing in other poor postures, which results in back soreness. Back muscles are also often strained because of the uterus’s weight; however, this is discomfort that usually is not felt until later in a pregnancy. In most cases, your doctor can give you some tips and advice regarding how to reduce the back pain you experience in the first few weeks.
Stomach cramps during early pregnancy are a common occurrence. While early pregnancy pains, such as this, are typically nothing to worry about, you still need to mention it to your doctor. If you are trying to determine if you are pregnant, consider the following information.
Some women experience cramps with a bit of bleeding when their embryo implants itself into the womb’s wall. This usually happens at about the same time your period would start. Cramping is also typically felt as a womb begins to change its shape and grow, in order to accommodate your baby.
There are some women who also experience cramps when having sex, and while this can cause concern, there is no reason to stop doing this unless your doctor advises it against it. Around the 12 week mark, many women begin to feel sharp pains on one or both sides of their groin area when they stand, twist, or stretch. This is only the ligaments that support the womb starting to stretch as it continues to grow.
If you are curious as to whether or not you have early pregnancy cramps, learning what they feel like is helpful. Early pregnancy cramps are similar to period pains or heartburn, but can also feel like a tummy cramp or stomach pain. The fact is, if you begin to experience unexplained cramping and pains, it is a good idea to purchase a pregnancy test or to see your doctor for a test.
Eating pickles for breakfast, sending your partner out for ice cream in the middle of the night – there is no question that craving certain foods is a given when you are pregnant. However, many women don’t realize they may also experience food aversions. While you may think when you get pregnant, you are going to want to consume everything in sight, this simply isn’t true. In fact, one of your favorite snacks may now completely repulse you.
Food aversions during pregnancy, much like food cravings, are typically the result of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. The hormone that triggers a positive pregnancy test, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), doubles almost daily during your first trimester. It usually peaks and then levels off by the time you reach 11 weeks. Up until then, the quickly increasing levels can result in a number of symptoms of pregnancy, such as food cravings, nausea, and even food aversions. However, your hormones are going to keep affecting your appetite during the duration of your pregnancy.
Food aversions can also relate directly to morning sickness. According to a study from the journal Appetite, food aversions and nausea begin during the same time in a pregnancy for the majority of women. This can result from the same hormone, but it may also relate to you associating morning sickness with the foods you eat right before it occurs. The food aversions you experience may change from one trimester of your pregnancy to the next, as well.
At the end of a pregnancy, you receive a special little bundle of joy. However, the path to receive this child is not only paved with happiness and sunshine. In fact, during the earliest days of pregnancy, you are likely to experience, often severe, mood swings. The fact is, mood swings and pregnancy are completely normal and extremely common. While you are likely excited about the baby and being pregnant, you may also feel overwhelmed and stressed. As a result, you may have constant worries that contribute to your less than cheery mood.
There are a number of reasons you may experience mood swings while you are pregnant. Some of the most common causes include an increase in the hormones progesterone and estrogen, changes in your metabolism, fatigue, and physical stresses. If significant changes to your hormone levels occur, it can affect your neurotransmitters, which are the brain chemicals that work to regulate your mood.
The majority of mood swings occur during the first trimester, between weeks six and 10 and then appear again during the third trimester. While these are often difficult to deal with, it is important to understand that mood swings are completely normal, and you are definitely not alone.
In some cases, managing your stress levels can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of the mood swings you experience. Some ways to do this include taking a nap, going for a walk, spending time with loved ones, going out with a friend, enrolling in a pregnancy yoga class, eating a good, healthy diet, taking a break to relax during the day, and getting plenty of sleep.
In many cases, the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy go on, unnoticed. However, there are some you simply can’t ignore, including the 10 signs of early pregnancy listed here. If you have missed your period, chances are the wheels in your mind have started turning. You are likely thinking of a million questions and your mind is racing constantly. From whether or not you can parent a child to if you are ready for this type of responsibility, the stress of not knowing is often extensive.
The good news is, as you can see, there are quite a few tell-tale signs that you are pregnant. While one of these signs alone is not enough to confirm you have a little one on the way, if you have several of these symptoms, chances are it is time to invest in a pregnancy test. While many of these symptoms don’t show up until around the four to six week mark, others may show up right away. Listen to your body and stay aware of any changes that occur. There are some women who claim they know the minute they become pregnant, and while this isn’t true for everyone, your body does give signs it is changing. When you know what they are, you can listen and decide for yourself.
If you are still unsure, it is best to visit the doctor for a blood test. They can determine right away, which can help ease your mind and allow you to prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy.