21 early signs of pregnancy

by BabyYumYum
Early signs of pregnancy
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Are you feeling “different” and suspect you might be pregnant? Every woman will have different symptoms when pregnant but here are some of the early pregnancy symptoms that can help you determine if you have a bun in the oven.
Common signs of pregnancy:
  • Missing a period. If your menstrual cycle is regular, it will be easier for you to notice if you’ve skipped a period and act accordingly. If you have an irregular cycle, it may take you a bit longer – and a few other symptoms – to realise that you’re pregnant.
  • Implantation bleeding (this happens when the fertilised embryo attaches to the uterine wall) occurs 10 to 14 days after conception and can also be mistaken for a light period.
  • Sensitive, swollen breasts. Hormonal changes early in your pregnancy may cause your breasts to become tender or swollen. This symptom most likely fades as your body becomes accustomed to these hormonal changes.
  • Morning sickness. Contrary to the term, nausea and/or vomiting is not limited to the morning. Some women may experience it in the morning, others may suffer all day. Thought to be caused by hormonal fluctuations, morning sickness is usually an early first-trimester symptom, but some women may suffer throughout their pregnancy.
  • The urge to urinate more often. During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases. Your kidneys need to process this extra fluid, which is then sent to your bladder resulting in more frequent trips to the loo.
  • Tired all the time. Another one to chalk up to hormones, fatigue is quite common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This can be accompanied by emotional ups and downs.
  • Cravings and/or aversions. If your favourite food or fragrance suddenly turns your stomach, or you have an unexpected inclination to mix peanut butter with pickles (or other bizarre combinations) or yearn for something you don’t normally eat or drink, it’s a sign you might be expecting.
  • A thin, milky vaginal discharge occurs throughout pregnancy and is caused by oestrogen and the thickening of your vaginal walls.
  • Bleeding gums and noses. Hormones can cause gums to become inflamed and bleed during brushing or flossing, while expanded blood vessels in the nose can cause nose bleeds. 

Check out The weirdest pregnancy cravings

Uncommon early signs of pregnancy
  • Pica is craving and eating non-nutritive substances such as dirt and chalk, ice or clay.
  • Stuffy or blocked nose due to excess mucus production.
  • Cramping similar to period pains can occur in the first trimester.
  • Dizziness due to increases in hormone levels as well as a change in blood pressure and the volume of blood in your body. Low blood sugar can also result in feelings of light-headedness.
  • Dysgeusia is a metal taste in the mouth that usually disappears after the first trimester.
  • Migraines are vascular headaches caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the brain. You may have had these before pregnancy or they may be a new symptom.
  • Varicose veins. As your uterus expands, it puts pressure on the inferior vena cava (largest blood vessel on the right side of your body) which can cause varicose veins in your legs and even your vulva and breasts.
  • Bloating and flatulence. One of the more embarrassing symptoms of pregnancy, an increase in the production of progesterone slows down digestion causing gas.
  • Vivid dreams and nightmares can be due to pregnancy hormones, as well as interrupted sleep caused by trips to the toilet, cramps or, later, your baby’s movement.
  • Butterfingers. You may have dropped things before and have people ask if you’re pregnant – it isn’t always a joke and may well be a sign that you’re pregnant.
  • Waking up feeling hot. Ovulation increases body temperature and if it doesn’t regulate within a couple of weeks, you could be pregnant.
  • Change in breast milk. If you’re breastfeeding another child when you fall pregnant, they might refuse the breast due to pregnancy hormones changing the taste of your milk. 

Read: Appropriate weight gain in pregnancy

How did you know you were pregnant?

“High blood pressure in the early stages. It had never happened to me before then and it was how I found out I was pregnant even though it’s unusual at the beginning of pregnancy.”  Vahnia-Jane Felix Cunningham

“I got very sick with flu and a bad runny nose in the first month of all three of my pregnancies. That’s how I knew.” Hasina Hajat

“Extreme abdominal cramps for almost the whole month. I thought it was period pains but when I missed my period, I got a home pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.” Nthabi Mohlomi Swarts:

“I was feeling cold during 30-degree summer weather. I sat in the office with a blanket and hot water bottle, and the aircon on heat.” Sal Govender

“Hot flashes every other minute. I booked an appointment with my GP and, to my crazy surprise, I was four weeks pregnant.” Nelani Mdletshe

You can expect plenty of changes to your body (thank you, hormones!) and a variety of symptoms when you’re pregnant. However, if you are worried about anything,  always speak to your healthcare professional.

Also read: Heartburn during pregnancy

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Aaliyah February 22, 2024 - 3:58 pm

This helped alot i have a question im three days late in my period and im having cramps i pee a lot im constantly hungry and sleep mostly am i pregnant cause i took a test and it was negative

Thato April 22, 2024 - 9:42 am

I took three pregnancy tests all came back negative but my period is late

Tebogo April 23, 2024 - 2:53 pm

I had miscarriage on january and I’m still trying to conceive,but nothing what could be the problem?

Nokuthula May 20, 2024 - 7:49 pm

I’ve. Had my period for the second time in one month I’m moody theses days I’m always tried I’ve done several times and comes back nagative

Sibongile June 2, 2024 - 7:56 pm

Hi I missed my periods or I’m late but it’s been a month and now I’m spotting some blood. My biggest fear I gave birth last year and my son passed away. It would be great to have another baby but I also don’t want to give birth and same thing happens so either I’m pregnant or I’m sick because I’m feeling sick but I’m scared to check


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