Are you pregnant? What are the early signs?
From the moment conception occurs, your body begins to undergo changes. Pregnancy is a time of immense physiological shifts as your body adapts to support your growing baby. These alterations present as the various signs of pregnancy.
While the only definitive way to identify a pregnancy is with a pregnancy test or ultrasound, you can use these early signs of pregnancy to decide if you need to buy a test or book an appointment with your doctor.
Below we’ll explore the common early signs of pregnancy.
Are you feeling nauseous?
Morning sickness is a well-known sign of pregnancy – for a good reason. Nausea is a common occurrence in the early days of pregnancy, though it’s not specific to any time of day. Just because you’re nauseous in the evening or afternoon doesn’t mean you aren’t pregnant.
We’re not entirely sure why “morning sickness” occurs. It’s suspected the cocktail of pregnancy hormones coursing through a woman’s bloodstream leads to slowed gastric emptying – but it’s just a theory. According to the Pregnancy sickness support charity, there is a 30-35% chance of you experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum if your mum or sister experienced it.
Have you missed your period?
Perhaps the most common reason to suspect pregnancy is a missed period. If your body normally runs like clockwork, it’s best to take a pregnancy test.
Of course, pregnancy isn’t the sole reason for a missed period. Weight loss or gain, stress, and hormonal changes are all potential causes. Only a pregnancy test can determine if pregnancy is the cause.
You should wait a week or more after your expected period date to see if it comes. Menstrual cycles can be irregular sometimes – it’s a normal part of female physiology.
Are you peeing more?
If you think changes in your bathroom schedule are down to the growing foetus, you’d be wrong. During the early days, you’d need a microscope to see it. Instead, it’s those pesky hormones triggering increased urination.
Diabetes or a urinary tract infection can also cause increased urination. So, if a test is negative, it’s important to book an appointment with your doctor.
It’s not just your waterworks that work to a new schedule. High levels of progesterone circulating in your system can lead to constipation – as it slows the movement through your bowels. To assist, you can up your fibre intake and drink lots of water – yes, this won’t help your bathroom schedule.
Fatigue during pregnancy?
All the physiological changes and the rampant cocktail of hormones is exhausting. Progesterone levels sap your energy and contribute to changes in blood pressure.
The result is a deep feeling of lethargy, no matter how much sleep you get.
If your test comes back positive, it’s essential to make time for rest. Slow your social life down, and ask for a little support from your friends, family, and colleagues.
Other potential causes include low blood pressure (unrelated to pregnancy), anaemia, and hypothyroidism.
Conclusion – Are you pregnant?
When looking out for the signs of pregnancy it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible. If you suspect you’re pregnant or have received a positive test, you’ll need to book an appointment with your doctor. They’ll perform an examination and conduct a test to confirm your pregnancy. You’ll then be able to discuss with your GP where you would like to have your care provided during pregnancy.
Did you know we’re building a device that helps expectant mothers monitor their baby’s movements? If you’d like to hear more about the progress we’re making, sign up for our newsletter.
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A regular pattern of movements is a key indicator of your baby's well-being during pregnancy.
Women don't always know how to recognise a regular pattern of movements for their baby and don't know what they should be checking for. This leads to increased anxiety. When they do think something isn't quite right, they don't feel confident and they doubt themselves so don't seek advice straight away.
We're developing a device that will monitor your baby's movements during pregnancy from 24 weeks onwards so that you can have a better understanding of your baby's regular pattern of movements.
To read more helpful blogs visit our pregnancy blog.