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Subtle Signs Of Pregnancy

The only way to know for sure if you’re pregnant is to take a home pregnancy test or have a blood test done by your GP, and normally by that stage you’re fairly confident that you’re pregnant anyway, perhaps having missed a period.  But what are the tell-tale signs of pregnancy that you may have missed in the early stages?  Here we look at some of the subtle physical and emotional changes that can occur very early on that you might normally dismiss.

RELATED: Read how to improve your chances of conceiving here

  • Irritability, moodiness and sudden outbursts of sadness are feelings that you may experience early on, much like those of PMS.  Some women dismiss these signs and put them down to stress.
  • Feeling tired and fatigued is an early sign of pregnancy as your body adjusts to the changes needed to grow your baby.  If you’re falling asleep much earlier than usual or taking naps during the day when you never did in the past, this could be a sign of pregnancy.
  • If you notice that your breasts are tender, fuller, or your nipples are sore it could be due to the increased oestrogen and progesterone levels and a sign that you’re expecting.  Don’t assume these signs are due to an upcoming period, especially if the areola are darker than usual.
  • When you fall pregnant your uterus will begin to swell and start pushing on the bladder walls.  This will cause you to urinate more frequently than usual, so if you’re running to the loo every ten minutes it could be a sign of pregnancy.
  • Frequent headaches due to hormonal changes in your body are an early sign of pregnancy but as the pregnancy progresses and your body adjusts to the hormone levels the headaches should start to ease.
  • You may have experienced spotting very early on and perhaps dismissed this as a light period, but in fact it could be a sign of pregnancy.  Some implantation pain could also be felt when the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus and to some this may feel like an uncomfortable twinge.
  • If you feel light-headed or faint it could be a sign that you’re pregnant.  This can happen when your blood vessels dilate then your blood pressure decreases.  If you’re not eating properly the dizziness can also stem from low blood-sugar.

So if you can relate to some of the signs above then it might be time to put down the glass of wine and reach for a pregnancy test kit instead.

Image via i.huffpost.com

September 21, 2014

5 Signs of Pregnancy You Might Not Be Expecting

For many women, it can be easy to assume that you’re not pregnant without the usual signs of pregnancy like a missed period or morning sickness. Most of us know common pregnancy symptoms to watch out for, but there are a few unusual ones that you may not have heard of. Read on for 5 more uncommon signs of pregnancy that could help tell you you’re pregnant.

Shortness of Breath
Most women do not know that a shortness of breath can be attributed to the early stages of pregnancy. However, this is a common symptom that can plague new mothers whom are unaware that they are pregnant. Although it can be scary for some, the shortness of breath is primarily due to the need for extra oxygen in the body due to the embryo that is beginning to grow and develop in the womb.

The shortness of breath is known to occur at any time, even when not exercising, and it can last well into the second and third trimester. The shortness of breath can also feel heightened or more uncomfortable when lying down. It’s a common symptom that isn’t dangerous, but should be assessed and monitored by your doctor.

Bleeding or spotting
It can be easy to assume that you’re not expecting when you notice a bit of bleeding or spotting that can commonly be mistaken for a menstrual cycle. This can be experienced as early as five to 10 days after conception as a result of the egg nestling into the uterus in the first few weeks into the pregnancy.

Increased body temperature
Many women experience an increase in their overall body temperature that can last for several weeks without much fluctuation. This is due to a change of metabolism, and you may experience excess sweating as the body attempts to cool itself down. Prevent this by drinking more water and avoiding synthetic or clingy fabrics.

Increased sex drive
One of the most unusual signs of pregnancy (that is more of a bonus!) is an increased libido and sex drive. Fortunately, it’s safe to enjoy sexual activity while pregnant, even into the third trimester. For some women, their sex drive can also decrease. Ultimately, each women is different with how their sex drive is affected by pregnancy.

Increase in nipple size
When pregnant, the areola naturally becomes larger and sometimes darker due to a change in hormones. The nipples can even begin to release fluid before giving birth. Usually the nipples will subside after giving birth and finishing breast-feeding.

Did you experience any unusual signs of pregnancy?

February 6, 2014

Could You Be Pregnant? Early Signs of Pregnancy to Look For

If you’ve been trying to have a baby, there’s that time every month when you wonder: is this the month? Or perhaps you haven’t been trying, but you have a feeling that something is a little different. Could you be pregnant? Your body may be giving you a few hints. Look out for some of these early signs of pregnancy.

Late period
One of the strongest signs that you could be pregnant, of course, is that your period hasn’t started when you expect it. That’s because once the egg is fertilised it embeds itself into the uterine wall. Instead of shedding the lining as your body does each month, the lining builds up even further to support the embryo. If your period is very regular but now it’s late, this is a good indication that you may be pregnant. However, if you are not regular, this is a less reliable indicator.

Morning sickness
If you feel sick to your stomach and are not sick, this could be a sign of pregnancy. Many women feel nauseous in the first weeks of pregnancy. This is called morning sickness, and for some women the queasiness is strongest in the early hours of the day, but for others it can hit at any time. Morning sickness is often accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to scents. Many women suddenly do not like the smell of certain foods, perfumes or other odours.

Exhaustion
This can be a rather vague symptom, but a symptom nonetheless. Many women feel unusually tired in the first trimester of pregnancy. Unfortunately, exhaustion can also be a sign that you are getting sick or that you simply aren’t getting enough rest. Therefore, it is not a strong indicator of pregnancy on its own. Fatigue is not something to ignore, however. It is something to consider if you are experiencing it along with other common pregnancy symptoms.

Breast tenderness
If you are feeling an unusual soreness in your breasts, you may be pregnant. Many women feel very tender early in their pregnancy. This may be one of the pregnancy symptoms that get your attention the most, especially if you do not usually feel breast tenderness at certain times of the month. If your bra feels uncomfortable or your breasts are tender to the touch, take note.

Frequent urination
When a woman is in her early pregnancy, her uterus begins to grow and can put pressure on her bladder. This is something she is not used to, which can make her feel like she has to use the toilet more frequently. It is one of the earliest changes in your abdomen, starting when the embryo itself is very small. If you suddenly need to urinate more urgently than you usually do and you do not have an infection, you may be pregnant.

If you experience any of these symptoms and there is a chance you could be pregnant, take a pregnancy test. These tests, which use a small amount of urine, are simple to carry out yourself at home. Then, if your results are positive, it’s important to follow up with your doctor as soon as possible. They will confirm the pregnancy and get you on track with a proper course of prenatal visits. If your home test is negative, give yourself another few days. If your period still does not start, consult with your doctor.

What other signs of pregnancy did you experience?

January 22, 2014

5 Signs of Pregnancy to Look Out For

It’s often a mystery whether you’re pregnant or not and it can be difficult to know 100 percent until you get a pregnancy test. There are actually a number of early signs that will quickly indicate that you’re expecting. Look out for these 5 signs of pregnancy to see if you might be pregnant before getting a pregnancy test.

1. Morning sickness
If you’re tempted to run to the bathroom throughout the day, then you may be pregnant as a majority of women suffer from morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, and can even be sparked with the sight or smell of certain foods or fragrances.

Although it is often considered one of the worst parts of pregnancy, it usually only occurs in the first trimester as your body begins to change. This can occur as early as three weeks into your pregnancy and is often caused by an increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels.

To prevent suffering from nausea, try to eat consistently throughout the day and drink at least three litres of water each day. Motion sickness bands have also proven to be effective for pregnant women.

2. Fatigue
Even if you’re getting an average of seven to eight hours of sleep, you may still feel fatigued and tired throughout the day. This is one of the most common signs of pregnancy as your body is going through the early stages in the first trimester that makes it feel as if you always need a nap. Don’t be afraid to sleep more and allow your body to gain enough rest.

3. Mood swings

It can be easy to confuse your mood swings with PMS, which often occurs in the week prior to starting your menstrual cycle, but the change in behaviour can occur throughout all nine months of your pregnancy. Although it can be frustrating, it’s one of the earliest signs that you’re pregnant due to hormonal changes as your body begins to prepare to carry a child. Mood swings include anxiety, outbursts, and frequent bouts of crying at a moment’s notice.

4. Backaches
Even before the second trimester when the baby begins to become larger in size, backaches can occur due to the ligaments loosening as your body prepares to carry a child. This is caused by increased levels of relaxin, which occurs in the pelvic region as the body begins to prepare for the birthing process. It can mean having difficulty to maintain good posture and feeling as if you have aches throughout your back during the day.

5. Food cravings
Pregnant women are notorious for having food cravings that consist of juicy pickles and ice cream. Although it may be a bit of a cliche, the symptom still rings true as pregnant women are now eating for two and often begin to crave new tastes and textures. Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients to promote proper development in your child and also maintain a healthy weight.

Although many women are often nervous that their food cravings will lead to consuming donuts and fried food, a lot of cravings are often healthy. Food cravings can also change on a daily basis and can differ depending on the trimester you’re currently going through. Maintain your portions and opt for healthier versions of the foods you’re craving to avoid drops in blood sugar, which can also contribute to cravings.

What signs of pregnancy were your favourite – and least favourite?

December 16, 2013