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Signs of Pregnancy and Pregnancy Symptoms

December 07, 2017
2 min read

Sometimes it's hard to interpret the signals your body is sending you. But if you suspect you might be experiencing the first signs of pregnancy, you're probably eager to confirm it.

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Some early pregnancy signs include:

  • Missing a menstrual period
  • Frequent urination
  • Tender, tingling, swollen breasts
  • Morning sickness — a queasiness that can occur any time of day
  • Changes in skin color such as darkening of the skin around your nipples, darker veins in your breasts, or the appearance of a dark line from your navel to your pubic bone
  • Food cravings
  • Tiredness

If you notice any of these early pregnancy symptoms, take a home pregnancy test. If the test is positive, make an appointment with your healthcare provider, who can confirm a pregnancy by observing changes in your cervix or uterus, by hearing a fetal heartbeat, or by observing the fetus via ultrasound. You can also use our due date calculator to estimate your due date.

Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Throughout your pregnancy, your body will do some weird and wonderful things. Some typical pregnancy signs include:

  • Discharge. A milky, musky-smelling discharge is your body’s way of cleaning the cervix. It is typical throughout life, but increases during pregnancy.
  • Cramps. Implantation cramping can occur early on when the fertilized egg nestles into the uterine wall. Later on, that cramping sensation can be a result of round ligament pain or Braxton-Hicks “practice” contractions.
  • Headaches. Hormonal changes, fatigue, and tension can all trigger headaches, but headaches can also be a sign of more serious conditions, such as preeclampsia. Be sure to report headaches to your healthcare provider.
  • Back Pain. Backaches can be caused by hormonal changes, weight gain, and changes in your posture due to your growing belly.
  • Heartburn. Hormonal changes relax the muscles that keep digestive acids out of the esophagus, leading to heartburn. In addition, heartburn can occur when your growing baby pushes up against your stomach.
  • Constipation and Bloating. Pregnancy hormones weaken the muscles in your bowels, leading to sluggish digestion.
  • Frequent Urination. During the first trimester, increased blood flow to the pelvic area makes the kidneys produce more urine. In the third trimester, your growing baby puts pressure on the bladder, leading to a more frequent urge to pee.
  • Itchy Skin. Wherever your skin stretches during pregnancy (the abdomen, breasts, hands, and feet), it could feel itchy.
  • Shortness of Breath. Pregnancy hormones can change the frequency and depth of your breath, meaning you’ll get winded more easily. Your baby pushing against your lungs can also cause that out-of-breath feeling.
  • Food Cravings and Aversions. Both cravings and aversions are to be expected. Some experts say pregnancy cravings are a sign your body needs more of a certain nutrient, while becoming repulsed by various smells is linked to a more acute sense of smell during pregnancy.
  • Fatigue. Your body is working hard to create and nourish your baby, so it’s completely normal to be tired.

These daily signs of being pregnant can be pretty tiresome, but in no time at all, your due date will be here, and you’ll be taking your precious baby home. Putting up with all these pesky pregnancy symptoms will have been worth it!

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