Early Signs of
Pregnancy. Are you pregnant? Here is the list of classic clues:
Tender, swollen breasts or nipples
One of the first physical changes of pregnancy is a change in the
way your breasts feel. Starting as early as one to two weeks after
conception your breasts may feel tender to the touch, tingly or
sore. Or they may feel fuller and heavier. Your breasts start to
grow and change in preparation for producing milk. The primary cause
of these changes is increased production of the hormones estrogen
and progesterone. These changes in your breasts are often most dramatic
for the first-time mom.
Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance, a kind
of abreaction to birth control pills. Finally, swollen or tender
breasts can also be the result of (PMS).
Feeling exhausted can start as early as the first week after conception.
This is understandable since the body is working overtime.
¸ It is pumping out hormones and producing more blood to carry
nutrients to your baby.
¸ In order to accommodate this increased blood flow, your
heart pumps harder and faster.
¸ High levels of progesterone - a natural central nervous
system depressant - may make you sleepy.
¸ Finally, the possibility of pregnancy can bring about a
range of feelings and concerns that may sap your energy and disturb
Other Explanations: You can suffer from fatigue
because of any number of external factors like stress, exhaustion,
depression, the common cold or flu.
Slight bleeding or cramping
Some women experience whats known as implantation bleeding,
a small amount of spotting or bleeding that can begin as early as
a week after fertilization. This happens when the fertilized egg
first attaches to the lining of the uterus. Unlike a usual period,
the blood is spottier and lighter in color and doesn't last long.
Other Explanations: What could be happening might be actual menstruation,
altered menstruation or changes induced by taking the pill.
Nausea with or without vomiting
Morning sickness is one of the telltale signs of early pregnancy.
Most women feel some sickness around four to eight weeks of pregnancy,
but the queasiness can begin as early as two weeks after conception.
Although nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is commonly called
morning sickness, it can occur at any time of the day. It seems
to stem from the rapidly rising levels of estrogen produced by the
placenta and the fetus. These hormones cause the stomach to empty
somewhat more slowly, which could be part of the problem. Pregnant
women also have a heightened sense of smell, so a variety of odors
such as foods cooking, coffee, perfume or cigarette smoke
can trigger nausea.
Other Explanations: stress or food poisoning.
Food aversions or cravings
The simple answer as to why this happens is the power of hormones
kicking into high gear especially in the first trimester.
In fact, turning up your nose at certain foods is often the first
hint that you're pregnant. Even the smell of some foods may cause
a wave of nausea in early pregnancy. One study suggests that pregnant
women experience a unique aversion to coffee in the early weeks
of pregnancy. Meat, dairy products and spicy foods are other common
objects of repulsion.
In the same way, and for the same reasons, many women will feel
cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant. This can last
throughout your entire pregnancy.
Other Explanations: impending menstruation, poor
or imbalanced diet, stress, or depression.
An enlarging uterus pushing on the bladder will result in many
pregnant women running to the bathroom more often than usual.
Other Explanations: Urinary tract infection, diabetes, increasing
liquid intake, or taking excessive diuretics.
The dramatic increase in hormonal activity accompanying pregnancy,
especially early in the pregnancy, sometimes produces frequent,
Other Explanations: Any number of ailments - caffeine
withdrawal, dehydration, impending menstruation, eye strain - can
be the source of frequent or chronic headaches.Constipation
Constipation is another common early indication of pregnancy. An
increase in progesterone causes digestion to slow down, so food
passes more slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, which can
lead to constipation.
If you're a no-nonsense kind of woman you may be shocked by spontaneously
crying over Hallmark commercials. The flood of hormones in your
body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy,
prone to swings in your mood, from bliss to deep gloom.
Faintness and dizziness
It's common for pregnant women to be lightheaded or dizzy. These
sensations usually occur because your blood vessels dilate and your
blood pressure drops. Early in pregnancy, feeling faint may also
be triggered by low blood sugar.
Are you really pregnant?
Unfortunately, these signs and symptoms aren't unique to pregnancy.
Some can indicate that you're getting sick or that your period is
about to start. And, conversely, you can be pregnant without ever
experiencing these symptoms.
Still, if you notice any of the tip-offs on this list, make plans
to take a home pregnancy test. Finally, take extra good care of
yourself. You just might be taking care for two.
For over 150 births my goal has been to inform and
nurture expecting mothers in Sacramento area as to the benefits
of birth partners/doula's, Doulapregnancy.com is a extension of
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