Chances are you’ve just searched the internet using phrases such as
Am I pregnant?
Could I be pregnant?
I think I’m pregnant.
Which, may be the reason you are reading this page right now!
Does your body feel like it is changing or do you perhaps feel ‘different’ and not your usual self?
If so, you could be experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, or your intuition could be trying to tell you something!
This page is designed to help you identify pregnancy signs and symptoms and offer some guidance on what to do if you suspect you are pregnant.
It’s important to firstly highlight that pregnancy signs and symptoms are not unique to just being pregnant and can sometimes be confused for ailments such as pre-menstrual discomforts (breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue and bloating), or nausea (motion sickness and food poisoning). Therefore, pregnancy symptoms are not always a guaranteed sign that you are pregnant.
However, it’s important to also remember that some women will not experience any symptoms and could still be pregnant.
Below is a list of some common early pregnancy signs and symptoms. Use as a general guide, because of course, all women and pregnancies are different.
The most common early sign when suspecting you could be pregnant is when your period does not arrive as expected, or your period appears lighter than normal.
If you are experiencing spotting, it may be implantation bleeding, which can occur when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall and causes some minor bloodshed.
Listen to your body as you know it best!
Many women believe they have an intuition about pregnancy signs, and often their intuition is proven correct.
Never a pleasant occurrence regardless of the cause.
Some women experience menstrual-type abdominal cramping during early pregnancy.
If you are feeling crampy, it may be your uterus beginning to stretch a little in order to make room for your growing baby over the next nine months.
A hot water bottle or a nice warm bath can help alleviate cramping.
The movie isn’t even past the previews, yet you are already longing for bed.
Tiredness or fatigue is especially common in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy due to rising levels of the hormone progesterone in the body.
Your energy stores may feel pretty depleted and everyday activities such as working, or going to the gym may suddenly seem harder or more exhausting.
To help combat tiredness, try having earlier nights and get plenty of rest where possible.
Does your bra feel so tight that you could burst out of it at any minute?
Breast tenderness can occur during early pregnancy as breast tissue is very hormone-sensitive. Breasts can be sore, or feel larger and fuller. Your nipples may also begin to change in appearance or veins in your chest area may appear more prominent.
If you are experiencing sore breasts, wearing a supportive bra, even to bed, may help ease the discomfort.
Suddenly find yourself reaching for the sick bag?
We’ve all heard the term Morning Sickness!
Rising levels of the hormone hCG in the body are said to be the cause of Nausea.
Oddly enough, Morning Sickness can unfortunately occur at any time of the day or night and not just in the morning. Nausea will usually subside after the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
Keep up your fluids and try to eat frequent, small meals consisting of foods known to settle the stomach (such as ginger or dry crackers).
If you are unable to keep down fluids, seek medical advice immediately.
Are you reaching for the late night bag of crisps rather than the block of chocolate, or can’t get enough of the stuffed-olives which, not so long ago you couldn’t stand to stomach?
If you suddenly notice changes in your food preferences, it could be your body telling you you’re pregnant.
Cravings or food aversions are also contributed to the changing hormones in your body.
If you suspect you could be pregnant, it’s advisable to consume foods deemed safe by pregnancy standards. Visit http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/generalissues/pregnancy/Pages/default.aspx for more information.
Pounding temples or an aching head?
Thanks again to those changes in hormones, increased blood volume may trigger frequent, but mild headaches.
Just in case you are pregnant, it’s best not to take ibuprofen to help relieve the pain.
Drink plenty of water, get some fresh air and rest where possible. An ice pack can also help relieve headache discomfort.
Wearing leggings rather than the skinny jeans? Or feeling a little blocked up?
An increase in the hormone progesterone in the body essentially slows down your digestive system, making you feel bloated or constipated.
If you are feeling bloated or constipated, drink plenty of water and try to consume foods which are high in fibre.
Suddenly feel the need to go to the toilet more frequently- even at night?
This is another classic sign. During pregnancy, your body produces extra fluids, so your body must work harder to flush out the fluid- hence the need to urinate more often.
Still keep up your fluids and try to consume less salt in your diet where possible.
And not because you saw your teen heart throb!
Low blood sugar or blood pressure when pregnant can be a cause of feeling dizzy or faint.
Eat well and drink plenty of water. If you are feeling woozy, sit/lay down and rest where possible. If it persists or you feel dizzy or faint for a prolonged period of time seek medical advice immediately.
Are you getting cranky over the smallest things?
The increased level of hCG hormones in your body can make you unusually emotional, sensitive or moody.
Where possible, do your best to keep check of your emotions as these feelings will pass.
Take some deep breathes or take some time out- it can work wonders!
If you miss your period, can tick off any signs and symptoms on this list, or intuitively feel like you could be pregnant, your first course of action is to take home pregnancy test and if it’s positive (see https://www.huggies.com.au/conception/am-i-pregnant/pregnancy-test for tips on using a home pregnancy test), talk to your healthcare provider such as your GP.
Your GP will usually perform a urine and/or blood test to confirm your pregnancy and may send you for a dating ultrasound to determine your estimated due date.
It is best not to delay, as the sooner your pregnancy is confirmed the sooner you can start thinking about the type of antenatal care you want. Intuition Private provides expert medical care for women on the Central Coast.
Still wondering if you could be pregnant? Take the fun Huggies quiz https://www.huggies.com.au/conception/am-i-pregnant/quiz and see how your answers stack up! But remember- it’s important to find out for sure.
If you are pregnant, your Doctor will help determine your estimated due date. In the meantime, you can use the Huggies due date calendar https://www.huggies.com.au/pregnancy/calculators-and-tools/due-date-calculator to determine the approximate date of when your baby is due.