Most women believe that a missed period is perhaps the first sign of pregnancy. This article outlines some of the most unexpected and weird signs of pregnancy that you all must know.
Taking a pregnancy test is the only way to ensure pregnancy, but some early symptoms can be helpful in suggesting that a woman is pregnant. Anyone who understands even a little bit of biology or how a woman’s body works knows how pregnancy can start a whirlpool of emotions and hormonal changes. These significant changes can lead to symptoms and may even appear as early as the first weeks of pregnancy. This article will discuss the 70 early signs of pregnancy and some great pieces of advice on preparing for a healthy pregnancy.
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Why knowing the signs of pregnancy is important?
Are you wondering if you may be pregnant? Perhaps you are curious or anxiously waiting for that moment to discover that a baby is growing inside you. Pregnancy begins when the woman’s egg, the embryo, is fertilized with the male sperm and attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. And if no such interaction occurs, the uterus sheds off its lining each month, and that is what menstruation- or period, is. This is the reason that missed periods are one of the classic signs of pregnancy. But it is not the only one!
While the thought of being pregnant is exciting and magical, the process is definitely not easy, physically or emotionally. And the beginning of this journey for new moms can surely be full of some of the weirdest symptoms. Such information must not steal your joy because, yes, you are lucky to be pregnant, but knowing the realities and early signs is something all women must know.
How soon can you get early pregnancy symptoms before missed periods?
Pregnancy symptoms typically tend to kick in around week five or six of pregnancy. Some women can feel the classic symptoms like nausea, tender breasts, bloating, or fatigue even before their period is due. However, that is not the same for all, as others might not experience any changes until they are well into their first trimester. It is important to note that anything that happens immediately after sexual intercourse, like spotting, increased discharge, or nausea, is most of the time unrelated to pregnancy.
List of 70 early signs of pregnancy
Carrying a baby inside can come off with all different kinds of annoying symptoms. As a woman, you must be aware of the changes that are expected in your body as you conceive because too many times, women lack knowledge of their own bodies, which creates problems in the long run. In fact, many women believe that there are more discomforts associated with the process than joys. So note one thing down, if you are pregnant, your body will tell you- Oh yes, it will!
If you are actively trying to get pregnant, keeping your doctor in the loop about any symptoms that you might be having is important. Many bodily changes are occurring within you to welcome a new being within you, allow it to grow and nurture it, and keep it warm inside of you for nine months. Sounds magical? Hang in there– it will be so worth it when the baby finally arrives! And you will probably forget the unpleasant and unusual early pregnancy signs.
Here is a list of 70 early signs of pregnancy that you can possibly experience as you embark on this beautiful journey called motherhood. These include the known, classic signs and also some of the most unusual signs of early pregnancy.
1. Missed period
A missed period is a classic sign of pregnancy, but sometimes the period is delayed due to stress, travel, or conditions like PCOS. However, if your cycle is on the dot normally and you have been sexually active, then chances are that you have conceived!
2. A positive pregnancy test
Well, this is also another sure-shot way to know you are pregnant. A positive pregnancy test is the most obvious sign of pregnancy, and the only way you can get a false positive is due to the presence of drugs or other substances in the bloodstream.
3. Implantation bleeding
Implantation bleeding is usually mild bleeding for about 48 hours and occurs as the embryo attaches itself to the uterus. However, this is rare as most women will not have implantation bleeding.
4. Tender breasts
Tender and sore breasts can be misleading. While it is a classic PMS symptom, it can also indicate pregnancy. The difference is that if you are pregnant, breast tenderness is likely to last even after your missed period.
Pregnancy can lead to hormonal fluctuations, and as the level of estrogen increases in the body at the onset of pregnancy, it can cause headaches. However, it is essential to note that stress or fatigue can cause headaches too.
A drop in blood pressure during early pregnancy can be responsible for dizziness or lightheadedness. It can also indicate fatigue, low blood sugar levels, and stress.
7. Tiredness and fatigue
During early pregnancy, you might feel a constant lack of energy or be extremely tired throughout the day. You may feel the need to drag yourself to function throughout the day till you go to sleep. Tiredness and fatigue happen due to high hormone progesterone levels during early pregnancy.
8. Elevated basal body temperature
Basal body temperature is the oral temperature measured right after waking up in the morning. A persistently raised basal body temperature is a good indicator of early pregnancy.
Do you have gas? It can also be a sign of early pregnancy and the work of shifting hormones. Bloating can feel like fullness in the stomach and is another sign of pregnancy. Due to a shift in levels of hormones, the digestive system may be slowed down, causing a constant feeling of abdominal bloating and constipation.
10. Early signs of pregnancy discharge
You may notice a vaginal discharge that is white and creamy in early pregnancy due to the increasing levels of estrogen. Early signs of pregnancy discharge are experienced by most pregnant women. Such a discharge is also released during or after ovulation and tends to increase over time. If the early signs of pregnancy discharge are too unpleasant for you, wearing a panty liner could really help.
White vaginal discharge is completely normal and nothing to worry about. It can also range from being thick to thin and having a slight odor to being completely odorless. However, it is essential to note that if vaginal discharge is green, smells terrible, or causes pain or itching, it could be a sign of infection or other problem.
11. Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are also common signs of pregnancy and are often termed morning sickness. Despite the name, it can affect you at any time of the day or night and can indicate a possibility of pregnancy very early.
12. Twinges here and there
It is normal to experience pressure, cramps, and twinges here and there during early pregnancy. As soon as a woman conceives, the body begins to prepare for the baby, and there is an increased blood flow along with the growth of the placenta. This can cause pressure or pain in the surrounding areas of the body.
13. Heightened sense of smell
Is the scent of your favorite body lotion suddenly making you feel uneasy? A heightened sense of smell is expected in early pregnancy. It can cause you to become super sensitive to the smells around you, mainly because of fluctuating hormones.
14. Metallic taste in the mouth
Some women can experience a metallic taste, which is also normal in early pregnancy and can indicate that you are expecting.
15. Brain fog
Another common sign of early pregnancy is brain fog and forgetfulness, which mainly occurs due to a combination of other physical factors like nausea, back pain, insomnia, fatigue, and a general state of being unwell.
16. Frequent burping
Pregnancy hormones can completely turn around your gastrointestinal functions, making symptoms like burping, belching, and gas- less eloquently farting, very common.
17. Food aversions
Food aversions can also be an early symptom of pregnancy, and for many women, they coincide with the beginning of morning sickness. Despising the smell of your morning coffee? It could mean something!
18. Itchy stomach
An itchy belly can also indicate early pregnancy as a shift in hormones dries out the skin. As the belly grows to accommodate the baby, it can further cause stretch marks and an itching stomach also.
19. Nose bleeds
While it might sound frightening, hormonal changes during early pregnancy can also cause nosebleeds. The good news is that you don’t lose much blood, which is definitely not something to worry about.
20. Congestion or stuffy nose
As the production of blood increases to prepare for the baby’s supply, it can lead to mucus membranes in the nasal passage swelling and cause a stuffy nose or congestion in pregnant women.
21. Extra spit
This might sound icky but pregnant women often salivate more; however, it varies from case to case. Some develop it early during pregnancy, while for some, it shows up quite a few weeks later.
While some tend to snooze off, many pregnant women also suffer from insomnia and trouble falling asleep.
23. Feeling down with cold or flu.
As fatigue develops in early pregnancy and the body undergoes various physical changes, the immunity is compromised, learning a general feeling of being down with cold or flu.
24. Urinary Tract Infections
As urination increases in early pregnancy, it can lead to the development of urinary tract infections. It is generally advised to consult a gynecologist or urologist if the problem doesn’t go away.
25. Mood swings
The constant fluctuations in hormones after conception can lead to mood swings and takes many women on an emotional roller coaster ride.
This is a very common sign that can last throughout pregnancy.
27. Blood pressure
It is common to experience high or low blood pressure in early pregnancy.
Pregnancy acne is prevalent in fact, more than half of pregnant women experience it.
29. Skin darkens
The elevated hormones can increase melanin production during early pregnancy, which can result in the darkening of the skin. Those areas where melanin is already heavily present, like nipples and areolas, can become darker than usual.
30. Dry mouth
Some women produce more saliva, while some experience dry mouth. This could be the body signaling for more water to support the baby’s development.
31. Brittle nails
Increased blood pressure and hormone levels can make nails thinner and prone to cracking.
32. Motion sickness
Pregnancy begins with a gush of hormonal changes, which may increase stimuli sensitivity in pregnant women, making them feel motion sick.
33. Weight gain
Even in early pregnancy, women tend to gain slight weight, and it is very common for them to gain around 2 kgs in the first trimester.
34. Pollen allergies
Allergies may act up in pregnancy, affecting the mother’s overall well-being.
Ravenous appetite and constant hunger can be an early sign of pregnancy for some women.
Light spotting can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and can occur when you expect your menstrual period.
As blood flow to the uterus increases in early pregnancy, it can result in mild cramping similar to the regular menstrual period.
38. Feeling hot
Women tend to get warmer as pregnancy begins, and some may feel very hot, especially those living in warmer climates.
39. Achy back
Pregnancy can cause back pain throughout its course, from week 5 to week 40. Spasms and pain result from the body preparing for the growth of the baby and stretching bones and ligaments.
40. PMS symptoms
During the early phase of pregnancy, the body’s symptoms are more or less similar to PMS symptoms as both processes are dominated by hormonal shifts.
41. Heart rate rises
A higher heart rate is common in pregnancy as the supply of blood in the body increases.
An increase in blood volume can initiate frequent but mild tension headaches making it an early sign of pregnancy.
43. Frequent urge to pee
Frequent urination is also an early sign of pregnancy and can start as early as the first couple of weeks after conception.
44. Sore breasts
Many women experience extremely sore and tender boobs during early pregnancy, making them feel heavy and swollen. It is an early pregnancy sign as your breasts gear up to start producing milk. Some women experience sore breasts as PMS symptoms, but if the pain is due to early pregnancy, the sensations tend to increase, and the period never comes!
45. Bloody gums
Bleeding gums can occur in early pregnancy as they become extremely sensitive.
46. Puffing up
Puffing up and swelling of feet, legs, and ankles are also common in early pregnancy and can go on till birth.
47. Leg pain during early pregnancy before missed period
Women can also experience leg pain during early pregnancy before a missed period. These cramps in the legs and feet can be caused by the changing way in which the body will be processing calcium. It is also likely due to the shifts in hormones and the expanding uterus.
Changes in hormones can also be responsible for women to become constipated during pregnancy, and it becomes harder to pass stool.
Women tend to develop hemorrhoids frequently during pregnancy, especially in the later trimesters.
50. Extra hair
Hirsutism or excessive hair growth is a common problem in pregnant women. Hair can magically sprout in places where you never had hair before, like butts, chin, or back. This extra hair is harmless, and while it might be causing a cosmetic nuisance, the condition tends to resolve on its own post-birth.
Sudden hot flashes are common early signs of pregnancy. As blood circulation increases and hot flashes rise, it can leave women dripping in sweat.
Bluish purple veins popping all over your body? This is also a common early pregnancy symptom and can continue to develop through the later stages of pregnancy as the body starts producing more blood to support the mother and the baby. The veins enlarge to accommodate higher blood volume, and some may feel slight discomfort or heaviness from varicose veins.
Unusual early pregnancy signs
Most women are aware of the classic signs of pregnancy but not all know the unusual early pregnancy signs that can indicate you are carrying a baby. Some signs go a long way as your pregnancy progresses, so expect the unexpected. Continuing the list of signs of pregnancy, here are some of the most unusual ones, which are totally normal in their own bizarre ways!
53. Vivid dreams
Another sign that you are pregnant is the change in sleep patterns and vivid dreams. Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to undergo various physiological changes to accommodate the baby’s growth inside the womb. Due to these changes and hormonal fluctuations, you may experience bouts of insomnia or days where you need more sleep and rest. More sleep can also lead to vivid dreams also.
54. Food cravings
You will be surprised to know that food craving is one of the early signs of pregnancy and is also typical throughout the course of pregnancy in most women. Many women can experience them as soon as conception. Food cravings are generally triggered by hormonal fluctuations in the body due to pregnancy and tend to decline in the third semester. The fact is that they can kick in at any time and make you crave the weirdest of food items, things you never even liked before pregnancy! Most of the time, women crave foods like chocolate, fruit, salads, or pickles. Sometimes these food cravings tend to get quite erratic. The following is a list of extremely weird pregnancy cravings, which also include non-food items. Please note that it can vary for every woman.
- something cold and crunchy
- peanut butter and pickles
- tuna and ice cream
- oreo and salmon
- milk and Doritos
- soil or dust
- toothpaste and sponges
55. Pregnancy glow
Feeling that tell-tale pregnancy glow with luminous cheeks and radiant look? Elevated hormones and increased blood flow during pregnancy can make the skin look flushed. Pregnancy increases blood volume by almost fifty percent, thus making the mother’s skin appear brighter.
56. Weird sensations in your stomach
Right after conception, some women may experience tingling sensations in the stomach, which is majorly because of the gastrointestinal issues caused by elevated hormones.
One of the fascinating early signs of pregnancy is the mother’s intuition which can appear as early as the first month. There is research that supports this, and as significant neurological changes occur with pregnancy, women’s motherly instincts rise to make them more connected to the child.
58. Unexplainable crying spells
The paid shifts in hormones can result in significant mood swings and heightened emotions in the early stages of pregnancy. As your body is changing rapidly, there can be an increase in anxiety and stress levels. This leads to feeling frustrated, angry, and stressed out and triggers crying spells. The fact is, pregnancy emotions are truly a wild roller coaster ride, and being on it is one hell of an experience. From being cheerful one minute to shedding tears the next second or yelling at every other person you see, your emotional health can definitely suffer as you hop onto your journey through pregnancy.
59. Loss of appetite
It could also be a sign, and if food appears to be less tempting and you are experiencing a heightened sense of smell and nausea, you are most likely pregnant.
60. Heaviness in the stomach
Due to digestive distress, bloating, or constipation, you might feel heaviness in the stomach during pregnancy.
61. Luscious hair
High estrogen levels during pregnancy can make your hair longer and shinier like never before. Pregnant women often have thick, long, luscious locks of hair. The disappointing fact is that these luscious locks tend to disappear once pregnancy hormones fade.
62. Cigarette aversions
As you get pregnant, the body tries to reject everything that is harmful or isn’t nutritious for the growing baby. This is why many pregnant women are appalled by cigarettes or caffeine.
63. Pregnancy brain
Not feeling like your old witty self? There is a possibility that this is an early sign of pregnancy as the pregnancy brain is real and can make you feel less sharp, affecting your ability to think clearly. With patience, and self-care, sometimes you can easily rediscover your old self, so don’t fret over it.
64. Shoe size
Pregnant women’s ligaments loosen up to ease the process of birth, which can cause their feet to become larger, usually up to one size, forever.
Pregnancy can also lead to blurry vision as fluid builds up in the cornea, which can affect the mother’s eyesight leading to blurry vision. However, it’s a temporary condition, and it goes away as soon as pregnancy is over.
66. Linea nigra
Linea nigra is a dark line that can develop in the mother’s stomach during pregnancy and usually stretches from the belly button to the pubic area. It is formed due to an increase in hormones and goes away as the baby is born. The line tends to become darker as pregnancy progresses.
The pregnancy hormones are crazy enough to trigger your libido and either increase or decrease your sex drive. You might find your partner highly desirable or even despise his smell!
68. Belly button
As pregnancy progresses, your belly button might protrude and pop out. It might become hurtful in the final stages as the abdomen stretches to accommodate the baby.
69. Stretch marks
A common pregnancy sign is stretch marks tend to appear on the tummy, upper thighs, and breasts as pregnancy progresses and bumps start to show.
70. Moles and freckles
A lot of pregnant women might develop moles or freckles during pregnancy.
When to see a doctor?
While a lot of these signs of pregnancy happen in the later stages of pregnancy, undergoing a few of these do not actually confirm pregnancy. It is best to consult a doctor if you suspect that your signs are troubling. If you feel you are pregnant, take a test, be it home or blood sampling, and see the doctor. If a pregnant woman experiences any of these above-mentioned symptoms to the point that it causes pain and distress, then visiting the doctor is absolutely mandatory. While most of these are instances of mild inconvenience, some can lead to severe issues and affect both the mother’s and baby’s health negatively.
Helpful advice on preparing for pregnancy
If you are trying for a baby, knowing early signs is helpful so that you easily detect the symptoms. But do you know that if you are trying for a baby, there are certain things you can do to ensure the safety of your unborn child and also enjoy a comfortable pregnancy? It is a beautiful and memorable time period, and if you are prepared, you get to enjoy the journey towards parenthood.
Prepare yourself with regular exercise
Pregnancy affects both physical and emotional health. Taking regular, moderate exercise not only will keep you in good shape generally, but as you experience pregnancy, you will have plenty of stamina and energy to go through the changes during pregnancy, labor, and then taking care of a newborn. It is not an easy process and is known to deplete women of energy.
Preparing yourself with regular exercise also helps you maintain proper weight. It is very common for overweight women to experience medical problems during pregnancy and for underweight women to give birth to underweight babies. The right body weight is absolutely necessary to conceive. Many aspiring mothers suffer from weight issues that affect ovarian function. Taking part in regular exercise and having a nutritious diet plan will give you a better chance of getting pregnant.
Opt for a healthy and balanced diet
Good nutrition can help your body prepare for pregnancy. It is absolutely essential to opt for a healthy and balanced diet if you are looking to conceive. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, and protein-rich items. Dairy is also important for sufficient calcium and dark leafy green vegetables for folate. Also, avoiding harmful foods is perhaps the most challenging part. It will, however, do wonders to your overall health and wellbeing as you remove the toxic foods from your table. Steer clear of processed foods, sugar, and high fats.
Stay away from alcohol
Drinking alcohol is known to affect fertility, and you really don’t want that if you are trying for a baby? Limit or simply stay away from alcohol as it can affect hormone levels, ovulation, and also menstruation. It is strictly advised for pregnant women to avoid drinking alcohol as it can lead to severe problems for the baby, which include premature birth and various developmental disorders. Men must also avoid alcohol as it is known to affect semen quality.
There are numerous studies that have proven that babies born to smokers are more likely to be born premature, have lower body weight, and have other issues. Even women who are passive smokers have a higher chance of giving birth to low birth weight babies.
Limit your exposure to toxins
Our current lifestyles are surrounded by toxins and chemicals, which can be dangerous for the baby. This is why learning about them and making conscious efforts to avoid common toxins can help you in your pregnancy journey and the health of the baby. Here is a list of toxins you must avoid:
- synthetic fragrances
- bisphenol-A (BPA)
- chemicals laden home and personal care products
- pet medications and waste
- paint and lead-based products
Establish good stress relief outlets
Stress can significantly affect your overall mental and physical well-being. It has a negative impact on blood pressure, hormones, and the menstrual cycle. Try to eliminate daily stressors in life in order to keep your hormones regulated. Learn to manage stress and establish good outlets for it, as that will be particularly helpful during the erratic emotional changes and stressors of pregnancy. Post-pregnancy is not easy either, as taking care of a baby is very hectic and is known to test the nerves of even the strongest of us.
So learn the art of managing stress levels and invest in activities that are relaxing and rejuvenating. Practice deep breathing exercises and do stuff that makes you calm and happy. Yoga is one activity that has numerous benefits for fertility, and doing it regularly can keep your emotions and anxiety in check, which is absolutely crucial for conception. It also strengthens the body and makes it more flexible, thus helping you prepare for the pregnancy stretches.
Remember to take your vitamins and minerals
Women looking to get pregnant should take simple multivitamins and mineral supplements suitable for pregnancy. Folic acid (400 mg) is generally advised if you are trying to conceive, as it reduces the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects.
Get a complete health check-up
As aspiring parents, it is an excellent way to begin your journey to conceiving by getting a full health check. Learn and discuss the family history of medical conditions with the doctors and take up genetic counseling with a specialist.
Learn about your biology and the best time to get pregnant
It is absolutely essential to understand the woman’s body and how it is able to conceive. Learn the details about ovulation and how sex during fertile days is crucial for conception. The woman ovulates or releases an egg on day 14 of her cycle, or it may vary according to the cycle. The egg lives for a short time, 12-24 days after it is released, and in order to fertilize it within this time, there must be sperm present at the same time. Sperm can live up to seven days inside a woman’s body, making your fertile period seven days before ovulation.
Know your options for fertility treatment
While for some, getting pregnant is not such a daunting task. However, numerous couples have to wait much longer and experience problems in conceiving. It is best to know your options and understand infertility, in most cases, is treatable, and there are the latest solutions and treatments to help couples conceive. Talking to your doctor and getting yourself tested can give a clear picture of why you are unable to conceive despite trying, and a fertility professional can suggest a suitable method of treatment. Some options available are:
- Medication to stimulate ovulation
- intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- sperm or egg donation
Pregnancy is definitely a life-changing experience for anyone. The body of the mother goes through tremendous changes over the course of 9 months, affecting her sleep, appetite, looks, mood, hormones, and physiology. Since pregnancy is such a transformative period, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of these 70 early signs of pregnancy and what to expect as you progress into it further.
Every pregnancy and body is different. Numerous studies and research has been done to evaluate these signs and symptoms that appear in women during early pregnancy depicting how rare the experience of motherhood is. Learning and understanding the early signs of pregnancy is absolutely crucial as it can help prepare you for the months to come and be able to detect what is expected and what is not.