Early Signs You Might Be Pregnant
Although symptoms may vary from one woman to the next, most women experience some symptoms by the sixth week of pregnancy. Early detection is key so that pregnant women can obtain the vitamins, nutrients and medical care necessary to ensure a healthy baby.
Spotting and Cramping
Many women do not realize they are pregnant in the early stages because they mistakenly assume they are menstruating when slight cramping and spotting occurs. This can be an early sign of pregnancy, also known as implantation bleeding, that occurs after the egg is fertilized. During this stage, women may also notice a white, milky vaginal discharge due to a thickening of the vaginal walls after conception.
Tender and sore breasts are a common indication of early pregnancy. The breast tissue is hormone-sensitive and as HCG and progesterone flood the body following the fertilization of the egg, breasts may swell and feel heavier. The swelling is typically a result of increased blood volume due to pregnancy.
With a busy routine, it is common to feel tired, but fatigue that prompts a nap during the day on a regular basis could be a sign of pregnancy. Fatigue is common in the early stages of pregnancy because the baby is consuming calories that typically provide energy for the mother.
Shortness of Breath
Even the most active women experience shortness of breath during the early stages of pregnancy and in some cases, throughout the entire pregnancy. Shortness of breath occurs because the fetus absorbs oxygen in the mother's body, leaving her a little short. During the later months of pregnancy, some women experience continued shortness of breath if the baby puts pressure on the diaphragm and lungs.
Nausea is a common sign of pregnancy, especially between the sixth and twelfth week of the pregnancy. Many health professionals categorize this symptom as morning sickness; however, some women experience nausea all day. While nausea doesn't necessarily progress into vomiting, women who experience extreme or involuntary regurgitation may be at risk for dehydration in the early stages of pregnancy.
Women who find themselves unable to sleep through the night without getting up to urinate, or find themselves taking more bathroom breaks than usual, could be in the early stages of pregnancy. The body produces extra fluids during pregnancy, which pushes the bladder to work harder to excrete urine. As the pregnancy progresses, the pressure of the baby on the bladder may cause women to urinate even more often.
For women trying to become pregnant, anticipating a positive result can be a stressful, yet exciting time. However, women can learn to spot the signs of early pregnancy.