Top 10 Pregnancy Symptoms
If you have one or more of these symptoms, there's a chance you might be pregnant!
This is often your first clue that you are pregnant – your expected menstrual period just doesn’t happen, or it is very light (more like spotting). Most women have no periods during their pregnancies (and often for many months afterwards if they are breastfeeding), but a few will have what seem like light periods throughout.
This is the first sign of pregnancy for many women: extremely tender breasts. Whether or not you are planning to breastfeed, your breasts will start getting ready to make milk for your baby from the earliest weeks of your pregnancy. You may feel tingling, sensitivity or discomfort as new milk-producing ducts grow; you may also notice enlarged blue veins or that your nipple (and the skin around it) are darker in colour. A bra in a larger cup size may feel more comfortable now.
This is another classic sign! “Morning sickness” is a bit of a misnomer as many women feel nauseous all day long, but it is often worse when you first wake up. Frequent, small meals often help with this. (For more tips see 10 Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness.)
Frequent Urination & Constipation
Even when the baby is still quite tiny, your uterus is enlarging and putting pressure on your bladder and intestines. With your bladder reduced in size, you’ll find yourself needing to head to the bathroom more often, but the pressure often slows down the normal movement of food through your intestines, leaving you constipated. More fibre and fluids will help.
Related: When Will I Feel Pregnant?
Swelling of Hands and Feet
Especially in warm weather, many pregnant women find their feet and hands swell. Your shoes and rings may not fit, and socks with elastic may leave noticeable indentations. Try to elevate your feet when you can, and spend time in air-conditioned places when possible.
As your baby gets bigger, your stomach starts to feel the pressure and that often causes heartburn, even if you’ve never had it before. Again, small, frequent meals can help, or ask your doctor or midwife about remedies that are safe during pregnancy.
Yes, this is what will eventually get your baby OUT, but mild contractions are often felt during pregnancy as well. While they generally start near the end of a first pregnancy, with a second or third baby they often start earlier. Sometimes the contractions will be very strong and regular, but each one usually only lasts for a short time, and the intensity doesn’t increase.
As the skin over your belly stretches, you may develop stretch marks. These look like red stripes at first but fade to a silvery-white colour after the baby is born. You may also get stretch marks on your breasts because they have grown quickly, too.
During pregnancy, your blood increases in volume – and that, along with the pressure caused by swelling and increased weight can cause varicose veins in your legs or in your vagina and vulva. If these are causing you discomfort, talk to your midwife or doctor about treatment options.
Yes, many of the symptoms of pregnancy involve some discomfort – but here’s one you might like. Most pregnant women do look good! That’s partly because of increased blood volume and hormonal changes that add a pink flush to your cheeks. Your hair is also likely to be thicker and shinier because the hormones of pregnancy slow down normal hair loss (once the baby is born, you’ll find you lose more hair than usual – so don’t let that worry you, it’s just getting back to normal).