When a woman discovers she is pregnant, there are overwhelming emotions. Of course, once the news is shared, other people have the opportunity to experience the same joy. Knowing that a new life is being formed is exciting but during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman is going to go through multiple changes, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Although there are a number of new products on the market that can confirm pregnancy within just a few days of conception, most women learn the news by experiencing the first signs of pregnancy. Keep in mind that there are some rare symptoms that can occur but for the most part, all women will go through the same changes. While signs start out subtle, they soon become obvious.
Once a woman feels confident she is pregnant, confirmation could be made by using a home pregnancy test or by seeing a doctor. However, even if confirmed with a store bought test, it would be imperative for a woman to be under the care of a qualified physician as soon in the pregnancy possible for the health of the fetus and the pregnant woman.
The following are the signs of pregnancy that most women experience although the degree of intensity would vary somewhat for each person.
- Nausea – Being nauseated is usually one of the very first signs of pregnancy although some women will have other symptoms first. Typically, most women will start feeling nauseated to the point of throwing up shortly after conception. Experts believe this is due to the increasing level of beta-HCG, better known as the “pregnancy hormone.” There are certain things that can make nausea worse such as prenatal vitamins. For this reason, many doctors will wait to start a woman on these vitamins until after the first trimester when hormones level off.
- Extreme Fatigue – This is not just a feeling of being tired, but actual fatigue to the point that functioning on some days can be a real challenge. In fact, for many women, fatigue is so strong that even rest and sleep does little to help.
- Tender Breasts – Another common sign of pregnancy is that a woman’s breasts will become tender. In some cases, the tenderness is intense, making it difficult to wear a bra or close-fitting clothes. In addition to tenderness, some women will start to notice swelling of the breasts.
- Smell Sensitivity – It is also common for certain smells to become offensive. Even things a woman might have liked before now become almost impossible to handle. Examples of major culprits include the smell of bacon, coffee, cigarette smoke, and gasoline.
- Changes in Appetite – Not only do most pregnant women begin to experience greater hunger but there is also a change as to the types of foods preferred. Someone who may have loved hamburgers prior to conception may now have no interest whatsoever. On the other hand, a woman who never liked Italian food before pregnancy could develop a major craving.
- Frequent Urination – Although this typically starts toward the end of the first trimester, as more and more pressure is placed on the bladder due to less room in the abdominal cavity, a woman will need to urinate more frequently. While bothersome, there is nothing that can be done although the problem stops immediately upon giving birth.
- Shortness of Breath – Another one of the common signs of pregnancy is shortness of breath. As with frequent urination, this usually occurs a little later on but sometimes, a woman will have a sudden problem of getting enough air caused by the growing fetus needing extra oxygen.
- Mood Swings – Even though an exciting phase of life, pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body but also mind. Remember, there are serious changes in hormones and many physical changes that can have an effect on emotions. Because of this, some women will have bouts of agitation, irritation, and even depression.
- Headaches – Due to changing hormones, headaches are also something that most women develop early in pregnancy
- Constipation – During pregnancy, additional progesterone is produced by the body, which can in turn cause periods of constipation
- Cramping – The last of the signs of pregnancy we wanted to mention is cramping. While this would typically be something a woman would experience prior to a monthly menstrual cycle, it can also occur as part of conception during the time the embryo is becoming embedded within the uterus. Of course, because cramping can also be a sign of possible miscarriage, this should be reported to a doctor immediately.