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The first signs of pregnancy

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Tiredness
  3. Bloating
  4. Swollen, sore breasts
  5. Twinges and cramps
  6. Thick mucus discharge
  7. Increased sensitivity to smells
  8. Metallic taste in the mouth
  9. Nausea (morning sickness)
  10. Food cravings and food aversions
  11. Weight gain
  12. Colour changes

1. Overview

So you've done a home pregnancy test and your test result is positive, you'll soon be experiencing early signs of pregnancy. There are several early signs of pregnancy that women may have.

Pregnant women will start to feel these signs from 4-5 weeks of pregnancy onwards. Not all women will experience them; they vary from woman to woman and from each pregnancy. A lot of woman will follow their mother's experiences of pregnancy.

As a general rule, you will tend to have similar pregnancies to your mother. Some women will feel emotional as the increased hormones levels circulating in the body can play havoc with emotions.

Learn how to ensure a smooth and healthy pregnancy, by reading My Pregnancy Guide.

2. Tiredness

Tiredness is probably the earliest sign and the most common symptom. Even though the foetus is the size of an orange seed, it exerts great demands upon the body. Growing a new internal organ, the placenta takes a lot of energy and blood.

3. Bloating

Bloating is actually a new layer of fat on the lower abdomen that helps to keep the uterus warm from the external cold, helping blood flow to the foetus.

4. Swollen, sore breasts

Increase levels of hormones (progesterone) causes the breasts to become tender and enlarge. Most woman will need to change their bra to one without a wire in for better comfort.

5. Twinges and cramps

It's quite normal to feel twinges and cramps during pregnancy. Even during the early weeks of pregnancy, as the increased blood flow and the growing of the placenta and the foetus sac all cause things within the uterus to move around and this applies pressure on surrounding parts of the body, causing twinges and sometimes pain.

6. Thick mucus discharge

Extra thick mucus is the cervix plug being formed by pregnancy hormones. A plug of thick mucus seals the uterus preventing any foreign bacteria from entering the uterus and harming the foetus.

7. Increased sensitivity to smells

An increased sense of smell is an animalistic sign that would have helped protect pregnant women in the wild thousands of years ago. It can still be used in modern times to help women avoid harmful pollutants such as smoking or chemicals.

8. Metallic taste in the mouth

Another well known early sign of pregnancy is food cravings. Most women will experience this. A lot of pregnant women will start of well eating healthy foods and then will crave other foods. Some women will crave carbs, which is normal or even junk food. I believe that the body has a memory and will crave certain foods as it needs certain nutrients or minerals contained in them.

Some woman might have a strange tastes in your mouth, like a metallic taste, which is normal. Not all women will experience this.

9. Nausea

Nausea (morning sickness) is a well-known sign of pregnancy, however not all women will experience it. Feeling sick can happen at any time of the day, day or night and not just in the morning. Generally, it stops around 12 weeks, but many women can still experience it after 12 weeks gestation. Eating dry foods every 2 hours will help to reduce this sign.

Chronic morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and can be serious, where it could impact on the pregnancy. It is severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration. Often pregnant women are hospitalised to treat this problem.

10. Food cravings and food aversions

A lot of women will crave foods such as carbs, satly crisps and will go off healthy foods like salads and meat at the start of their pregnancy, this is normal.

11. Weight gain

Women put on average around 12kg of weight during pregnancy. This is normal.

12. Body colour changes

Nipples can become darker in colour as well as the midline of the stomach (linea nigra).

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My Pergnancy Guide - Ensuring A Healthy Pregnancy & Labour

My Pregnancy Guide: Ensuring A Healthy Pregnancy & Labour

In-depth information about what happens during pregnancy and how to ensure a healthy baby. Pre-order now...

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