How Do I Know I Am Pregnant? Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

By Aleisha Hartrick

December 6, 2018

I am a Registered Nurse, a lactation counsellor, an infant and toddler sleep coach and I am committed to "making motherhood easier". I have three beautiful girls who completed me when they made me their mama.

A twinge, a cramp, my boobs are sore, could it be? Am I pregnant?

 

Oh the anticipation! It can be all consuming, I have totally been there! Every-single-little-thing that happens in your body you find yourself questioning “could this be a sign that I am pregnant?”. The only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test, but here I will discuss a few signs and symptoms of early pregnancy.

 

First thing is first, not all woman feel early signs of pregnancy, but are pregnant nonetheless! Each of us respond so differently to pregnancy, and even within ourselves, each pregnancy can bring on dramatically different signs and symptoms! Every mama is different, so are her experiences of pregnancy. My very first pregnancy I had so many symptoms right away. My boobs were so sore, I felt so bloated, all of it. Sadly, I miscarried that pregnancy really early on. My second pregnancy, I was a wreck. I was so incredibly nervous and felt nothing-at-all!!!! I searched for symptoms, but just did not have any. 9 months later I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl. So there you go, symptoms vs. no symptoms with opposing results. One of life’s biggest, most beautiful mysteries!

 

Spotting and Cramping

 

After conception, the fertilized egg attaches itself to wall of the uterus, snuggling right in. This can cause one of the earliest signs of pregnancy – spotting and, sometimes, cramping. Generally you’ll see a small amount of blood, usually only once or twice. It may be brown (old blood) as it doesn’t always come out right away.This is often referred too as implantation bleeding. It occurs anywhere from 6 to 12 days after the egg is fertilized. But again, it may present later if the clotted blood doesn’t make its way out for a while longer. Cramps can precisely mimic menstrual cramps. The bleeding and cramps, however, are slight. Besides bleeding, a woman may notice a white, milky discharge from her vagina. This is related to the thickening of the vagina’s walls, which starts almost immediately after conception. The increased growth of cells lining the vagina causes the discharge. This discharge is harmless and doesn’t require treatment.

 

Breast Changes

 

Breast changes are another very early sign of pregnancy. A woman’s hormone levels rapidly change after conception. Because of the changes, your breasts may become swollen, sore, or tingly a week or two later. They may feel heavier or fuller or feel tender. The area around the nipples, the areola, may also darken. Keep in mind that your body is going to take several weeks to get used to the new levels of hormones. But when it does, breast pain should ease up. Until then, protect those sensitive girls!

 

 

Fatigue

 

Feeling very tired (and I mean tired with a capital T) is normal in pregnancy, starting early on. You might start feeling unusually fatigued as soon as one week after conceiving. Why? It’s often related to a high level of a hormone called progesterone, although other things such as lower levels of blood, and a boost in blood production can all contribute. Get plenty of rest. Eating foods that are rich in protein and iron could help. Pregnancy tired is absolutely second to none. Take a nap mama, you’re growing a human!

 

Nausea (Morning Sickness)

 

Morning sickness is a famous symptom of pregnancy. But not every pregnant woman will experience it. Some women crave, or can’t stand, certain foods when they become pregnant. This is related to hormonal changes. The effects can be so strong that even the thought of what used to be a favourite food can turn your stomach. In my third pregnancy I absolutely could not stand the taste of coffee. I wanted to want it (I needed it so badly) but I just could not drink it. This went on throughout most of my pregnancy! I am happy to announce I am completely back in love with my morning java.

 

If you are praying on every breath that these little signs you are feeling may truly be pregnancy, I hope you are right. I hope you have a little baby in there that is going to absolutely steal your heart and show you a love like no other. Good luck to you Mama, and as always, reach out if you have any questions at all.

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