When a woman is mentally and emotionally ready to become a mother, the happiest news is the confirmation of her pregnancy. Am I pregnant? This is one big question which pops up even before the start of the next menstrual cycle. Some women may feel pregnant though there will be absolutely no change in their physical form. Of course a missed period is one sure sign of pregnancy, but there are other symptoms too, in the first month itself which signify that a woman is carrying a baby.
Let’s go through a few.
- Tender or swollen breast: Breasts becoming swollen and feeling tender is the first sign of pregnancy. The change in hormones cause this and breasts feel heavier than usual. This is one symptom which can be felt within a week or two of conception. In a few cases the areola around the nipples become darker.
- Nausea: This is also called morning sickness though contrary to its name, it can occur at any time of the day or night. As early as two weeks into the pregnancy, women can start feeling queasy and nauseated by the sight of food. This is due to the rising levels of oestrogen. There is also a heightened sense of smell and strong smells often make pregnant women throw up. This feeling of nausea usually subsides by the end of the first trimester in most women.
Women often have food cravings. The intense desire to eat sour items or sometimes even non edible items is common. This is also attributed to the rising level of hormones. Some women may even feel repulsed by the food that earlier was a favourite. This is such a sure sign of being pregnant, that in many cases, women tend to go and take a test for pregnancy when they experience nausea regularly.
- Fatigue: Women getting tired often in a day is a strong sign of pregnancy. The levels of progesterone increase and thus induce sleep. There are lower levels of blood sugar and pressure which make women feel exhausted. This can also cause dizziness and fainting spells.
- Headaches: The change in hormones cause an increase in blood circulation. This results in mild headaches. This is one of the early symptoms of pregnancy.
- Frequent urination: The hormonal changes cause frequent urination. The kidneys work harder to process the extra fluid which the pregnancy causes. This results in the bladder becoming full often. In some cases there is an increased vaginal discharge. This is usually whitish or yellowish in colour. This is because the vaginal walls thicken and the cells lining the vagina grow in number.
As a result of being pregnant some women also feel constipated because progesterone relaxes the intestinal muscles thereby slowing the process.
- Mood swings: Mood swings are a common occurrence even before a menstrual cycle, so it is very difficult to realise that you are pregnant just based on irritability and erratic moods. But this is one of the signs of pregnancy. This could be because of low sugar, nausea or dizziness.
- High Basal temperature: This is the temperature at the time you wake up. If it continues to remain high over a period of week or two, it could be a sign that you are pregnant.
- Light bleeding: In a few cases, women have spotting or cramping. This could be because of the fertilized egg getting implanted in the lining of the uterus.
There are chances that many of these symptoms might not even be present for a few women. In a few others, these symptoms start showing a little later, maybe around the 6th week or so.
The initial signs of pregnancy bring about a feeling of delight. In many cases women feel fear especially if it’s their first pregnancy. There are so many uncertainties connected with childbirth. Some also feel frustration at the fact that the journey has just begun and delivery of the baby is still a good 8 months or so away! But nothing can change the fact that this is one experience that completes a woman.