10 signs you're pregnant
While going to the doctors or taking a pregnancy test is a more definitive way of finding out if you’re pregnant, there are some other tell-tale signs that can indicate you’re expecting. You may even notice them before the thought of a baby even crosses your mind (especially if it’s a surprise).
So if you’re experiencing all or any of the following symptoms, celebrations may just be in order:
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #1 Tender and swollen breasts
Sore, sensitive and swollen breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. For some, the breasts may only feel sore when they’re touched, or for others even just the feeling of clothes brushing against the chest can cause discomfort. This is because the body is producing more oestrogen and progesterone, which causes tenderness. The swelling is due to the multiplication of milk glands, thickening of the fat layer and the blood flow increasing – all changes that occur in order to get the body reading for breastfeeding.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #2 Frequent urination
During pregnancy, blood flow to the pelvic region is increased and the kidneys become more efficient. This is because the baby is generating more waste, meaning your body needs to get rid of waste more frequently, resulting in more trips to the toilet. And unfortunately the toilet trips only continue throughout pregnancy, as the uterus begins to put pressure on the bladder and there’s less room to store urine.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #3 Constipation and bloating
Bloating and constipation during early pregnancy is common in many women thanks to an increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes muscles throughout the body to accommodate the growing baby. One muscle in particular that becomes relaxed is the digestive tract, which means that food passes through the intestines more slowly, hence constipation and bloating.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #4 Fatigue
The reason for this symptom is quite simple: you’re growing another human inside of you. It’s a big job that requires a lot of energy and resources from the body, meaning more sleep is in order to supplement this energy. The surge in pregnancy hormones also plays a large part in making you feel tired and emotional.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #5 Nausea
Despite the name morning sickness, feeling sick during pregnancy can happen at any time of the day and for any amount of time. You may feel quite queasy, nauseas or even vomit. Feeling sick can be due to a number of things, such as hormone increases, an enhanced sense of smell, stomach and digestion sensitivity, or even just the stress of being pregnant can contribute.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #6 Missed period
A missed period is one of the more accurate signs of pregnancy. If you’re usually pretty regular, this is likely to be the first thing you notice before any of the other symptoms. A missed period occurs because the ovum (an egg released by the ovaries) has been fertilised and therefore the membrane lining will not bleed like it does at the usual point in menstruation.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #7 Spotting
While a missed period is a common sign of pregnancy, so is spotting, which is why it’s so easy for women to become confused. During early pregnancy, spotting can occur as a result of implantation, when the fertilised egg implants into the lining of the uterus. However, there are also a lot of other causes for spotting, so if it persists see your doctor.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #8 Headaches and backaches
Headaches can occur during early pregnancy thanks to a surge in hormones, while backaches are a result of your ligaments loosening to accommodate the baby. Thankfully, the headaches usually subside, but the backaches may continue as your belly begins to grow and your weight shifts to rely a lot more on your back.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #9 Altered sense of smell
During pregnancy many women experience sensitivity to certain smells or an overall heightened sense of smell. Once again thanks to those pregnancy hormones (in this case oestrogen in particular), the smell of certain foods, or even foods that you usually find to have a pleasant smell, could have you running to the bathroom. The level and impact of an altered smell is different for every woman and unfortunately the only thing you can do to help is to avoid the smells that drive you crazy as much as possible.
SIGNS YOU’RE PREGNANT #10 Shortness of breath
Struggling up the office stairs more than usual? Huffing and puffing as you stroll down the street? Yep, it could be because you’re pregnant. Once again your baby requires some of your body’s resources to grow and oxygen is one of them. Unfortunately this is also a symptom that can continue throughout pregnancy as the baby grows bigger and begins to put pressure on the lungs and diaphragm.
Did you experience any of the above symptoms at the beginning of your pregnancy? Was there a sign that prompted you to take a pregnancy test?