Think that you might be pregnant? While the only surefire way to know is by taking a home pregnancy test or scheduling an appointment with your doctor, some early signs of pregnancy can show up as soon as one week before you’ve even missed your period.
Of course, it can get pretty confusing when you consider that many early pregnancy symptoms are also common PMS symptoms. But if you’ve already experienced a few of these early signs, they may indeed be clues that you’re expecting.
Once you’ve confirmed your pregnancy, you can come watch the miracle of life unfold before your eyes at our intimate Markham studio. Our Belly Bean 4D ultrasound is designed specifically for pregnancies between 8 and 12 weeks. This is an incredible opportunity to witness your baby’s early weeks of life and hear their heartbeat for the very first time.
To help you determine if you might be pregnant, here are 13 of the most common early pregnancy symptoms you might experience:
Missed period: If your cycle is usually pretty regular and your period is late, this might be the first – and most obvious – sign that you’re pregnant. But if your cycle length tends to vary (or you’re not reliably tracking your periods), other symptoms may be your first clues about a possible pregnancy.
Sore breasts: One of the most common early pregnancy symptoms is sensitive, swollen breasts – you might find they start feeling extra tender as early as one or two weeks after conception. This might feel like an exaggerated version of how your breasts feel when you’re PMS-ing, but in fact they’re starting to expand in preparation for producing milk. Usually any breast discomfort diminishes significantly after the first trimester, once your body has adjusted to the hormonal changes.
Implantation bleeding or light spotting: One of the most confusing early pregnancy signs? Light spotting, right around the time your period is due. Known as implantation bleeding, this can be caused when the fertilized egg is settling into the lining of your uterus. Here’s how to tell the difference between implantation bleeding and your period: Implantation bleeding is usually medium pink or light brown, rather than a deep red. It’s also spotty (much lighter than your usual period) and not continuous, usually only lasting a few hours to a few days.
Cramping: Just like spotting, cramping might seem counterintuitive as an early pregnancy symptom, since cramps are a very common sign that your period is starting soon. But sure enough, light cramps can be caused by early pregnancy hormonal shifts, and often accompany implantation bleeding.
Nausea: Full-blown morning sickness usually doesn’t start until you’re at least four weeks pregnant, but some moms-to-be report feeling a more subtle motion sickness starting as early as two weeks after conception. This early pregnancy nausea sometimes comes with indigestion, food aversions, a metallic taste in your mouth, and excess saliva.
Frequent urination: Feeling like you have to run to the bathroom much more often than usual? When you’re pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder. Within two to three weeks after conception, you might start feeling the urge to head to the toilet more often.
Fatigue: Wondering why you’re suddenly feeling so desperate for an afternoon nap? Pregnancy is a huge energy suck – you’re creating a brand-new human, after all! Especially during those first few weeks, your body is working non-stop to support your new pregnancy, so fatigue is a very common and normal response. Your heart is also pumping faster to deliver extra oxygen to the uterus, which can also make you feel tuckered out.
Heartburn: Digestive struggles are another very common early pregnancy sign. If you’re feeling a burning sensation after eating your usual favourite lunch, it might be pregnancy-related heartburn. Antacids are a safe choice to help you relieve your symptoms, but also try avoiding certain foods that are known to cause heartburn, such as citrus fruits, fried foods, and spicy dishes.
Changing nipples: If your nipples and areolas are looking darker and larger than usual, this could also be an early sign of pregnancy. You’re also likely to start noticing tiny bumps that are growing larger on your areolas. These bumps were always there, but they’re now getting ready to lubricate your nipples to help your baby when nursing.
Bloating: Feeling like your skinny jeans suddenly got…skinnier? Hormonal changes during early pregnancy slow down your digestive tract, making you feel more bloated than usual – similar to how you might feel when you’re PMS-ing.
Constipation: Those same hormones that are responsible for the bloating you might be experiencing? They just might be slowing down things for you in the bathroom, too. Because your digestive tract is moving more slowly, food may not pass through as quickly – leaving you to deal with constipation issues.
Smell sensitivity: If you’re suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the smell of your cubicle-mate’s lunch or the scent of someone’s perfume while you’re waiting in line, this might be another sign that a baby’s on the way. Seemingly innocuous odours can be really overpowering to pregnant women, who often report having a heightened sense of smell.
Mood swing: Feeling weepy one moment and shouty the next? PMS-style moodiness is common in the early stages of your first trimester, thanks to all those pregnancy hormones coursing through your body. And if you’re also struggling with fatigue, bloating, nausea, and any of these other symptoms, who can blame you for feeling extra moody?