Take a look at each week of your pregnancy, from conception to birth, with our comprehensive email newsletters.
Before you even suspect you are pregnant, your body will have switched on changes to support the developing embryo. Surges of pregnancy hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG), all help to create a nourishing environment for the newly fertilised and implanted egg.
Pregnancy hormones cause early pregnancy symptoms, so consider them your friends!
Most women don’t experience early pregnancy symptoms until around week 6 of their pregnancy. Though some are so acutely tuned into their bodies that they suspect earlier that they’re pregnant. Women who’ve been trying to conceive or having fertility assistance can be particularly mindful of pregnancy symptoms. Nausea and vomiting especially, can be some of the first symptoms of pregnancy.
Don’t worry if you don’t experience any early signs of pregnancy. Some women sail through the early stages with no change to how they usually feel. The first symptoms of pregnancy can be different for every woman.
These tissues take on a distinctive blue or purplish colour in early pregnancy. Most women are unaware of this early sign of pregnancy themselves.
An empty, gnawing sensation may hang around inside your tummy for hours. Eating something may only offer temporary relief.
When you do empty your bladder there may not be as much volume as usual. Just be aware that burning or scalding could mean a urinary tract infection (UTI).
You might feel you want to vomit or have your head in a bucket for much of the day. Some researchers believe that vomiting, as an early pregnancy symptom, can be a positive sign for less chance of pregnancy loss.
Your nipples may become extra sensitive and your areolas become darker and larger. Your breasts could feel similar to how they do just prior to your period, but more uncomfortable.
Light spotting is one of the common early signs of pregnancy. An implantation bleed happens when the newly fertilised ovum burrows into the thickened wall of the uterus.
Menstrual cycles can vary between women, though the average length is around 28 days. A missed period is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy.
Dysgeusia is very difficult to describe, but one accurate description is “metal mouth”. Brushing your teeth and using strongly flavoured toothpaste may help. See your dentist to rule out any other causes for dysgeusia.
Even if you’ve never experienced backache before, this can be an early sign of pregnancy.
Odours which don’t usually bother you could make you feel nauseous. Raw meat especially, can cause waves of biliousness.
Coffee, alcohol, fried or fatty foods could make you feel physically sick. Even watching someone else eating these foods could make you feel nauseated.
Foods with vinegar such as pickles or relishes may suddenly take on a whole new appeal. And odd combinations of foods suddenly seem delicious.
You could question yourself about those food combinations and make a silent pledge to go a little easy. The particular cause for this wind is not influenced by diet.
This could be to the point of wondering how you can get through the day. This may be worse if you have other children to care for.
This early sign of pregnancy can be hard to describe. Put simply, it’s often described as a sense of not feeling the same, or as stable as usual.
You could find yourself overwhelmed at times and wonder just what has happened to your even tempered self.
It is perfectly normal to feel a little different as you physically and mentally adjust to early pregnancy. However, if at any stage you feel that things are beginning to overwhelm you, or are just finding it difficult to manage from day to day, visit here for tips to help.
As your pregnancy progresses, there will be different symptoms and changes within your body. Some will be more pronounced and obvious, and others, quite subtle. Remember, no two pregnancies are exactly the same. Even if you have had a baby before, be prepared for a different experience each time.
Most women wait until their period is late but for others, this seems too long. It is possible to have a false negative pregnancy test, especially if it is done before the levels of hCG can be detected in a woman’s urine.
Written and reviewed by Jane Barry, midwife and child health nurse on 19/01/20.