|What Are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?
by Mardie Caldwell COAP
You woke up this morning feeling a little run down, the thought crosses your mind-I wonder what the early signs of pregnancy are? Yikes! Your mind races back a few days, then weeks. Of course, pregnancy comes with some very obvious signs, such as a missed period, but you may want to look for some not-so-obvious signs. So, take a deep breath and let's go over them.
A missed period alone does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. Sometimes stress can cause your menstrual cycle to become irregular. Excessive exercise, a new job, a move, a recent breakup or a change in medication might also disturb your cycle. But if you have other signs in addition to a missed period, you may want to consult your healthcare provider.
- Nausea and Vomiting: This is the most common, as well as the most dreaded, symptom of pregnancy. Realize that the nausea may occur at any time of the day and as early as two weeks after ovulation. Most often the nausea will decline after the 8th week of pregnancy, but not always. For some women, morning sickness continues well into the 3rd trimester.
- Fatigue: Hormonal changes in your body may give you a persistent feeling of being run down and very drowsy, possibly until after the 8th week of pregnancy.
- Upset senses: You may find that your senses of taste and smell have changed, especially through the first 8 weeks of your pregnancy. Certain foods or smells may make you feel a little off. This may be associated with morning sickness.
- Darkening of Areola: You may notice that the area around your nipple will start to darken, a good sign that you may be pregnant.
- Going to the bathroom more frequently: Even early on, your growing baby will cause the uterus to swell and apply pressure on your bladder, making you feel the need for more frequent urination.
- Dizziness: Because of your growing uterus, blood flow in arteries in your legs may be cut off slightly, lowering the blood supply to the brain and sometimes causing dizziness and fainting.
- Constipation: Pregnancy hormones will slow down bowel functions to give maximum absorption time of vitamins and nutrients, possibly causing constipation.
Keep in mind that many women experience these symptoms in different degrees and combination. A few women have no symptoms at all. If you are in doubt, always consult your doctor to be sure.
Early pregnancy is one of the most important periods of your baby's development. The brain and many of the baby's vital organs are developing in the first weeks after conception. During the earliest period of pregnancy you will want to be the most careful about maintaining your good health.
Until you know for sure that you are pregnant, you should avoid all alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. A little prevention will go a long way in the good health of your baby. Be honest about your habits as you work with your medical professionals and others.
Remember, your baby is using needed nutrients, depleting your supply. Replenish your body with good food, water, and prenatal vitamins. Exercise and take good basic care of yourself. Your appearance (including your hair and nails) and your figure will benefit over time. Wear a good supportive bra. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Take naps as often as you can and put your legs up. Don't be afraid to ask for help or for a chair.
Start taking prenatal vitamins NOW! I continued to take prenatal vitamins 2 years after my daughter was born, and I am convinced my overall well being remained strong because I did.
If you are pregnant and not sure if you are able to keep this baby, take advantage of the great adoption services available and free of charge to birth parents. If you are not covered by your own insurance or state insurance, legal fees and your medical charges may be covered at no cost. Some adoptive parents can help with adoption related expenses as allowed by law. If you would like more information on adoption, call the Adoption Answer Line toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-923-6784.
Mardie Caldwell C.O.A.P is an award winning author of www.AdoptingOnline.com and Founder & CEO of Lifetime Adoption Center in Northern California. She frequently speaks on adoption, writing, women's and parenting topics with more than 150 media appearances on TV. She is an adoptive mother and resides in Northern California.