Early signs of pregnancy

We all know that so-called “morning sickness” is a common early sign of pregnancy, but it is just one of the many possible changes that your body may experience to alert you that you are pregnant. In fact, 96% of women report that they experience at least three different physical signs of pregnancy that indicate that the time has come.

Not all women experience the same first signs of pregnancy, and some might not experience any. It is important to remember that all women and all bodies are different, and therefore it is important that the range of possibilities are more understood.

So, what else might you expect to see as early signs of pregnancy?

Possible First Signs of Pregnancy

  • Tender or swollen breasts: This is the most common early sign of pregnancy, with 23% of women surveyed reporting this as their first symptom.
  • Missed period: This may or may not be a first indicator, as many women experience light bleeding after the attachment of the egg to the uterine wall. Many women report other signs prior to the first missed period.
  • Nausea: An upset stomach and vomiting are common during pregnancy, with 70-80% of women reporting it is as a symptom.
  • Feeling extra tired: Hormone changes, increased blood production, and rapid physical changes can lead to fatigue.
  • Mood swings and crying spells: As hormones increase and the reality of the big life change sets in, a woman may find herself easily teary or feeling “out of sorts.” Some also report increased feelings of stress.
  • Mild tummy cramps: These cramps may seem very similar to menstrual cramping and take place due to the growth of your uterus.
  • Bloating: While weight gain in an of itself is not typical during the first trimester, because of the growth of the uterus and changes in hormones some women may experience feelings of heaviness or bloating in the abdomen.
  • Heartburn: One of the less-recognized signs of early pregnancy; heartburn can occur as hormones cause the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to relax. While it is possible to experience in early pregnancy, it more commonly occurs later in the cycle.
  • Food craving and food aversion: While this is one of the more well-known symptoms of pregnancy, the cause is unknown but might be related to the body lacking in some nutrients and being overloaded with others.
  • Lower back pain: Some 50-70% of women will experience back pain during their pregnancy. In early pregnancy, it is likely related to the same factors that cause cramps, ie the sudden growth of the uterus.
  • Headaches and dizziness: While more likely to occur later in pregnancy, headaches and an overall dizzy feeling can occur as the body works to increase blood flow to the fetus.

Time to test?

Remember, the above list is just a list of possible early signs of pregnancy. You may experience some of the above symptoms without being pregnant and you may be pregnant without experiencing any. If you suspect you may be pregnant, it is important that you seek out confirmation through a pregnancy test.

Let us support you!

Whether this is your first pregnancy or not, it will be a lot of fun preparing for the next nine months. Let us help design a custom pregnancy and birth plan for you! Contact us today for individualized referrals and support.

For further reading:

Preparing for birth: How a doula can help

Expert tips: Getting ready for the transition into parenthood

Becoming a parent: Stories from our providers