5 Early Symptoms of Pregnancy – What Happens First?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Could you be pregnant? The best way to confirm is by taking a pregnancy test at home. But even before you do that, there are a couple of ways to confirm your pregnancy, of which a missing or delayed period is the popular one. According to the American Pregnancy Association Poll:

  • 29% of pregnant women consider a missed period the first sign of their pregnancy.
  • Nausea or morning sickness is another sign for 25% of women.
  • 17% of women notice breast tenderness as the first sign of getting pregnant.

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:

#Constipation

Constipation refers to less frequent bowel movements that are difficult to pass. The rising progesterone hormone levels in your body slow down your gastrointestinal movement, which eventually leads to constipation in early pregnancy. The constantly increasing pressure of your growing uterus on your pelvic area is another reason for constipation while pregnant.

What to Do:

  • Drink plenty of fluids daily.
  • Indulge in gentle, low-impact exercises such as walking, yoga, and swimming.
  • Add plenty of high-fiber foods to your pregnancy diet, like bran, wheat, fresh fruit, and vegetables.

#Heartburn and indigestion

In the first trimester of your pregnancy, the burning sensation around your chest area after eating something might indicate that you’re forming a little bun in the oven. Heartburn, reflux, or indigestion is a feeling of pain and discomfort caused by the flowing of food and acid back up into your mouth. This occurs due to the pressure your growing uterus puts on the abdomen.

What to Do:

  • Keep your head raised while sleeping with extra pillows.
  • Wear comfortable expectant mom clothes.
  • Eat small and more frequent meals.
  • Don’t eat anything just before going to bed.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol, caffeine, spicy or fatty foods as they might trigger heartburn or indigestion.

#Tiredness

With the rising progesterone hormone levels in your body, you may feel exhausted and sleep during the initial days of pregnancy. This symptom usually appears after one or two weeks after conception. While progesterone is the main factor behind your fatigue during pregnancy, other factors like lower blood pressure, a sudden boost in blood production, and lower blood sugar levels can sometimes make you feel tired as well.

What to Do:

  • Eating foods rich in protein and iron
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep

#High blood pressure and dizziness

The blood pressure usually drops in the initial weeks of pregnancy, leading to a feeling of faintness or dizziness. If you have mild hypertension during the first trimester, it indicates that you’re pregnant. Hormonal fluctuations and increased blood volume are responsible for lightheadedness, dizziness, and infrequent fainting. In the initial weeks of pregnancy, you feel faint when you go from one position to another. For example, when you get out of your bed or stand, you feel dizzy.

What to Do:

  • Snack regularly and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Switch to pregnancy-friendly exercises.
  • Stand up slowly when getting up.
  • Track your blood pressure regularly.

#Morning sickness

Morning sickness is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, usually occurring between week two to week eight after you conceive. It mostly subsides after the first trimester, but many women experience it throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Surprisingly, some women do not experience it at all. If you often find yourself vomiting and feel nauseated, chances are you’re carrying a baby.

What to Do:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay well-hydrated.
  • Eat a few saltine crackers before you get up in the morning.
  • Consult your doctor if you are overeating.
  • Drink ginger tea to help settle morning sickness.

What Else Could It Be?

Swollen or tender breasts, the most common sign of pregnancy, might be caused by:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Impending menstruation
  • Change in hormonal birth control

Morning sickness or nausea might be triggered by:

  • Anxiety, tension, or stress
  • Food poisoning
  • Change in hormonal birth control
  • Other stomach ailments

The most prevalent sign of pregnancy, a missed or delayed period, could be caused by:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Tension or stress
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Excessive weight gain or loss
  • New workout regimen
  • Pending menstruation
  • Change in birth control usage
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Various illnesses

Fatigue or tiredness can also be triggered by:

  • Common cold or flu
  • Allergies or other ailments
  • Pending menstruation
  • Lack of sleep
  • Improper nutrition
  • New workout regimen
  • Tension or stress
  • Depression or other mental health struggles
  • Exhaustion from working too hard

When to get help?

Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Sudden swelling of face, hands, and feet
  • Widespread itching of the skin
  • Less movement of your baby than usual
  • A headache that will not go away
  • Vision loss or blurred vision
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting that will not stop
  • A high temperature
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Leaking amniotic fluid
  • Vaginal bleeding

Where to get help?

While most pregnancy signs and symptoms are normal, others may be unpleasant and cause you trouble. If you experience such a symptom, don’t hesitate to get help from your:

  • Obstetrician/gynecologist
  • General practitioner
  • Maternity hospital
  • Pharmacist
  • Midwife
  • Healthcare provider

Tips to Relieve Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Following are some self-care strategies and home remedies to help relieve the pregnancy symptoms that might be unpleasant to you:

  • Avoid spicy foods that trigger heartburn.
  • Wear loose-fitting, flowy maternity dresses to stay relaxed and comfortable.
  • Keep weight gain under control.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress on your left side with a pillow between your legs.
  • Stick to a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
  • Eat small, frequent meals to combat morning sickness.
  • Wear super stretchy maternity leggings to help relieve swollen legs.
  • Use a pregnancy girdle or sling to support your belly.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Exercise daily to strengthen and tone your muscles.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid lying on the back for a prolonged time.
  • Eat fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains to avoid constipation.
  • Keep the back straight and bend the knees while lifting your older children.

The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can be many, but the best way to get confirmation of your pregnancy is by taking a pregnancy test at home or consulting a gynecologist for the same. If your pregnancy test is positive, get your first prenatal appointment. The sooner you can get prenatal care, the better!