Throughout pregnancy, there are a number of symptoms females may experience. From the first signs she's expecting until the day of birth, these issues are likely to change over time. The 12 most-likely symptoms moms-to-be can anticipate include:
- To start things off, a woman will miss her period (of course).
- Swollen breasts that are tender to the touch are another possible early sign of pregnancy.1 This is due to hormonal changes that are happening in the body, which cause the breasts to feel fuller than usual, leading to sensitivity and soreness.
- Another change to the breast may be seen in the areolas – the area of skin around the nipple. These may darken in color during pregnancy.
- As the body prepares for pregnancy, it puts most of its energy toward creating the placenta, which acts as a stable environment for the fetus. This results in many women feeling tired and fatigued during early pregnancy.2
- Much like pre period, females are inclined to have some bloating when they first become pregnant. This is due to progesterone, a hormone the body produces to prepare for the baby. What's it for? It decreases digestion speed so that nutrients have more time to enter the bloodstream and support the embryo.
- In the beginning (as well as the end) of a pregnancy, a female will experience frequent urination. The additional blood and fluid required to support a healthy baby puts more work on the kidneys. This extra fluid is then passed on to the bladder, meaning mom has to run to the bathroom on the regular.3
- While most women don't experience a sensitivity to odors – even previously loved foods can cause the stomach to turn – until later in their pregnancy, some may have this symptom early on. Although doctors are unsure what causes this, it may be a simple side effect of added estrogen in the body.
- In addition to being turned off by certain foods, moms-to-be may crave odd combinations or foods they have never even tried before. Some believe this is the body's way of telling the woman that she needs a specific nutrient.
- As the body works to deal with its hormonal balance, pregnant females may also have to deal with mood swings, constipation, and dizziness or fainting.4 These tend to vary woman to woman.
- Often referred to as "morning sickness," nausea can affect an expectant mom any time of day. For most, this occurs within the first 13 or 14 weeks of pregnancy, but some may struggle with feeling sick to their stomachs throughout the duration of their term.
- Backaches and headaches can result due to hormone changes in the body, but may be caused by a variety of other things. For instance, headaches may be the cause of reduced caffeine intake by the mother.5
- A woman's basal body temperature, the temp taken in the morning before anything is consumed, may remain high during the early stages of pregnancy.6
While these are all symptoms women can expect during pregnancy, none of them are a sure sign on their own. Females who believe they may be with child can take a pregnancy test at home or head to their doctor's offices for confirmation.
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1 Mayo Clinic, "Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens right away" July 12, 2013
2 What to Expect, "Pregnancy symptoms: Early signs you may be expecting"
3 Pregnancy.com, "Pregnancy symptoms: Top ten signs you might be pregnant"
4 WebMD, "Pregnancy symptoms" September 5, 2012
5 American Pregnancy Association, "Pregnancy symptoms – early signs of pregnancy"
6 BabyCenter, "Pregnancy symptoms: Top ten signs you might be pregnant" June 2012