Am I Pregnant ?
Signs of being Pregnant
Signs of Being Pregnant and Early Pregnancy Symptoms
The common signs of being pregnant are:
Feeling nausea during the first trimester is a very common sign of being pregnant and one of the early pregnancy symptoms.
This sickness feeling is commonly called “morning sickness”, even though you can feel sickness anytime of day not just first thing in the morning.
The sickness feeling can very in its degree from slight nausea through to head in the toilet vomiting.
Some women have morning sickness all the way through the pregnancy not just in the first trimester.
The cause of the morning sickness has not yet been definitely diagnosed but is likely to be linked to one or all of the following:
- high levels of HCG
- a fall in blood pressure
- an increase in osterogen levels which causes the liver to work overtime
- difficulties with digestion due to a reduction in the stomach acid which breaks down our food in our stomach
- an increase or change in our senses which makes you feel more sensitive to different smells or tastes
Tips to overcome nausea (morning sickness)
- eat only small frequent snacks. Avoid having an empty stomach or low blood sugar. Try carrying with you some dried fruit, dry crackers or biscuits or fruit
- eat a piece of dry toast or cracker before getting out of bed in the morning
- have four or five small meals per day instead of three larger meals
- have a small snack before going to bed
- avoid getting very tired or stressed
- ginger is supposed to be good at settling your stomach. Grate some fresh ginger into a pot of hot water, let it infuse, and strain into a cup and sweeten with some honey or lemon to taste
- avoid strong smells like the fresh fish counter or cosmetics counters in stores
- eat chicken soup or other carbohydrate rich food like potatoes, pasta or rice
- drink plenty of water to avoid being dehydrated – especially if you have been vomiting
Your hormones are kicking in and this may heighten feelings of anxiety or worry.
One of the notorious early signs of being pregnant are mood swings when women can be depressed and upset about very minor things is one of the early pregnancy symptoms that your partner often recites if asked.
You just need to make sure that your partner understands that this isn’t you but your hormones and it will pass!!!
One of the early signs of being pregnant in the first trimester is the feeling of tiredness and the overwhelming need to sleep.
A lot of women in the first trimester find themselves going to work, coming home, going to straight to bed, waking up having something to eat, then going back to bed again.
The feeling of tiredness normally lasts up to week 14, when you begin to feel less nausea and less tired and feel like you have more energy.
Causes of Tiredness
- the high levels of pregesterone in your body in the first trimester can act like a sedative
- your metabolic rate has increased by 10-25% to support the developing foetus
- your body is prioritising the development of the foetus – while you come second. The start of things to come for the next 20 years!
- being nauseated and having a disturbed nights sleep through having to go to the bathroom regularly takes its toll
Tips to overcome tiredness
- don’t fight it and get as much rest as you can, spend the weekend in bed if you feel you need to, and even find somewhere at work where you won’t be disturbed and take a nap at lunchtime if possible
- speak to your doctor about non constipating iron supplements which may help
- ask your partner to take on more the chores around the home such as cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking
- if you already have young children try to take a nap when they do – or put on a DVD while you rest on the couch
One of the signs of being pregnant is the changes to your skin.
A lot of women find their skin looks better than ever during pregnancy, whilst others find themselves with drier or acne prone skin.
Being pregnant means that a lot of changes can happen to your skin due to you producing more oil, sweat and pigment. The increase blood flow and increased oil secretions give the skin a shinier appearance – sometimes referred to as the “pregnancy glow”
Linea nigra is a vertical dark line that passes through your navel and divides your belly in half. It often becomes visible by week fourteen, so it is one of the later signs of being pregnant, albeit that it is there before pregnancy when it is called “linea alba”, latin for white line.
Stretch marks look like thin pink, purple or dark red lines on pale skin, and brown lines on darker skin.
Stretch marks are caused by collagen fibres in the skin tearing and breaking. The collagen in the skin is reduced and made more fragile by the hormone Relaxin, which is the hormone that makes your ligaments relax during pregnancy.
Stretch marks are common on breasts, your belly, thighs and your bottom. They are often most noticeable when the skin has been caused to stretch a lot and quickly.
Stretch marks should begin to fade after the pregnancy until they resemble barely noticeable silvery lines, but how quickly and the amount they fade will depend on your skin and body type.
Gradual weight gain, a good diet with plenty of protein and vitamin C will help to help minimise stretch marks.
Varicose Veins can be common in families and are exaggerated during pregnancy. Varicose veins can be very painful, and in severe cases may need surgery.
Common preventions are putting your feet up and wearing support stockings or tights. Consult your doctor for more information on prevention and treatment.
Some pregnant women develop small thread like red lines on their cheeks which are broken blood vessels caused by the rapid expansion and constriction of the blood vessels when the blood circulation increases during pregnancy.
Some women develop blue lines under their skin around their breasts and tummy. These are due to the extra blood flow during pregnancy and should disappear after the pregnancy.
One of the most common signs to being pregnant is a desire for specific foods.
Most pregnant women get a craving some something, normally something sugary or ice-cream is common. Although I had cravings for Chinese Spring Rolls much to the angst of my husband (editor’s confession!)
You can also find your tastes change, and you go off your favorite foods.
You might also get a “metallic” taste in your mouth, this can be caused by the high amount of hormones that you have in your body affecting your saliva.
Your high levels of progesterone are relaxing the muscles in your digestive tract which means that the intestines slow down, which means that your poo loses water and becomes hard causes constipation.
Occasionally if a Doctor has prescribed iron supplements these can cause constipation. In which case your Doctor can change the brand or advise less frequent doses.
Hints on overcoming constipation
- Drinking more water will help against constipation and help stop you from being generally dehydrated. You should be drinking two litres of water a day.
- Eat plenty of natural fibre – high fibre cereals, lightly cooked vegetables, fruit, wholegrain breads, and brown rice. See our section on pregnancy diet
- Exercise regularly – See our section on pregnancy exercise
- If it becomes excessive, your Doctor will be able to prescribe a laxative.
Like most pregnant women you may suffer some or all of these symptoms, they may be distressing to you and in some cases may need treatment, however try not to worry they are only natures signs of being pregnant.