When most women think about very early symptoms of pregnancy, they automatically assume that a missed period is the top symptom.
Would you be surprised that a missed period isn’t even in the top 5 very early symptoms of pregnancy?
By the time a woman has noticed a missed period due to a pregnancy, at least 5 other symptoms may have made themselves known, possibly weeks before the scheduled period. Here are five very early signs of pregnancy that can be noticed by a sensitive mother-to-be. And, all five can happen long before a period has been missed.
1. Elevated Basal Body Temperature. The body’s basal temperature (the lowest body temperature that happens during rest) begins to elevate after ovulation, and stays elevated beyond your next expected period. Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary and pushed down the fallopian tube and is ready to be fertilized by a sperm.
The implantation of a fertilized egg normally takes place 6 to 12 days after ovulation – that’s about two to three weeks before the next period is missed.This one-half to one degree Fahrenheit increase in basal body temperature is a subtle early warning sign of pregnancy. This change in basal body temperature, which is measured by a special, more accurate thermometer, can happen as early as two days after ovulation. And, that can be two weeks before you notice a missed period.
2. Breast Tenderness, Nipple Enlargement And Increased Breast Size. Changes and increased swelling and tenderness in the breast and nipples are one of the classic very early signs of pregnancy. Many times, a woman may notice these changes and blame them on a particularly ill-fitting or uncomfortable bra or other article of clothing. But, the sensitive woman will notice these changes for what they are – a new life is beginning to grow inside her with the new pregnancy.
Nipples, particularly the dark area around the nipple called the areola, enlarge and darken in anticipation of breastfeeding the new infant. These changes are due almost entirely to hormone releases in the body, all in anticipation of sustaining the new life within. Some experts say the darkening of the areolas serves a purpose – helping the newly born child find the nipple easier for feeding. These changes to the breast and nipple areas should return to normal after birth.
3. Nausea And Vomiting. Also known as “morning sickness,” this early and uncomfortable sign of pregnancy usually targets women and begins around the sixth week of pregnancy, but often occurs earlier. About half of all expecting mothers have morning sickness – which may or may not include vomiting. But, it usually always features nausea. Often attributed to increased hormone levels in the body, some doctors feel that morning sickness is a good sign that the baby is healthy and is developing normally, and the pregnancy is progressing well.
If your morning sickness is accompanied with vomiting, be sure to stay hydrated, keep your electrolyte levels within range and get plenty of rest and nap throughout the day.
4. Constipation. Another subtle and often overlooked pregnancy clue is constipation – defined as less that three bowel movements per week. Who doesn’t get constipated at one time or another – without being pregnant?
The constantly changing level of the hormone progesterone, which slows down the movement of food through your digestive system, can wreak havoc with the frequency and timing of bowel movements. Many women who are pregnant but don’t realize it may just write constipation off as an unrelated, and irritating issue. Like changes in the breasts, paying close attention here really can make tell a story.
5. Fatigue And Exhaustion. There is a big difference between fatigue and tiredness. Feeling tired and sleepy after a long day’s work is completely normal and expected. Sleep, which usually happens after tiredness, is the remedy for a body needing rest, as sleep allows the body to repair itself and ready itself for another hard day.
Fatigue, on the other hand, is not a normal bodily function and is usually a sign of some other condition. Technically speaking, fatigue really has nothing to do with a tired body, as sleep will not normally resolve fatigue. Fatigue can be a sign of disease such as certain cancers, auto-immune disorders and a host of other conditions – including pregnancy.Fatigue can also be a sure sign of an early pregnancy, usually occurring during the first trimester and often partially blamed on a dramatic rise in the level of the hormone progesterone. Pregnancy also can put a huge strain on every bodily function – it’s no wonder that you may feel totally exhausted before the day is through.
Are you experiencing one or more of these very early symptoms of pregnancy? If you have even the slightest idea that you may be pregnant, get a home pregnancy test from your local drug store and test yourself. Then, you’ll know for sure and if positive, you can then notify your doctor and start taking care of your new baby.