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Early signs of pregnancy

period; amenorrhoea; amenorrhea; miss; missed; breast; changes; veins; morning; sickness; nausea; nauseated; vomiting; bladder; pregnancy; chorionic; gonadotrophin; hCG; hormones; human; urinate; often; tired; exhausted; pregnant;

If your period doesn’t arrive when expected (amenorrhoea) you may be pregnant. There are some other things that could cause you to miss your period, such as illness, stress, shock or strenuous exercise, but the most common cause, if you are sexually active, is pregnancy.

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A missed period

If your period doesn’t arrive when expected (amenorrhoea) you may be pregnant. There are some other things that could cause you to miss your period, such as illness, stress, shock or strenuous exercise, but the most common cause, if you are sexually active, is pregnancy.

  • Some women can be pregnant and still have a small amount of bleeding at the time their period is normally due during the first few months of their pregnancy.

Breast changes may indicate pregnancy

Soon after you become pregnant, you may begin to see and feel a number of changes in your breasts and nipples:

  • your breasts may feel sore and tender to touch
  • your breasts will start to get larger
  • your nipples may become darker
  • veins in your breasts may start to become more obvious.

Not every woman will experience or notice these changes.

Morning sickness

Morning sicknes - feeling sick (nauseated) mainly in the morning - is another early sign of pregnancy. 'Morning sickness' can actually happen at any time of the day or evening, and sometimes lasts all day. For more about morning sickness have a look at the topic about Morning sickness.

Your sense of taste and smell

The hormones in early pregnancy may change the way certain foods and drinks taste and smell. You may no longer want to drink coffee or other strong-tasting drinks. Because foods may smell different to you, cooking may make you feel ill. You may need to prepare food at another time of the day when you feel less nauseated.

Some women want to eat strange things in pregnancy that are not food ('pica'). They may crave substances such as chalk and clay. There is some evidence that pica is caused by mineral deficiencies. If you have cravings for anything that isn't food, please speak to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.

Feeling tired

During pregnancy, your body needs to work harder. Your breathing will become faster and your heart rate will increase. This extra work for your body can make you feel very tired. Many women say that the feeling of extreme tiredness early in pregnancy is something they will never forget.

  • Rest when you can, and get extra sleep. Gentle, regular exercise such as walking or swimming may also help you to feel less tired.

Bladder changes

One of the early signs of pregnancy is the need to urinate (wee) more often. Pregnancy hormones cause this. You may find that you need to get up during the night to urinate. This usually settles down after a few months, and then returns at the end of pregnancy when your growing baby is bigger and pressing down on your bladder.

Causes of these early signs of pregnancy

All of the changes that we have described happen because of pregnancy hormones. About seven days after the embryo is implanted in your uterus, the amount of the hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) greatly increase in your body. This high level is one of the reasons why some women say they 'just know' that they are pregnant, even before they miss a period.

Creating memories

If you have now had your pregnancy confirmed, what do you think was the 'giveaway' sign of your pregnancy? You might like to jot it down in a diary or notebook. These are the types of memories that fade very quickly as your pregnancy progresses and your baby is born. It can be great fun to look back on a diary or notebook and remember the moment you first realised that you must be pregnant.

Confirming your pregnancy 

You may now like to look at the topic 'Confirming your pregnancy' 

What next?

Pregnant - what now

Pregnancy - week by week.

The first 3 months of pregnancy - the first trimester 

More information

Pregnancy, birth and baby  Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a national Australian Government service providing support and information for expecting parents and parents of children, from birth to 5 years of age.
http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/ 

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.

 

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