For some women, pregnancy comes as a complete surprise, while others try for many months sometimes years, before falling pregnant.
Whatever the case, we all experience similar symptoms, which give us clues that we might be expecting.
Symptoms of pregnancy
Pregnancy symptoms can start as early as 4 weeks into a pregnancy. It is at this point that our bodies start to react and demonstrate signs of the pregnancy.
Whilst this is usually a good indication of pregnancy it is not always the case. A missed pregnancy can also be due to stress, poor health and other medical conditions.
Your breasts will become tender and will sometimes swell. It is from this point on that your breasts will start to increase in size dramatically (sometimes up to 3 cups sizes).
Wearing a maternity bra may help you cope with your increasingly large breast size and relieve some of the discomfort in your breasts. Maternity bras are designed to accommodate the changes in a woman's body that occur throughout pregnancy.
A lot of women will experience a feeling of nausea very early on. Some women will go on to develop a more serve form of morning sickness. Which includes vomiting. Morning sickness is not only experienced in the morning, it can be experienced at any time of the day and for some women all day long.
The good news is that most women will start to feel better by 12 weeks of pregnancy.
It is not uncommon for women to develop a dislike for foods during the early stages of pregnancy. It may even be for foods that were a favourite before the pregnancy.
Food cravings are also common. A woman can experience cravings for foods she would not normally eat. This is nature’s way of letting you know that you’re a lacking or missing something. Go with the flow, as the cravings should subside.
Feeling tired is very normal. Your body is going through a lot of change.
TIP: Try to keep well hydrated and eat plenty of small healthy snacks to help keep your energy levels high.
Mood swings are a normal part of pregnancy. Hormones, nausea and exhaustion combined are to blame.
Constipation and bloating are caused by hormone changes in the body.
TIP: Eat plenty of high fibre foods such as fruit and vegetables. Also drinking plenty of water will help to keep your stool soft.
Raised body temperature
Your raised body temperature is caused by the increase in blood flow throughout your body.
Avoid rushing around and over exhausting yourself! Some women may experience dizziness too.
TIP: Wear cool loose-fitting clothing and avoid hot stuffy environments.
Some women will experience changes in their skin. An increase in blood volume and higher levels of hormones in the body can cause acne.
The good news is that it should go away soon.
Some weight gain can be experienced early on. This is due to the increase in breast size, uterus, the increase in the size of the placenta, amniotic fluid and the increase in the blood flow.
What is the difference between premenstrual syndrome and pregnancy symptoms?
The truth of the matter is that both pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome have very similar symptoms. However, nausea and vomiting are generally only common with pregnancy.
What should I do if I think I’m pregnant?
- The first thing you should do is take a pregnancy test. There are many reliable tests on the market that are easy to use and accurate.
- Should your test give you a positive result, book an appointment with your family doctor. A blood test to confirm your pregnancy will probably be requested.
- Once the pregnancy is confirmed, you will be given a medical note from your doctor and it is advised to contact your local hospital immediately to book a prenatal appointment. Make an appointment with your preferred choice of carer. This could be a midwife or doctor, the choice is yours to make.
- Your selected healthcare provider will look after you throughout your pregnancy and keep a track of your babies growth and development and your well-being.
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity