Pregnancy Safety Tips

Early Signs of Pregnancy

A missed period is the most well-known sign of pregnancy, but each woman will have her own symptoms. Even a missed period on its own does not always mean pregnancy. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), irregular menstrual cycles can indicate the possibility of other conditions such as diabetes or eating disorders. If you begin to experience irregularities in your menstrual cycle,  see your doctor immediately.

NICHD lists the following as early pregnancy symptoms:

  • Slight Bleeding: According to the National Institutes of Health, 25 per cent of pregnant woman experience light bleeding six to twelve days after conception. This pregnancy bleeding will be lighter than menstrual blood.
  • Tender and/or Swollen Breasts or Nipples: This sign usually occurs one to two weeks after conception.
  • Fatigue: Due to a pregnancy hormone known as progesterone, pregnant women may experience fatigue. In addition to new hormones, the body will begin to pump more blood so the fetus can receive nutrients. Symptoms of fatigue can occur as early as one week after conception.
  • Headaches: These can also be attributed to a flood of new hormones.
  • Nausea/vomiting: Most well-known as ‘morning sickness’, nausea and vomiting can begin two to eight weeks after conception, but may persist throughout the pregnancy. Despite the name, ‘morning sickness’ can occur at any time.
  • Food Cravings or Aversions: Someone’s most-beloved snack can prompt vomiting and an extreme aversion during pregnancy. New cravings and new favorite foods are just as common during this time.
  • Mood Swings: Severe mood swings can be brought on by a flurry of new hormones and can be noticeable a few weeks after conception.
  • Frequent Urination: Progesterone isn’t the only new hormone introduced to the body during pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone that increases blood flow toward the pelvis. This increased blood flow leads to more frequent trips to urinate.
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