You miss your period, start having unusual cravings, and gain a bit of weight… For those anticipating pregnancy, these early signs of pregnancy might be a dream come true. You’re probably already researching those newborn essentials to help you prepare for your new life as a family.
These early symptoms can be a strong indicator of your pregnancy, and here is all you need to know about them.
When do pregnancy symptoms start?
Some women can experience pregnancy symptoms as early as week 1 of pregnancy when a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. Usually, it takes 2-3 weeks for pregnancy to occur after sexual intercourse.
Other women may notice at a later stage, and we’ve all heard of those unexpected births, where women aren’t aware they’re carrying a baby through the entirety of their pregnancy. But don’t worry, the chances of that happening are minimal, especially if it’s planned.
The first symptom of pregnancy is a missed period or spotting. Nausea, aching breasts, bloating, frequent urination, cramping, and mood swings are other common early signs of pregnancy.
How early can you take a pregnancy test?
Usually, it takes 2-3 weeks for pregnancy to occur after sexual intercourse. Pregnancy generally occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle, and menstrual bleeding starts 14 days after that, around day 28 or 29.
That means that the best time to take a pregnancy test is the day after you’ve missed your period.
Some women have irregular periods, and it might be hard for them to identify whether they’ve missed it or not. Testing too early gives a negative test result for 10%-20% of pregnant people. The best thing you can do is track your ovulation and period for the most accurate pregnancy test results.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
A little after a fertilised egg attaches to your uterine, the placenta forms. It produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates the continued production of progesterone by the ovaries. This hormone then enters your bloodstream and urine, and its concentration quickly increases during early pregnancy – doubling every two to three days.
Pregnancy tests work by detecting this hormone in your bodily system. The earlier you take the test, the less concentration of the HCG hormone there will be, and the less accurate the results are likely to be.
Home pregnancy tests are said to have 99% accuracy. However, based on the above, they might not always show accurate results, so it’s advisable to repeat the test one week later if you think you have a false negative.
A false positive result is also possible if you’ve had an early pregnancy loss or fertility drugs high in HCG interfere with the results. An ectopic pregnancy, menopause, or problems with your ovaries can also lead to misleading test results.
When do pregnancy cravings start?
Suddenly, you’re craving foods that have never been on your go-to list. One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is cravings. Unlike what most people think, they don’t occur right at the start of the pregnancy; but rather towards the end of the first trimester, and are most acute during the second trimester. Towards the third trimester, they start to wean off.
If you haven’t done a pregnancy test earlier or haven’t given much thought to your missed period or spotting, cravings can be your early sign of pregnancy. They occur due to hormonal fluctuations and are also accompanied by food aversions.
How much weight do you gain in pregnancy?
It’s normal to gain a little bit of weight or more during pregnancy. Generally, pregnant people gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22lb to 28lb). Most of the weight is accumulated after week 20.
That doesn’t mean that all of this weight is actual fat. Yes, some of it is, because your body is storing fat to produce breast milk, but the rest is due to your baby growing.
Nevertheless, if you’re gaining too little or too much compared to the norm, it’s best to consult with your doctor, as it might indicate or lead to certain health problems for you or the baby.
Don’t worry if you’ve gained some extra weight due to cravings. It’s what your body and baby need at the time. Plus, you will quickly shed off the pounds once you start collecting all your baby’s playtime and nursery toys from the floor and walking around with your baby in its Hip Happy Baby Carrier.
What part of the breast hurts in early pregnancy?
Breast pain is unpleasant, but it’s one of those early signs of pregnancy most women anticipate.
It can vary a lot, especially with the progression of your pregnancy. During the first weeks, the pain is dull and achy, and your breasts might feel swollen and heavy. As they become very sensitive, you might experience discomfort, especially if you tend to sleep on your belly.
In those early weeks of pregnancy, it is very common to experience nipple sensitivity. It might even be painful to put on a bra or dry off after a shower. Luckily, as you move towards the end of the first trimester, the sensitivity will decrease, and you experience more fullness and heaviness.
How many weeks is a pregnancy?
A normal, healthy pregnancy lasts between 39 and 41 weeks, which is about nine months. The pregnancy cycle is split into three trimesters, and each trimester is about 13 weeks long.
Premature birth is considered that which occurs in week 37 or before that, while a prolonged pregnancy is longer than 47 weeks. Both imply medical concerns and implications, therefore, need to be monitored closely.
Pregnancy is a beautiful blessing, and the early signs of such can be extremely exciting if planned. Make sure you tend to your symptoms and start preparing for your pregnancy and birth. What happens next? Read our blog post Answering Your Pregnancy Questions to learn more about what to expect.