With each of my three pregnancies, I've had pregnancy symptoms and suspected I was pregnant quite a while before I took my first pregnancy test. For me, pregnancy symptoms hit hard very early and last through most of my pregnancy. So, when I get a positive pregnancy test, I'm not usually too surprised. But, as we all know, every person and every pregnancy is different! Here is a little refresher of some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms for all of you mamas who are trying to conceive, whether you're hoping for your first baby or your fourth!
This is probably one of the most universal pregnancy symptoms! Morning sickness hit me really hard with my first pregnancy, making it nearly impossible to eat anything, get my prenatal pill down, or even to brush my teeth without making me throw up
. It was awful! And unfortunately, even though we call it morning sickness, it lasted ALL day and all night. I'm convinced a man must have come up with the name "morning sickness" because I don't know anyone who only struggled with pregnancy nausea in the morning.
Food Aversions or Food Cravings
Like many other pregnant mamas, I also struggled with food aversions and food cravings. When I was pregnant with my son, I craved tuna fish the entire pregnancy! And I don't even like tuna fish that much! During that same pregnancy, I also developed a strong food aversion to my favorite meal at one of the restaurants we often ate at with friends. And the aversion didn't go away until long after our little boy was born. Even now, four years later, I just don't love eating it as much as I did pre-pregnancy.
This is another extremely common pregnancy symptom, and one I've definitely experienced in my pregnancies. During my first pregnancy, I was working full-time, and every day after work I would come home, put my pajamas on, and be virtually useless as my husband made dinner for me and cleaned it up. One night, because I hadn't been keeping up with our usual household chores, my friends even came over when I wasn't home and cleaned our entire apartment with my husband! And when I was pregnant with our angel daughter, my son definitely watched more cartoons and ate more of his favorite fast food chain's chicken nuggets than I would have liked.
When I was pregnant with our son, I also struggled with headaches in my third trimester. I even got desperate enough to call my doctor and ask what I could do to help make these headaches go away because I was having a hard time focusing at work. When my doctor recommended I try drinking a can of caffeinated soda, I grabbed one from our office stash and drank it (almost in one gulp), only to realize that it was caffeine free! And since a pregnant lady can only drink so much, I actually never drank a can of caffeinated soda. There simply wasn't any room!
Frequent Trips to the Bathroom
This leads me to the next common pregnancy symptom...having to go to the bathroom more often. I think it's pretty safe to say that all
pregnant mamas experience this one. In early pregnancy
, hormonal changes increase blood flow to your kidneys, causing you to need to go to the bathroom more often. As your pregnancy continues, increased blood flow (up to 50 percent more) means your kidneys are working overtime as they process the blood and send more fluid to your bladder. Then, as your baby grows and your uterus gets larger, you'll find yourself making even more trips to the bathroom as the pressure on your bladder increases. Once again, there simply isn't enough room inside you for your growing baby and
the increased fluid in your body!
Bleeding or Cramping
This is probably the earliest symptom of pregnancy, because you actually might notice slight spotting or bleeding six to twelve days after the egg is fertilized and implantation occurs. A lot of pregnant mamas might not realize this is happening though, because this cramping and bleeding resembles the cramping and bleeding that happens at the beginning of their menstrual period.
Mood Swings or Feeling Emotional
Once again, you can thank pregnancy hormones for this one. As if you're not already dealing with enough with the exhaustion, constant trips to the bathroom, all-day sickness, etc., you'll probably notice that you're much more emotional (I always
cry when I listen to the radio when I'm pregnant), even in early pregnancy. You might also notice that, in addition to feeling more emotional all
the time, you will have mood swings that range from happy and excited to sad and depressed in just a few minutes. Hold on, mama! Pregnancy is a wild ride, but it's so, so
worth it in the end!
Most mamas won't notice any of these signs until they are four weeks pregnant (around the same time a positive pregnancy test can confirm a pregnancy), but some might start seeing them a little earlier. And while having two or three of these signs or symptoms doesn't guarantee or confirm that you are pregnant, for those who are trying to conceive, they can be a very welcome sign (even though some of them are pretty uncomfortable) and give you hope that you really are pregnant!