Many young women who have given birth in the past may have some rough impressions on the common signs of pregnancy, but it isn’t always easy for first time mother-to-be to tell if they have become pregnant. In fact, each woman and each pregnancy may present with their own signs and symptoms.
When do symptoms appear?
Most women do not experience signs of pregnancy until 2 weeks after conception, but there are some women started noticing symptoms as early as 6-10 days after conception. This is because the cells that form the placenta only start producing human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) hormone at approximately 7-12 days after conception. It is within this period of time the hormone can be detected in the blood. About 12-14 days after conception, hCG will start to appear in the urine and hence can be detected through home pregnancy test. As a rule, hCG level increases every 72 hours during early pregnancy.
What are the early signs of pregnancy?
1.) Missed period
This is the most common sign of early pregnancy. Menstrual bleeding is a way by which the uterus sheds off the thickened inner lining of the wall when the egg is not fertilized. So it makes sense that menstrual period ceases to occur when the egg becomes fertilized and will need all the mechanical support it has to contain the product of conception.
2.) Spotting and cramping
Spotting is a term used to define the process by which the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. In the process of implantation, pregnant women may experience mild vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramp. This usually occurs around 6-12 days after the eggs become fertilized. *note that a sharp abdominal pain may indicate ectopic pregnancy, in this case do consult the doctor immediately*
3.) Morning sickness
Morning sickness is characterized by nausea and vomiting during the early stage of pregnancy (up until first trimester). This sign is said to be due to the increase in the level of hCG hormone that causes bowel movement to slow down. As a result, pregnant women may complain of appetite loss and can take in lesser amount of food than usual.
After first trimester (4 months), morning sickness will subside as hCG level begins to stabilize for the remaining pregnancy period. The term “morning sickness” is actually a misnomer, as it does not only occur in the morning but can take place any time during the day.
4.) Breast swelling
The is a way in which the body prepares itself for breastfeeding. Some mother-to-be may experience a tender and slight painful sensation around the nipple in early pregnancy. Besides that, they may also notice darkening around the nipple region with tiny elevated nodules known as Montgomery tubercles.
5.) Frequent urination
Frequent urination in early pregnancy is caused by multiple physiological factors. As the body starts producing more hormones, more blood is directed to the kidney to form urine. Apart from that, frequent urination is contributed by increasing level of metabolic waste coming from the fetus. As the fetus grows, it will take up more space in the abdomen and will eventually compress the urinary bladder. This leads to more frequent trips to the bathroom. In this case, pregnant women should control daily water intake to prevent symptom exacerbation.
For many women, pregnancy is full of joy and excitement experience. While to others the journey may be more tempestuous. At the end of the day all mothers know it’s worth the sacrifice the moment they hear the first cry of their newborn baby..
Do leave a comment at the comment section below to share your experience of early pregnancy or if you have any other questions to ask. If you enjoyed reading the post, please do like, share, and subscribe to my blog at the right corner of the homepage. Thank you.
Read my previous blog post here.