Has a morning wave of nausea led you to suspect you might be pregnant? Or maybe it’s your sudden craving for pickled foods that’s got you wondering? A missed period followed by a pregnancy test is the only reliable way of finding out if you’re definitely expecting a baby. But there are some other early signs of pregnancy that could be a hint of what’s to come.
When do early pregnancy signs start?
You might be surprised to learn that you can start to experience the first early signs of pregnancy before a missed period. This is because even in the very early weeks after conception, your hormones will fluctuate causing your body to exhibit certain changes. These subtle (and some not so subtle) changes can be very early signs of pregnancy.
What are the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period?
First, it’s important to recognise that pregnancy is unique for every woman. While some will experience none or very few of the early pregnancy signs, others will get a full whammy of symptoms. To help you understand what might be happening to your body, here are seven really early signs of pregnancy.
- Feeling tired
What can help: The best thing you can do is try to put your feet up as much as possible. Maybe even take a nap when you can. And the good news is, most women find their energy levels start to return at the beginning of the second trimester.
- Change in taste and smell
A more sensitive sense of smell and a strange metallic taste are common early signs of pregnancy. Fortunately, they’re temporary changes and will pass.
What can help: Try to avoid strong smells, especially those that make any nausea you’re experiencing worse.
- Changes to your breasts
What can help: With all the changes to your breasts you’re likely to find your old bras become a little snug. Investing in a well-fitting bra can help you feel more comfortable.
What can help: Take a walk, do regular exercise and drink water to stay hydrated. Eating plenty of high-fibre foods could also help regulate bowel movements.
- Peeing more
What can help: To lessen your need to pee overnight, try drinking less in the late evening and drink more fluids during the day.
- Nausea or sickness
What can help: Try eating small, frequent meals consisting of plain foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and crackers. And sip regularly on water..
- Food aversions and cravings
What can help: Make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Common signs of early pregnancy – an example timelineHere’s an example of how early signs of pregnancy could first show up:9
|Week number (after first day of last period)||New symptom|
|Week 3||Metallic taste|
|Week 5||Food cravings & aversions
|Week 6||Breast changes|
|Week 7||Frequent urination|
What should I do if I am pregnant?If you’re experiencing symptoms, your next step is to take a pregnancy test. If this is positive, make an appointment to see your doctor or a midwife. And if you’re not already taking a folic acid supplement, it’s time to start.
Last updated: 9 November 2020