12 Very Early Pregnancy Symptoms
What Are The Very Early Signs Of Pregnancy?
We cover everything pregnancy here on TalkMum so let’s start at the beginning, what are the very first signs that you might be pregnant?
We're talking the very early signs of pregnancy, the 'Am I? Could I be..?' symptoms before your period is even late, the ones that spur you on to take that positive test.
So, from sore boobs to going off tea, here are 12 very early signs of pregnancy, with input from some of our favourite bloggers:
1. Insomnia, trouble sleeping & sleep changes in early pregnancy
Sleep changes are a sign of early pregnancy. This is because the first trimester of pregnancy involves many changes to your body, some of which can disrupt your sleep and potentially lead to pregnancy insomnia.
During the first trimester, hormone levels in your body increase as a normal part of your pregnancy. These hormones can cause you to feel sleepy in the day, and more likely to take a nap, which can also in turn affect your ability to sleep well at night.
Pregnancy hormones can also be responsible for pregnancy insomnia, as they can make you wake up through the night. This can, in turn, make you feel sleepier in the day and more likely to need a daytime sleep. So, the cycle continues.
As well as hormonal changes, disrupted sleep in early pregnancy and the first trimester can be because of pregnancy symptoms such as pregnancy sickness and needing to wee more often. Bodily aches and pains including sore boobs can also lead to you feeling more uncomfortable in bed, and unable to sleep soundly.
There’s a lot going on with your body and your mind during this time. Pregnancy anxiety and fears can cause sleep to be disrupted and make it harder for you to go back to sleep when you wake up in the night.
'My earliest sign of pregnancy was insomnia. I sleep more with a newborn than I do pregnant', according to Amber.
'Both times I've had really disturbed sleep in the first few weeks', says mum of two Hannah. 'That's when I knew I was pregnant for the second time as we were on honeymoon and there was no reason why I shouldn't be sleeping as we were child-free!!’
Some women also experience vivid and intense dreams as an early pregnancy sign. These are also thought to be a result of increased hormonal activity in the body during pregnancy. They could also be a result of more sleep, meaning you dream more often, and potentially a result of your brain processing the new emotions and thoughts that result from pregnancy.
2. Feeling tired in early pregnancy
Feeling tired in pregnancy is also a common early pregnancy symptom. This can be a result of hormonal and body changes, as well as disrupted sleep patterns.
TalkMum blogger Jenny said she was 'just really, really tired' and for Emma, it was the 'all-encompassing exhaustion.'
3. Hot flashes & feeling hot and bothered in early pregnancy
Your body temperature rises during ovulation, and if you are pregnant, it will stay high. Hot flashes are a sensation of increased heat on your skin, usually on your face, neck, and chest. They can also be a feeling of excessive warmth over your whole body.
Hot flashes are a common symptom in early pregnancy and, while uncomfortable, are not usually a cause for concern. It can help to layer your clothing so you can remove items to cool you down if needed. It can also help to always carry a water bottle with you, to stay hydrated.
Your body’s core temperature might also increase more easily during exercise or in hot weather when you are pregnant, which is why you should take greater care during this time to exercise cautiously and drink more water.
4. Cervical mucus and discharge in early pregnancy
Changes in cervical mucus, also known as discharge, can also be an early pregnancy sign.
Cervical mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle. You will have the most mucus, or discharge, before and during ovulation. If you have not conceived after ovulation, your cervical mucus will thicken or dry up ahead of your period.
However, if you have conceived at ovulation, it is likely that you will still produce discharge.
5. Light bleeding, spotting and cramping in early pregnancy
An early pregnancy sign you may notice is around implantation. Some women experience implantation bleeding, a small amount of light spotting or bleeding that happens at around 10 to 14 days after conception. Some women also report mild cramping at this time. It is thought to happen because of your fertilised egg implanting in the womb.
However, many women don’t experience any symptoms around implantation, or only realise what it was later on in their pregnancy.
'Implantation bleeding was my earliest sign, although I didn't know that's what it was until later', says Clare, while Sam had 'period-type pains.'
Both Lisa and Emily experienced bloating, and for Becky, the big clue was a very early bump.
6. Tender breasts & breast changes in early pregnancy
Changes in the breasts can be another symptom of early pregnancy.
You may notice a tingling sensation in your breasts in early pregnancy, and they may also feel larger, tender and sore. You may also notice the veins becoming more visible, and/or their nipples darkening and standing out. This is due to pregnancy hormones and an increased blood flow to your breasts, as your body prepares to produce milk later on.
Laura said: 'I was lying on Copacabana beach with the sorest boobs in the world and just knew. My Portuguese wasn't good enough to get a test, so we had to wait until we got home!'
7. Heightened sense of smell in early pregnancy
A heightened sense of smell is another common early pregnancy symptom. This actually has a name – hyperosmia – and is again due to the increased level of hormones in your body. It is not always pleasant, and you may find certain smells you’ve previously tolerated now difficult to deal with.
‘My sense of smell went into overdrive and everything smelt awful (like the kitchen fridge!)', says Fritha.
'I always get a very specific smell in early pregnancy', says Hayley. And for Ali, a quite inconvenient problem: 'The smell of my new kitchen repulsed me! I couldn't go in there for at least the first 12 weeks.'
8. Taste changes in early pregnancy
While it might be too early for the cravings to set in just yet, aversions or taking a dislike to certain foods and drinks is a clue.
This is called dysgeusia, a change in your sense of taste. During pregnancy it is likely to be caused by pregnancy hormones. It might mean you can’t stomach food you previously loved or develop a love of food you usually dislike.
It can even cause a metallic taste in your mouth, even if you are not actually eating anything.
'I just couldn't stomach tea’, says Lauren. 'That's how I knew with my second pregnancy at just three weeks.'
'The copper taste in my mouth was the first sign', according to Dawn.
9. Crying At Adverts? Mood swings in early pregnancy
Mood swings are a common early pregnancy symptom. Pregnancy sends oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels sky-high, which can cause more emotional or reactive responses than usual. You may experience euphoria, anxiety, irritability and everything else in between – often at the same time.
'Even before my missed period, I was already feeling more emotional and crying more easily', says Petra.
10. An instinctive feeling
There's a lot to be said for a mother's intuition.
'I had a 'feeling' something was different, it was very strange. I then began to dislike smells and the thought of food, especially meat', says Lisa.
This is similar to the experience of Chelle:
'I just knew! Every time I took a test the day before my period was due: when people ask me why I took a test, I still can't answer with why!'
And the same for Hannah: 'I just knew.'
11. Unusual behaviour from other people
As surprising as this may be, your first inkling of pregnancy might be other people noticing something different about you!
'My toddler daughter became obsessed with my belly and started wanting to lie her face on it at nap time and bedtime’, says Petra.
Same goes for Kate; ‘My toddler became super-clingy!’
12. And sometimes, all the early pregnancy signs you'd expect are there
While pregnancy symptoms can differ from woman to woman, and from pregnancy to pregnancy, sometimes the classic pregnancy symptoms are all there, from being sick, needing the loo all the time, and wanting to eat odd food combinations while feeling very moody.
'I knew as soon as I needed the loo at 3 am. Also with my fourth baby when I started randomly being sick at five weeks, it was a clear sign!' says Susanne.
Further early pregnancy symptoms
The above are far from the only possible signs that you are pregnant. With others including feeling the need to pee more often (especially during the night), constipation, greater vaginal discharge, headaches and dizziness, there are a lot of things you may notice before you take a pregnancy test to finally confirm whether or not you are expecting.
Below, we’ve come up with a list of frequent early pregnancy symptoms, to help you to track your own possible pregnancy. What were the earliest signs of pregnancy for you?
Common early pregnancy symptoms that you might experience can include the following:
- Very light spotting around the time of implantation (usually 6-12 days after ovulation)
- Morning sickness, which is pregnancy sickness that may occur at any time of the day (this usually starts when you are 4-6 weeks pregnant)
- Nausea, or the feeling of being seasick
- Feeling faint, dizzy or lightheaded
- Food cravings, or food aversions (where you can’t face certain foods)
- Increased sense of smell
- Increased thirst
- Disturbed sleep and intense dreams
- Mood swings, feeling a lot more emotional than usual, or crying for no reason
- Tender or aching breasts, and / or an increase in breast size, changes to your nipples
- Changes to your skin, and having more spots
- Going off tea, coffee or alcohol
- Weight gain
- Faster heartbeat than normal
- Temperature changes, and feeling a lot more hot than usual
- A strange taste in your mouth, which might taste metallic
- Frequent urination, or needing to wee more often
- A late or missed period.
Every woman is different and not all women will notice all of these symptoms. If you’re trying to conceive, ensure you’re well prepared - check out our TTC diet tips and lifestyle tips, consider taking pregnancy supplements and keep pregnancy tests on hand!
If you have any symptoms you're worried about, talk to a GP or your midwife.
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