Pregnancy can be one of the most significant events in your life, and recognizing pregnancy symptoms is an important stage in your pregnancy journey. The symptoms of pregnancy vary for every woman, and not every woman experiences the same symptoms - or even any at all!
It's common to have a lot of questions at this time, and our Q&A, compiled using expert advice from The Pregnancy Encyclopedia, will help to answer some of your burning questions about pregnancy symptoms.
Q. What are the symptoms of early pregnancy?
A. Early pregnancy symptoms that you may experience include feeling dizzy and faint, headaches, sore breasts and tingly nipples, fatigue, craving or disliking foods, mood swings, changes in your sense of smell, nausea and sickness, loss of appetite, and more frequent urination. Our handy graphic below illustrates the variety of pregnancy symptoms that you may experience all over the body.
Don't forget that the most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. If your period is late, do a pregnancy test.
Q. Will I definitely experience these symptoms?
A. Most women will experience some symptoms in early pregnancy due to the hormonal changes taking place in their body. In fact, 7 in 10 women experience nausea or vomiting (or both) during pregnancy. Thankfully many of these pass, especially morning sickness, by the end of the first trimester or early in the second trimester.
Q. I'm pregnant, but I have no symptoms. Should I be worried?
A. It's normal for some women to experience few or no symptoms in early pregnancy, even though hormones are flooding the body and changes are underway. This is nothing to worry about - you are just as pregnant as a woman who has nausea and morning sickness. You may simply be less sensitive to the hormonal changes that are taking place.
Q. Do I need to do anything differently if I have no pregnancy symptoms?
A. Even though you may not feel the tiredness associated with early pregnancy, be sure to rest and take good care of yourself.
Q. I'm pregnant with twins. Will this affect the symptoms I get?
A. Twin pregnancies can bring additional nausea and sickness. While it doesn't happen for every expectant mom of twins, there is an increased risk of nausea and sickness due to the higher hCG levels in a twin, or other multiple pregnancy.
There are also higher levels of the hormone progesterone with twins, which can cause shortness of breath. In later pregnancy, carrying multiple babies can lead to more fatigue, constipation, heartburn, and back pain for mom-to-be. If you're carrying twins or multiple babies, be prepared for the tiredness that can come with these symptoms.
Q. Are there any pregnancy symptoms I should be concerned about?
A. Concerning symptoms are not common in early pregnancy, however you should seek medical advice if you have any of the following symptoms:
• Vaginal bleeding: Light spotting is common but you must report it to your doctor or midwife. Heavy bleeding, especially if you have stomach cramps, can be a sign of a threatening miscarriage. Bleeding and lower abdominal pain can also signal an ectopic pregnancy.
• Severe vomiting: Morning sickness is common, but seek advice if you are vomiting to the point of dehydration and can't keep any fluids down for more than 12 hours.
• A fever: You may have an infection.
• Vaginal discharge and itching: This may mean that you have an infection such as yeast. It can be treated to offer relief from the symptoms.
• A burning sensation when you urinate: This can be the sign of a urinary-tract infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.
• Leg or calf pain, swelling on one side, and/or severe headache: These are signs of a blood clot. These are more likely to happen in pregnancy, however they are rare.
• A flare-up of an existing medical condition: Let your doctor know of any symptoms that you have experienced since being pregnant.
The Pregnancy Encyclopedia has the answers to all your pregnancy questions, including the ones you haven't even thought of yet. From early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness to having a baby and breastfeeding, this book covers everything that you need to know, and is packed with expert advice on every topic, from trying for a baby right through to caring for your newborn, and everything in between.