When you first suspect you may be pregnant (or if are hoping you are), all of a sudden you become hyper vigilant for any early signs of pregnancy.
Some women may experience a range of pregnancy symptoms quite soon after finding out they are pregnant.
Others may have a healthy pregnancy with nothing much more than a missed period and a few aches and pains.
Some women may experience light bleeding or even continue to have a ‘period’ their whole pregnancy — all without harm to the baby.
Of course, all bleeding during pregnancy should be mentioned to your midwife or doctor.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
Many women will first realise they are pregnant with a trademark missed period.
At this stage, they will already be in week 4 of pregnancy — even though they are only technically pregnant for two of those. This is because the baby's estimated due date is calculated based on day one of a woman's menstrual period.
According to a study, 50 percent of participants began experiencing pregnancy symptoms by day 36 after their last period. By the end of the eighth week, this figure increased to 89 percent. The study also reported that women who smoked were more likely to have a delayed onset of pregnancy symptoms.
However, some little hidden clues — which you may not realise at the time — can become clear as soon as that positive pregnancy test is on the table.
To get a better idea of the early signs of pregnancy BellyBelly's forum users first noticed, I created a poll. You can see the results and comments here. If you’re a registered forum member, you can vote on what your very first pregnancy symptom was too.
Here are the most common early pregnancy symptoms you might be able to identify before a pregnancy test.
Early Sign #1: Mood Swings
When I found out I was pregnant with my first, it was a complete surprise — and a wonderful one at that! But the day I found out didn't go exactly as you'd expect.
I thought I was just having a bad really day. I had a huge meltdown at work and couldn't hold back speaking my mind during a team meeting – before subsequently quitting my job! It was outrageous – and totally not me. I had no idea what had come over me, but I couldn't hold back.
To cheer myself up, I decided to go and buy myself something nice for lunch, only to have a yelling match with someone in the car park. We were arguing over a parking space — I was sure I was there first. And it wasn’t even halfway through the day yet! I rang my partner to let off some steam, who told me to come and see him for lunch. So I decided to go and see him — surely it would calm me down. What the heck was wrong with me?!
When I got to my partner's workplace, he hopped into the car and soon confronted me with: “Do you think you might be pregnant?”
My life was flashing before my eyes. I was oblivious, and it completely hit me for six. Could it even be possible that I'm pregnant?
For me, finding out I was pregnant wasn’t associated with a missed period or morning sickness (as the movies tend to lead us to believe). Nor was it the lovely, excited fluffy moment where you all jump up and down and cry happy tears because you've planned it for so long! But it wasn't long and I couldn't wait to meet my firstborn daughter.
Things went the same kind of way when I was pregnant with my second daughter — but this time I was a little wiser and figured out why I was having emotional outbursts.
Seeing the results of the BellyBelly forum poll, I wasn’t the only one who discovered the underlying reason for being super emotional was due to pregnancy. Thank goodness for that too, because for a while there, I thought I was being a little bit ‘special’! I was just a little bit pregnant instead!
Early Sign #2: Implantation Bleeding
As soon as six days after conception or soon after, pregnant women may experience implantation bleeding and even a little cramping. When the fertilised egg imbeds into the uterine lining, it can cause a little spotting. As it gets closer to the expected period, any implantation bleeding may be mistaken for a light or odd period.
Early Sign #3: Fatigue
We're talking hangover-like fatigue! Some women experience incredible fatigue early on. It can be really hard to put a finger on why you're so tired, but everything seems like an extra effort. That's because there is lots of effort going on inside of you!
Early Sign #4: Breast Tenderness / Swelling
This early sign of pregnancy can be sneaky, because it's also something some women experience before they get their period.
However, it is a commonly reported early sign of pregnancy.
Early Sign #5: Vaginal Discharge
Very early on in the pregnancy, there is an increase in the hormone progesterone. It's responsible for many pregnancy side effects and symptoms, with increased white vaginal discharge being one of them.
Read About More Pregnancy Symptoms
For a more detailed description of 16 signs and symptoms of early pregnancy, check out our article outlining 16 pregnancy symptoms.
What were your early signs of pregnancy? Feel free to share in the comments section below.