When you first suspect you might be pregnant (or if you’re hoping you are), all of a sudden you become hyper vigilant for any early signs of pregnancy.
Some women may experience a range of early pregnancy symptoms, quite soon after finding out they’re 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.
However, if you think you might be pregnant, read on to find out the most common early signs of pregnancy.
6 Early Signs of Pregnancy
Many women will first realise they are pregnant with a trademark missed period or food aversions.
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 cycle.
According to a study, 50% 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%.
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.
Very early signs of pregnancy can occur in the weeks after conception.
Conception is assumed to have occurred on day 14, which at the end of the second week of pregnancy.
So, what are the early signs of pregnancy?
Here is a list of the most common early pregnancy symptoms. you might be able to identify before a pregnancy test.
#1 Early Signs of Pregnancy: Mood Swings
This is one of those early signs of pregnancy that might take you by surprise.
I’ve totally got to share my story with you, in the hope it might make someone else feel better.
The day I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant with my first baby, things didn’t go exactly as expected.
I ended up having a huge meltdown at work soon after the day began – during a team meeting.
I dramatically spoke my mind about the ridiculous amount of pressure we were under to bring in more sales.
Then I burst into tears, quit my job, and stormed out of the building!
It was dramatic and outrageous – and totally not me.
I had no idea what had come over me, but I couldn’t hold back.
The anger just launched out of me!
To cheer myself up, I decided to go and buy myself something nice for lunch, only to have a yelling match with a woman in the car park.
We were loudly arguing over a parking space – I was sure I was there first!
What the heck was wrong with me?!
My Partner Knew I Was Pregnant Before I Was!
I rang my partner to let him know I quit my job and was having an awful day.
He told me to come and see him for lunch.
Surely it would calm me down, right?
When I arrived at my partner’s workplace, he hopped into the car and got straight with me.
“Do you think you might be pregnant?”
Insert Twilight Zone music… 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?
Spoiler alert… I was.
Discovering 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, exciting and fluffy moment where I jumped up and down, while crying happy tears because I’d planned this for so long!
The earliest sign of pregnancy for me was losing my s*** at everyone. Oops!
Looking at the results of the BellyBelly forum poll, it seems I wasn’t the only one.
Thank goodness too, because for a while there, I thought I was being a little bit ‘special’!
I was just a little bit pregnant instead!
The second earliest sign of pregnancy was a pregnancy test.
But according to my doctor, I had another early sign of pregnancy I didn’t even notice – a few acne spots around my chin!
#2 Early Signs of Pregnancy: 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.
#3 Early Signs of Pregnancy: Fatigue
We’re talking hangover-like fatigue!
Some women experience overwhelming fatigue early on.
Everything will seem like it requires more effort than usual.
That’s because there is lots of effort going on inside of you!
#4 Early Signs of Pregnancy: Tender Breasts / Swelling
This early sign of pregnancy can be sneaky, because it’s also something some women experience before they get their period.
However, it’s a commonly reported early sign of pregnancy.
In fact, according to BellyBelly’s poll, this was the number one, earliest sign of pregnancy.
Some women find their nipples become ultra sensitive, and even the sensation of brushing against clothing can be irritating.
Other women find their breasts feel swollen and full in early pregnancy.
There are actually many changes to your breasts during pregnancy.
You can read about 7 of them in our article about breast changes during pregnancy.
#5 Early Signs of Pregnancy: Discharge
Very early on in the pregnancy, there’s an increase in the hormone called progesterone.
It’s responsible for many pregnancy side effects and symptoms.
Increased white vaginal discharge is one of them.
#6 Early Signs of Pregnancy: Cramping
Sounds a bit like not being pregnant and getting your period, doesn’t it?!
Breast tenderness, mood swings, cramping…
Rest assured, mild or light cramping is an early sign of pregnancy.
These early pregnancy cramps should feel like mild period pain.
The reason you experience this is because your uterus is growing and stretching already!
So this is likely why you feel a little crampy.
Definitely don’t ignore this symptom if you have a history of miscarriage.
See your healthcare provider as soon as possible if the cramping is accompanied with blood loss.
If you’re concerned about miscarriage, you can read our article about early signs of miscarriage.
Want To Know 10 More Pregnancy Symptoms?
So, six early signs of pregnancy aren’t enough?!
For a more detailed description of 16 signs and symptoms of pregnancy, check out our article outlining 16 symptoms.
You’ll find pregnancy signs that you might expect a little later, for example food cravings and frequent urination.
What were your early signs of pregnancy? Feel free to share in the comments section below.