I’ve had a positive pregnancy test, so now I’m just waiting for the symptoms. When will nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation and fatigue show up?
It turns out that every woman is different, says Marra Francis, a gynecologist in The Woodlands, Texas, and author of the Mommy MD guide. Some may not experience the typical signs of early pregnancy, while others may feel immediate changes in their bodies. And you can’t use your previous pregnancies as a guide. Symptoms may appear at different times in each pregnancy,” adds Dr Francis.
As a basic guide, we’ve compiled a list of nine common symptoms in early pregnancy and when they usually start. However, these symptoms are only a guide, and you should consult your doctor if you are in any doubt.
Due to increased estrogen and progesterone, the breasts may become sore, tender or sensitive in the early stages of pregnancy. This symptom usually begins one to two weeks after conception and may also appear before menstruation.
Petechiae and cramping
When a fertilized egg settles in the endometrium, some women experience tingling and pain. Fine spotting may also last a day or more. These signs of implantation appear 6 to 12 days after fertilization, but many women confuse them with premenstrual syndrome.
Fatigue may occur as progesterone levels rise and the body tries to maintain the pregnancy. Loss of energy may occur as early as the first week of pregnancy. It disappears mid-pregnancy but reappears just before delivery.
Fatigue may be one of the causes of mood swings that begin around the fifth week of pregnancy. Unfortunately, feelings of instability often continue in early pregnancy.
Do you feel like your pants are squeezing tighter than normal? The swelling that occurs shortly after conception is due to pregnancy hormones. Early pregnancy bloating is often reminiscent of PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
Eighty-five per cent of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. Food aversions and a heightened sense of smell can worsen symptoms, but small meals and other home remedies can help. Morning sickness begins between the sixth and eighth week of pregnancy, peaks around the eighth or ninth week and usually disappears by the sixteenth week.
During the first four to six weeks of pregnancy, some women have a strong urge to urinate more frequently. This is due to the pregnancy hormone hCG, the growing uterus and the extra blood supply. This symptom usually recurs in mid-pregnancy as the baby pushes on the uterus.
Increased blood volume can cause severe tension headaches during pregnancy. Staying hydrated can help reduce these headache symptoms.
Pregnancy hormones can slow down the digestive tract and cause constipation around the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Hydration, fibre intake and regular exercise can help relieve constipation.