Most people assume the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. While this might be the case in the majority of circumstances, it isn't necessarily the first sign. In fact, a fair number of women continue to have periods for a couple of months into the pregnancy-or at least enough bleeding through that they think they are having a period.
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There are often other early signs of pregnancy besides missing a period. Breast tenderness is quite common. The hormones flowing through your body during pregnancy have many functions, one of which is to prepare the breasts to nourish the new baby. Early on in pregnancy, these hormonal changes can cause the breasts to feel tender and sore. You might also notice other changes in your breasts, such as the dark area around your nipples-called the areola-getting darker or having little bumps. You might see more obvious blood veins in your breasts. Also, your breasts might begin to increase in size.
Some women get morning sickness early in pregnancy, some even before they know they are pregnant. Morning sickness is really a misleading phrase, because it can occur any time of day or night, or even all day and night. Again, all the hormones flowing through the body bring about this annoying symptom. Not all women get morning sickness during pregnancy. Some get only mild queasiness. Some feel nauseous all day. In extreme cases, some women vomit so much they become dehydrated and weak. They need to be hospitalized in order to stay hydrated and protect the health of the mother and baby. If you are not able to hold down anything, see your doctor.
You might find yourself needing constant naps or feeling just zapped of energy. This is normal, and often an early sign that you are pregnant. The baby grows so fast during the first month or two that your body is using a lot of energy on the baby. There might not be much left for you. Listen to your body. Nap when you need to and keep your stress level to a minimum.
Just like other times when your hormones are fluctuating, such as before a period, you might find yourself moodier than usual. If you cry at the tiniest thing, and you have the other symptoms of pregnancy, give yourself a break and don't worry about your moods right now. Once your body adjusts to different levels of hormones as the pregnancy progresses, you should start to be more yourself.
If you think you are pregnant, even if you aren't sure, act as if you are. Don't drink, smoke, or do drugs. Take a pregnancy test as soon as you can and make an appointment to see your doctor. If you are on any medications, you will want to find out as early as you can whether they are safe to take during pregnancy.