What are the early signs of pregnancy?

While pregnancy tests can offer definitive answers, you may feel some early pregnancy symptoms before you even pass the pregnancy test and know for sure you’ve got a baby on board.

Many of the pregnancy symptoms are similar to symptoms you have right before your period, so it may be hard to tell the difference. Here are a few telltale early pregnancy symptoms you could be experiencing which may reveal you’re expecting:

Missed Period
A missed period is one early pregnancy symptom that all expectant Mums experience! It might be stating the obvious, but even if you’re periods run like clockwork, you’ll probably suspect pregnancy when you’ve missed a period.

Some women will experience implantation bleeding, which may be mistaken for your last menstraul period. You may not realise you’ve missed your period, at least not at first. Implantation bleeding occurs with up to 30% new Mums, it’s an early pregnancy symptom signalling that the embryo has implanted itself in the uterine wall, which may accompany with menstrual-like cramps.


Early pregnancy bloating is hard to distinguish from pre-period bloating, but it’s an early symptom many women feel soon after they conceive.

The hormone progesterone helps slow down your digestion, giving the nutrients from the foods you eat more time to enter your bloodstream and reach your baby. So, although you can’t blame the baby quite yet for the bloating, you can blame the hormones.

Unfortunately, bloating can often be accompanied by constipation. Getting the right amount of fibre in your diet can help keep you regular.

Breast Changes

Tender, swollen breasts and darkening, bumpy areolas are among the breast changes you might experience early in pregnancy. The breast tenderness is part of your body's preparation for the milk-making to come.

Your areolas (the circles around your nipples) may get darker and increase in diameter. You'll also likely start to notice tiny bumps growing in size and number on your areolas. These bumps, called Montgomery's tubercles, were always there, but now they're gearing up to produce more oils that lubricate your nipples once baby starts nursing.


During pregnancy, a huge amount of energy goes into building a placenta. It’s hard work, which is why fatigue is an early pregnancy symptom, and you may not have your usual get-up-and-go energy because you are creating a support system for your baby.

Morning Sickness or Nausea

Common signs and symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting, often triggered by certain odors, spicy foods, heat, excess salivation or — often times — no triggers at all. Morning sickness is most common during the first trimester and usually begins by nine weeks after conception.

Food Aversions
Your extra sense of smell may be responsible for another early sign of pregnancy. Maybe the thought, sight or smell of certain foods which you normally like can turn your stomach or be a contributor to morning sickness.
Though this may not be one of the very early signs of pregnancy, it does tend to pop up in the first trimester. Your body is adjusting to all the hormonal changes, but don’t worry — by the second trimester these early symptoms often pass when things have settled down in there.

Mood Swings

As early as 4 weeks into your pregnancy, you may experience PMs-style moodiness, you could be up one minute and anxious or down the next, which you may experience late in the first trimester and often throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

Aside from pregnancy hormones, your life is about to change in a big way, so it’s completely normal to feel anxious or down. 

How soon can you get pregnancy symptoms?

Very early pregnancy symptoms (like sensitivity to smell and tender breasts) may show up before you miss your period, as soon as a few days after conception, while other early signs of pregnancy (like spotting) might appear around one week after sperm meets egg. Still others often appear about two weeks or so following conception.

That said, early pregnancy symptoms crop up at different times in different women. Some experience very few (if any) of these signs until several weeks into their pregnancies.

Though many women never feel any early pregnancy symptoms, others suffer from them all. If you've missed your period and are experiencing fatigue, morning sickness, spotting and tender breasts, you may just want to grab yourself a home pregnancy test — and then drop by the doctor’s for a blood test to confirm it.

No matter what symptoms you're having, the only way to know for sure that you're pregnant is to make an appointment with your GP.

If you are expecting a baby, congratulations! You're embarking on the journey of a lifetime.

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