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The tell tale signs of pregnancy

For some women, they know as soon as they get pregnant, for others it may come as a surprise when they miss a period.

Our body does have some weird and wonderful ways to let us know when we’re expecting, largely due to the sudden influx of hormones. Whilst some symptoms on their own may not necessarily mean pregnancy, others may be a sure giveaway. Here are our ten top clues and hints.

1. Changes in your breasts
Your breasts may feel different immediately if you are pregnant, even just a week or so after conception, and this is due to pregnancy hormones increasing the blood supply. Some women notice that their nipples are more sensitive or that their breasts feel fuller, heavier and may ache a little, or have a tingling sensation.

2. Feeling sick
Sickness or nausea is well known as a common early sign of pregnancy that normally starts when you’re about six weeks, though can be as early as four. You may feel sick and queasy, or actually vomit. Remember, despite the name ''morning sickness'', it can affect you at any time of day or night.

3. Feeling tired and / or emotional
More exhausted than normal? This is most noticeable during the first three months and is caused by your body having to adapt to rapidly changing hormone levels and sleep disturbance. Whilst it often eases in the second trimester it can return in the last as your body prepares for labour. Pregnancy hormones can also be the reason you feel more upset and emotional.

4. Changes in taste experience
Many women have said that they found out they were pregnant due to a change in their taste buds, going off ‘favourite’ foods and suddenly experiencing cravings for otherwise ignored choices. Some have a strange taste in their mouth commonly described as ‘metallic,’ which can be linked to nausea.

5. Stronger sense of smell
A clear sign of pregnancy is a sudden sensitivity to certain smells occurring that you may previously never have noticed. This can be anything from food and cooking to petrol and smoking smells.

6. Headaches and Migraines
If you normally experience headaches and migraines these can go either way in early pregnancy, some women feel much better and some experience much worse symptoms. Like most early signs, the changes in frequency are due to hormone fluctuation, but it’s important to keep a note here, as severe symptoms can be a sign of dehydration.

7. Missed period
For some women, who have always had regular periods, one missed is a sure sign of pregnancy. However, it is worth noting that sometimes, periods can be irregular or missed for other reasons too, including weight loss, stress and coming off the pill, so it’s always best to do the test!

8. Needing to wee – all the time
Again, those pesky hormones together with a larger volume of blood in your system will be making your kidneys work extra hard and hence you may start visiting the loo much more often, usually from about six weeks and throughout the first trimester, again to return when the baby is bigger and pressing on your bladder.

9. Changes in skin
In early pregnancy, skin can become drier, especially in the winter months and can also be prone to an outbreak of spots thanks to hormones! However, for some women, they do report better skin, thicker hair and even stronger nails.

10. The pregnancy test
Of course, the sure sign you need, whether you’re feeling some, all or none of the symptoms outlined is the pregnancy test. The most reliable results are gained on the first day of a missed period (if you are regular). If a positive sign as per the test directions features in the test window, you’re probably expecting, and it’s time to start listening to your body and probably a good idea to contact your doctor.

How did you find out you were pregnant? We’d love to share in your experiences.

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Whilst we welcome feedback on this blog, we will not tolerate any abuse or misuse. Please respect the views and feelings of others. The content and advice offered is based on general recommendations and health-care professional suggestions and is designed to be used as a guide and discussion piece. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health-care / medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care professional.

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