If you’re trying to conceive it’s important to know the early signs of pregnancy. The sooner you realize you’re pregnant, the better you can begin taking care of yourself and your baby. During the 40 weeks you carry your baby you won’t actually be pregnant for the first two; doctors just begin the count after your last period since it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the moment of conception. So conception doesn’t actually occur until the third week.
You’re likely to begin experiencing symptoms around the fourth, fifth and sixth weeks of your pregnancy. Every woman is different, so we don’t have all pregnancy symptoms listed but here are some early signs that can alert you to the fact your life is about to change.
- Missed Period
Once conception occurs you’ll miss your period. In fact, breastfeeding mothers often report their period doesn’t return as long as the baby is regularly nursing. Although some women may experience light bleeding in place of their period, most women experience the total absence of their menstrual cycle.
- Extreme Fatigue
It’s likely that once you’re home after work you’ll be ready to kick off your shoes and crawl directly into bed. This is completely normal; your body is working overtime to create another life—and it will take resources from you to do it. If you suddenly feel exhausted a lot it may be time to take a home test.
- Morning Sickness
Pregnancy-related nausea should be more aptly named Anytime Sickness as you’re likely to experience it during any time of the day. Before the invention of the home pregnancy test, nausea is the most reliable of all pregnancy symptoms. If you’re otherwise feeling fine (with the exception experiencing fatigue), but are suddenly running for the closest bathroom, your body may be trying to tell you something.
- Food Peculiarities
In the early stages of pregnancy you may experience intense food cravings or food aversions. You may wake up and find that you really want a chicken taco with guacamole. On the other hand, your regular lunch order may suddenly make you feel as though you’ll vomit if you eat it. While science speculates that cravings occur as your body’s way of gaining certain nutrients it needs as your baby develops, no one is quite sure why food aversions happen.
- Sudden Mood Shifts
The hormone levels in your body are constantly changing as your baby grows; having two people in one body can be challenging. Sudden mood shifts are often an early sign of pregnancy. And while some women only experience mood swings during the first trimester, others experience them for the entire nine months.
Although every pregnancy is different, a combination of any or all of these five events exists as a reliable indicator you’re pregnant. Blood and urine tests may be more accurate, but these early signs of pregnancy have alerted women to their new statuses as mamas-to-be for centuries. It’s important that if you’re trying to conceive that you begin taking folic acid for at least two or three months prior to conception; folic acid drastically reduces the risk of serious neural tube defects such as spina bifida. So if you find yourself experiencing these early indicators, sit down, toast yourself with a glass of sparkling juice, and get ready: you’re going to be a mama!