Missed your period? Nausea? Appetite down to a low? These are some of the feelings of being pregnant! If you’re going through all or some of these, you could very well be on your way to the land of pregnancy. This week, we take a look at the symptoms that might just let you know if you’ve got one in the oven.
Signs of pregnancy: #1 Irregular periods
Having irregular periods could just be a start to being pregnant. Many women still have a light bleeding in their first month of pregnancy. If you’re having irregular periods or no period at all, dust off those pregnancy kits and check!
Signs of pregnancy: #2 Exhaustion & Nausea
You’ve slept your fair share of 8 hours and even packed in a few more hours but still feel like you ran to save your life from a pack of wolves? Exhaustion mixed with fatigue will begin to plague your life. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar. In high enough doses, progesterone can put you to sleep. At the same time, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and increased blood production may team up to sap your energy.
Signs of pregnancy: #3 Mood Swings
Snapping at everything? Feeling blue? Feel like you want to hug every single person in the world and then later, spit them out? Hello, mood swings! The rush of hormones, during your early pregnancy, in your body, can make you emotional and teary.
This is extremely common in the first trimester. “I would wake up and scream at my husband unreasonably and then go back under the covers. I was 2 months along then but I had no idea I was pregnant,” remembers Jacell Kwong, mother of 2.
Signs of pregnancy: #4 Tender Breasts
Know that feeling your breasts have just before your period? Tender to touch and temperature? Well if you’re having that again then you might just be pregnant. The pain will subside when your body adjusts to the hormonal changes.
A rough estimate of around 2 weeks after conception, your breasts could either feel tender and sore or fuller and heavier. However, parenting author, Teresa Pitman has noted, “that not all women experience these changes, especially if they have been on birth control pills.”
Signs of pregnancy: #5 Food Cravings
Thinking of how lovely a bowl of Teochew porridge would taste in your mouth? Or do you wish you could just get your hands on a nice plump green mango? Ah, food cravings aren’t just for those in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
Hormonal changes in the 1st trimester can chalk up cravings but don’t use them solely as a confirmation that you are pregnant.
Signs of pregnancy: #6 Slight Bleeding / Spotting
Certain women may experience a small amount of spotting or even bleeding at the beginning of their pregnancy, around 2 weeks after conceiving. This is known as implantation bleeding and it occurs when the fertilised egg first attaches to the lining of the uterus.
The bleeding is usually lighter in colour than the usual period bleeding and does not last long. Many women also experience cramping very early in pregnancy as the uterus begins to enlarge. These cramps are similar to menstrual cramps.
Pregnancy Test Kit
If you’re only having one or two of the above mentioned signs, then it might be too easy to say you’re pregnant. But you can never go wrong with a pregnancy kit! Remember that tossed pregnancy kit that lied in the trash in the final episode of Season 6 of Friends that had everyone guessing who was pregnant? Well pregnancy kits have changed lives not only on T.V but in real life too. These tests are 99% accurate and are used internationally.
So you’ve heard about them but have no idea exactly what is being tested. Sure, we have heard the phrase , ‘pee on a stick’ but what exactly is being calculated to tell you that you have a ‘bun in the oven’? Well, during pregnancy, a hormone known as human chrionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is produced and released in the blood and can be traced in the urine. The pregnancy test kit looks out for hCG when you test yourself.
However, be warned. If you’re early in your pregnancy and the test is done too early, the test could come back negative. Test yourself again in a few days’ time. Moreover, blood tests are more accurate in tracing hCG and if you’re comfortable with the result on your stick, well the option for a blood test is always available.