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Pregnancy

Pregnancy Symptoms

Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC, Board Certified OB/GYN
January 3, 2019 . 2 min read

As soon as some women have a positive pregnancy test, they experience every symptom in the book. Others don’t feel a single twinge and wonder if something is wrong. Here’s a breakdown of what can be normal to experience, but remember: not having these symptoms can be okay, too.

The first clue you might be pregnant may be nausea, or if you are really unlucky, throwing up. Some women feel ill only once or twice, while others have more severe symptoms. Traditionally called “morning sickness,” it unfortunately does not limit itself to the morning! It is named this because symptoms are usually worse on an empty stomach, like when you first wake up. Morning sickness usually gets better after the first trimester.

Another common early pregnancy symptom is breast soreness or fullness. This is actually a great “problem” to have as it shows that your body is already preparing for breastfeeding. A new bra may be in order!

Some symptoms can be stressful, including light spotting and cramping. The good news is that many women notice these and go on to have completely normal, healthy pregnancies. They can be attributed to the pregnancy implanting and the uterus growing. Of course, if you notice any heavy bleeding or concerning abdominal pain, this is definitely a reason to see your doctor.

Bloating sometimes can make you look much further along than you actually are, and frequent urination can be hard to keep up with. These can both be blamed on pregnancy hormones. Try to maintain a healthy diet, wear comfortable clothing, and contact your provider if you notice any burning or discomfort when you urinate (this could be a sign of a bladder infection).

Finally, fatigue, mood swings, and food aversions may show up too. As for the fatigue, even though you might not be physically showing yet, growing a new baby takes a lot of work, so go easy on yourself!

Remember that being pregnant is different for everyone. Even if you know these symptoms can be normal, if they are worrying you, feel free to reach out to your midwife or doctor for reassurance.

Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, November 2018

Sources:

  • American Congress of Obstetricians/Gynecologists
  • FAQ #126: Morning sickness.
    The Mayo Clinic
  • First trimester pregnancy: what to expect.

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