Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Many of the symptoms of pregnancy vary from woman to woman. The most common early sign of pregnancy is missing your period but some women experience bleeding very early in pregnancy and some women continue to have their period throughout the various stages of pregnancy. Additionally, in early pregnancy many women experience uterine cramps which are very similar to menstrual cramps. So, do not let the presence or absence of your period be the only factor you consider.
Other typical symptoms of pregnancy include lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), fatigue, heartburn, tender and swollen breasts, constipation, food cravings or aversions to certain foods, moodiness, weight gain, frequent urination, and back pain.
You can be pregnant without ever experiencing the above signs or symptoms and you may have these signs but not be pregnant. If you believe you are pregnant you should take a pregnancy test and contact your health care provider.
How Can I Better Understand the Symptoms of Pregnancy?
Weight gain is a common early pregnancy sign. You may gain a significant amount of weight during your pregnancy and the weight gain often starts very early. Putting on weight slowly and steadily is best. Gaining too little or too much can be harmful to you and your baby. Gaining the right amount by eating a healthy, balanced diet is a good sign that your baby is getting all the nutrients needed and is growing at a healthy rate. The "right" amount of weight gain for you can be determined by you in consultation with your health care provider. Click here for information on eating and nutrition.
You may also have heartburn or find yourself needing to urinate more frequently. In fact, more than 50% of first time pregnant women and 85% of second time mothers develop bladder weakness. Additionally 50% of all pregnant women experience constipation.
Moodiness is another common symptom that accompanies pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes that affect the chemicals in your brain, you may experience heightened emotions. In the normal course of pregnancy, this moodiness occurs at around 6-10 weeks into the pregnancy, eases up during the second trimester, and then appears again in the later stages of pregnancy.
Back pain or back discomfort is present in approximately 50-75% of pregnant women. While lower back pain may be experienced during any point of your pregnancy, it is most common later in pregnancy as the weight of the baby increases.
For more detailed information please visit the link early signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Where Can I Find Additional Sources of Information?
As emphasized in a different section of this website, do not ignore the above symptoms. You should contact your health care provider or take a home pregnancy test. If you have these symptoms and are not pregnant, you should contact your health care provider to find the cause of the problem. If you are pregnant it is important for you and your baby to start prenatal care as soon as possible. For additional information on pregnancy, labor, delivery, and a whole range of pregnancy related issues visit the website PregnancyAndChildren and National Women's Health Information Center website.
If you are pregnant and don't know where to turn to actually start prenatal care or you don't know how you can afford it, call your local hospital and you can always contact us at Adoption Services (phone: 1(800)943-0400) so we can help you. Adoption Services is a fully licensed non-profit adoption agency that helps birth mothers living in any state in the U.S. The Agency can also help a U.S. citizen living in any foreign country. Adoption Services has helped over 9000 birth parents and families. We can make sure your child is placed with the perfect family, your rights are protected, and that you receive all the financial assistance and medical help as well as other types of help that the law allows. There is never any fee to you as a birth parent whether you work with our agency or decide to look elsewhere. Please visit the link "Ways we can help you".