Signs of Pregnancy

Watching for Signs of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when you will focus on your body in a way you never have before. It's important to learn to read the signs of pregnancy -those that indicate pregnancy, those that alert you to a problem, and those that assure you all is well.

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Your first concern will be whether or not you're pregnant. Some of these signs will appear quickly, while others take a little longer to show. Tender, swollen breasts are one of the first signs for many women, along with overwhelming fatigue and increased urination. Nausea or vomiting can show up at any time of day (though most typically in the early morning), and certain tastes and scents that never used to bother you may now be overwhelming.

A missed period is the sign most women associate with signs of pregnancy - but if your periods are irregular or you haven't been keeping track, you might be a few weeks pregnant before you realize something is happening. Of course, all these symptoms can have other causes, so be sure to call your doctor as soon as you suspect pregnancy.

During your pregnancy your body will undergo an amazing number of changes. Pregnancy affects every system, so it's not unusual to realize that suddenly your skin is breaking out, you're having a lot more gas, and your nose is constantly stuffed up. These symptoms are simply side effects of the way your body changes to create the ideal growing environment for your baby.

There are some symptoms that indicate a problem - though not always. Vaginal bleeding can be frightening, and should always be reported to your doctor. But remember that many women will experience some light bleeding or spotting when the fertilized egg is implanting into the uterine lining - a process that happens close to the time you'd expect your period. And some spotting, especially in the first trimester, is not unusual. But always check with your medical practitioner, especially if bleeding becomes heavy or is accompanied by pain. It could be a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

Mild aches and pains are common signs of pregnancy. Some, such as backache or leg cramps, can be strong at times. But in general, any pain - particularly abdominal or back pain - should be reported to your doctor. In pregnancy, it's always better to be safe than sorry.


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