A woman’s body will go through hundreds of changes throughout the duration of her pregnancy. A developing fetus needs nothing short of the perfect conditions to grow properly, and lots of nutrients too. A woman’s body provides all of this. Though, in order to support the life of her baby as well as herself, she must go through some adjustments to properly adapt. Her blood production levels increase, especially right before childbirth, and her hormones pretty much go crazy. The uterus pressing down on the bladder due to the growing baby is the cause of all those frequent trips to the bathroom. And the physical changes? Well, those are pretty apparent.
While all these happen quite fast, the first two weeks alone bring on their own onslaught of modifications. Usually, in this time period, a woman will not even know that she is carrying a child. There are many signs and symptoms that appear, however, that can alert her to what’s happening inside her body. No major physical alterations are apparent, but this is the key time where her body scrambles to make everything right and ready for the growing baby. From weird cravings to strange aversions, here are 15 weird AF things that happen in the first two weeks of pregnancy.
15 The Body Gets Hot Hot Hot!
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body will begin to increase the amount of blood created to compensate for her baby’s needs. While this increase begins immediately, it’s most noticeable after 6 weeks. In the uterine artery, the average female will have approximately 100ml of blood flow per minute. At two weeks, there is an increase of about 10.5ml.
As the blood flow is increased, women tend to feel warmer, and sweat more than usual with no strenuous activity prompting it. Studies have shown that a woman can have up to 50% more blood by the end of her pregnancy. More blood flow also means a higher metabolism rate, up to 20%, which also contributes to a raised temperature. A woman’s basal temperature can raise by an entire 1.44 degrees F.
14 Questionable Discharge
Even in women who aren’t pregnant, discharge is perfectly normal and a very common occurrence. After a woman becomes pregnant, there will be a noticeable increase in the milky, usually odorless substance. The scientific name for this discharge is Leukorrhea. It’s composed of secretions from the cervix and surrounding areas, as well as old cells and healthy bacteria from the vaginal walls.
The increase in leukorrhea is caused by a few things. The main reason is that the body has more estrogen and other hormones, which causes the body to produce more discharged. The increase in blood flow in the vaginal area is also a factor as to why the body is producing more discharge, and the fact that the body just produces more mucus like substance in preparation for the baby.
13 The 'Girls' Take Over
As soon as an egg becomes fertilized, a woman’s body instantly knows that it must start preparing to support another life. Though milk usually does not start being produced until around 16 weeks, breasts will already start changing to make room for milk. This results in swelling, which usually causes some tenderness or even soreness. Old bras may no longer be comfortable, and chafing will be off the charts frustrating. Many companies have manufactured special bras to accommodate the changing breasts.
Though in the first few weeks no milk will be produced, some clear fluid leakage may occur as the passages where milk flow through open to ready themselves for when it does come. The breasts may be tender to the touch, though this should fade as the body gets used to the swelling. It may not fade completely until after milk production comes to a halt.
12 A Period That Isn't A Period
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is known as implantation bleeding, which is light spotting or bleeding, sometimes accompanied by cramping. Implantation bleeding usually occurs within 6-12 days after conception and can range from light pink in color to a dark brown. This light spotting should not be confused with a regular period. There will be exponentially less blood than a normal period, and the cramping, if there is any, will only be mild.
Many women do not experience implantation bleeding after they get pregnant, and the symptoms vary from person to person. Don’t worry if no implantation bleeding occurs, as it’s perfectly normal to experience both a lot, or none. Each pregnancy is different, and no implantation bleeding is absolutely not necessarily an indication that conception was not at all successful.
11 Suddenly Aflutter
During the early stages of pregnancy, dizziness and lightheadedness may occur as the body gets used to all the changes going on. Sometimes this may lead to fainting, which is a condition known as syncope. Back in the day, a woman who frequently faints was a surprisingly accurate, though unsophisticated, method of determining if a woman was pregnant. Dizziness and lightheadedness is another symptom of the increase in blood flow.
The blood vessels around the head frequently dilate and contract, causing the feeling of dizziness. The sudden increase in hormones can also cause these symptoms, and occasionally it’s caused because a woman just doesn’t eat enough. Women who are afraid of morning sickness sometimes just don’t eat as much because they have an aversion to throwing up. It’s a surprisingly common condition, though aside from emetophobia, which is the fear of vomiting, it had no medical name.
10 Things Get Very Barry White
A not widely discussed early sign of pregnancy is the change in a woman’s sex drive. There’s almost always a change, though it’s usually either negative or positive. Some women feel completely turned off, while others experience the exact opposite. The increased blood flow to the breasts and genitals can increase sensitivity and sexual arousal, but on the other hand, most women are experiencing nausea, morning sickness, headaches and dizziness, pushing sex to the back of their minds.
The extra hormones may put women in the mood for cuddling and affection, rather than physical intercourse. But not having to worry about conception anymore - because hey, already pregnant! - brings with is a sense of freedom and an adventurous mood. Some women prefer to not have sex for the entire duration of pregnancy because they find it awkward to be participating in such an intimate act with a child inside of them.
9 An Itchy Foreshadowing
Feeling itchy, especially around areas of skin prone to stretching, such as the stomach and breasts, is not an uncommon symptom of pregnancy. Though the stretching and swelling skin is a plausible cause, the extra hormones can also be to blame. Many conditions can cause itchy rashes during pregnancy, though their symptoms are essentially all the same, and they pose no health risk.
Itching and rashes can get extremely irritating, especially since they pretty much last the entire duration of the pregnancy. Pre-existing skin conditions such as severe dry skin or eczema can be exacerbated by pregnancy, worsening the symptoms of itchiness and rashes. Although, some women claim to experience the opposite, saying that their symptoms actually improve with pregnancy. Though there are certain conditions unique to pregnancy that cause all the itchiness, taking good care of the skin can help prevent or ease it.
8 Things Become Imbalanced
Vaginal yeast infections are very common, and most women will get at least one in their lifetime. A vaginal yeast infection causes inflammation of the vaginal area, accompanied by extreme itching and a thick, white discharge. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to getting yeast infections, and with all the changes already happening in a woman's body, an annoying yeast infection is the last thing she wants.
Yeast infections are caused by the healthy bacteria candida albicans. The bacteria in the vagina has a very delicate balance, and disrupting that balance can cause some problems. The increase in estrogen that comes with pregnancy can cause candida albicans to overproduce, causing a yeast infection. The excess of moisture due to the extra discharge also makes a good environment for bacteria to grow, which can lead to a yeast infection as well.
7 Gag Reflex, But Not At Food
Many women report their gag reflex being extremely overly sensitive, even to things as simple as brushing their teeth. This can happen as early as the first week after conception or develop as late as the third trimester. The sensation of something in the back of the throat triggers the gag reflex and occasionally even causes a bout of morning sickness. The scent of strong minty toothpaste can also set off morning sickness, and it’s recommended to use a mild scented tooth cleaner for women who’s morning sickness is easily triggered.
Bleeding and sensitive gums may also occur while brushing teeth. The extra blood in circulation along with extra hormones affecting the mucous membranes and connective tissues causes many women to suffer from sensitive gums that are prone to bleeding. While it can be slightly painful and annoying, it won’t cause any permanent damage or indicate a more severe complication.
6 Wild Dreams
Pregnancy dreams are like hallucinations on steroids. They’re crazy realistic, and usually they have a common theme of a woman being unprepared or scared about a certain event. This event has nothing to do with the actual pregnancy, but the unpreparedness usually represents a woman’s fear about childbirth. Not all women dream about things like this, but pregnancy always brings on crazy dreaming.
The dreams are caused by the extra hormones, affecting a woman’s brain even while she is asleep. Women are more likely to have vivid dreams while she is pregnant than any other time in her life. She is also much more likely to accurately recall her dreams while she is pregnant, making it appear as though she is dreaming more than usual. Many people have published books deciphering the hidden meaning in these crazy dreams.
5 New Flavors
Another common early pregnancy sign is a bitter metallic taste in the mouth that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what preventative measures are taken. This is a condition known as dysgeusia. The taste is not unlike that of sucking on coins, or drinking water that has been sitting in a metal container for a while. Luckily, like morning sickness, this condition should ease or disappear completely by the second trimester of pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones are to blame for dysgeusia, specifically estrogen. Estrogen plays a role in moderating and controlling a woman’s sense of taste, and smell, which is closely linked to taste, and the fluctuation of estrogen during pregnancy can cause the sour taste in the mouth. Eating acidic foods such as citrus fruits, vinegars or pickles can help get rid of the taste.
4 It's A Love-Hate Relationship
Aversions to previously favorite foods are not uncommon during the early stages of pregnancy. And, no surprise here, hormones are once again to blame. The same hormone that caused the pregnancy test to read positive, human chorionic gonadotropin, increases rapidly every two days until it tapers off around week 11. This hormone is the cause of all those weird cravings, but also the aversions, nausea, and morning sickness. A woman may also be turned off to certain foods because it triggers her morning sickness, making her no longer wish to eat it.
This same hormone is the cause of sensitivity to smells. A variety of specific smells can set off morning sickness, or cause nausea and headaches. Many strong scents, especially those from chemicals, like perfume and lotion, or strong scents that smell bad, can set off another round of morning sickness.
3 Every Woman's Worst Fear - The Pimple
Even for people who don’t normally get acne all the way back to their teenage years, the imbalance and increased hormones can cause even perfect-skinned women to break out. Usually, it’ll only be the cause of a few pimples here and there that will taper off as the second trimester begins, but occasionally it can be the cause of a full blown teenage-pizza-face acne attack. Thankfully, excessive acne will also subside as the hormone levels reach a plateau and level off.
It’s important not to pick at acne or pop any pimples. As tempting and satisfying as it may be, it can cause permanent acne scars, and popping pimples may spread around the bacteria, leading to even more unsightly pimples. Acne creams and washes can be helpful, but they are not necessary as the acne will go away on its own.
2 Random Hiccups
There is nothing more annoying than trying to sleep, and right when that brink of sleep comes… Hiccup! Hiccup! There goes another restful night. And women should be getting as many of those as possible before the complications of the second and third trimester make it nearly impossible to get any sleep. Though experts agree that frequent hiccups are not an indication that a woman is pregnant, somebody carrying a child is more likely to get hiccups.
A pregnant woman’s oxygen intake is a surprising 20-30% higher than a woman who isn’t pregnant. Taking in all the extra oxygen frequently causes hiccups. The extra oxygen is necessary for a woman’s changing body to function properly, but constantly downing glasses of water in efforts to make it stop gets pretty irritating.
1 Classic Pregnancy Brain
Even the smartest women are prone to become forgetful during pregnancy. This is a common phenomena, often nicknamed “baby brain” or “pregnancy brain”. The popular TV show ‘How I Met Your Mother’ has a funny example of this, as main character Lily’s “pregnancy brain” causes her to put ice cubes in her purse and her keys in the fridge.
During early pregnancy, forgetfulness is usually caused because a woman is going through frequent headaches, nausea, bouts of morning sickness, and fatigue. All this causes her to not be a sharp as usual, and just become plain forgetful with so much baby stuff on her mind. Forgetfulness is late pregnancy is actually caused by a physical change in a woman’s brain, as pregnancy literally causes the overall brain to shrink. And no, that does not mean she has gotten dumber.
Sources: BabyCenter.co.uk, KidSpot.com.au, Healthline.com