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  • The Earliest Signs of Pregnancy

    Bloating, tender breasts, crazy emotions – you could be getting your monthly visitor, or you could be pregnant.

    You’ve been trying to conceive, and you’re just dying to know if you are pregnant. For most women, a late period is what usually the first clue that they are pregnant. However, it can take up to a month after you do the deed for your visit from Aunt Flo to be late.

    While you can’t confirm you’re pregnant until a pregnancy test comes back positive (which can also take up to a month after being pregnant to happen,) there are some very early symptoms that could indicate you are going to be a mama – even if it is too early to pass a pregnancy test or miss your period.

    When I was pregnant with my first son, I knew it before I even bought a home pregnancy test. I had this gut feeling, and I also experienced some of the following earliest signs of pregnancy.

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    Cramping

    Those cramps that you are feeling may not be a sign of an impending period; they could actually indicate that you are pregnant.

    The fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus just a few days after conception, and this can cause cramping. I felt those cramps about seven days after I conceived, and to me, they felt different than my normal period cramps. They weren’t as jarring, and they kind of waxed and waned differently than what I usually experience.

    If you’re feeling crampy a few days after your last session in the sack, there’s a chance that you could be pregnant.

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    Spotting

    Many women confuse light bleeding as the beginning of their period, but it could actually be a sign that you are pregnant. It definitely was for me!

    Called implantation bleeding, this light spotting happens when the fertilized embryo implants itself in the uterus, disrupting blood vessels. As a result, you could experience some light bleeding. It’s usually pinkish-red, or even a little brown (similar to the end of your period.) Implantation bleeding usually appears about five to 10 days after you conceive.

    I had implantation bleeding right about the same time I started experiencing those strange cramps. It was definitely different than the start of my period. Once I saw it, I was pretty certain I was pregnant.

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    Sore Boobs

    Though sore and tender breasts can certainly be a sign that your period is coming, it can also be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.

    As soon as an egg is fertilized and implants itself in the uterus, your body begins to prepare itself for growing a baby. Fluctuations in your hormones are one of the biggest ways your body prepares, and that can lead to sore breasts (your breasts are a pretty important part of pregnancy, too.)

    For me, my boobs felt heavy and achy. I started experiencing this sign the same time I experienced implantation bleeding and cramping. These three signs really tipped me off that I was more than likely pregnant.

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    Shortness of Breath

    If you’re feeling winded after doing things that normally don’t make you short of breath – climbing a short flight of stairs, walking to the end of your driveway, etc – you could be pregnant!

    Even in the earliest stages of pregnancy, that little bean you are growing needs oxygen, which could leave you short on breath. While I didn’t experience this symptom myself, I know other mamas who did. And, I hate to break the news, but you can expect shortness of breath to continue throughout your pregnancy. As your baby grows, he will need more oxygen, and will eventually press on your lungs and diaphragm, making it a little difficult to get your breath.

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    Morning Sickness

    This is a textbook sign of early pregnancy, and it doesn’t always happen in the morning.

    Many women experience nausea and vomiting at various points throughout the day when they are newly pregnant. Though the cause of this “sickness” is not really understood, many experts believe that hormones have something to do with it.

    Not all women experience this classic symptom – I didn’t, thankfully – but if you are feeling queasy in the days following your last romp session, pregnancy could be the reason.

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    Heightened Sense of Smell

    Is your sense of smell working in overdrive? Are scents that you once loved making you gag and run to the bathroom? Your nose may just know that you are pregnant before you take a pregnancy test.

    While there isn’t any scientific evidence that backs up this early pregnancy symptom, many pregnant women do experience super sensitive smelling powers. Many researchers believe that it is those good old hormones that are the culprit of a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy.

    The faintest whiff of your husband’s cologne, which usually makes you swoon, could make you cringe. I definitely experienced this early pregnancy symptom. It was like I had the equivalent of a magnifying glass on my nose!

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    Excessive Fatigue

    As you read this, are you yawning away? Do you find it hard to keep your eyes open throughout the day (more so than usual)? Are you constantly dozing off? If so, pregnancy could be the reason.

    Why do so many women feel pregnant when they are newly pregnant? You guessed it – those hormones! They really do affect your body in so many ways. Marked drowsiness is a common symptom experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy. The good news is that once you hit the second trimester, you’ll get some more pep back in your step.

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    Wicked Mood Swings

    Having crazy mood swings when it’s your time of the month isn’t unusual, and it’s definitely not unusual in the early stages of pregnancy (actually, throughout an entire pregnancy!) When I say mood swings, I mean wicked mood swings like you have never experienced before.

    When I was pregnant with my first son, I wept when I spilled a glass of water, and I had a downright temper tantrum when my husband didn’t put his ice cream bowl in the sink (the nerve!) I’d go from screaming or weeping to being extremely elated. Well, two weeks after I started experiencing these out of control mood swings, it all made sense – I was pregnant!

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    The Need to Pee

    You’ve probably heard that the need to pee is a common pregnancy symptom. However, you may not know that it can set in as soon as a few weeks after conception.

    When you’re pregnant, your body produces more fluids, which makes your bladder work overtime. Don’t be surprised if those frequent trips to the bathroom are a sign that you are pregnant. I definitely experienced this one!

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    Pain in the Back

    Yep, lower back pain can set in as early as a few weeks after you conceive, it’s not just a late pregnancy symptom (though it definitely gets more severe later in pregnancy.)

    As I previously said, your body starts getting ready to accommodate your baby as soon as the egg is fertilized. A key part of this process is loosening of the ligaments. The ligaments in your lower back and pelvis loosen to prepare you for childbirth, and yes, the process can begin very early in pregnancy.

    So, if your lower back is sore, and there’s no reason for that soreness, you could be pregnant!

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    Food Aversions

    You love cheeseburgers. They are your absolute favorite food. However, all of the sudden, the mere thought of a cheeseburger makes you want to hurl. What gives? Well, it could be because you are pregnant!

    Food aversions are not uncommon during pregnancy. Foods that you normally loved may become the most vile foods you have ever encountered. That definitely happened to me. I adore peas. I could eat them with every meal (and that’s the truth!) However, when I was pregnant, I suddenly couldn’t even look at a pea without wanting to vomit.

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    Cravings

    This is yet another one of those textbook pregnancy symptoms that you always hear about, and you know what? – It’s the absolute truth!

    As early as three weeks after I conceived, I started to have these ridiculous cravings. Like, I suddenly had this absolute NEED to have mashed potatoes and chicken, and nothing would satiate the craving. I actually had to send my husband out to the store at midnight to get me the ingredients. Being the amazing man that he is, he not only went to the store, but he cooked me a meal in the wee hours of the morning!

    If you are suddenly having uncontrollable cravings that you NEED to satisfy, you could have a bun cooking in your oven! PS – Expect this symptom to stay with you throughout your pregnancy. I never needed to have pickles mixed with ice cream, but what I craved, I absolutely had to have. Chocolate milk, buttered bread, iced tea, scrambled eggs and ketchup, and ice cream – oh, the ice cream!

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    Bloating

    Yes, bloating is definitely a sign that your period is coming soon, but it’s also a sign of early pregnancy.

    Extra progesterone (those hormones again!) make you retain water, which makes you feel bloated. If your face is looking puffy and your jeans are a little snug, you might be expecting!

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    Constipation

    I know that bathroom talk isn’t a topic that many people are comfortable discussing, however, if you are pregnant, you will soon discover that you are going to be talking about a lot of things that you never felt comfortable about before (hello, bloody show and leaking boobs, anyone?)

    If you are suddenly bound up, and there haven’t been any changes to your diet, you might be preggers! This symptom is also caused by an excessive production of progesterone, and it can make having a bowel movement a bit difficult. It’s a symptom that often occurs throughout the duration of pregnancy, too. Sorry, ladies!

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    A Funny Feeling

    I don’t really have a way to explain this feeling, but I do know that I – and many other women – just had a funny feeling.

    For me, I just felt off. Like something didn’t feel quite right. I had this fluttery feeling in my stomach (no, not baby kicks! It was too early for that!) I just had a butterfly feeling, and felt like something was going on inside.

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might want to stock up on some pregnancy tests and make an appointment with your doctor – you could be expecting!

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