How you feel during the first month of pregnancy can vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women begin experiencing symptoms from the moment the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, whereas others may not notice any changes until well after the first month. Knowing what you could experience physically and emotionally in the first month can help you to understand what your body is going through and to be prepared for these changes.
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You may notice several physical symptoms of pregnancy beginning as early as the first month. Hormonal changes triggered by the newly fertilized egg can cause fatigue, breast tenderness, food cravings, nausea and vomiting. Constipation, bloating and the need for frequent urination are also common symptoms of pregnancy. It is also normal to have mild uterine cramping and slight spotting in response to the fertilized egg attaching to the lining of your uterus. The absence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are not pregnant. For many women, the first symptoms of pregnancy aren't present until the second month.
Your body is not the only thing that may feel different during the first month of pregnancy. It's common to feel a variety of emotions in early pregnancy. You may feel happy, anxious or doubtful. Many women report frequent mood swings. You may feel frustrated that you are elated one moment and then sad just a short while later. Although early pregnancy, especially, can be overwhelming emotionally for some women, the highs and lows often level out as pregnancy progresses.
Feel Your Best
You'll feel better if you take care of yourself from the very beginning of your pregnancy. Many of the more uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing can be partially alleviated through eating right, sleeping enough, relaxing and exercising. If you are experiencing difficulties coping with these physical or emotional changes, seek out a qualified medical professional or social worker to help you through this time.
Though you may be tempted to assume you are pregnant if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to take a pregnancy test. Many of these signs and symptoms aren't exclusive to pregnancy and may simply indicate impending illness or a late period. Pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG. To test for hCG, you can use a home pregnancy test that detects the hormone in your urine or have your doctor perform a blood test. A quantitative blood test is more sensitive than a home pregnancy test and can detect hCG earlier in the pregnancy.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- A Comprehensive Textbook of Midwifery; Annamma Jacob
- Obstetrics and Gynecology; Charles R.B. Beckmann et al.
- Woman-Centered Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth; Sarah G. Shields and Lucy M. Candib
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Knowing if You Are Pregnant
- American Pregnancy Association: Early Pregnancy Symptoms