Just as every woman is a queen in her own unique way, every pregnancy is different. Some women deal with an array of symptoms during the first month of pregnancy while others experience only one or two — and a few even manage to skate through that first month scot-free.
While it's helpful to know the possible early symptoms, a pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure whether you're pregnant during the first month.
Breast changes rank among the most common and early signs of pregnancy. In response to rising hormone levels, your breasts grow rapidly as they prepare for eventual milk production. This growth commonly causes breast fullness as well as tenderness, achiness and/or a tingling sensation.
Toward the end of your first month, your breasts might be noticably larger. Don't be surprised if you eventually need to buy some new bras with a larger cup size. Have fun with it and treat yourself. Just make sure your splurge provides good support, which can reduce your breast discomfort.
At least 75 percent of women experience some degree of pregnancy-related nausea, with or without vomiting. So-called "morning sickness" can strike anytime of the day, tends to come and go suddenly, and can begin in your first month of pregnancy.
For some women, the aroma of certain foods or fragrances triggers the nausea. Aversion to certain foods — even dishes you normally enjoy — and cravings for others are common as well.
You might also experience constipation, although this is less common than nausea. Again, surging hormones are to blame as they tend to slow the movement of food waste through your intestines and leave you feeling bloated. A healthy amount of dietary fiber and regular exercise can help ease pregnancy-related constipation.
Increased Urinary Frequency
Knowing the location of the nearest rest room beccomes a priority for many women starting in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Surging hormones and physical changes mean you're likely to urinate more frequently — and may need to get up at night to go as well.
As inconvenient as these frequent bathroom trips can be, don't cut back on your fluids. You and your baby need plenty of liquids to keep you both healthy. And take heart: The second trimester usually offers a temporary reprieve in the urinary frequency department.
Early pregnancy can turn even the perkiest woman into a slumber bunny constantly in search of her next nap. A progressively escalating level of the hormone progesterone is thought to cause pregnancy-related fatigue. All those nighttime trips to the bathroom don't help either.
Going to bed earlier, sleeping in a bit later than usual when possible and grabbing a power nap (or two) when you can during the day usually helps combat pregnancy-related fatigue.
Early pregnancy ushers in moodiness for some women. As you come to grips with the reality of being pregnant, it's normal to experience a wide range of rapidly changing thoughts, concerns and feelings. The mood roller coaster often includes a dizzying combination of emotional twists and turns such as joy, fear, excitement, uncertainty, elation and anxiety, among others.
For most women, moodiness levels out as the pregnancy progresses. That said, it's important to talk to your health care provider right away if your mental state seems to be taking a turn toward persistent anxiety, sadness, fear and/or self-doubt.
The symptoms discussed don't necessarily mean you're pregnant, even if they occur in combination with a late or missed period. Pregnancy during your first month can only be confirmed with a pregnancy test, which detects the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. Home pregnancy tests detect hCG in your urine. A blood hCG level performed by a laboratory is more sensitive and can detect hCG earlier than a home urine test.
- Obstetrics and Gynecology, 7th Edition; Charles R. B. Beckmann, et al.
- Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy; Mayo Clinic Staff
- The Mommy Docs' Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth; Yvonne Bohn, Allison Hill and Alane Park
- The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist: Constipation in Pregnancy
- Journal of Clinical Nursing: Incidence of Pregnancy-Related Discomforts and Management Approaches to Relieve Them Among Pregnant Women