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How Soon Can a Pregnant Woman Feel Changes in Her Body?

author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
How Soon Can a Pregnant Woman Feel Changes in Her Body?
Many women have a positive pregnancy test before experiencing any pregnancy symptoms. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Pregnancy symptoms don't appear until hormone levels produced by the growing placenta rise. While the occasional woman misses the signs of pregnancy until she's in labor, others know they're pregnant almost immediately. No pregnancy symptoms occur until the embryo implants in the uterus -- around six days after fertilization and a week before the first missed period -- and many women won't experience any symptoms this early. Within a week or two after a missed period, many women start to notice body changes.

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Early Changes

Breast changes are often the first symptoms of pregnancy, especially in women having their first baby. By week 6 of pregnancy -- 2 weeks after the first missed period -- some women experience heaviness in the breasts and tingling in the nipples. Nausea, with or without vomiting, can also occur shortly after the first missed period. Many women notice an increase in urination starting around week 8 of pregnancy.

A Bit Later

Around week 12 of pregnancy, the uterus grows enough that a health-care provider can actually feel the edge of it, at about the level of the pubic bone. Most women don't actually feel their baby move until between week 18 and 22 of pregnancy, with second-time moms recognizing the movements around two weeks earlier than first-timers.

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