Early Pregnancy Symptoms

pregnant woman in bed holding bump

Maybe your period is just one day overdue, or perhaps you’re a few weeks late… or perhaps you’re not due on yet, but you’ve got that gut feeling that something’s happening to your body. Maybe you’ve actively been trying to conceive, or this has come as a surprise. Regardless of the reasons or events that have led you to read this guide, you’re likely sitting down asking yourself, "am I pregnant?"

Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can crop up at different times in different women. Some rarely experience any symptoms until several weeks into their pregnancies, and for some, they can show up just a few short weeks after conception, arriving hard and fast.

Below are the most common signs and symptoms that you could have a bun baking in that oven of yours, so read on to find out:

Missed Period

Missing a period is probably the most common and most obvious sign of pregnancy. Some women can have an unusually short or light ‘period’ around 12-14 days after conception, around when you’d expect your next period. This is usually implantation bleeding when the fertilised egg buries itself in the lining of your uterus.


When you fall pregnant, a considerable amount of energy is used growing your little ball of cells and the placenta, which can drain your energy completely and cause fatigue a few days after you conceive.

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Smell Sensitivity

You may notice that your sense of smell has skyrocketed if you’re pregnant. This is an early pregnancy symptom that can make previously mild odours very offensive.

Sickness or Nausea

Nausea and sickness can hit you like a wave at any time of day or night, and it begins for most women when they’re about 6-weeks pregnant, though it can be earlier. Increased levels of progesterone (and other hormones like oestrogen and hCG), can cause you to digest more slowly, which ends up making you feel a little seasick/nauseous. If this is severe, it may be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum which you will need to see your GP about.

Breast Changes

Your breasts may start to feel a little tender and swollen, and your areolas may start darkening and enlarging. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone are responsible for this, however there is a positive to this pain - it’s a sign that your body is preparing to produce milk for your baby!

Frequent Urination

You may notice an increased need to pee, due to the increasing levels of hCG in your body. This hormone helps increase blood flow to your kidneys, which will efficiently rid your body of toxins. Your ever-expanding uterus will also start pressing onto your bladder and make you need to wee more often.

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Food Aversions

Your increased sense of smell can also cause you to go off certain foods during early pregnancy. It can turn your stomach to the point of nausea or worse, make you vomit. You can also experience irregular bloating for the first 8-12 weeks. This will go down and will be replaced by a small bump once baby has grown.

Rising Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

Suppose you've been trying for a while and have been measuring your basal body temperature each morning after waking up. In that case, you may see a spike by 1 degree once you’ve conceived, and it will remain at that elevated temperature throughout your pregnancy.

Mood Swings

You can blame the surge of hormones for your frequent mood swings. Feeling moody, upset, happy, then lonely, and back again is common in the early weeks of pregnancy, as your hormones are all over the place. It’s entirely normal, but you may want to warn your other half!

When to take a Test

If you’re experiencing any of these and still aren’t sure whether you’re pregnant for certain, it’s time to take a test. Many HPTs can identify a positive pregnancy result before you’ve even missed a period and can be highly accurate. Any positive, no matter how faint, calls for a celebration! If you pee a negative, it doesn’t always mean negative. It’s best to wait just a few more days and then try again, it may be too soon to call. The day of your expected period is the best day of your cycle to get a more accurate reading. If the result is positive, book yourself onto Let's Talk Birth and Baby's 'Early Pregnancy' workshop to find out everything you can expect over the next few weeks and when you'll meet your midwife - congrats!

Now you know you are pregnant, click here to learn all about the appointments you will need to pop into your diary.

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