Early Signs of Pregnancy  -  Grandpa Viv

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Fatigue, weird cramps, implantation spotting, more frequent peeing, lotion discharge
vivid dreams, changes in appetite and favorite foods and smells, emotional
heavy breasts, sensitive nipples, veins showing more, low backache
heartburn, gassy, diarrhea, constipation, shortness of breath,
hot flashes, lightheaded moments, nausea, clumsiness

Pregnancy-info.net
Signs of Pregnancy

Best pregnancy test review.

PeeOnAStick commentary on pregnancy tests.

How to Tell if you are Pregnant Coolnurse.com

Create an On-line Pregnancy Journal at babycrowd.com

Belly Shots week by week

Montgomery Tubercle picture

Pregnancy Week by Week 

Week-by-week Guide

AHAbaby site

Examples of BBT charts at ovusoft.com

Ovarian Cysts 

About Pregnancy 

Labor of Love 

Child Birth Solutions 

Position of the Cervix in Early Pregnancy 

Fundal Height (how big is baby this week?)

Beta hCG levels

Teen Abortion Laws in Different States 

Abortion Facts

Obstetric Ultrasound Scans

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Some women have very few early signs of pregnancy, or do not recognize them for what they are at the time. One of four  pregnant women have some kind of bleeding at period time during the first trimester, so they are less likely to realize they are pregnant. 

When there are early signs, they commonly begin at implantation, which happens about a week after conception and a week before the next menstrual period. Implantation spotting may be noticed.

A very common complaint is that of unusual fatigue. The amount of time in bed will jump by a couple of hours, but sleep may not come easily.

Blood flow to the kidneys increases, with resulting increase in frequency of urination (this may also be a function of bladder irritation by hCG).

 A clear or creamy vaginal discharge is common, getting more copious with time, often described with the words "lotion", "wet down there", "running to the bathroom thinking AF is coming."  The discharge is thought to be a cleansing action from the vaginal walls.

Mucous membranes are affected. It is not uncommon to have a runny nose, excess saliva, a metallic taste in the mouth, and a flare up of previously unnoticed urinary tract and vaginal infections.

Implantation spotting can be mistaken for a light early period a week ahead of an expected period, but more frequently is reported as pink and brown spotting. It is caused by the blastocyte burrowing into the uterine lining and establishing vascular connections. Implantation can also occurs as late as the first day of a missed period in 10% of pregnancies. Spotting may be noticed over an extended period. Many women do not notice it at all.

The hormone progesterone starts production in earnest as soon as implantation occurs. There are various effects. The long muscles of the intestine relax and food passes through at a different rate, resulting in heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and shortness of breath.

The breasts experience changes. This can be confusing for those who have breast aches as a result of PMS. Sensitive nipples are an issue, along with other aches, and bumps may appear on the areola where the lubricating Montgomery tubercles exist. These bumps are sometimes white. The areola may darken and the nipples erect. The breasts feel heavy and increase in size as time passes.

Appetite may increase - eating for two! Women often notice they have become hungry, often for carbohydrates, sometimes for foods they don't normally like. They can also be turned off foods they do usually like.

Emotions are higher than usual at PMS - crying for no reason.

Lightheaded feelings may result from blood being diverted to the uterus from the brain.

The body goes into blood vessel building mode to nourish the embryo. Unaccustomed veins appear on the breast and sometimes on the abdomen. They can change the color of the vaginal area, and may even cause a blush on the face. Dilation of the blood vessels is perhaps responsible for the headaches reported. 

Cramping and low backaches occur. The words "a tugging feeling" are often used to describe the cramps.

Smells may change. Perfumes and cigarette smoke may suddenly become revolting, and the smell of some foods may make her want to puke. Her mate smells different. Feelings of nausea may occur, but actual nausea peaks about weeks 7 through 10.

The mucus plug starts forming in the cervix. Some women remark on a "glob" of gooey discharge.

Clumsy or off-balance is sometimes reported.

After some possible early hair loss, hair and nail growth rates increase under the influence of the hormone androgen.

Home pregnancy tests advertise "five days before a missed period", but excuse me for thinking this is mostly a way to sell more tests. They are best used starting when a period is missed, with repeats every few days if needed. The hCG hormone can build up much slower in some pregnancies than in others, on average doubling every few days in early pregnancy. In rare cases it may be necessary to test weekly for several weeks before getting a positive. First Response Early Result came out on top in one controlled test of different brands' sensitivity.

Blood tests for pregnancy at the doctor's are either qualitative (yes/no) or quantitative (a number). The sensitivity of a qualitative blood test may be more or less than a urine test, depending on the manufacturer. A quantitative test is not normally done except to diagnose suspected problems; The average level without pregnancy is less than 1 milli-international units per millimeter (mIU/ml) though most doctors will not suggest pregnancy unless the level is over 5 mIU/mL.  Unless there are special reasons for visiting the doctor early, scheduling an appointment after missing a second period is the norm.

Folic acid is an important dietary supplement in early pregnancy to avoid certain birth defects. It is added by law to brown bread and cereals, and is of course contained in pre-natal vitamins. Read the folate content on your food packages to make sure you get 100% of the requirements.