Stephanie lives in Manchester, England and is currently pregnant with her first child.
In 2011, it was estimated that there were 131.4 million births per year, with approximately 84% of couples conceiving within the first year.
But many women will know that they start interpreting every change in their body as a sign of pregnancy, often seeking confirmation from the internet or other sources to confirm their suspicions before conventional tests are accurate enough.
Even though every woman is different, I thought I'd divulge the first couple of signs I had in early pregnancy that led me to think I was pregnant.
Skin and Hair
At the beginning of my pregnancy, my skin was even more horrendous than it usually is. I have been using prescribed medication for over 15 years to control my acne and had to come off this when we decided to start trying for children. My skin had got noticeably worse when I stopped the medication, but when I got pregnant I was even more self-conscious than normal.
My skin was not only covered in acne, but it was so greasy I even considered removing my make-up at lunchtime and reapplying it. I even looked into those blotting papers for your skin to use before and after lunchtime.
Having terrible skin was depressing enough, but then it started affecting my hair. Because my skin was greasy, it meant my scalp was also greasy, and contrary to popular belief, it is in fact a greasy scalp, not a dry scalp that causes dandruff.
For this problem I had to buy anti-dandruff shampoo and only use conditioner every other day (whilst washing my hair every day). I used the classic Head and Shoulders, my trusted brand for this problem. It comes in several different fragrances and their conditioner is lovely and thick, meaning you don't need a lot to feel the benefit!
So what causes these changes to your skin and hair? You've guessed it: those pesky hormones!
If you're lucky, they will settle down after a few weeks and you might go into that desired 'blooming' period.
Feeling Very Hot
Now this one was probably the biggest sign of pregnancy I had and the most uncomfortable.
I normally feel the cold very easily (I even keep a mini hot water bottle at work along with a mini radiator!) and suddenly I felt so hot even when other people were cold. Whatever I did I could not cool down.
Being used to managing feeling cold left me unprepared for feeling this hot. But it was the very first thing I noticed before I could test I was pregnant.
Feeling hot is again due to hormonal changes, as well as an increase in blood supply to your skin (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/common-pregnancy-problems.aspx#hot).
One solution that you won't find in many places is one a friend told me about: sit in the car with the air conditioning on. It may not be completely free and definitely not environmentally friendly, but it is bliss if you are really feeling the heat!
Other symptoms that people report in early pregnancy include:
- Morning sickness - I didn't have this until weeks 7-9, by which time I knew I was pregnant. Be warned though, morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning!
- Extreme tiredness - I did feel extremely tired, but put this down to other factors until I discovered I was pregnant.
- Tender breasts.
- Food cravings or aversions - I disliked certain foods later on (foods that I knew I loved, like cake and chocolate!).
The first big sign of pregnancy is obviously a missed period. I recommend using the Clearblue digital pregnancy tests to make sure. There is no query as to whether you're imagining that faint line or not when it says 'Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant' on the screen. The one that tells you approximately how many weeks you're pregnant is also great as you can then look back in hindsight and see what symptoms you had. They're used in the same way as all other pregnancy tests and you don't have to wait any longer for the result.
Every pregnancy is different and therefore everyone has different signs of pregnancy.
The only certainty is that to know for sure you will need to wait the recommended time to take a pregnancy test and then see your doctor.
Until then, good luck!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2016 Stephanie Elford
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on October 25, 2016:
In two of my four pregnancies the first sign was fainting in the heat. Fortunately my husband was there to catch me both times. The second time he said, "Here we go again!" The other two times, back in the day when you couldn't find out for sure for about 8 weeks, the first sign was that horrible first trimester tiredness.
You are right. Every pregnancy is different.