Knowing whether you’re pregnant or not can be difficult to determine and can bring about a lot of stress and feelings of anxiety. While lab-quality pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan are the only ways to truly confirm a pregnancy, there are a few signs to be on the lookout for in the meantime!
While a missed period isn’t always a sign of pregnancy, for those who have a regular menstrual cycle, missing a period can be an indicator of pregnancy, especially when coupled with other symptoms. A missed period typically indicates some form of a hormonal shift, whether it’s pregnancy or another underlying health condition.
Pregnancy will undeniably change your body as it prepares to carry and nourish a baby. Some of the first signs of being pregnant can include a change in the appearance and sensitivity of nipples and breasts — sometimes occurring as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
While these symptoms can be stressful for some women to experience outside of the context of a normal period, spotting and cramping are both normal signs of early pregnancy. This may occur as the body begins to change to prepare for a growing pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting — also called “morning sickness” when related to pregnancy — may occur in the first trimester. This feeling of sickness is related to the changing levels of hormones and typically subsides after the first trimester.
As your body works hard to make the changes it needs to make to support a pregnancy, you may experience extreme exhaustion and lethargy. It’s important to take the time you need to rest and get quality sleep.
Pregnant women often report new intense food cravings and a heightened sense of smell. This symptom can be a bummer as your favorite foods and smells can suddenly become nausea-inducing.
Extreme hormonal shifts — whether related to pregnancy or not — can result in mood shifts, such as irritability or unexplained sadness. It’s important to give yourself grace as you experience these emotions.
Not sure if you should take a pregnancy test? If you think you might be pregnant and are experiencing a missed period, it may be time!
Pregnancy tests measure hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), a hormone that is introduced rapidly in the early stages of pregnancy. Because of this, it’s recommended to wait at least one week after your first missed period to allow for the hormone to reach detectable amounts in the body.
For early and accurate pregnancy detection, we recommend scheduling lab-quality pregnancy testing at your local pregnancy center!
ALC Pregnancy Resource Center offers free and confidential pregnancy services, such as pregnancy testing, ultrasound scans, options counseling, and more!
We are here to help you confirm your pregnancy, navigate the early stages and symptoms, and decide which pregnancy option is best for you!