Having a baby is a big responsibility. Whether you're trying to conceive or not, thinking that you may be pregnant is an exciting but anxious time. You are likely analyzing every twinge and odd feeling, wondering whether it's a sign that you're expecting. If it's too early to test but you just need to know whether you are pregnant, there are some early signs of pregnancy you can look for. Not all of these signs are definite indications that you are pregnant, so be sure to consult your doctor if you think you are pregnant.
The following signs and symptoms may show up before your expected period, and might indicate that you are pregnant:
Changes in your breasts. One of the very early symptoms of pregnancy is sore breasts. As early as a few weeks into pregnancy, you may experience changes in the color, size, shape and look of your breasts. Your nipples and the area around them (areola) will become larger and darker. Your breasts may seem heavier and fuller, and they will likely be tender or sore. You may notice a darkening of the veins on your breasts, and you may also spot enlarged white bumps around the edges of your nipples.
Nausea. For many women, nausea is the first sign of pregnancy. If you're wondering whether you are pregnant, pay attention to your tummy. If you wake up feeling sick to your stomach, you may be experiencing morning sickness. Some women get sick enough to vomit, while others simply feel ‘icky'. This usually goes away once you eat, so nibble on something mild and see how your body responds to food. You may also find yourself gagging at normal smells or being totally disgusted with foods you once loved.
Mood swings. Your partner can probably vouch for this one. If you are pregnant, your hormones will be out of whack. This can lead to emotional highs followed by unreasonable bouts of crying. If you get the urge to shed a tear at the slightest sappy moment, or if you are angry at everyone with no explanation, it is possible that you are pregnant.
Weight gain and bloating. Bloating happens within days of conception for many women. You may feel and look a bit bulkier around your midsection. You may also experience unexplained weight gain. This is your body retaining water in preparation for the pregnancy.
Frequent urination. Pregnant women often notice an increase in the number of times they have to use the restroom. If it seems like you need to pee constantly, it could be your uterus pressing against your bladder. If you find that your bladder doesn't hold as much as it used to, leading to frequent trips to the restroom, it is possible that you are pregnant.
High basal body temperature. If you have been charting your temperature and you have noticed that your basal body temperature (BBT) has not dropped in a while, you may be pregnant. A BBT that remains high for over 18 days is a strong sign that you are, indeed, expecting.
Cramping. Some women experience cramping during the first few weeks of pregnancy. You may think this is just your period about to begin - but if you have cramps without a period, or cramps with a very light period, you may be pregnant. In this case, the cramping may be from your uterus stretching and expanding to accommodate the baby.
Missed period. This is usually the first indication that you are pregnant, but not all women miss their periods entirely in the first few months. If your period is very light, or at least much lighter than usual, there is a possibility that you may be pregnant. You may be spotting from implantation, which is not your period at all (although many women mistake it for this). Keep track of when your period usually comes; if you're more than 5 days late, it's time to take a pregnancy test.
Positive pregnancy test. This is the best way to find out whether you are pregnant. Purchase a reputable pregnancy test (or two or three) and use your first morning pee. It is the densest and will offer the best results. You won't likely get a positive result until a few days before your period, but every woman is different. There is no such thing as a false positive either. If you see two pink lines, congratulations! You are pregnant. Of course, call your doctor to confirm your pregnancy and be sure to get proper prenatal care.