2 Prickling, tingling nipples This can be one of the very earliest signs of pregnancy, kicking in within a week or so of conception. You may feel a tingling sensation as pregnancy hormones increase the blood supply to your breasts, particularly around the nipples. Once your body gets used to the hormone surge, the sensation will subside.
3 Spotting and crampingIt's common to have some spotting, a slight pink or brown-coloured when you pee or on your underwear, as well as cramping. Spotting in very early pregnancy could be caused by the egg implanting in your uterus. A little bleeding around the time you'd normally expect your period may be caused by the hormones that control your periods breaking through.
4 Feeling sickMorning sickness is a common symptom of early pregnancy. It often starts when you're four to six weeks pregnant. You may feel nauseated and queasy, or even vomit. Despite its name, morning sickness can affect you morning, noon or night.
5 Tender, swollen breasts From about six weeks pregnant, your breasts may become increasingly tender to the touch. It’s similar to how they feel before your period, only more so. You may notice that your breasts are larger and swollen, with blue veins visible just below the skin. Tenderness tends to be most common in the first trimester, easing as pregnancy progresses.
6 FatigueFeeling tired? No, make that exhausted. You may find yourself diving for your duvet as your body cranks up to support your baby right from the early stages of pregnancy. Though fatigue is not a sure-fire symptom on its own, it's a common pregnancy symptom. You may find tiredness wipes you out most in the first and third trimesters.
7 Needing to pee frequently From about six weeks pregnant, you may notice that you're going to the bathroom more often. This is caused by a combination of pregnancy hormones, a larger volume of blood in your system and your kidneys working extra hard. Watch out though, if you get pain or a burning sensation when you pee, it might be a urinary tract infection.
8 Darkening of your nipples Skin changes are common during pregnancy. One of the first ones you may notice is the circle of skin round your nipples (your areolas) getting darker. This can happen from about eight weeks. You may also find that the bumps around your nipples become more pronounced or your nipples are more erect. At this time your vulva and vagina may change to a deeper, purplish red too.
9 Altered sense of tasteYou may go off some foods, but develop a craving for others. Some women report a metallic taste in their mouth, others that they can’t stand the taste of coffee, tea or a food they usually like. Food cravings or aversions really can be a sign of pregnancy. If they're accompanied by some of the other symptoms on this list, start counting the days from your last period.
10 A missed periodIf you're usually pretty regular and your period doesn't start on time, you'll probably take a pregnancy test before you notice any other symptoms. A missed period is one of the surest signs of pregnancy. But if your periods are irregular or you lost track of when your next one was due, you won’t realize your period is late. In this case, tender breasts, feeling queasy and needing extra trips to the toilet may be early clues that you’re pregnant.
11 A positive home pregnancy test Most home tests will give you a reliable result if you wait until at least the first day of a missed period. If a blue line appears in the test window, you're probably expecting. Make an appointment with your doctor. Congratulations!
13 Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant. Getting early prenatal care. If you know you're pregnant, or think you might be, call your doctor to schedule a visit.Getting regular prenatal care. Your doctor will schedule you for many checkups over the course of your pregnancy. Don't miss any — they are all important.Following your doctor's advice.
14 Why do I need prenatal care? Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care.Doctors can spot health problems early when they see mothers regularly. This allows doctors to treat them early. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others. Doctors also can talk to pregnant women about things they can do to give their unborn babies a healthy start to life.
15 I am thinking about getting pregnant. How can I take care of myself? Talk to your doctor before pregnancy to learn what you can do to prepare your body. Women should prepare for pregnancy before becoming sexually active. Ideally, women should give themselves at least 3 months to prepare before getting pregnant.
16 The five most important things you can do before becoming pregnant are: Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day for at least 3 months before getting pregnant to lower your risk of some birth defects of the brain and spine. You can get folic acid from some foods. But it's hard to get all the folic acid you need from foods alone. Taking a vitamin with folic acid is the best and easiest way to be sure you're getting enough.
17 Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Ask your doctor for help. If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions include asthma, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, thyroid disease, or epilepsy. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date.
18 Talk to your doctor about any over-the- counter and prescription medicines you are using. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Some medicines are not safe during pregnancy. At the same time, stopping medicines you need also can be harmful.
19 Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials at work and at home that could be harmful. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.
20 I'm pregnant. What should I do — or not do — to take care of myself and my unborn baby?