If you’re reading this there is a chance you think you might be pregnant, or perhaps you’re just curious. I can’t blame you. Pregnancy is one of the most fascinating subjects in the world. If you’ve never been pregnant or it’s been a while, you probably can’t read enough about it if there’s even a sliver of a chance you might be, you know, with child. I’ve been pregnant twice and researched it tons for various articles, and I’ve come to realize that while no two pregnancies are the same, many of the symptoms are. Here’s a short list of 7 early signs of pregnancy. Remember the only way to know for sure is to take a test at your doctor’s office.
1. You feel like you’re coming down with something.
Sure, there’s nausea, but often there’s a spike in body temperature, too, plus a wiped-out feeling that you must lie down now. If a few a days pass and sniffles or body aches never come, you might be preggers.
2. Your relationship with foods gets even more complicated
When I was first pregnant but didn’t know it yet, I saw a recipe for artichoke dip in a magazine, and I just had to have it. I had tried artichoke once and thought it was disgusting, but suddenly I couldn’t whip up that dip fast enough. Other moms have the opposite experience–all of a sudden their favorite food makes them want to hurl. The cliche is that all pregnant women get cravings, but really food aversions are just as common.
3. You think you’ve started your period.
Some women who suspect they have a bun in the oven see blood and automatically think they’re not pregnant, but that’s not always true. Many women bleed during their first trimester, some more heavily than others. Implantation bleeding, which occurs 10 to 14 days post-conception when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus, is one of the main culprits. Other times it’s just the shifting hormones. I even experienced cramping. The only surefire way to know is to take a pregnancy test at your doctor’s office.
4. Your tatas are acting funny.
Swollen, tender breasts can belie pregnancy because they’re so often associated with menstruation. Sometimes the aureolas (the areas around the nipples) darken, too. This is all caused by changing hormone levels. If your boobs feel or look, well, different, and your period is nowhere to be found, you may want to pee on a stick.
5. Your trips to the potty just aren’t what they used to be.
Higher levels of the hormone progesterone can do a number on the digestive system, mainly slowing things down, if you know what I mean. Drinking lots of water and eating high-fiber foods like whole-grain bread and fruit helped me. I actually had a second potty problem: I suddenly had to pee more often than usual. Apparently the amount of fluid in the body increases from the moment we become pregnant.
6. You can’t make it through an episode of Scandal.
That same progesterone we were just talking about can make some women feel sleepy. When my friend, Sarah, was pregnant, she joked that she only wanted to do three things: sleep, eat and have sex. Sleep always prevailed, much to the chagrin of her husband.
7. You can’t zip your pants.
Real weight gain doesn’t start until the second and third trimester, but lots of women feel bloated in the early weeks of pregnancy. The bloating feeling is similar to PMS, but sticks around.
Call your doctor and make an appointment to confirm a pregnancy with 100 percent accuracy. For more info about the earliest signs of pregnancy, check out the Mayo Clinic‘s website.