Early pregnancy signs may occur even before you begin to suspect that you might be pregnant, or it may not be obvious until near the end of the first trimester. According to the Mayo Clinic, “For some women, early symptoms of pregnancy begin in the first few weeks after conception.” Current research shows that early prenatal care is extremely important to the developing fetus, so the earlier you can recognize these symptoms, the better. And, if you could become pregnant, it’s always a good idea to take a daily multivitamin that’s rich in folic acid or prenatal vitamins before conception. You may or may not experience these common symptoms, and the timing and severity may vary widely from one pregnancy to the next.
Behavioral changes. The mood swings that are often a part of pregnancy start early, and that first flood of hormones may have you swinging from one end of the emotion spectrum to the other without warning. Familiarize yourself with what is considered normal in mood changes, and encourage open communication with your partner about whether it’s affecting daily life — some swings are normal, but others may need additional intervention or coping techniques to keep your life running smoothly. Especially in the first trimester, you are probably going to feel very tired. Don’t hesitate to take naps as needed, and slow down some of your daily activities to allow your body time to catch up; the energy will come back later in pregnancy.
Physical changes. The first thing that others may notice and comment on is the famous “pregnancy glow,” or a flush that comes from the sudden flood of hormones in your system. Breasts may become firmer and slightly larger and will probably be sore for at least several weeks. About half of all women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, which can range in severity from barely noticeable nausea to frequent vomiting. Make sure to drink plenty of water during this time, and keep soothing snacks such as saltine crackers on hand at all times — morning sickness is usually a lot worse on an empty stomach. Finally, you may experience uterine cramping similar to normal menstrual cramps as the muscles begin to stretch to accommodate the fluid needed for your little one to grow.