9 early signs of pregnancy

Thinking of starting a family? Here are the signs to look out for that show a baby might be on the way!

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Wondering if you might be pregnant can be a tricky time, whatever your situation. Maybe you’re super keen to start or add to your family, whether that’s with the help of fertility treatment or the old-fashioned way, so you’re feeling hopeful. Or you might not quite be ready to be a mum (again), and you’re feeling worried.

Whether you’re actively trying for a baby, or are concerned that your contraception didn’t quite do the job, these are the early signs of pregnancy…

1. Missed period

For many women, the first of the early signs of pregnancy that they notice is when they miss a period. This is particularly the case for women whose menstrual cycle is usually pretty regular, but it can be trickier to notice for women who have irregular periods.

These days though, it’s possible to find out if you’re pregnant even before you’ve missed a period. With the Clearblue Early Detection Pregnancy Test, you can test up to six days before a missed period. However, if you have a negative result when testing early and still go on to miss a period, then it’s important to test again just to be sure.

2. Nausea

As the pregnancy hormones begin to flood the body, some women react by feeling nauseous and throwing up. This early sign of pregnancy is often known as morning sickness, but actually can happen at any time of the day and start from as soon as a couple of weeks after conceiving. While weight gain during pregnancy is to be expected, some women actually lose weight in the early stages because of sickness.

While it’s completely normal to experience some vomiting and nausea during pregnancy, you should see a doctor if you can’t keep any food or water down. There is a risk that you could become dehydrated, or you be suffering from a severe form known as hyperemesis gravadarum that may need hospital treatment.

3. Tiredness

One of the most common signs of early pregnancy is feeling fatigue. This is not just regular tiredness, it’s proper exhaustion just from a regular day. It’s all down to the changes in your body, so it’s important to get as much rest as possible. If this isn’t your first child, then you probably already know how knackering a newborn can be and how important it is to rest whenever you can!

4. Sore boobs

Even though pregnancy lasts for nine months, your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding from the beginning. As hormone levels change, they can make breasts get bigger, feel tender or tingly, darken the areola around the nipple and make veins more visible, so for some women these breast changes are one of the early signs of pregnancy.

5. Changes in toilet habits

The urge to wee more often is an early sign of pregnancy, and happens because your body pumps more blood than usual - so the kidneys process more fluid, and there is more fluid in your bladder. Increasing levels of the hormone progesterone can leave some women feeling constipated too.

As your pregnancy progresses and your uterus expands with the growing baby, it can press on your bladder, making you needing to wee more often than usual. And as you get closer to your due date, the increased pressure of your baby’s head can make you want the loo more too.

6. Strange tastes, smells and cravings

Some women experience a metallic taste in their mouth, and this can be an early sign of pregnancy. Additionally, pregnancy can make some women more sensitive to smells and tastes, and they go off food and drink that they previously enjoyed, and crave new tastes instead.

7. Mood swings

The same hormones that cause pre-menstrual mood swings when you’re not pregnant can impact your moods during pregnancy too. They can make you feel more emotional, irritable or even euphoric – and sometimes all three in a short space of time! As well as hormonal mood changes, going through pregnancy can be stressful so you could feel anxious too.

8. Spotting and cramps

While a missed period is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, some pregnant women experience some light spotting around the time their period is due. This is known as an implantation bleed, when the fertilized egg settles into the womb lining, and can be accompanied by cramps.

9. Headaches

With all the hormones whizzing around your system, they can sometimes cause headaches that can be one of the early signs of pregnancy. Speak to a doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any of your usual medication though.

Not every woman will experience all, or even any, of the early signs of pregnancy, so the best way to put your mind at rest is to take a test. Clearblue offers a range of home pregnancy tests that are over 99% accurate from the day you expect your period.