Pregnancy is an amazing time in any woman’s life, and growing your new baby is exciting and magical to see what the human body can do. However, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and when pregnancy symptoms appear, for some it can be downright miserable. We’ve got answers to some of the most common questions surrounding pregnancy symptoms, what to prepare for, and how to alleviate some of the discomfort you may experience. Whether this is your first pregnancy and you’re wondering what to expect, or if you’ve already been pregnant before but are experiencing symptoms you’ve never had before, don’t worry, we’ve got you mama.
How Early Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
Symptoms really vary from person to person, as well as pregnancy to pregnancy. There are plenty of old wives tales out there, but the reality is, every baby is different and every woman’s body will react differently to each pregnancy. Your baby’s gender, their hormones, their aversions to certain foods you eat and their behaviors are all characteristics that have an effect on what pregnancy symptoms you may experience, and when you might experience them. It usually takes 2-3 weeks after conception for an over the counter pregnancy test to produce a positive result, but depending on your body you could begin experiencing symptoms before ever knowing that you’re pregnant. One of the earliest and most common pregnancy symptoms that women often experience is nausea, most commonly referred to as “morning sickness”. However, pregnancy nausea can occur at any time throughout the day not just in the morning.
Common Early Pregnancy Symptoms And Remedies
Morning Sickness As we mentioned before, morning sickness is a very common pregnancy symptom that is often experienced by women early on in their pregnancy. According to Medical News Today, “morning sickness affects around 80% of all pregnant females”. Typically, morning sickness is mainly categorized by feelings of nausea and fatigue, and the aversions to smells and foods. Morning sickness can often be a woman's first sign that she may be pregnant. Due to the inability to take several types of medicine during pregnancy so as not to hurt the baby, home remedies are often used to treat morning sickness.
Traditional home remedies include drinking Ginger-ale or Sprite, sucking on mints, drinking tea, eating and drinking things with Ginger as a main ingredient, and many more. At Sparkling Mama, our founder experienced intense morning sickness and none of these remedies helped her which eventually lead to the invention of Sparkling Mama Fizzelixir Morning Sickness Relief. This vitamin powder that dissolves in water has helped thousands of women to relieve their morning sickness and overall nausea symptoms throughout pregnancy.
- Tender or Swollen Breasts Another very early sign of pregnancy is having sore breasts or nipples. Pregnancy basically causes hormones, mainly estrogen and progesterone, to take over your body including your breasts. These hormones can cause your breasts to feel very tender and even swollen, your nipples may protrude and will be sensitive to the touch, the areolas around your nipple may become darker in color, and you may notice more visible veins in your breasts than you usually do. It can be difficult to fully alleviate the discomfort felt in your breasts during pregnancy, but there are some things you can do. Make your partner aware of the sensitivity right away to ensure they know to be gentle when hugging or being intimate with you. Depending on the level of tenderness, you may need to purchase a maternity bra or just a more comfortable bra without underwire. If you sleep on your stomach or move around a lot during sleep, you also might want to sleep with a sports bra on for more support. There is a great video explanation on the What to Expect website as well if you want more information.
Food Aversions Are some of your favorite foods suddenly making you nauseous even at the thought of eating them? It’s definitely a sign for many women that they are pregnant! Food aversions are very common during pregnancy, again due to the raging hormones in your body and the effects they can have on your senses including taste and smell. Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, and author of Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy explains that “typically, about 50% of pregnant women in the U.S. will experience food aversions of some type during their pregnancy”. Her book is a great resource if you’re food sensitive or have questions about what type of food you should be eating before, during and after your pregnancy, you can find it here.
- Food Cravings Just like the crazy hormones in your body can cause food aversions during pregnancy, these hormones can also cause some women to have intense cravings for certain foods as well. These cravings can be for foods that you enjoy while not pregnant, but they can also be for foods that you otherwise would never eat or combinations you would never find appealing. Most food cravings are innocent and are completely fine to indulge in from time to time during pregnancy, as long as your overall diet remains nutrient rich and healthy for baby’s development. Some of the most common cravings in pregnant women include sugary foods, animal proteins, high-calorie carbohydrate rich foods, and dairy products. Cravings that you’ll want to avoid during pregnancy include deli meats, soft cheeses, sushi and any raw or undercooked meat.
Crazy Fatigue The fatigue that many women experience during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, is quite possibly some of the most intense tiredness you’ll ever experience (until those no sleep newborn nights of course). Fatigue affects all aspects of your life, and can cause you to be unable to perform regular functions efficiently such as working or being a mom to your other kids.
Many women struggle with this, but it is important to try and ask for help where you can. If there’s something your partner can do to take something off your plate, let them. This isn’t the time to prove that you’re Wonder Woman…we know you are:) The fact that you’re literally creating another life inside your belly is enough. Next, relax as much as you can when fatigued. Take it easy, put your feet up, take a nap, whatever you need to do in order to rest and recharge. Make an effort to choose foods that will keep your energy levels higher, such as fruits and vegetables instead of pizza and chips which will leave you feeling even more sluggish and tired. If you have other children, get them involved! Kids inherently love to help, and they will enjoy knowing that they are a part of your pregnancy in a special way.
Whether you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, are wondering if you might be, or are well into your pregnancy journey, some or all of these symptoms may show up. We strive to be a resource to all mamas, no matter what stage of their pregnancy they are in. If you have questions about pregnancy, or just want to have a community of moms to join, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! As always, keep sparkling, mama!