Are You Pregnant or is it PMS?

August 3, 2021

Here are some very early symptoms of pregnancy that can show up one week before your missed period. If you’ve already experienced a few, it may be time to head to the drugstore to pick up a pregnancy test or schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN.

  • Sore Breasts: Your breasts may be extra tender as early as one or two weeks after conception.

  • Cramping & Backaches: Many women mistake these early signs of pregnancy for PMS symptoms, but they’re actually caused by hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus. The cramping is triggered by the implantation of the fertilized egg attached to the uterine wall.

  • Implantation Bleeding: When fertilized egg implants into the plush lining of the uterus about 6 to 12 days after conception, light vaginal spotting may occur. This bleeding is typically a light pink or rusty brown color.

  • Fatigue: During the first few weeks, your body is working overtime to support the pregnancy, and fatigue is a normal response. The extra progesterone produced after conception causes your basal body temperature to rise, which in turn contributes to a lack of energy.

  • Nipple Change: Are your nipples looking darker these days? Pregnancy hormones also affect the activity of melanocytes or cells in the nipples responsible for their color.

  • Nausea: While full-blown morning sickness doesn’t normally strike till a few weeks into pregnancy, some women may experience more subtle motion sickness in early pregnancy.

  • Bloating: Are your skinny jeans feeling tight? Elevated levels of progesterone slow down your digestive tract and can cause your tummy to be more bloated than normal.

  • Frequent Urination: Extra blood flow to the kidneys causes them to produce more urine, resulting in frequent urination.

  • Food Cravings: In early pregnancy, you will most likely be craving bagels and bread vs pickles and ice cream. Your overtired body may demand extra carbs now because they are easier to metabolize and the carbs keep your energy levels up.

  • Headaches: Increases blood volume may trigger frequent but mild tension headaches in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

  • Constipation: The same hormones responsible for bloating are also the cultrate behind causing you to be constipated. Your digestive tract is slowing down in early pregnancy and will continue to ramp up during pregnancy.

  • Mood Swing: Are you finding yourself crying over that Duracell commercial, where the army guy sends his daughter a bear? Do you feel irritated or ragged by the Amazon delivery guy knocking on your door? As levels of hCG hormones increase, you’re feeling massive amounts of fatigue, which makes you more prone to moodiness.

  • Basal Body Temperature: Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is your oral temperature. You can measure this first thing in the morning. This can indicate when you are ovulating. Your temperature rises about half a degree when an egg is released and remains elevated until you get your period. If you’re charting BBT and notice it hasn’t decreased in more than two weeks, it may mean you’ve got a baby on the way.

  • Nose Nuisances: Bloody noses, congestion, and postnasal drip are common in pregnancy. Increasing blood volume puts more pressure on delicate vessels like the ones in your nose, but hormones are to blame too. Estrogen, in particular, can make blood vessels dilate, which contributes to swelling of the mucous membranes in your nose. Luckily, much of the discomfort can be relieved by using a simple saline spray, and it should resolve soon after delivery.

    So, is it time to go to the drugstore and get a pregnancy test?? Y

    Note From Your Doula

    A lot of these symptoms can seem to be very confusing or similar to what you might experience during your menstrual cycle. This is why tracking your cycle can be a good thing.
    If you find out that you are expecting and are interested in hiring a doula, I would love to chat!