Pregnancy Symptoms and Adoption
The below is a list of common symptoms that may indicate a possible pregnancy. We are not a medical facility, and this list is not all-
inclusive. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other factors including but not limited to illnesses and diseases. If you are concerned with any of these symptoms, please do not hesitate to see your family doctor or visit a pregnancy center for more information.
- Elevated basal body temperature
- Implantation Bleeding (Spotting about 6-12 days after conception)
- Frequent Urination
- Abdominal bloating
- Darkening of Areolas
- Missed Period
- Swollen/Tender Breasts
- Nausea/Morning Sickness
- Food Cravings
- Mood Swings
- Melasma (darkening of the skin)
- “Road Map” Veins on Breasts (veins are more prominent on the breasts and chest, almost resembling a road map)
- Delay/Difference in Menstruation
If you are wondering if you should take a pregnancy test, also consider the following:
- Fatigue is common in early pregnancy, because your body is working harder than it normally does. You may be experiencing rapidly increasing levels of the hormone progesterone, which will contribute to your sleepiness as well as other discomforts from pregnancy, like frequent urination or nausea.
- You may notice your breasts feel full or sore, or your nipples may tingle even before your period is due. This increasing sensitivity may indicate pregnancy.
- Hormone changes may trigger an increase of your body’s production of melanin, which can cause a darker skin pigmentation. You may notice a darkening of your areolas during the early stages of pregnancy because of this hormone. Extra blood flow may also produce more noticeable veins around your breasts.
- A very common symptom of pregnancy is often referred to as morning sickness, which may present almost immediately during pregnancy for some women. For others, this sign may not arrive until around 6 weeks and others still may never experience nausea and vomiting. Certain foods may trigger this nauseous feeling. Conversely, cravings for certain foods may be an indication of pregnancy as well. Morning sickness is not limited to the morning hours of the day; it is possible you may feel nausea throughout the afternoon or evening.
- If you spot a discharge of pink or brown blood, you may think your period is starting. This could also be what is known as implantation spotting, which can happen when the fertilized egg burrows into the lining of your uterus. This bleeding will be lighter in flow than a normal period, and also lighter in color. It will not last as long as a normal menstruation period. You may experience cramping similar to period cramping as your uterus begins to expand to prepare for the baby.
- A heightened sense of smell can trigger nausea and vomiting.
- With rapid hormone changes comes mood swings, which are common throughout pregnancy. Each person’s experience is different but rest assured if you are experiencing moments of feeling not quite like yourself, this is normal. Please remember that if you are feeling sad, hopeless, or unable to handle normal day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, or if you are having thoughts of injuring yourself or others, you should call your healthcare provider or mental health professional immediately.
- You may experience dizziness when standing up and mild headaches. Pregnancy hormones cause an increase in blood circulation, and this dilation of your blood vessels may trigger these symptoms.
- Frequent urination doesn’t necessarily occur farther along in pregnancy. Your hormonal changes can trigger more blood flow to your kidneys which can cause your bladder to fill quicker than normal. Of course, this is also a symptom in the later stages of pregnancy as well as your uterus expands and intensifies pressure on your bladder.
- Some of the above listed symptoms can resemble PMS, or premenstrual syndrome. It will be a guessing game either until you take a pregnancy test or until your period arrives. If you keep track of your menstruation cycles and your period has not yet arrived, it may be a good idea to take a test to check if you are pregnant. Waiting until your period is late before taking a pregnancy test will give a clearer positive or negative result. If the test is sensitive enough, you may be able to take a test earlier than your missed period. Even if your test is positive, it is a good idea to take a second test to confirm the result. It is possible to get a false negative as well. In either case, it is suggested to keep testing or to consult with your doctor until your period starts or until you get a clear positive test result.
- At home pregnancy tests are convenient, private, and are often the route women take before seeing a healthcare professional. They can be purchased at any grocery or drug store, online, and at dollar stores.
Some points to consider before taking a home pregnancy test:
- Don’t underestimate cheap pregnancy tests! They can be just as sensitive and accurate as name brands. You can find these inexpensive tests at Walmart, a dollar store, Amazon and eBay.
- Read and follow the directions carefully. Some tests will instruct you to take the test first thing in the morning to better detect your hCG levels. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure test is used properly.
- Generally speaking, you can choose from 3 different kinds of at home tests: midstream, cassette, and dip sticks. The most common tests are midstream, in which you collect your sample as you urinate for the manufacturer’s recommended amount of time. Cassettes are a small plastic square in which you apply urine with a dropper after collecting it in a cup. A dip stick allows you to gather a urine sample in a cup and dip the test into it for several seconds.
- If you find you’re nervous and have shaking hands, using a cup to collect your urine sample will make the test easier to complete no matter which style of test you choose.
- As excited or nervous as you may be, it’s important to wait for the correct amount of time to pass before you read the test results. If you read the results too early, you may see a negative result, but a positive result could develop in a few minutes. If you wait the correct amount of time and your result is negative, don’t revisit the used test an hour later because evaporation lines may make a negative test appear positive. If the directions tell you to wait 3 minutes for the result, set a timer and trust it.
- If you get a negative but still miss your period, try again in 2 days. Your hCG hormone level, if you’re pregnant, usually doubles every 48 hours in the first few weeks. Waiting a couple of days will allow this hormone to be more easily detectable. You can also contact your medical provider to perform a blood test.
- Once you get a positive test result, make sure to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to confirm the pregnancy and to begin prenatal care.
Calculating your Due Date
Once your pregnancy is confirmed by a doctor, the next thing you will want to know is your due date. A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, or 280 days, following the first day of your last menstrual period.
Let’s assume you have a 28-day cycle to calculate your due date. Being by marking the first day you started bleeding. Add 7 days to that day, and then count back 3 months. For example, if you started bleeding on June 3, add 7 days to get to June 9, then subtract 3 months. Your due date is March 9. If that seems too complicated, you can also add 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period.
If you don’t want to do the math yourself, you can use a very simple and quick pregnancy calculator online. There are many available for free. Many of them will give more information than just your due date, such as showing you what stage of growth the baby is currently at, what developmental milestones the baby has already reached, and perhaps an illustration or comparison to show you what the baby looks like and how big he or she is. Please note however, that pregnancy calculators cannot pinpoint your exact due date or tell you with certainty how your baby is developing. Each pregnancy is different, and your baby may arrive before or after your expected due date. Only about 5% of babies are born on their actual due date. This tool is only meant to give you an idea of when to expect delivering.
If you don’t remember the date of your last cycle or if your periods are irregular, there are other ways to calculate your due date. One way is to add 38 weeks to the date of conception. If you are unsure of your date of conception, you may want to consider scheduling an ultrasound with your doctor to check the size of your uterus or to measure the baby. Some doctors may or may not perform an early ultrasound, so you should call and ask when scheduling an appointment. Your doctor can offer more insight to provide a time frame for how far along you are.
It’s important to attend all of your prenatal appointments to monitor the growth and health of the baby. Your due date may shift forward or backward slightly throughout your pregnancy. Schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you confirm your pregnancy with a home test. Your doctor will perform screenings and tests to ensure you and the baby are, and remain to be, healthy throughout the pregnancy.
A growing ball of cells will implant itself onto the wall of your uterus about a week after conception. This is known as the embryotic stage, during which time most major organs are developed. It is very important during this time to avoid any substances that could harm the baby. Most miscarriages and birth defects happen in the first trimester.
By the 9th week, the cluster of cells has developed from an embryo to a fetus and is a little more than 1 inch long. You may start to experience morning sickness in this trimester.
Thankfully, morning sickness (if you experienced it) subsides during the second trimester. You will also be able to determine the gender of the baby with an anatomy scan performed by your doctor. Sometime between week 16 and 20, you may begin to feel small flutters of the baby moving. Some women have stated having an increase in their energy levels during this trimester.
A new round of uncomfortable symptoms may appear during this trimester, including leg cramps, heartburn and constipation. It may be more difficult to find a comfortable position when sleeping, and you can try adding more pillows to your bed to offer more support.
Your doctor will perform a sonogram during this trimester to measure the growth of the baby and to screen for illnesses and defects. This is the scan that will let you know the gender of the baby, if you chose to find out. You will also be tested for gestational diabetes. By the end of this trimester, the fetus will be about 10 inches long.
Anywhere from 37-42 weeks is considered a full-term pregnancy. The baby will grow faster during this last trimester than it has in the previous two trimesters, and the organs will mature. You may notice much more movement at the beginning of this trimester than towards the end, because there will be less room for the baby to move around.
The baby’s head will generally begin to descend into the pelvis in preparation for delivery, and this will trigger the need to urinate more frequently since the baby is resting on your bladder. Some women have reported experiencing varicose veins, swelling, and back pain. Wear comfortable shoes and elevate your feet when you can to minimize swelling and pain.
During this trimester, your scheduled visits with your doctor will become more frequent to assess your vital signs and general health. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor all of the questions you have to prepare for your approaching due date.