The earliest sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. Light bleeding or “spotting” during your pregnancy may be mistaken as your period. Sometimes this may occur during the time when your period is due. Implantation bleeding is also another sign of pregnancy and must be assessed carefully to avoid confusion whether this is menstrual blood or not.
Morning sickness is possibly the most infamous tell-tale sign of pregnancy. Even though it is called “morning sickness”, it can in fact happen any time throughout the day. It is common for this symptom to begin about 6 weeks after your last period. It is comforting to know that this does not affect your baby, and usually subsides around week 16 – 20. However, if you experience severe “morning sickness”, you may be suffering from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition requires specialist treatment as it will affect you and your baby. Therefore once you notice it, do not delay medical intervention.
To sooth the discomfort caused by morning sickness, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Many women find sipping water helpful but some women continue to experience nausea or vomiting. Eating plain biscuits and dry toasts when you wake up may also help. For daily meals, many women find relief by eating food high in carbohydrate and low in fat, and this may also prevent recurrences of nausea. Some studies have shown that ginger consumption can reduce nausea as well as vomiting. Having a balanced diet is recommended and seeking advice from your dietician and doctor for a suitable diet for you will be of great help. Tiredness may exacerbate nausea, and that is why enough rest is necessary. If the symptoms persist, you need to consult your doctor for treatment options.
There are many other signs that may point to a possible pregnancy. Every woman’s experience is different. Not every women notice and experience the same signs. These signs may include:
• Altered sense of taste (e.g. sour/ metallic taste in your mouth)
• Increased frequency to urinate
• Abnormal vaginal discharge (without inflammation and discomfort)
• Breasts tenderness
• Body edema (especially in the feet, ankles, legs, hands and face)
All the above signs may point to pregnancy. To be sure, always take a pregnancy test. After an over-the-counter pregnancy test, it is also advisable to get tested at a clinic to ensure the accuracy.