image001Pregnancy happens all the time, but pregnancy symptoms are different with each pregnancy and each woman. Some women have nausea and vomiting, some do not. Some may feel very tired and some do not feel tired at all. The only common pregnancy symptom that is the same for each woman is missing their monthly menstrual period.

It is important to understand pregnancy symptoms because they sometimes are similar to other conditions and may be mistaken for something else. On the flip side, you may be pregnant and not have any symptoms for quite some time. Read on to learn about common early pregnancy symptoms and what you should do next.

What Are Common Early Pregnancy Symptoms?

Many women want to know when they will experience symptoms of pregnancy or notice things that may suggest they are pregnant. For the most part, most women begin to “feel” pregnant at around the fourth week after the first day of the last period. The longer the time period after the missed period, the more probability that a pregnancy test will be positive. Pregnancy test manufacturers claim that tests are accurate as soon as the next menstrual period is supposed to start. Here is a list of common early pregnancy symptoms:



Bloated feeling

This symptom is very hard to tell whether you’re pregnant or just ready to start your period. Chances are if your period is late and you’ve been intimate in the last two weeks, you may be pregnant.


This is another symptom that is hard to tell if it is your late period getting ready to start or pregnancy. Cramping with some very light bleeding can be a sign that a newly formed embryo has implanted itself into the lining of your uterus.


Either you are burning the midnight oil lately or you may be pregnant. Building a human being takes a lot of energy and can make you very tired.

Swollen and painful breasts

This is another symptom that usually pops around “that time of the month” and you may not give it a second thought. When you’re pregnant, it doesn’t go away and is due to the combination of estrogen and progesterone getting them ready to produce milk.

Sensitivity to odors and nausea

Coffee may smell horrid and one sip may send you running to the bathroom to throw up. You may catch a scent of dog feces from a neighbor’s yard three houses down. Your favorite perfume is now repulsive. This is caused by a higher level of progesterone and the pregnancy hormone HCG. Possibly the body’s way of making sure you don’t take in something bad for baby early on.

Increased urinary frequency

Early in pregnancy, your kidneys begin to filter out toxins more efficiently for two people not just one. Later in pregnancy, the uterus pushes on the bladder.

Cravings or distaste for certain foods

You may want platefuls of chicken with barbeque sauce, but cannot stomach the taste of broccoli. This is another way of your body telling you what you need to help baby grow and what you shouldn’t be eating right now.


The hormone progesterone going up can cause headaches. Try taking plain acetaminophen with your doctor’s okay.


The ligaments in your lower abdomen and back are beginning to loosen and prepare for your growing baby. If it gets to be too much, take a rest and get off your feet.

Mood changes/swings

The increase in different hormones of early pregnancy may make you cry and feel sad. It can also cause swings or shifts in your moods from very happy, to angry to sad.

No period

You wake up one morning and realize you’re late. Then a few days go by and you’re really late. After two weeks, you’re most likely pregnant but this can only be confirmed by a positive pregnancy test. There is other possible reasons why you are not starting your period like illness, increased stress, travel, recent move, etc.

Watch a video in which a mom talks about how she really feels during early pregnancy:

What Do I Do Next After I Find Out I Am Pregnant?

What to Do


Start prenatal vitamins

Your growing baby needs extra rich nutrients and vitamins early on in the pregnancy. In addition to eating healthy, you will need to start taking a prenatal vitamin every day. You especially need folic acid early in pregnancy in order to properly develop baby’s nervous system.

Stop drinking

Alcohol in pregnancy can result in a syndrome known as “fetal alcohol syndrome.” The effects can cause learning disabilities in your child, mental retardation and even pregnancy loss.

Find a doctor

It takes a while to get into an obstetrician for a first appointment. You will want to call and make your first appointment as soon as you learn you are pregnant. Ask friends who used to deliver their baby or call your local hospital’s referral department.

Quit smoking

Smoking has many negative effects on your growing baby. From poor lung development to low birth weight, it is never a good thing to smoke when you are pregnant.

Keep a calm lifestyle

If you are prone to high stress levels, do something to keep yourself calm now that you are pregnant. Talk to someone who understands you or find an outlet for stress. Try a new hobby, read books or take walks to help clear your mind.

Don’t eat undercooked foods

Toxoplasmosis and Listeria are very dangerous in pregnancy and can cause birth defects.These bacteria live in raw and undercooked meats so make sure you cook them past medium rare while you are pregnant.

Shop for maternity clothing

Your expanding waistline will need bigger clothing soon. You can find some cute maternity styles or just buy a size larger of the clothing you wear normally. You can also find slightly used maternity clothing in second hand stores or borrow them from friends.

Click here to learn more about what to do after knowing you are pregnant. 

Watch a video to learn pregnancy symptoms in second trimester and how to deal with them:

Watch a video to learn pregnancy symptoms in third trimester and how to deal with them: