5 Reliable Early Pregnancy Signs
Don’t rely on folklore to decide if you’re in early pregnancy. We’ve got five pregnancy symptoms you should watch out for, plus some tips for keeping you and your baby healthy (even before you conceive).
Grandma used to say the only time you’ll see the pulse in your neck is when you’re pregnant. But your BFF says you’ll know by your intense cravings.
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But before you resign yourself to a seemingly endless pregnancy watch, Ob/Gyn Patricia Yost, MD, offers five more reliable signs you’re pregnant.
The tell-tale sign of pregnancy, of course, is a missed period (duh!). But if you have an irregular period or pay little attention to the calendar, you might miss that obvious clue.
“Early pregnancy signs often mimic pre-menstrual symptoms,” says Dr. Yost. “A little cramping and breast tenderness, for example, are common. For some women, bleeding happens when the egg implants and might be mistaken for a light period.”
But as your body ramps up on pregnancy hormones, you might also experience:
“One less-scientific clue is this: Sometimes you just feel different,” says Dr. Yost. “That’s a thing. You just can’t put your finger on it, but you don’t feel ‘normal.’”
If you missed (or don’t have) the more obvious signs, but the “this just isn’t right” feelings are adding up, reach for a home pregnancy test.
“Over-the-counter pregnancy tests can be positive even before you miss your period,” says Dr. Yost. “They are nearing the sensitivity of blood tests.”
If your home pregnancy test is positive, schedule an appointment with your women’s health provider. The sooner you can confirm your pregnancy, the sooner you can start those habits (and schedule prenatal visits) that will keep you and your baby healthy.
“Women’s health providers like to stress the importance of planning pregnancy,” says Dr. Yost. “It’s a bit mind-boggling that 50% of pregnancies are still unplanned. It’s easier to spot pregnancy symptoms when you are anticipating them.”
Planning for pregnancy helps ensure you don’t conceive at an inconvenient time in your life. More important, your developing baby has the best shot of good health from the moment of conception because you’ll have:
“We encourage every woman to have a women’s health provider they can rely on for advice long before pregnancy is even on the radar,” says Dr. Yost.
You can count on your women’s health provider to: