Pregnancy can bring on a wide range of symptoms, some of which are more common than others. Morning sickness and breast tenderness, for example, are very common symptoms experienced by many women during early pregnancy. Fatigue is another common symptom many women experience; if this is something you are experiencing then it’s important to listen to your body, put your feet up (when you can) and relax as much as possible…you’re making another human and it’s very tiring work!
Pregnancy symptoms can differ between women, while some experience only a few mild symptoms, others may have more severe symptoms that affect their daily lives. It’s important to be aware of the most common pregnancy symptoms so that you can know what to expect and when to reach out to your midwife for a little extra support.
Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and so it follows that every pregnancy will also come with different symptoms and no two are the same. However, there are some pregnancy symptoms that are more common than others. Here’s a look at some of the most common pregnancy symptoms and what you need to know about them:
This is one of the most well-known pregnancy symptoms, and for good reason – it affects a large amount of pregnant women. Morning sickness is often characterised by nausea and vomiting, and can occur at any time of day (who decided to call it ‘morning’ sickness?!). While it’s generally not harmful, morning sickness can be debilitating for some women and need treatment. A lot of women try sipping a fresh mint tea or eating a ginger biscuit when they feel nauseous for some relief. Luckily for most, morning sickness starts to ease as you enter the second trimester. If you’re struggling with morning sickness, be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife about possible treatments.
Feeling tired all the time is a common pregnancy symptom, particularly in the first and third trimesters. This fatigue is caused by the increased levels of pregnancy hormones in your body, and can be exacerbated by things like morning sickness and lack of sleep. It’s important to listen to your body and rest as much as possible if you are feeling exhausted. Try and get an early night if you can, or make time during the day to put your feet up and rest. If you’re feeling extremely tired speak to your doctor or midwife as this could be a sign of anaemia.
This is another pregnancy symptom that is caused by the increased levels of pregnancy hormones, oestrogen, progesterone and prolactin, in your body. Breast tenderness can occur as early as the first trimester and then disappear, however, some women may experience it throughout their entire pregnancy. Your breasts begin to change very early in your pregnancy due to these hormonal changes so this symptom is very common.
This pregnancy symptom is caused by an increase of the hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin, your kidneys working extra hard due to an increase of fluid in the body and the pressure of your growing uterus on your bladder. While it can be annoying, frequent urination is generally not harmful. However it is important to be aware of urinary tract infections (UTIs) as these can be dangerous in pregnancy if left untreated, if you suspect you may have a UTI then you must seek medical attention quickly.
Pregnancy cravings are caused by the hormonal changes in your body and a changing sense of smell and taste. While they can be intense, pregnancy cravings are generally harmless. If you have pregnancy cravings, try to choose healthy foods to satisfy them…although we appreciate this is easier said than done…sometimes only a cheeseburger will do!
Pregnancy hormones can also cause mood swings. You may find yourself feeling happy one minute and angry or sad the next. If you’re struggling with your emotions, be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife as support is available.
This pregnancy symptom is caused by higher levels of progesterone in your body, which can slow down your digestive system. While constipation is generally not harmful, it can be uncomfortable. If you’re struggling with constipation, be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife about possible treatments.
Pregnancy hormones can also cause headaches. Other factors like lack of sleep and caffeine withdrawal can also contribute to headaches. If you’re experiencing headaches, be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife to rule out any other possible causes.
This pregnancy symptom is caused by the increased levels of pregnancy hormones in your body, which can relax the valve between your stomach and oesophagus. This can lead to stomach acid rising up into your throat, causing heartburn. Heartburn can also be caused because of the baby growing and putting pressure on your stomach.
This symptom is usually experienced later on in pregnancy and is caused by the increased levels of fluid in your body. While swelling is generally not harmful, it can be uncomfortable. If you’re experiencing severe swelling, swelling that is not going down or new swelling then be sure to seek medical attention quickly as this can be a sign of pre-eclampsia that needs to be monitored very closely.
While these are some of the most common pregnancy symptoms, it’s important to remember that every pregnancy is different. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be a difficult one. If you’re experiencing severe pregnancy symptoms, or you’re worried about anything, be sure to speak to your midwife or doctor about them.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.