Changes in Early Pregnancy

Normal Changes in Your Body

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life.  For the first four weeks you may not realise that you are pregnant. The first sign is often a missed period.  It is recommended that you take a pregnancy test one to two weeks after this.  A pregnancy test is positive when the pregnancy hormone is present in the urine. The pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG), rises slowly during pregnancy and the hormonal changes during this time may cause some of the following symptoms or changes in your body.

Nausea & Vomiting

In the early weeks, you may feel nauseated and have some vomiting during the day. This is called morning sickness though many women can experience these symptoms throughout the day.  For most women, this nausea and vomiting ease after the first trimester (first 12 weeks). However, for some, it may last longer and even for the duration of the pregnancy.

Fatigue

Tiredness and fatigue may also be felt during this time. This is very common, especially during the first trimester (first 12 weeks).  You may find yourself falling asleep in the afternoon or wanting to take a nap half way through the day. 

Frequent Urination

Some women say they pass urine more often in the early weeks, especially at night. However, this tends to be more common later in pregnancy during the third trimester (from week 28 to delivery).

Constipation & Bloating

As the hormone progesterone increases in pregnancy, the digestive system slows down. As a result, you may feel constipated and bloated.

Breast Tenderness

You may find that your breasts become enlarged and tender, similar to what some women feel just before a period.  You may also find that the veins in your breast become more visible and prominent and your nipples darken.

Cravings

During pregnancy some of your senses can be affected. You may have cravings or lose interest in foods you usually like. Your sense of smell is heightened and you may be more sensitive to certain smells.

Emotional Changes

Emotional changes can be experienced during the first weeks of pregnancy. This is normal and is due to the hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time.

If you are concerned about any of the above symptoms please consult your GP.

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Pregnancy Loss Research Group

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Cork University Maternity Hospital

Wilton, Cork, Ireland

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