Early Signs of Pregnancy? Discover The Subtle Signs that You’re Pregnant

Aug 262013

Early signs of pregnancy

The earlier you know you’re pregnant, the sooner you can start making healthy lifestyle changes for you and your baby. Many women start noticing tell-tale symptoms just a couple of weeks after conception, even before missing their first period. Female intuition? Perhaps, but all of these early indicators are your body reacting to shifting hormone levels as it prepares for a pregnancy ahead.

Of course, at the earliest inkling that you might be expecting, a pregnancy test, usually followed up with a blood test at your doctor’s office are both necessary to be absolutely certain. Before that, though, here’s a rundown of some of the subtle – and not so subtle – clues every woman should be aware of.

Tender or Swollen Breasts

With my first, we were so desperate to have a baby that I spent a lot of time focusing on dates and spending an absolute fortune on pregnancy tests”, Emily, aged 34 and from London explains. “But with number two, it was definitely more the small changes that I noticed… I just knew!

Now in the second trimester of her pregnancy, Emily recalls those first, early signs. “My boobs were the first giveaway! Once my daughter stopped breastfeeding, they naturally went back to their pre-pregnancy size. But as soon as I fell pregnant again, they felt fuller, more swollen and even a bit achy.

Breasts can feel sore, heavy or swollen as early as just a couple of weeks into your pregnancy, and for many women is an early sign of impending motherhood. As with all of these changes, it’s caused by increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone causing blood to rush to the breasts, making them more sensitive. Confusingly, sore breasts can also be a sign of pre-menstruation, but if you’re actively trying for a baby, it could well be that you’re experiencing the first symptoms of pregnancy…

Heightened Sensitivity to Smells and Tastes

Us women are blessed with a more heightened sense of smell than men, and never more so than around the time of ovulation. Perhaps you’ve noticed that ahead of your period, certain odors – both pleasant and unpleasant – seem sharper? It’s thought we have estrogen to thank for that, and during the early stages of pregnancy, it can wreak havoc on the senses. Unfortunately, these changes can also cause gut-wrenching nausea, or morning sickness, with seemingly innocuous substances triggering queasiness. The catalysts vary, but common ones include coffee, cigarette smoke, and even perfume. You can find out more about morning sickness and how to deal with it here.

That extends to aversions to or cravings for certain types of food – again, hormones are responsible, and no, they don’t always make sense! Whilst many women find they suddenly can’t stomach the thought of alcohol or caffeine, other pregnancy no-nos may well cause minor food obsessions during these first few weeks. There might be some truth to the notion that your body is craving what it needs, but if that hankering is for mountains of chocolate and potato chips, try to exercise some restraint and consider whether your hunger is more psychological than physical.

Tiredness, Fatigue and Mood

Yet another early sign of pregnancy so easily confused with any number of non-related conditions is tiredness and fatigue. This one’s a no-brainer – your body’s busy making a whole new life, and in these first few weeks, developing an entirely new organ: the placenta. More specifically, the tiredness is a result of an overload of natural hormone, progesterone that can also cause mood swings, another early symptom of impending motherhood:

“I remember feeling tired, and my mood definitely changed – I was a lot more grumpy all of a sudden, but also a lot more emotional. I’d cry at the smallest things!”

Emily’s experiences may not reflect those of all women, but it’s safe to say a spring in the step and positive outlook don’t necessarily go hand in hand with the wider joys of pregnancy, particularly in those early days. Once again, the culprit is soaring levels of progesterone causing a chemical imbalance in the brain. This can range from mild moodiness through to out-right depression – the thing to remember here is that these feelings are temporary, and help is always at hand.

Time to Test?

Of course, all of these early signs and symptoms can be confused for any number of conditions, not least imminent menstruation. If you’re experiencing several at the same time, though, and pregnancy is a possibility, set your mind at ease and pick up a pregnancy test. Female intuition is one thing, but it’s no substitute for certainty!


Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.


Craving for Two: How to Eat Safe During Pregnancy

Pregnancy sends your body and mind on a hormonal roller coaster ride. While you’re busy building a crib and painting the nursery in-between all those random mood swings, your body is going through its own interior decorating overhaul. Estrogen and progesterone levels skyrocket to facilitate healthy fetal development, all while leaving you wondering if your [...]

Read more »


Implantation Bleeding or Period: What’s the Difference?

If you are a diehard fan of the TV program ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant’ like we are, then you’ll know that many women featured experienced irregular periods throughout their life, and in fact experienced what they thought to be a period during their surprise pregnancy. The existence of such a perplexing phenomenon can [...]

Read more »


How to Deal with All Your Pregnancy Skin Concerns

“You’re glowing!” is one of the things you might expect to hear when you’re expecting. But the physiological changes that generate the pregnancy glow can also wreak havoc on your complexion. Like the rest of your body, your skin will experience changes along the journey to childbirth. Here are some of the most common skin [...]

Read more »


Motherhood & Pelvic Floor Recovery

After all the work your body put into creating your little bundle of joy, you’d expect it deserves a rest, but your post-birth recovery has just begun. Both vaginal and cesarean births birthday can wreak havoc on your pelvic floor – the hammock-like structure of muscles integral to supporting your internal organs – and it’s [...]

Read more »


Pregnancy Myths – Sorting Fact From Fiction

From the moment women announce their pregnancy, they are besieged with unsolicited information and advice, that is, more often than not, based on half-truths, misinformation and old wives’ tales. Among these curious tidbits is the fact that heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will have more hair, and the myth that the position of your [...]

Read more »

Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression – Telling the Difference

Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression – Telling the Difference

Pregnancy sure is amazing; your body undergoes incredible changes, you bring a new life into the world and you have a brand new human to watch learn and grow at the end of it – sounds great right? Unfortunately, while many of us are aware of the postpartum body changes that women experience after childbirth, [...]

Read more »

can i use a menstrual cup after pregnancy

Top 4 Questions About Using a Menstrual Cup Postpartum

Pregnancy has a lot of perks, from luscious hair to bigger boobs, and of course, being period-free for nine whole months! But, as you settle down into motherhood with your little bundle of joy, it’ll soon be time to get reacquainted with Aunt Flo and your trusty menstrual cup. Yes, menstrual cups are totally safe [...]

Read more »

body changes during pregnancy

How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

Whatever way you look at it, pregnancy is pretty darn amazing. More than just growing a baby bump, your body undergoes more changes and in a shorter space of time than at any other point in your life. These changes help support the growth of your baby, prepare you for childbirth and get you ready [...]

Read more »

Postpartum Recovery Kit: Must-Haves for New Moms

Postpartum Recovery Kit: Must-Haves for New Moms

Forget Superman and Wonder Woman, new moms are some of the biggest heroes you will ever meet. In spite of the excitement of meeting the tiniest member of your family, pregnancy and childbirth might leave you feeling just a little bit exhausted. So take some time to heal your body & mind with these postpartum recovery essentials. [...]

Read more »

Start your engines! How to Have Great Sex after Pregnancy

Do a quick Google search for “when can I have sex after baby” and you’ll see that women everywhere are wondering about how pregnancy and childbirth will affect their sex lives. And no wonder – sex is important for your mental, emotional and physical well-being! Yes, your body has changed, and yes sex might be [...]

Read more »

  • Sign Up. It's Rewarding!
  • Join our newsletter list today.
  • Enjoy 10% off your first order.
  • *Email address
  • *Birthday
  • *Required field
     For first-time subscribers only. Terms & Conditions
INTIMINA uses cookies to improve our service to the customer. By continuing to browse our site, you agree to our use of cookies detailed here.   ACCEPT