6 Earliest Pregnancy Symptoms

Last year more than 3.6 million babies were born in our country. This was a slight increase from the year before. All these (new) mothers must have experienced symptoms and wonder: am I pregnant? This can be in the early stages of the pregnancy, but there are also a lot of women who don’t know they’re pregnant until they’re already in their second trimester. This is why it’s good to know what (early) symptoms indicate a woman is pregnant, and it’s wise to do a pregnancy test. Here’s a little hint: this doesn’t always have to be a missed period!

Asian woman look at a pregnancy test

Raised Basal Body Temperature

Most women think missing their period is the earliest sign of pregnancy, but let me tell you: if you missed a period, chances are you’re already 4 to 9 weeks pregnant! The earliest symptom is a raised basal body temperature. After conceiving, you will see that this has risen about 1 degree and will remain so throughout the pregnancy. Of course, you can only know this if you measure this with a basal body thermometer. Side note: a rise in basal body temperature can also have other causes, so this isn’t the most foolproof symptom, but it may help – especially if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Due to an increase in the amount of blood in your body, there is a good chance that you will have to go to the bathroom a lot more often than you did before. This is because the increase in blood makes your kidneys work harder and process extra fluid. All this fluid ends up in your bladder, and once it’s getting full, your body will alert you to the fact that you need to urinate, which will be more often when you’re pregnant because it fills up faster.


An early pregnancy symptom almost every woman experiences is fatigue. Imagine running a marathon without training while carrying a backpack that weighs a little more every mile you run. This is how it feels to be pregnant. You can say: it is physically hard work because where the body first had to take care of one person, it now takes care of two – who have to be handled very carefully because it is still super fragile.

Morning Sickness

Most women are aware of the fact that they can suffer from morning sickness in the first trimester of their pregnancy, but what they don’t know is that this morning sickness can occur at any time of the day. This means you can also be very nauseous at night or during the day. This “morning sickness” can be with or without vomiting. Often this symptom occurs when you’re 6 weeks pregnant, but some women experience it earlier on or don’t experience it at all. Increased levels of progesterone, estrogen, and hCG, are often the cause.

Infographic of early pregnancy symptoms

Breast Changes

Often the first body parts that change in pregnancy are the breasts – and areolas & nipples. They can feel tender to the touch and sore. This is similar – slightly more severe – to how the breasts feel during a period. The breasts may also feel and look swollen. Your nipples and areolas also change when you’re pregnant. They get darker and bigger. The discomfort you might experience will decrease once your body gets used to the increase in hormones.

Sensitive to Smell

A symptom that also often passes is a heightened sense of smell. Things that you hardly – if at all – smelled before may now smell appalling. Food can also suddenly smell a lot less appealing. This combined with morning sickness can cause you to lose your appetite. You may find that your favorite drink or dish is now suddenly impossible to tolerate because of the smell.

There are so many early but less common symptoms that can indicate you’re pregnant, and of course, these symptoms vary per woman. It may very well be that you do not or hardly experience the symptoms mentioned, but you do suffer from other symptoms. Remember you only know you’re pregnant when you do a pregnancy test! In case you experience these or other pregnancy-related symptoms, take one – or more – pregnancy tests to make sure. For more information about pregnancies and their symptoms, the best pregnancy tests, and what you should do next? Continue your search here:

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