For a lot of people, the first month of pregnancy is where most pregnancy symptoms are experienced, if you are newly pregnant or trying to conceive, you will definitely have lots of questions that would revolve around symptoms to watch out for.
Symptoms can strike at any time of the day or night and for some people, it starts right from the very first month.
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each trimester is a little longer than 13 weeks and symptoms tend to change every trimester however the first month marks the beginning of the first trimester.
Due to the hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy, there is a lot of changes that occur in the body of the pregnant female anatomically (structurally), physiologically (functionally), biochemically and behaviourally.
Table of Contents
- When Do The Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
- Symptoms Of First Month Of Pregnancy
- 1. Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
- 2. Fatigue
- 3. Raised Body Temperature
- 4. Urinary Frequency Or Constipation
- 5. Increased Smell Sensitivity
- 6. Early Changes In Breast: Tingling, Aching, And Growing
- 7. Changes In Mood
- 8. Increased Blood Volume
- 9. Unusual Hunger Or Cravings
- 10. Morning Sickness, Nausea, And Vomiting
- 11. Pregnancy Glow And Acne
It is natural to have questions during the first months of pregnancy and while pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the most likely ways to determine you are pregnant, there are other signs and symptoms that can be watched out for.
When Do The Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
Understanding your symptoms is just as important as knowing when these symptoms are likely to start, body varies though and most people often claim they experience these symptoms within the first week of pregnancy.
This may sound odd but your pregnancy is based on the date of your last period hence your last menstrual period counts as week one of your pregnancy (1).
The expected delivery date would be calculated using the first day of your last period and this means the first weeks where you may not have symptoms counts towards your 40-week pregnancy stage.
Most people think of pregnancy lasting for 9 months but because pregnancy is measured from the first day of your last menstrual period which might be about 3-4 weeks before you’re actually pregnant, a full-term pregnancy usually totals about 40 weeks from last menstrual period which means roughly 10 months (2).
Many people might not remember exactly when they started their last menstrual period but that’s okay. An ultrasound is the surest way to find out about gestational age, nonetheless, you’ll find this post useful (3).
Symptoms Of First Month Of Pregnancy
We have rounded up 14 of the most common signs of being pregnant to prepare you for them and you can be well aware if you need to see your doctor.
1. Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
This is medically termed as amenorrhea. The commonest cause of missed period in women of reproductive age is pregnancy. This is the first sign every lady tends to look out for.
After ovulation, the remnants of the ovarian follicle develops to form the corpus luteum. If fertilization occurs, the corpus luteum undergoes further change and starts secreting progesterone and a little estrogen.
The progesterone helps to keep your uterus in shape in preparation to receive the fetus. The estrogen secreted will cause a negative feedback to the brain and decrease the secretion of gonadotropins. These gonadotropins are responsible for mediating the menstrual cycle. Thus, if these hormones are decrease, the menstrual cycle ceases temporarily and you have missed periods.
A second event happens during pregnancy called implantation. Implantation is what leads to the formation of the placenta. The placenta produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
This is the hormone that actually signals that pregnancy had begun. This hormone further signals the corpus luteum to continue producing progesterone. However, after some time, the placenta takes full charge of progesterone secretion and the corpus luteum regresses.
Fatigue is one of the signs of the earliest stage of pregnancy, it can develop at any stage of pregnancy and it’s quite common. It takes lots of energy to create a baby so it should be no surprise when you start to feel more tired during the early stage of pregnancy but chances are you will start to feel less tired around 12 weeks when the placenta is fully formed. Make an effort to get enough sleep during this period.
3. Raised Body Temperature
Raised body temperature is another common first-month symptom of pregnancy, your body’s core temperature may increase more easily during exercise or in hot weather. You will need to stay hydrated during this time which means more water and exercise cautiously.
4. Urinary Frequency Or Constipation
Your hormones are going to be playing a lot of role on your bladder during this period which would lead to frequent urination, you may find yourself running to the bathroom more frequently or accidentally leaking.
During pregnancy, your body increases the amount of blood it pumps which causes the kidney to process more fluid than usual and which in turn leads to more fluid in your bladder.
You should learn to plan out your bathroom trips ahead of time to avoid incontinence and it’s recommended to drink 300 ml, a little more than a cup of extra fluid every day.
5. Increased Smell Sensitivity
Many women have a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy and it’s one of the most common signs within the first month, and it may also cause strong distaste for food. There is little scientific evidence about the smell sensitivity during the first trimester.
Smell sensitivity is quite important as it may trigger nausea and vomiting. Studies also show that women tend to rate odor as more intense during their first trimester.
6. Early Changes In Breast: Tingling, Aching, And Growing
Tingling and aching in the breast is one of the most common signs of being pregnant, in the first stage pregnancy breasts will fill out and change shape as they prepare to produce milk, hormones will also cause your breast to grow. Nipples and breast changes can also occur around week 11.
7. Changes In Mood
Your estrogen and progesterone level becomes high during the first month of pregnancy, it is normal to go through a variety of emotions as your hormones are adjusting and your body is changing, this increase in estrogen and progesterone can affect your mood and make you more emotional or reactive than usual.
Mood swings are common during pregnancy and may cause feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, and euphoria.
8. Increased Blood Volume
During the first month of pregnancy, women expand their blood volume by approximately 30-50% and this is caused by an increase in cardiac output. Thus change is usually caused by the increased circulating progesterone.
However, while blood volume is increased, the peripheral resistance (which is the resistance of blood vessels to the passage of blood) is decreased and thus, blood pressure is normal or decreased. If you are pregnant and you notice that your blood pressure is high, you should see the doctor immediately.
9. Unusual Hunger Or Cravings
At the early stage, your pregnant body is working hard to grow the baby hence the body will need 300 extra calories a day and most women find themselves craving foods they would normally not dream of eating while others simply feel hungry all day long.
10. Morning Sickness, Nausea, And Vomiting
Morning sickness is actually the next symptom after the menstrual period, it tends to happen around week 4 to 6 and although it’s called morning sickness, it can happen at any time of the day, it’s unclear what exactly causes morning sickness, nausea and, vomiting but hormones can be a major factor.
During the first trimester, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness and it might become intense towards the end of the first semester and less severe as you enter the second trimester.
The main reason for the morning sickness, nausea and vomiting is because progesterone acts on the stomach to decrease gastric motility. This means, your stomach digests food less readily than before. Hence, your stomach tends to be always full and you’re prone to vomiting. Additionally, there is something like a circular ring just at the entrance of your stomach that prevents food from going back after it enters the stomach. The effectiveness of this ring is also decreased because of the hormone.
Ensure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and you can keep a package of saltine crackers by your bed to eat a few before you get up in the morning to help settle morning sickness.
11. Pregnancy Glow And Acne
Pregnancy glow is something most women appreciate during pregnancy, it is also referred to as a physiological change of one of the blessings of pregnancy. The increased activity of your body’s oil gland gives your skin a flushed glossy appearance and on the other hand, there is acne that can occur on any part of your body.
The increase in oil can make your skin too oily and sometimes trigger acne which is known as pregnancy acne.
Many of the symptoms experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy will start to fade once you enter the second semester, talk to your doctor about any symptoms that might interfere with your daily life, a suitable way to control this will be taken together. Every woman signs and symptoms tend to differ but above are most of the primary symptoms of pregnancy to watch out for.
- Kristeen Cherney. What Do You Want to Know About Pregnancy. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy
- Colleen de Bellefonds. 11 Early Pregnancy Symptoms to Watch For. Retrieved from: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/early-symptoms-of-pregnancy.aspx
Read more on pregnancy and care tips:
- 7 Ways To Keep Your Mind And Body Active During Pregnancy
- Top Home Remedies For Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy
- 10 Steps to Healthy Pregnancy (#4 Is Absolutely Important)
- 10 Best Foods For a Healthier Pregnancy
- Nausea And Vomiting: Causes And How to Get Rid of It With Compazine