Pregnancy symptoms can be different for every pregnancy.

10 Signs of Early Pregnancy

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently. Pregnancy symptoms can range from severe to non-existent. Knowing the early signs of pregnancy can help you be more in tune with your body and allow you to make the best choices for your growing bundle. Here are some signs you might be pregnant.

1. Strong sense of smell

Many newly pregnant moms report being bothered by smells. Scents that used to appeal, like detergents, perfume, or shower products, may become overwhelming during early pregnancy. Unscented versions of most household products can be substituted during this time and may help. Sometimes the smell of preparing food becomes intolerable. Peppermint candy or essential oil on a napkin can help mask the smell of food as it is being prepared or this may be an excellent time for spouses and partners to show off their kitchen talents and take over food preparation.

Signs of early pregnancy

2. Food aversions

As the sense of smell increases, food aversions can develop. Foods that were once a dietary staple can become a trigger for nausea. Textures, sounds of chewing, and smells can all contribute to aversions. This is thought to help protect the developing baby by preventing mom from eating things that might be questionable… like food on the verge of spoiling or things that may affect baby’s development.

3. Increased heart rate

With wearable technology becoming more popular, some new moms first notice their heart rate has increased. As the pregnancy develops and grows, the demands on mom’s body increase. By the end of pregnancy, mom’s heart is pumping 30-50% more than before pregnancy and her blood volume has increased by more than 40%. This increase is normal and a healthy part of the changes that come with pregnancy.

4. Spotting

Very light bleeding can often be mistaken for a period. If a cycle is abnormally light, short, or different from your normal cycle, you may want to take a pregnancy test. Spotting can occur when the fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus, usually about 7-14 days after fertilization.

5. Sore nipples

As hormones change to accommodate pregnancy, sore nipples can be an early symptom. If you are currently nursing, your milk production may stop, slow, or change in taste. Exclusively breastfed nurslings may lose weight or self-wean. Discomfort and soreness can continue throughout the pregnancy. As pregnancy advances, nipples usually become darker and larger.

6. Breast tenderness

Pregnancy can cause breasts to grow larger and increase blood flow. With the new growth, breasts can become itchy, sore, full, or start leaking colostrum. Using coconut oil or other lightly scented moisturizer can help with dryness and itchiness.

7. Fatigue

Hormones fluctuating, baby growing, increased cardiac work, and decreased appetite can all contribute to fatigue. It is important to get enough rest during this time. Being overly tired can also contribute to nausea.

8. Nausea and vomiting

Often referred to as morning sickness, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can happen any time of day or night. Nause is usually worse after waking up because the new mom has not eaten in more than 8 hours and blood sugars can be low. To compound the problem, there is often an abundance of stomach acid or bile, making nausea, indigestion, and heartburn much worse. Eating protein right before bed, snacking on plain crackers as soon as you wake, or eating a peppermint candy can help early morning symptoms. Frequent, small meals and staying hydrated can help prevent nausea during the day. Avoiding greasy or heavy foods can also help. 

Read all about pregnancy sickness here.

9. Being emotional

Many times the emotional changes in early pregnancy are confused with PMS… except the menstrual cycle never starts. Emotions can range from unexplained tears to frustration and anger. Higher hormone levels in the first trimester contribute to emotional irritability. Pregnancy is a major life change that can cause relationship changes and emotions from fear and anxiety, to happiness, and everything in between. After the initial shock of learning about the pregnancy, and having time to process emotions, emotions usually become more leveled.

10. Missed period

A missed period is often the first noticed symptom of pregnancy. If you are trying to get pregnant, you might be tempted to test BEFORE your missed period. Early pregnancy tests can sometimes detect pregnancy up to 6 days before your missed period. Pregnancy tests sold in stores are comparable to those used in midwive’s and doctor’s offices. Home tests are 99% accurate when used correctly.

If you are planning a pregnancy or are already pregnant, it is not too late to make positive changes for a healthy body and baby. Nutrition, moderate exercise, stress reduction, and prenatal care are all important. If you want to be an active decision maker in your pregnancy and birth and want the personalized care from a midwife, we would love to speak with you.

If you would like to learn more about the care a midwife can provide, call


to schedule your birth center tour and meeting with a midwife or use our online scheduler.