What to Look Out For in The Early Stages of Pregnancy

Things to note in the early stages of your pregnancy journey

By Linda F.
What to Look Out For in The Early Stages of Pregnancy

Holding a positive pregnancy test result in your hands, gives you a feeling like no other. Joy, anticipation, excitement and yes, anxiety, nervousness and butterflies in your stomach too.

Although the gamut of emotions may run over a wide range; one fact holds true for you and all expectant mums.

Your life is going to be changed forever. Whether it was a planned or an unplanned one, you are now filled with a sense of purpose and pride; a feeling of protectiveness toward your unborn baby. You want to do all the right things to keep your baby safe.

Read on to know what things you need to keep in mind as you and your baby embark on this exciting journey.

Symptoms in the early stages of pregnancy

Before you go out and take that all-confirming pregnancy test, there are certain definitive signs that you could be pregnant. These early signs of pregnancy start showing up right away once you get pregnant. 

1. You miss your period

If you have been regular like clockwork in the past and you miss your period inexplicably, that is a red-flag right there for you! If you experience a missed period with a few more of the following symptoms, you can practically guarantee that you are pregnant.

2. Feelings of Nausea

If you find yourself feeling nauseous especially in the mornings then it can be a sign too. Also if certain strong cooking smells that didn't affect you earlier, but now send you rushing to the bathroom to throw up, take it as a symptom of pregnancy.

3. Tenderness in Breasts

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is a feeling of tenderness or fullness in your breasts.

4. Constant Fatigue

Although a feeling of constantly feeling tired can be an indicator of a serious illness, if accompanied by the early symptoms mentioned here, it can be a sign that you are pregnant.

5. Feelings of Dizziness or Light-headedness

Pregnancy causes dizziness in its early stages. A sudden onset of feelings of dizziness is also a sign of pregnancy.

6. Unusual Food Cravings

Have you noticed any unusual food cravings lately? This craving could be for some food that was never really a favorite or maybe something that you even couldn’t stand to eat before. Conversely, does a particular thing that used to be one that you’d loved is something you can't look at now without feeling queasy?

Changes in food preference or craving for one particular food is also a sign that you’re pregnant.

7. Constantly feeling Emotional or Weepy

This is another sign of pregnancy. If you find yourself reacting emotionally or responding with hysterics to situations that wouldn’t have bothered you before, you should consider the possibility that you may be pregnant.

8. Mood-swings

Do you feel happy one moment and in emotional doldrums the next? Are you driving the people around you crazy on account of this? These unexplained mood swings could be the result of the hormonal changes your body is going through on account of being pregnant.

9. Lower back pain

Remember the nagging lower back pain you get just at the onset of your period?  Well, if you keep getting that same feeling but aren’t starting the period that normally follows it, it is a positive sign that you are along the baby way.

10. Bloating

As soon as you are pregnant, your body goes into hormonal overdrive. Progesterone is a pregnancy hormone that results in feeling constantly bloated. 

Belly in the early stages of pregnancy

Your belly in the early stages of pregnancy on the outside will still look the same. Not surprising, considering that your baby is just the size of a poppy seed right now!

At this stage, the baby is referred in medical terms as ‘Blastocyst’ and is really just a miniscule bunch of cells grouped together. It is preparing and adjusting itself to its new home; in other words your uterus. This when your early pregnancy symptoms will start showing up. Your body will start knowing it is pregnant, much before you do and will start adapting itself to the new changes required to sustain the tiny little life growing inside you.

In fact at this stage, if it weren’t for the symptoms you experience, you’d have a hard time wrapping your head around the thought, that you are actually carrying a little human inside you.

Ultrasound in the early stages of pregnancy

The first ultra sound is usually done in the first three or four months of your pregnancy, preferably in the first trimester. It is a standard painless procedure using the transabdominal ultrasound routine. The procedure is safe for you and the baby.

Your bladder needs to be full for the ultrasound to generate better images. The best way to do this is to empty the bladder an hour and a half prior to the time you’re scheduled for and then during a couple of glasses of water and not empty it again till after the appointment.

Your baby is currently in the six week gestational period and at this point it is roughly 7 to 10 mm in length. Usually the technician will apply a gel to your lower abdomen which helps to improve the contact point between the probe and the skin.

In case, your doctor requires more detailed results then she may recommend a transvaginal ultrasound. In this procedure, a small probe that is covered in protective sheath and around two centimeters in diameter, will be inserted a short distance into your vagina. The strobe will have gel applied to it to make the insertion easy. It is performed without any analgesia. The images of this type of ultrasound are clearer and more detailed.

An ultrasound helps your doctor to learn the following-

  1. Confirming and checking the presence of a baby by looking for a heartbeat.
  2. The location of your baby in the uterus.
  3. The number of babies in your uterus.
  4. If you are experience any bleeding or spotting during your pregnancy, the doctor will look for the reasons for these, through the ultrasound.

What to do in the early stages of pregnancy with twins

As per the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, more women in the US are given birth to twins than ever before; about 3 in every 100 pregnancy is a multiple birth. The reason for that being more and more women are having babies in their thirties and forties. While there is no doubt that babies are a bundle of joy, extra care should be taken if you learn that you’re having twins or multiple babies.

Keep in mind the following:
  1. You will need to have double the dosage supplements such as folic acid than other moms.
  2. You will be visiting your OB-GYN more.
  3. Your symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea in the morning will be worse with twins.
  4. Spotting may be more common if you’re expecting twins.
  5. You may gain more weight than other moms. Keep the advice you get from your doctor to keep your weight in check.
  6. Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels, as moms of twins may be more at risk of developing gestational diabetes.


Your pregnancy, as it progresses, should start getting easier as you adjust to the changes in your body. Be calm, and relaxed and maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Before you know it, it will be over and you will be holding your little bundle of joy in your arms. So take time to mindfully slow down and enjoy this incredible experience.

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