Early Symptoms of Pregnancy

You won’t notice any pregnancy symptoms until implantation occurs. Implantation is when the fertilised egg implants itself in the lining of your uterus. This usually occurs between seven and 10 days after conception. Once the embryo is implanted in your womb, it will start producing pregnancy hormones, and you will begin to notice changes in your body. If you suspect you may be pregnant, look out for the following early symptoms of pregnancy:

A missed period This is considered to be one of the most reliable early symptoms of pregnancy. If you have a regular menstrual cycle, and your period is late, it could be the first clue that you may be pregnant.

Spotting Some women notice spotting (light bleeding) around the time of implantation. Spotting is much lighter than a menstrual period, often little more than a few spots of blood, and tends to be brown or pink in colour.

Nausea Once your body starts producing pregnancy hormones, you may begin to suffer from nausea and morning sickness. Unlike the name suggests, morning sickness can happen at any time during the day. Try to avoid low blood sugar by eating little and often.

Increased discharge This thick, odourless, milky discharge is nothing to worry about, but you can wear a panty liner if you prefer.

Breast changes Breast changes are often considered to be one of the give-aways of early pregnancy. You may notice that your breasts appear bigger and feel tender. Your nipples may darken, and you may notice small bumps appearing on the areola.

Feeling tired Not just I-watched-too-much-Greys-Anatomy-last-night-tired, the tiredness of early pregnancy is experienced by many as a fatigue. If you’re finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, yawning your way through client meetings, and falling asleep on the sofa before dinner, you may be experience pregnancy fatigue.

Heightened sense of smell Some women notice they are extra sensitive to smells during pregnancy, and this can kick in even before the pregnancy is confirmed. Some women report aversions to smells including petrol (gasoline), laundry detergent and cigarettes.

Feeling emotional As your body begins rapidly producing hormones, you may notice yourself feeling more emotional than usual. If you find yourself sobbing over commercials, and screaming at your partner for using the wrong washing up sponge, it could be pregnancy hormones at play.

Not all women experience all of the symptoms above. You may experience some and not others, you may not notice any symptoms, or you might hit the jackpot and be able to tick each one off your pregnancy bingo scratch card. Each pregnancy is unique, and your symptoms will differ to those of other women. If you have more than one pregnancy, you may notice different early symptoms of pregnancy for each.

If you think you may be pregnant, the most accurate way to find out for sure is to take a home pregnancy test. Wait until the day your period is due, because this increases the accuracy of the test. Read the instructions carefully, and follow them exactly when performing the test. Good luck!

What first made you wonder whether you were pregnant?

Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Vaginal Bleeding After Delivery; What’s Going on Down There?

Whether you enjoyed your pregnancy or were less than thrilled with your pregnancy symptoms, you have your little bundle of joy to show for it. You also get to say goodbye to the physical changes and challenges of pregnancy. But before you can return to your pre-pregnancy self, there are some post-partum symptoms you will have to deal with.

From your milk coming in, to your uterus contracting, there is a lot going on. For example, one symptom, which occurs after you give birth is lochia. Lochia is the vaginal discharge that occurs after you deliver.

You will have lochia even if you delivered via a C-section. Lochia consists of blood, mucus and small amounts of tissue from the uterus. The bleeding is heaviest for about the first ten days after giving birth. It tends to be dark red at first and will become pink, brown and eventually a yellowish-white discharge.

You may experience the discharge for several weeks after giving birth. Although it can vary, most women experience lochia for about two to four weeks. But the good news is the discharge gets lighter gradually. For example, after about a week, lochia may change to a light, watery, pink discharge. As it tapers off, some women may only have intermittent spotting for a few more weeks before it eventually stops.

Managing Lochia

There is no special management needed for lochia, but there are a few things to keep in mind. During the first few days after delivery when lochia is the heaviest, you’ll likely need a heavy duty sanitary pad. In order to prevent infection and irritation, make sure you change your pad at least every four hours if you had a perineal tear or an episiotomy. Tampons are a no-no since they can introduce bacteria and lead to an infection in your still recovering uterus.

In the first week after delivery, you may also want to skip wearing your favorite undies and outfits even if you fit into them immediately. Lochia can be pretty heavy in the first few days, and leaks are possible.

Also, give yourself permission to take it easy as you are recovering. Pregnancy and childbirth are not always a walk in the park. Doing too much too soon can increase discharge.

Keep in mind, just because you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, it does not mean you are protected from becoming pregnant. Ovulation is possible four weeks after birth. After you heal (in about four to six weeks), if you are up to having sex, be sure to use contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.

How do I Know if There is a Problem?

In most cases, lochia occurs without complications and will gradually taper off. But there may be a problem if you are bleeding excessively. Excessive bleeding may be indicated by soaking a pad every hour or passing large clots. If you have excessive bleeding or pass large clots, always inform your healthcare provider.

If you have foul smelling lochia, chills or a fever, it can be a sign of an infection and requires medical attention. Don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider if you think something may be wrong. It’s always better to be on the safe side.

Written by Mary Ann DePietro @ writerlady34

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.