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First Signs of Pregnancy

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by: Lindsay Hutton

The two-week wait to find out if you have conceived can feel like years if you are trying to have a baby. Some pregnancy symptoms can begin a just few days after conception, even before a positive pregnancy test would register. So how can you know if you are pregnant before you even miss your period? Check out these signs that might suggest you've got a bun in the oven.

Close up of hand on stomach
Spotting or Cramping
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), implementation spotting and cramping can occur 6-12 days after conception when the embryo implants on the uterine wall. While a missed period is the most obvious sign of pregnancy, implementation bleeding can seem like a shorter, lighter period. Not all women experience this symptom, so don't fret if you don't bleed or notice any cramping.
Smiling woman relaxing on couch
Breast Changes
Hormonal changes and increased blood flow might make your breasts feel sore, swollen, and tender as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. They might also appear larger, feel fuller and heavier, and change in appearance. Increased hormones might also make your areolas look darker. Breast discomfort usually eases after the first month.
African American woman with headache
Headaches
The sudden rise in hormones can also cause headaches early on in pregnancy. Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking anything for pain relief, and find out what medications are safe to take during pregnancy.
Woman taking a nap on the couch with book on her chest
Fatigue
Tiredness and fatigue is a common sign of early pregnancy, and signifies that your body is hard at work creating a suitable environment to grow a baby. However, your changing hormones might also disrupt your sleep patterns, so don't be surprised if you find yourself waking up frequently at night during the first weeks of pregnancy. Nap and rest when you can, Mom — making a baby is hard work!
Woman in bed sick to her stomach
Nausea
This common symptom, usually referred to as "morning sickness," typically makes an appearance between 2-8 weeks after conception. Your nausea may be accompanied by vomiting, and won't necessarily be restricted to the morning hours. This is perhaps the most difficult pregnancy symptom to deal with, so follow these tips to help combat your morning sickness.
Close up of woman trying to button pants
Disappearing Waist
Even before you receive a positive pregnancy test, you might find it's already hard to button your pants. Although you aren't "showing" yet, your body is making room for your soon-to-expand uterus, meaning your waist is the first to go.