Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Perhaps the earliest sign of pregnancy is the feeling that you are really pregnant. This feeling is not just to do with suspicions, there is a definite consciousness of being pregnant. This is due to the first secretion of pregnancy hormones.
The hormones affect your body in every respect, including your mind and the way you feel.
Feeling tired is another early symptom of pregnancy. Although some women may have more energy, the majority would confess to feeling tired. It is a new kind of tiredness that they haven't felt before often having an uncontrolled desire of wanting to sleep
High levels of progesterone in early pregnancy could be the explanation of this deep desire to sleep.
Progesterone is a sedative in human beings. It also accounts for the serene and beatific look that is classically associated with pregnancy.
Missed Period (amennorhoea)
Within two weeks of fertlisation you'll miss a period and that is the classic sign of pregnancy. While pregnancy is the commonest cause of a missed period, it's not the only one so don't automatically assume you're pregnant.
A severe physical illness, a great shock, jet lag, even a surgical operation and anxiety are known to make a period late.
On the other hand, it is quite common to have a very light period after the pregnnacy is established and this accounts for some pregnancies appearing to be only eight months in length.
Many women suffer from sickness in one form or another, caused by the increasing levels of hormones circulating in the blood. One hormone called human hormone chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) is produced in your bloodstream to keep up supplies of oestrogen and progesterone to prevent a menstrual period. In other words to maintain the pregnancy.
It is presence of HCG in urine that confirms a pregnancy. The build-up of this hormone roughly paralells the time of nausea for many women, ending between 12 and 14 weeks.
The sudden rush of hormones can have a direct irritant effect on the lining of the stomach and this shows as a feeling of nausea.
They also cause a rapid clearing of sugar from the blood, which can result in a feeling of great hunger and sickness. Nausea, in some cases accompanied by vomitting, occurs from about week 6. It rarely lasts longer than the first three months and then it gradually stops.
Tastes and Cravings
A change in taste and in preferences for certain foods may be one of the first signs of pregnancy and occur even before you miss a period. It is quite common to go off certain foods and drink, commonly fried foods, coffee and alcohol, as well as cigarette smoke.
It is often described as a metallic taste in the mouth which affects your appreciation of the food. Cravings are thought to be due to the rising hormone levels and are sometimes experienced during the second half of the menstrual cycle for the same reason. Don't indulge a craving for high calorie foods, which may be low in nutritional value.
Frequency of Urination (micturition)
As the uterus begins to swell, it presses on the bladder, which lies close to it. Consequently, the bladder tries to expel even small amounts of urine, and many women notice a desire to pass urine more frequently as early as one week after conception - you may find yourself having to go to the lavatory every hour. Unless there is a burning sensation or pain when you pass urine there is no need to consult your doctor about increased frequency. By about week 12, the uterus has increased in size and rises up out of the pelvic cavity. This reduces the pressure on the bladder and the frequency of urination.
The changes that take place in the breasts in early pregnancy are really an exaggerated form of what happens in the second half of every menstrual cycle due to stimulation by progesterone. Even before you miss your period you will have tingling and soreness of the nipples and your breasts may feel heavy and tender and be measurably larger. Very early in pregnancy the veins over the surface of the breasts become more prominent and the creamy nodules in the nipple area will become larger. The nipples also start to enlarge and deepen in colour. Your body is already preparing itself to nurture your newborn baby.
Diet During Pregnacy
You ARE What You Eat therefore Your Baby Is What You Eat !
What You Eat affects your baby’s future. What you eat in the following nine months can impact your baby’s health, as well as your own, for decades to come.
A good diet is vital to health during pregnancy, and to the normal development of the baby. The time to pay attention to diet, and if necessary change it for the better, is several months prior to conception and not when pregnancy is confirmed.
During the critical early weeks the normal, healthy development of the embryo depends on the mother’s state of nutritional health and also her toxic state.
Mineral and vitamin imbalances which would probably go unnoticed in a child or adult can have a disastrous effect on the developing baby.
This is because the cells in the embryo are growing at such a rapid rate, causing an exaggerated response to any harmful influences.
A natural, organic, wholefood diet is the only one which will adequately serve during pregnancy.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !