The Basic Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

The nine months of pregnancy is a critical stage for both mother and child. However, the first three months (the first trimester) of pregnancy is the most critical time in fetal development. Hence, the sooner a mother knows that she is pregnant, the better. But how does a woman know she is in fact pregnant? Well, there are many signs and symptoms of pregnancy that appear soon after conception. When they show up, it is time to visit a doctor and find out for sure.

Here are Basic Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy:

1) A missed period.
This is one of the more dependable signs of pregnancy. There are few reasons for a woman to miss her period other than pregnancy. However over-exhaustion, illness, and hormonal inbalances can also be to blame. If a woman’s period is as regular as a Swiss-made watch, a missed period is an especially reliable sign of pregnancy. There is probably no better sign to indicate pregnancy other than a missed period. For her health, and the health of her baby, a woman should see a doctor soon after her period is missed.

2) Morning sickness.
The kind of “sickness” encapsulated by this term can range from a wide scope of health complaints. Caused by changes in hormones, morning sickness can range from nausea to out right vomiting. A woman’s sense of smell can also be greatly effected. Mild smells can make her nauseous, and smells that she once loathed have no affect at all. Certain foods will become less appetizing, and eating in general might become, for a while, unappealing.

Not all women are affected by morning sickness, so it really isn’t the most accurate measurement of pregnancy. However, if spells of morning sickness are coupled with a missed period, then it might be a probable indication of pregnancy.

3) Breast Tenderness.
Soreness in the breast can be a signs of pregnancy. However, it also often occurs prior to a woman’s menstruation. For a pregnant woman, the tenderness usually goes away during the second trimester.

4) Frequent headaches.
Headaches during pregnancy are caused primarily by hormonal changes in the body. However, one should be cautious not to confuse headaches caused by pregnancy from those caused purely by stress.

5) Bloating.
Just like a woman who is experiencing her menstruation, a pregnant woman will feel bloated at first. Bloating will often linger throughout pregnancy. Feet and ankle swelling worsen as a women’s fetus grows.

6) Vaginal discharge.
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is not accompanied by an itchy or burning sensation as occurs with infection. The discharge is part of the natural course process of pregnancy when the cervix is creating mucous to block the opening of the cervix. This process help protect the developing baby from potential infection.

There you have it, six signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Some of these symptoms as mentioned can be a sign of menstruation, but coupled with a missed period, they can mean a lot more. So, if you have these symptoms, and they persist, you should call you family doctor to rule out or substantiate pregnancy.

Carolyn Smith writer for