Get introduced to 6 common early pregnancy symptoms


August 15, 2023

When you know there’s a possibility of getting pregnant, you often become hypersensitive to bodily changes, attributing them to potential early signs of pregnancy. From slightly sore breasts to a sudden aversion to your favourite food, the question always lingers: “Could it be?” This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of early pregnancy symptoms, including their underlying causes.

When do your early pregnancy symptoms start?

Early pregnancy symptoms can be challenging to discern due to their resemblance to symptoms commonly observed during the menstrual cycle, including cramping, breast tenderness, and occasional spotting.

Nonetheless, the primary and most prevalent early pregnancy symptom is a missed period. Doctors advise that if a woman has surpassed four or five days beyond her regular cycle, it is typically indicative that she should promptly proceed to take a pregnancy test. 

Get introduced to early pregnancy symptoms

Apart from receiving early pregnancy symptoms before a missed period, there are other common early pregnancy symptoms. Check the details below.

  • Spotting: This medical term is described as “vaginal bleeding,” characterised by a relatively minor amount of blood, akin to a few drops observed in the underwear. This occurrence typically coincides with the expected timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle or occurs approximately during the fourth week of pregnancy.
  • Light cramping: It usually starts around the fourth to sixth week of pregnancy.
  • Breast tenderness: It happens around the sixth week of pregnancy.
  • Nausea: It also starts around the sixth week of pregnancy.
  • Fatigue: It usually starts around the sixth week of pregnancy.
  • Frequent urination: It happens around the sixth week of pregnancy.

Please keep in mind that the severity of these symptoms may vary. While some mothers may experience only a few of these pregnancy symptoms, others will experience none at all. Every person is different. Therefore if you have any concerns about your symptoms, you should consult your doctor first.

Let us understand the symptoms, why they happen, and how to cope.

Spotting during early pregnancy

Spotting during early pregnancy is a common occurrence. Most mothers experience bleeding in the first trimester, while the presence of bleeding in early pregnancy may raise concerns about pregnancy loss. We would like to assure you that very light bleeding lasting one to two days is generally not linked to miscarriage. Do you wonder why it happens? Let’s find out.

Why does the spotting happen?

In certain instances, spotting may occur immediately after fertilisation, commonly termed “implantation bleeding.” Aastrika Midwifery Centre’s doctors say that a small amount of bleeding can occur as the embryo makes its way down the uterus and implants. Another benign explanation for spotting during the initial pregnancy trimester could be heightened cervix sensitivity. Thus, engaging in a pelvic examination or sexual activity may lead to mild bleeding.

What to do?

Although it’s not unusual, any spotting in early pregnancy needs your doctor’s attention to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Keep in mind that an ectopic pregnancy can be a potentially life-threatening condition. Mostly the spotting is benign, but you should keep track of it and call again if it gets heavier. It is noteworthy that, in the majority of instances, spotting doesn’t last long and typically resolves spontaneously without further medical intervention.

Cramping during early pregnancy

Many mothers experience light or acute cramping in the early stages of pregnancy. Sometimes this cramping can be significant. That is why many mothers get confused because they’re having it without a period.

Why does cramping happen?

Now let us check out the theories to understand why cramping happens in early pregnancy. One is the small amount of bleeding that occurs with implantation. Blood is considered an irritant, and that can cause cramping.

Another theory is the stretching of the uterus. Remember the uterus is a muscle, so it contracts during pregnancy. Some women will also associate that with cramping.

What to do?

If experiencing discomfort due to pregnancy cramps, it is recommended to adopt various self-care measures to alleviate the symptoms effectively. You can simply indulge in a warm bath for soothing relief or wrap a hot water bottle in a towel to apply gentle heat to the abdominal region. You can also engage in relaxation exercises.

Additionally, ensuring adequate hydration is imperative to support overall well-being during this period. By adhering to these practices, expectant individuals can manage pregnancy-related cramps in a proactive and health-conscious manner.

Breast tenderness during early pregnancy

Apart from missed periods, one of the most common early pregnancy signs is sore or tender breasts. Why does it happen? Is there anything to worry about? Let’s find out.

Why does breast tenderness happen?

It’s because of hormones. Breast tenderness happens due to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone in early pregnancy. This tenderness is also a signal a mother’s body has started to develop milk ducts, meaning it’s already preparing for lactation.

What to do?

A supportive bra plays a pivotal role in mitigating the discomfort experienced due to soreness or weightiness of breasts, particularly during pregnancy, as breast enlargement is common during this period. Similarly, a sports bra that adequately catered to one’s needs before pregnancy may no longer provide the requisite support presently. Consequently, sleeping in a bra is okay if you feel discomfort at night.

Furthermore, apart from a well-fitting bra, using warm showers and cold compresses can prove beneficial in alleviating breast discomfort. 

Nausea during early pregnancy

One of the most talked about early pregnancy symptoms is nausea, and it’s very common among mothers. 70% of pregnant women experience morning sickness, which sometimes lasts all day. Nausea or vomiting can also be extreme in 3% of pregnancies.

Why does nausea happen?

Do you remember when you first did your pregnancy test at home, and it came positive? How does that little strip show the positive result? That is because the little strip can detect the presence of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone in your urine. HCG hormone levels continue to rise throughout the beginning of your pregnancy which leads to nausea.

That is why Aastrika Midwifery Centre’s doctors say the higher your HCG levels, the more nausea mothers tend to have. Mothers with twins or triplets usually have higher levels of HCG. This is the reason why some mothers feel sick with multiples. But simultaneously, singleton pregnancy can also have high levels of HCG.

Doctors also blame progesterone for nausea. Progesterone levels cause smooth muscle relaxation, which slows food transit through the stomach and can lead to nausea.

What to do

It would help if you always eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.

If the stomach is empty, gastric acid can build up, triggering nausea. You can cut acidic foods from your diet and incorporate natural supplements like ginger. You can put it in a smoothie or yoghurt or make ginger tea.

If nausea and vomiting start impacting your day-to-day life to the point where it’s difficult to function, you must talk to your doctor—they may be able to prescribe you a pregnancy-safe, anti-nausea medication.

Fatigue during early pregnancy

Fatigue in pregnancy varies depending on a mother’s body. While some mothers feel more tired than usual, others feel like sleeping all day. 

Why does fatigue happen?

Mothers sometimes become exhausted in early pregnancy because of their hormone progesterone. It increases quite a bit in the first trimester, making many mothers tired. You need to understand that your body is also working hard to develop a placenta. A fetus has started to grow, and blood volume in the body is boosted, all of which can result in fatigue.

What to do?

Adjusting your lifestyle is one of the best solutions. You have to eat frequently and move regularly. Simply going for a walk is also fine. At the same time, you must do your best to get enough rest at night.

Frequent urination during early pregnancy

Mothers constantly feel pressure on their bladder during early pregnancy. It’s an early pregnancy symptom.

Why does frequent urination happen?

The combination of increased HCG levels alongside elevated concentrations of progesterone may increase the frequency of urination. While it’s early for the fetus to put pressure on your bladder, your growing and expanding uterus can make you run to the bathroom more often than usual.

What to do?

This time avoid beverages with caffeine. Keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic. It means caffeine can boost the urge to urinate more often than you would normally. If you have to get up at night too often, and if it disrupts your sleep, stop drinking fluids two to three hours before bedtime.


While every woman is different, it is generally observed that a majority of women tend to find relief from the discomfort associated with early pregnancy symptoms by the onset of their second trimester and, in some cases, even before. Always contact a doctor if you are ever concerned about the severity of any early pregnancy symptoms. Doctors at Aastrika Midwifery Centre will be happy to help you.

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