1 Hot flushes
Hot flushes or sudden flashes or heat can be an early sign of pregnancy.
You can also have hot flushes during your pregnancy. They’re perfectly normal and like many pregnancy symptoms, don’t happen to everyone.
2 Tender, swollen breasts
If you regularly get sore breasts around your period you’ll know the feeling: swollen, tingly, sore and/or a feeling that your bra is just too tight and restrictive. Tender breasts are one of the first signs of pregnancy and occur thanks to rising levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which start to change breast tissue in preparation for the production of milk. This is why breast tenderness, soreness and even itchiness (this includes the nipple area) can start before you even know for sure you are pregnant.
Help yourself… by wearing a well-fitting bra and insisting on having a hands-off policy until you feel less tender.
3 Acute tiredness
This is not just your run of the mill, ‘I’ve had an exhausting day’ tiredness, but the kind of tiredness you get when you’re coming down with flu, where you imagine that if you close your eyes you’ll fall asleep on the spot and not wake up for 24 hours!
Help yourself… by learning to relax. Give yourself time out and take little naps. Going to bed much earlier than usual and not scheduling anything for a few weekends can also help with your energy.
4 And increased sense of smell
If you’re suddenly aware that you’re really sensitive to smells you’d never normally notice, you could very well be pregnant. It’s your pregnancy hormones that are to blame. This heightened sense of smell seems to affect pregnant women most during the early stages of pregnancy and can trigger morning sickness.
Help yourself… by carrying around a tissue doused in an aromatherapy oil that smells ‘clean’ and refreshing. That way you can clamp it to your nose whenever you smell something that doesn’t appeal. Try lavender or peppermint oil, or your favourite perfume or peppermints. If that doesn’t work, opt for fresh air as soon as possible.
5 Nausea and vomiting
Nausea, vomiting and that feeling that the room is swimming – also known as morning sickness, although it can hit you at any time of the day – can begin just a few short weeks into your pregnancy. The culprit – yep, you’ve guessed it – is the rising levels of hormones needed for your baby to grow.
Help yourself… by eating little and often and keeping your meals plain and simple so that you can work with your sensitive stomach.