Pregnancy is a miraculous experience but a difficult one as well. And there’s no sugarcoating it, you need to be armed with the right knowledge so you can fully prepare for what could be the toughest 40 weeks of your life. Here are some frequently asked questions about having a baby. From the first stage of pregnancy to the actual birth, these good-to-know bits of information will help you!
Pregnancy | Everything From Tests To Food Cravings
In this article:
- When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?
- When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
- Can Pregnancy Cause Anxiety?
- When Do You Start Showing Signs Of Pregnancy?
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Food Cravings?
- Why Pregnancy Makes You Sick?
- How does Pregnancy Feel?
When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?
Expecting some good news? If you think you might be pregnant, you can actually do the test whenever you feel ready after a missed period. So, now the question becomes, how soon can you take the test?
Here are some of the tell-tale signs you are ready to take a pregnancy test:
- You missed your period. You can take the test after a week.
- Having vague cramps, like your period is around the corner but never came.
- When your breasts hurt, feel tender, appear larger than usual, and your nipples are sore.
- You feel different, exhausted, and nauseated.
- You feel sick and urinate frequently, causing more trips to the bathroom.
When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
You will start to notice signs you might be pregnant as soon as you miss your period. There are women who also experience implantation bleeding–a period-like discharge at the very start of pregnancy. These are the early signs of pregnancy. Symptoms can vary and more will reveal themselves week by week.
At around 3 to 4 weeks, women will feel nauseated and exhausted. You will also feel and observe some changes in your breasts. At this time, some women experience a heightened sense of smell and start to have morning sickness.
At around 5 to 6 weeks, the impact of the life growing inside you will be more prominent. Your breasts will feel achy and at times itchy. You will get dizzy easily. You’ll start to have cravings and have frequent trips to the bathroom.
As you progress through the stages of pregnancy, you’ll experience more of these symptoms:
- Nausea, heartburn, and regurgitation
- Mood swings or a roller coaster of emotion
- Shortness of breath and fatigue
- Pelvic girdle pain or pain in the three pelvic joints
- Edema or swelling of the body parts (more commonly the feet)
- Stretch marks
- Areas of the skin will be darker (face, neck, abdomen, and areola)
Can Pregnancy Cause Anxiety?
Any new and challenging situation can cause anxiety and expecting a baby isn’t an exception. There’s a new life inside you after all, and that’s bound to stir up some strong emotions. There’s no need for concern though. Anxiety is embedded as one of our survival instincts. It helps us prepare for a demanding situation. This is why we seek help and support if we think we cannot handle it on our own.
Having a baby is flat-out hard. Besides the physical demands, it can be emotionally taxing as well. While the thought of carrying a baby inside you is concerning, the same thought will help you carry through. Just reframe your anxiety as fuel–you’ll find you will do anything and survive anything for your baby.
When Do You Start Showing Signs Of Pregnancy?
Despite feeling a lot of changes, big and small, practically as soon as you see those two lines on the stick, you may be wondering why your tummy is still flat. You will start to look like you’re pregnant at around 16 to 20 weeks. For first time moms, this is around the time you’ll feel a little roundness of the belly. For mothers on subsequent pregnancies, you will “pop” much earlier. It is because your uterus now easily expands.
Why Do Pregnant Women Have Food Cravings?
Experts point to nutritional needs as the possible reason behind cravings. But this isn’t fully supported by any scientific findings.
The idea is that pregnant women crave for food with nutritional content their body lacks to support the growing life inside them. For example, pregnant women craving milk might need calcium. Pregnant women craving sour foods might need more vitamin C.
On the flip side, aversion to some food is believed to be a defense mechanism. The increased sensitivity to the taste and smell of some food is a way to warn pregnant women from eating toxic or possibly contaminated food.
Why Pregnancy Makes You Sick?
Morning sickness is experienced by more than 50% of pregnant women. It is marked by a feeling of nausea and followed by vomiting. This is normal but if it gets severe, it’s time to see a doctor.
It isn’t clear why a certain percentage of pregnant women experience it. Studies suggest it is caused by hormones which the body produces right after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. This is probably why it occurs in the early stages of gestation.
Morning sickness isn’t bad for you and your baby (except in severe cases). There are also studies suggesting that morning sickness might be a good thing. But this has yet to be proven. Just always consult your doctor if the morning sickness symptoms seem a little out of the ordinary. And if you don’t have any at all–great!
How does Pregnancy Feel?
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience. It is something many women crave and will do anything to go through. But it can also feel overwhelming if you think you’re not ready. But when all is said and done, most women will tell you, whatever they felt and experienced is all worth it.
The emotional and physical experience of being pregnant is different for every woman. There are lucky ones who don’t feel the slightest discomfort. There are some others who cover the spectrum of pregnancy symptoms, but the varying experiences are what makes it all so unique and worthwhile.
Don’t be afraid to express the difficulties you are facing, both physical and emotional. Many women will agree that knowing more and knowing the realities could help prepare them for what it actually is.
Watch how a baby develops each week in this video from Health Tips:
Having a baby is wonderful but scary; discomforting but fulfilling; laborious but worth it. It’s an amazing experience; we expect nothing less from this unforgettable ride. Knowing every little bit of information can help a lot. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about anything so you know what to expect.
Do you have any questions or anything to add to this information? Let us hear your thoughts about pregnancy in the comments section below!
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