Symptoms of Pregnancy

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
When it comes to pregnancy symptoms, no two women or even pregnancies are alike. Many times, symptoms will vary greatly. However, women commonly develop certain symptoms during a healthy, normal pregnancy.

These may include:
  • Morning sickness - This includes nausea with vomiting or without. Morning sickness may last at any point of the day, but for many women it only occurs during the beginning months of pregnancy.
  • Increasing breast size and painful breasts
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Increased urination
  • Cramping in the lower belly which is mild
Later on in pregnancy, there are also some common symptoms. They may include:
  • Difficulty with bowel movements (constipation)
  • Nosebleeds and a stuffy nose
  • Indigestion or heartburn - You may feel pain in your chest or stomach, or burning in your throat or chest.
  • Itchy or painful swollen veins in your rectum (hemorrhoids)
  • Cramping in your legs
  • Pain in your lower back
  • Shortness of breath - As pregnancy proceeds, this may become more of a problem.
  • More headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased urination, including at night
  • Gum bleeding
  • Thicker hair
  • Tingling or numbness in your leg, foot or hand
  • Increasing tiredness
  • Twisted and swollen veins (varicose veins)
  • Ankle or feet swelling (mild)
  • Contractions which are “false” - This is when your uterus tightens. It may make your belly feel harder or cause some pain. Also referred to as “Braxton Hicks”, these contractions do not signify you’re in labor. With “true” contractions, you are actually in labor, but these are different.
  • Changes in your skin - This is common during a pregnancy.
Changes in your skin may include:
  • A darkening line stretching from approximately your belly button down to the pubic area
  • Changes in skin color - You may notice red or pink palms, or darkening of the skin elsewhere, including around your nipples or your face.
  • Spider veins - Most commonly found on the hands, upper chest, face, arms and neck, they appear as small reddish areas on your skin.
  • Small growths of otherwise normal skin (skin tags)
  • Stretch marks - Most commonly found on your thighs, breast and belly, they appear as red lines.

Areas of concern

There are certain symptoms, though, that may be areas of concern. Give a call to your doctor of midwife if you notice any of these things:
  • Leaking vaginal fluid
  • Belly or back pain that does not decrease with a change of positioning or resting
  • Heartburn that isn’t relieved by antacid medicine
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • A decrease in movement by your unborn child
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Headaches which aren’t relieved by resting in a quiet, dark room for an hour
  • A fever
  • Painful urination or seeing blood in your urine
  • More frequent and stronger contractions
  • Blurry vision, flashes of light or seeing dark spots
  • Painful breathing

Using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol while you’re pregnant could lead to some serious concerns

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