Wondering if you have a baby on board? The hormones released as soon as you conceive may cause subtle changes even before they’re detectable on a home pregnancy test. If you spot a few of the following symptoms—and your period is MIA—it may be time to head out and buy a pregnancy test or visit your OB/GYN! Here are 8 early signs of pregnancy for you to be mindful of.
Sore breasts. When progesterone and hCG start flooding the body after the egg is fertilized, they increase your blood volume. This makes your breasts swell and feel heavier than usual.
Cramps. These cramps are similar to when you have or are about to have your period, but they could actually be a sign of pregnancy. When the fertilized egg attached to the uterine wall, your uterus may be stretching a little to get ready for its expansion over the next nine months.
Spotting. If you notice your “period” seems shorter or lighter than usual, you could just be spotting due to implantation. 25 percent of women will have some spotting—so if you experience this, you may want to take a pregnancy test.
Fatigue. If you’re too exhausted to keep up with your daily activities, you could be experiencing fatigue due to pregnancy. Even at this early stage of pregnancy—within two weeks of conception—your baby is starting to use up the calories you eat. This explains why you’re out of energy.
Nausea. While you most likely won’t experience full-blown nausea and vomiting until you’re seven to nine weeks pregnant, some women may experience queasiness at the very beginning of pregnancy. Small, frequent meals rich in protein as well as staying hydrated can help control your stomach.
Mood swings. Those hormone changes that make you emotional during your cycle can stick around for early pregnancy, too. Fatigue and hunger can also make you feel moody, so try to find time to rest and eat throughout the day.
Nipple darkening. Pay attention to your body. Pregnancy hormones can affect the activity of melanocytes, which are cells in the nipples responsible for their color.
Having to use the bathroom more often. Your kidneys have to process more urine during pregnancy. In addition, your uterus is getting bigger and putting more pressure on your bladder. Having to keep getting up to run to the lady’s room can be annoying, but you shouldn’t cut back on your fluids.
This post originally appeared on Preg Prep