10 Weird (but Natural) Early Pregnancy Signs
November 27, 2020Sometimes the telltale signs of pregnancy are easy to identify: a missed period, morning sickness, fatigue…these are obvious symptoms. But there are also some pregnancy signs that are a little less common but perfectly natural. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, and there’s a chance you may be pregnant, be sure to take a home pregnancy test and contact a healthcare professional.
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in your body, which can lead to the appearance of acne. If you already have trouble with acne as an adult, pregnancy can sometimes make it worse.1 This can be a frustrating side effect of pregnancy, but it isn’t abnormal or dangerous. Acne is typically associated with adolescence (another time when hormones are raging), but adult women can experience acne, even if they are not pregnant. Try washing your face twice a day with lukewarm water and a gentle facial soap to manage acne.2
Although usually not a sign of pregnancy, headaches can be an early indicator that you’re expecting. Again, the changes in hormones are generally the culprit behind pregnancy-associated headaches. However, if your headaches are severe and are difficult to manage, talk to your doctor. Headaches could be a sign of another issue that needs attention. Also, if you think you could be pregnant, avoid taking any medication (even over-the-counter pain reliever) unless your doctor tells you it’s OK.1
Three: Nasal Congestion and Nosebleeds
Many women experience nosebleeds during pregnancy, and some even experience a higher frequency of nasal congestion.3 Like other pregnancy symptoms, nosebleeds, and nasal congestion can be caused by hormonal changes. These symptoms aren’t anything to worry about unless you lose a significantly large amount of blood or become so congested that it’s difficult to breathe. If these symptoms become extreme, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor.
Four: Dizziness or Fainting
The medical term for fainting is called syncope. There are a lot of medical conditions that can cause syncope, and pregnancy is one of them. Pregnant women may also feel dizzy for no apparent reason or feel more sensitive to dizziness or motion sickness. Although fainting once or twice may not be dangerous, there is some evidence that suggests syncope during the first trimester may be linked to a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, as well as a higher risk of cardiac arrhythmia and postpartum syncope.4 Always let your doctor know if you begin to experience fainting or dizziness.
Five: Vaginal Discharge
Most women experience vaginal discharge from time to time. During pregnancy, especially in the early stages, vaginal discharge can be quite common.1 As long as the discharge is clear or white, odorless or mild in odor, and does not occur alongside vaginal discomfort, it is likely nothing to be concerned about. Always talk to your doctor if you experience vaginal discharge that is abnormal, has a strong or foul odor, or occurs along with pain, swelling, redness, itching, or burning. These can be signs of an infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a pregnancy-induced yeast infection. They may also be signs of a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection.5
Elevated levels of progesterone can relax the bowel walls, making it more difficult to pass stool.1 Progesterone is an important hormone related to ovulation, menstruation, and pregnancy, so it’s not surprising that pregnancy and constipation are often linked.6 To help manage constipation, try to drink more fluids (water is best), incorporate more fiber in your diet, and try to get some exercise.7 If these methods aren’t effective, you may try taking a stool softener, as they are generally considered safe during pregnancy; however, you should always consult your doctor before taking any medication, even over-the-counter products.7
Seven: Shortness of Breath
This might seem strange, but sometimes women experience shortness of breath during the early stages of pregnancy due to higher levels of progesterone.1 Progesterone helps your lung capacity increase so that your body can send more oxygen to the baby. This can cause pregnant women to breathe more rapidly, giving them the feeling of being short of breath.8 If this symptom becomes severe, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Sure, strange or very strong cravings are a well-known sign of pregnancy. But some women experience aversions more than cravings. An aversion is when you feel repulsed or nauseated by something. It could be certain smells, certain foods, or even the sight of some things. This is usually nothing to worry about, but if it becomes so extreme that if affects your health, it can become dangerous to you and your baby. If you suffer from extreme food aversion to the point where you don’t want to eat anything, or if you begin to crave nonfood items (a condition known as pica), contact a healthcare provider right away.
Nine: Weird Dreams
This is another one of those pesky hormone-induced side effects. Higher hormone levels can have a big impact on your overall sleep quality, including your dreams. Many women experience more vivid dreams, nightmares, or dreams involving feelings of anxiety while they are pregnant. This can be an early sign of pregnancy, but some women continue to have strange dreams during all three trimesters.9
Ten: Changes in Your Dog’s Behavior
OK, we admit, this one’s super weird! But the truth is that many dogs can be highly sensitive to subtle changes in their owners, especially if they have a strong bond with them. This can mean your dog may pick up on changes in your behavior and mood, sometimes even before you do! Dogs also can have incredibly acute senses of smell, to the point where they can actually smell changes in human body chemistry. Your signature scent may change during pregnancy – again, because of hormones – and believe it or not, your dog may respond to this change in surprising ways.10 Some expecting moms say they’ve noticed their dog following them around more, sleeping next to them more, or being more protective of them while they were pregnant. It makes you wonder if they should change the saying to “mom’s best friend.”
Prenate® Vitamin Family
This post is sponsored by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.