What are the common pregnancy symptoms & signs?

When do pregnancy symptoms start?

Sometimes it's hard to interpret the signals that your body is sending you. So if you suspect that you may be pregnant, you're probably eager to confirm it.

One easy way to find out is to take an over-the-counter home pregnancy test. The latest pregnancy tests can be used on the first day of your missed period, are more than 95% accurate and can even give you an estimate of how many weeks pregnant you are.

If you do discover that you're pregnant, it's important that you make an appointment for your first pre-natal visit with your healthcare provider.


Early Pregnancy Symptoms:

Missing a menstrual period

  • A missed period is perhaps the earliest and most reliable indicator of pregnancy, however, it is still possible to have some light bleeding or a light period even while pregnant.

Frequent urination

  • If you need to pee more often than usual, especially during the night, this could be a sign of pregnancy.

Tender, tingling, swollen breasts

  • Your breasts may feel more tender and become larger, not dissimilar to the days before your period comes. You may also experience a tingling sensation, along with more visible veins and darkened nipples.

Morning sickness

  • This is one of the classic pregnancy symptoms, but don't be fooled by the name: morning sickness can occur any time of day. When you're pregnant, these symptoms tend to appear early on, around six weeks following your last period. Should you find you're throwing up continuously and you're struggling to keep anything down, you may have a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which needs treatment. Contact your GP if you find you're being sick all the time.

Changes in skin colour

  • darkening of the areola (the area around your nipple), deepening colour of veins in your breasts, appearance of a dark line from your navel to your pubic bone

Food cravings and a change in taste

  • Signs of early pregnancy can also include changes in tastes and cravings. You may find your senses of taste and smell become heightened; maybe you’ll feel a metallic taste in your mouth or you’ll start craving new foods. On the other hand, foods and beverages you once loved, like coffee or tea, may become repulsive to you. Just like craving a peanut butter sandwich packed with pickles and dipped in ice cream is a tell-tale sign of pregnancy, another sign is a sudden aversion to certain foods.


  • It’s common to feel tired when you’re pregnant, particularly in the first 12 weeks. This occurs due to the hormonal changes that are taking place in your body, which can make you feel exhausted.

  • Feeling bloated: This bloating is caused due to hormonal changes and is quite similar to the feeling you get during your menstrual cycle.

Mood swings

Your body is going through some major changes and with the hormones more active than ever before, you will go through a wide range of emotions in a short space of time. Don’t worry if you burst into tears without an explanation, mood swings are just one of the early signs of pregnancy and are especially pronounced during the first trimester.

If you're having any of these symptoms, see your healthcare provider (health visitor, nurse, GP or midwife) as soon as possible. During the examination they will be able to observe other signs that can confirm a pregnancy, such as changes in the colour or firmness of your cervix, changes in your uterus, hearing a pre-natal heartbeat or detection of the foetus on an ultrasound monitor. If you are pregnant, she will also set up a series of pre-natal appointments to get you and your baby off to the best start possible!

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