Pregnancy isn’t always a cakewalk. Sure, we hear how beautiful it is (and it is!), but your first months may have been filled with morning sickness and heartburn. And just when you think you’re out of the woods, leg cramps come along.
Leg cramps are a common pregnancy symptom that usually occurs in the second and third trimester. In fact, nearly half of all pregnant women report muscle spasms by the third trimester.
You may experience these cramps mainly at night — just when you’d like to get the sleep you’re probably craving — and feel tightness in your calf, foot, or both areas. Some women also experience them after sitting in one position for an extended amount of time.
It may not be possible to entirely prevent leg cramps. But preventative and relief measures like stretching, staying active, and drinking plenty of water may help ease your symptoms and get your mind back on the true joys of pregnancy.
Let’s start by talking about what causes these cramps, because knowledge is power when it comes to getting relief.
During pregnancy, circulation slows — this is totally normal and not a reason to worry. It’s due in part to overactive hormones. (You probably know by now that hormones are gifts that keep on giving for the whole 40 weeks — and beyond.)
During later trimesters, your body also experiences an increase in blood volume, which also contributes to slow circulation. This can lead to swelling and cramping in your legs.
Tips for improving circulation while pregnant
Try sleeping on your left side.
Elevate your legs as often as possible — literally, find the time to put your feet up and relax if you can.
At night, place a pillow under or between your legs.
During the day, stand up and walk around every hour or two — especially if you have a job that keeps you at a desk all day.
Quick check: Are you drinking enough water?
During pregnancy, you’re ideally drinking 8 to 12 cups of water each day. Watch out for symptoms of dehydration, like dark yellow pee (it should be clear or nearly clear).
Dehydration can cause and worsen leg cramps. If you’re experiencing them, try upping your daily water intake.
The pressure from your growing baby can take a toll on your nerves and blood vessels, including the ones that go to your legs. This is why you’re more likely to experience leg cramps as your pregnancy progresses, especially in the third trimester.
Gaining a healthy amount of weight and staying active during your pregnancy may help prevent leg cramps. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned.
It’s the norm to feel tired during pregnancy — you’re growing a tiny human! — and this is especially true as you gain more weight in the second and third trimester. As your muscles get fatigued from the added pressure, too, it can lead to leg cramps.
Try drinking plenty of water, going for a walk during the day, and stretching before bed to prevent leg cramps due to muscle fatigue.
Calcium or magnesium deficiency
Having too little calcium or magnesium in your diet may contribute to leg cramps.
But if you already take a prenatal vitamin, you likely don’t need to take an additional supplement. A 2015 review of studies of 390 pregnant women found that taking magnesium or calcium supplements made little to no difference when it came to experiencing leg cramps.
If you’re concerned you aren’t getting enough of these nutrients, speak to your doctor. You’re probably getting labs done occasionally anyway, so it doesn’t hurt to have these levels checked.
DVT blood clot
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clot can occur in the legs, thigh, or pelvis. Pregnant women are 5 to 10 times more likely to develop a DVT than non-pregnant women. While there’s no need to panic that you’ll get one — it’s pretty uncommon to start with — we can’t say enough that knowledge is power.
Bottom line: Keep moving. We’re not talking marathons here, but the best way to prevent DVT during pregnancy is to avoid hours at a time of inactivity.
If your job requires a lot of sitting, you could set a quiet alarm on your phone to go off every hour to remind you to get up and walk — perhaps to the water cooler to add to your water intake for the day! Two birds, one stone.
Also take extra care to get up during long flights. You may want to check with your doctor before flying while pregnant.
Symptoms of a blood clot are similar to leg cramps, but a DVT blood clot is a medical emergency. Seek medical care right away if you experience symptoms like:
a lot of pain in your legs when you’re standing or moving around
warm-to-the-touch skin near the affected area
Stretching before bed
Performing a calf stretch before getting into bed at night may help prevent or ease leg cramps. Follow these steps:
Stand facing a wall, an arm’s length away.
Place your hands on the wall in front of you.
Step your right foot back. Keep your heels on the floor the whole time and bend your left knee while keeping your right leg straight. Keep your left knee bent as so you feel the stretch in your right calf muscle.
Hold for up to 30 seconds. Switch legs, if needed.
Drinking plenty of water during pregnancy is important to prevent dehydration — and dehydration can also lead to those awful leg cramps.
Try to drink 8 to 12 cups of water each day during pregnancy. Easier said than done, sure — but super important for a lot of good reasons.
Try applying heat to your cramping muscle. It may help loosen up the cramp. No need to buy a fancy heating pad: You can also use a microwave-safe cloth bag (or a sock) filled with rice.
Massaging the area
When you get a leg cramp, performing a self-massage may help ease your pain. Use one hand to gently massage your calf or wherever your leg is cramping. Perform this self-massage for 30 seconds to a minute to ease your cramp.
You can also get a prenatal massage, which can be a positively divine experience. Look for an experienced therapist in your area who specializes in working with pregnant women.
It’s a smart idea to stay active throughout your pregnancy, even though you don’t want to overdo it.
With your doctor’s OK, pregnancy-safe activities like prenatal yoga, walking, and swimming can benefit you and your baby-to-be.
Staying active can prevent excess weight gain, promote circulation, and yes — help prevent leg cramps. Always stretch and warm up before and after exercising so your muscles don’t cramp up afterward, though.
So, perhaps you don’t have the time or energy for a challenging hike or run. That is more than OK — you need to listen to your body and know your limits, especially during pregnancy.
But sitting for long periods of time can lead to leg and muscle cramps. To avoid this, make sure you stand up and walk around every hour or two. Set a timer on your phone or watch if you tend to forget to get up during the day.
Leg cramps are a common pregnancy symptom. (That doesn’t make having them any easier, but hopefully it turns down the stress dial a bit.)
If you’re concerned about your pain or they’re causing too much lost shut-eye, mention it at your next prenatal checkup.
Also call your doctor and let them know if your leg cramps are severe, persistent, or worsening. You may need supplements or medication.
Seek medical help immediately if you experience severe swelling in one or both legs, pain walking, or enlarged veins. These may be symptoms of a blood clot.
The straight answer here is that there is no straight answer. (Great.)
Leg cramps are most common in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, not the first. But changing symptoms are a valid reason to wonder if you’re pregnant.
Some women do report aches and pains during the first trimester. This is likely due to your hormonal changes and your expanding uterus.
Leg cramps alone can’t tell you if you’re pregnant. If you suspect you’re pregnant or miss your period, take an at-home pregnancy test or see your doctor to confirm.
To prevent leg cramps, try the following:
Drink between 8 and 12 cups of water per day.
Stay active throughout your pregnancy.
Stretch out your calf muscles.
Wear comfortable shoes — leave the heels at home!
Eat a balanced diet with calcium- and magnesium-rich foods like yogurt, leafy greens, whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds
Experiencing leg cramps during pregnancy isn’t pleasant. But it’s a common symptom, especially at night. Try our tips — we think they’ll help.
And as always, let your doctor know if you have any related worries. Never feel bad or self-conscious about phoning or emailing your clinic — helping you through a healthy pregnancy is the number one concern of OB doctors and nurses.
41 early signs & symptoms of pregnancy before you've taken a test
"The exact symptoms – and the severity of them – will be different for everyone but there are certainly a large number of early signs of pregnancy that are worth looking out for. "
The main signs broadly fall into 11 main categories, each affecting different physical areas of your body (such as your breasts, your head or your tummy) or different emotions you may be feeling.
Before we start, though, a little word of caution: some of these early pregnancy symptoms are tantalisingly similar to those you get when you're pre-menstrual or when you’re having your period – which means it can be tough to tell whether your body's actually telling you you're pregnant or not.
Here is our list of the 41 earliest and most common symptoms and signs of pregnancy...
1. Sore, sensitive, heavy boobs
Soreness or tenderness in your breasts can be one of the very earliest pregnancy symptoms. "Changes to the breasts can actually start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception," says Dr Larisa Corda, obstetrician, gynaecologist and IVF consultant. "Pregnancy hormones can make breasts swollen and sore. Or they may feel heavier or fuller or more tender to touch. "
It's certainly a symptom many of the mums on our forum recognise. "I started getting really sore boobs and sore nipples 7 to 10 days after my last period finished," says DemWatson. "I thought it was due to my period because I was also experiencing cramping. I took a pregnancy test around 2 weeks later and it was positive!"
"I tested because I had really sore boobs," adds ErinDsoontobeB. "They were that sore, I had to wear a bra in the bath!"
Breasts feeling sore? Find out more – including tips to help relieve the pain
2. Veiny boobs
This is one of the early pregnancy signs BabyC2017 picked up on. "My boobs are SO veiny," she said. "They are usually big but the veins are never prominent. Now I can clearly see them – like someone drew on me in blue pen!"
"Yes, the veins in your breasts may look more pronounced," confirms Ellie Cockburn, a midwife at the world-famous The Portland Hospital. "This will be due to the blood flow to the breasts increasing. "
For Jo1311, her veiny boobs were definitely a sign of positive news: "I got veins on my boobs and my nipples changed colour. I tested and got a BFP [Big Fat Positive test result]."
3. Tender, tingly, darker, more 'sticky out' nipples
Your nipples may also change significantly during the early weeks of pregnancy. "Your nipples may begin to ache, tingle or protrude more than usual," says midwife Ellie. "The areoles – the dark circle around your nipple – may also become even darker and larger."
Tender nipples were the first sign for Tamarabell on our forum. "I started to get a feeling I was pregnant about 1.5 weeks before I was due on, so pretty early," she says. "I had really tender nipples and sort of butterflies in my tummy for a few days. My test came up positive the week before I was due. The doctor didn’t believe it and made me do another one. I just sort of knew that something was different!"
"Who'd have thought we'd ever get excited about sore/dark nipples!" adds lynz_81, who's been pregnant before. "Be warned: they will only get bigger and darker now!"
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4. Late or missed period
Being late or missing your monthly period is the most well-known early sign of pregnancy – and for 1 in 3 women, says the American Pregnancy Association, a missed period is still their 1st pregnancy symptom.
There are plenty of other symptoms in our list that you may notice before you miss your period but, as Dr Larisa Corda says, "this is the one that prompts most women to get a pregnancy test.
"Be warned though that not all missed or delayed periods mean you’re pregnant. Sometimes weight changes, hormone problems, stress or recently coming off contraception can affect your periods and possibly lead to you missing a period or having a delayed period."
More like this
And of course, for many of us, late and irregular periods can be the norm – which is why it's useful to know other symptoms.
Saying all that, if your period is unusually late, it's time to take a pregnancy test.
Find out how early you can take a pregnancy test
Late period but negative pregnancy test? Why you could actually be pregnant
5. Feeling a bit sick
Probably the most talked-about symptom is, of course, morning sickness. You can actually start feeling queasy from as early as 2 weeks of pregnancy, due to changes with your hormones.
That's certainly what happened to mamapink on our forum: "The first symptom I had was starting to feel slightly travel sick when in the car or on the bus."
Not every pregnant woman feels sick, and not every pregnant women who feels sick actually throws up. "But about 9 in 10 women will either suffer from vomiting or nausea, and this tends to last until about 12 weeks," says Rachel Heathcock, an antenatal teacher at the NCT.
There is no conclusive research explaining to why morning sickness happens but, says Dr Amin Gorgy, "it is widely considered to be brought on by the sudden increase of hormone levels in your body – specifically the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – that are required to develop the placenta. "
"And despite its name," adds Dr Amin, "morning sickness isn’t exclusively confined to the morning. It can strike at any time of the day or night."
"I had morning sickness very early on, at about 3 weeks," says Bride-carly-barley, "and my tastes changed. I couldn’t eat anything strong-tasting and the smell of my husband making his morning coffee made me want to be sick!"
To combat the sickness Dr Amin advises eating little and often. “And ensure you keep up fluid intake. In extreme cases, anti-sickness medication can be prescribed.”
Find out more about when morning sickness starts and how long it lasts
6. Spotting or light bleeding
It’s not unusual at all to have light spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy – in fact, it can occur in around 20% of pregnancies.
Dr Larisa explains the science behind it: "This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and is usually associated with 'implantation bleeding' – when the fertilized egg or embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus. The embryo usually implants between 6 to 12 days after conception.
"Not all women will get spotting though, so don’t worry – it’s not a reflection of how successful the implantation has been!"
Forum mum xFran82x says she had implantation bleeding 8 days after ovulating. "I had some watery pink discharge when I wiped a few times," she says, "and then found 2 dots of brown blood on my pants. I tested the next afternoon and got a faint positive result."
And it was similar for BabyGirlsMummy: "I had a regular 28 day cycle and the implantation bleeding was about a week before I’d have expected my period. Mine was some pink cervical mucus for a couple of days – enough that I needed a panty liner."
If you do bleed, our expert say you should definitely get anything unusual checked out by your doctor. "In most cases, spotting is nothing to worry about," says Dr Amin, "but it can be a sign of something more serious like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. If you experience any bleeding that’s not normal for you, seek immediate medical attention. "
Got some spotting? Find out how long it can last
7. Period-like pains
This is a confusing symptom, as it can happen exactly around the time that you would expect your regular period pains. If you’re hoping you might be pregnant and then start feeling menstrual-type cramps, this may be a sign of pregnancy rather than your period. However, it’s one of the less common symptoms.
"These can often happen with spotting – are are also the result of the embryo planting into the wall of the womb," explains midwife Ellie Cockburn.
Forum mum firsttimemum88 felt these pains at 5 weeks. "I’m having pains like I do on my period," she said. "I found everyone says it’s normal. A hot camomile tea helps."
8. Stomach cramps
Rather than period-style pains, some women experience a bit of tummy cramping. This may be due to your ligaments starting to stretch as your uterus (womb) starts to change shape.
"At around a week after I would have ovulated, I got sharp stomach pains like a stabbing pain," describes forum mum gsmummy55. "Around the time of my missed period, I felt tired, with cramps, and needed the loo more. And a week after that, I started being sick!”"
Find out more about cramps in early pregnancy
9. Tummy twinges, pulling and pinching
These are some of the terms our mums use in our forum when describing the sometimes curious feelings many of us have in our stomachs in early pregnancy.
It might feel like your muscles are being stretched or even pinched from inside, and can seem to be on either side, as forum mum Louis2 who is 5 weeks pregnant, describes. "For the past few days," she says, "I have been having a few lower abdominal twinges, often on one side, but occasionally on the other."
"I had abdominal twinges at approx 5 weeks and panicked," adds xxmrsjohnstonexx. “But the doctor said it was just everything stretching and changing and not to worry.”
"Bloating is a lesser known pregnancy symptom but it definitely can occur," says Dr Amin. And, if you find you've got a bloat bump way before any kind of baby bump, it's probably all down to pregnancy levels of the hormone progesterone.
"Progesterone can cause bloating by allowing the smooth muscle in the walls of the bowel to relax," explains obstetrician Dr Claire Hein. "Hormones often have several effects – some of them less desirable than others!"
"I had bad bloating in the 1st trimester,” recalls forum mum Kelmo. "I could easily pull off looking 5 months but it did ease around 12 weeks."
Pinpoint the foods that are pregnancy bloat villains
YOUR BODY 'DOWN THERE'
11. Needing the loo more often
If you're pregnant, the loo may become your new best friend over the next few months. One Taiwanese study found that 'urinary frequency' – aka needing to pee a lot – affects 77% of pregnant women.
At the very beginning of pregnancy, it's not the pressure of your growing baby on your bladder that's causing you to wee a lot (that particular pleasure comes later!). Instead, it's pregnancy increasing the blood flow to your kidneys by 35% to 60% – and because it's the kidneys job to produce urine, that means more urine collecting in your bladder.
As mum-to-be lunar eclipse says on our forum, it can get a bit much, especially at night. "I'm 5 weeks and peeing at least 3 to 4 times every night. I’ve not got a decent sleep for about a week now. It surely can't get worse – I'll be sleeping on the toilet!"
Peed off with peeing? What's normal in pregnancy – and what you can do about it
12. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Confusingly, frequent trips to the loo can also be a sign of a urinary or bladder infection. And even more confusingly, both can be more likely when you’re pregnant due to your changing hormones.
"Reduced immunity during pregnancy, even in the early stages, can be responsible for an increased susceptibility to urinary tract infections," explains midwife Ellie Cockburn.
Common signs of a UTI include stinging when you wee, sharp, low abdominal pain and, sometimes, a little blood in your wee. You should see your GP if you notice any of them but it's not something to worry about because it's easily treated – as forum num Chloe123 says: "I had several UTIs throughout early pregnancy. They are very common. The sooner you get a wee sample to your GP, the better so then they can treat you for it."
Why it’s important to treat a UTI when you’re pregnant
13. Trapped wind
Not as funny as it sounds. In fact, not funny at all – trapped wind can give you a painful bloated feeling in your stomach or under your ribs, even in very early pregnancy.
"Shifting hormones during the first trimester can interfere with normal digestion, causing trapped wind," explains midwife Ellie.
Over on our forum, mum-to-be Overjoyed was absolutely not overjoyed by her trapped-wind symptoms. "I suffered terribly with this for about 2 weeks," she says. "It was agony one night and I thought it must be a test to see how I might cope with contractions!"
Of course, trapped wind can also become passed wind, as in farting and burping, which can make you feel better afterwards – but may not be appreciated much by those close by!
There she blows! How to avoid and relieve trapped wind in pregnancy
Been regular and suddenly gone on a poo-no-show? "Constipation is a side effect of the increase in progesterone in your body, which relaxes the bowel walls and can make it harder to poo," explains midwife Ellie.
As with constipation when you're not pregnant, the solution is usually just eating more fibre, fruit and veg and keeping your water intake up.
Bunged up? Find out which foods to eat and which to avoid
Yes, the pregnancy gods have a sense of humour! If you’re not constipated, you might have the runs instead. This can happen at any point in pregnancy, but is one of the symptoms several of our forum mums singled out as something they had in the first few weeks.
This time, though, we can’t blame our friendly pregnancy hormone progesterone.
"It’s actually more likely to be a side-effect of picking up a tummy bug due to reduced immunity during pregnancy," says midwife Ellie.
For HappyMrsS on our forum, certain foods caused the problem. "I worked out that there were certain foods that would cause it more than others," she says. "Chinese food went straight through me and anything that was quite rich did the same. It stopped at around 10 weeks I think."
Neenawneenaw agrees: "I had diarrhoea through the 1st trimester which really freaked me out, as usually I have IBS with constipation. But it was fine, and of course had no ill effect on the baby."
Stop the trots: what to try when you’re pregnant
16. Change in cervical mucus
Some of our forum mums find their cervical mucus changes – and they seem to have more mucus than usual.
In very early pregnancy, your mucus may seem to be thinnish and slippery for longer than usual (its texture changes across your normal monthly cycle) and it will then thicken due to the increase in progesterone.
For forum mum Blue_Gecko, this thickened mucus was one of the clearest early signs she was pregnant. "The cervical mucus was creamy and quite heavy," she recalls. "It felt quite moist down there."
Cervical mucus is usually a pale white/yellow colour but don’t worry if you see a brownish discharge: this is also common. It’s usually harmless, but if you’re worried, have a chat with your GP.
Thrush is another pregnancy symptom that is affected by the increasing level of the hormone progesterone – and research reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggests that, during pregnancy, women are twice as likely to develop thrush than at any other stage in their life.
A sign of thrush can be increased or thicker cervical mucus – but this is also a sign of early pregnancy, so permission to be confused! Thrush does have other symptoms, too, though, including itchiness and soreness, and possibly a stinging sensation when you wee.
On our forum, CupcakeLadyJ is a sufferer. "I am only 4 weeks and I have got thrush," she says. "It feels uncomfortable more than itchy – like a niggle I can feel down below!"
Check which anti-thrush medication is safe to take
From feeling a bit rundown to experiencing complete fatigue (here at MFM we call it 'pregxhaustion'), unusual tiredness can be a very early sign that you’re pregnant.
"Extreme tiredness often comes as a shock but is a completely normal symptom of early pregnancy," says Dr Amin Gorgy. "During the 1st trimester, your body’s hormone levels skyrocket and the rise in progesterone can really have a significant impact on how you feel. Feeling tired is a sign that you need to slow down and rest up."
Forum mum-to-be Yummymummyalli found the exhaustion hits her most at the start of the day and when she's finished work. "I am exhausted when I wake up," she says, "but sort myself out by the time I get to work. Then by 7pm I’m tired again. I've been going to bed 1 or 2 hours earlier than usual."
Combat pregxhaustion: midwife tips that help
If it’s not tiredness you're feeling, then maybe it’s the opposite and you just can't get to sleep in the first place. The cause? Yep, experts believe it’s changes in our hormones (those hormones have a LOT to answer for).
For poor forum mum-to-be EvelynsMummy6390 insomnia has been really quite debilitating. "My first hint of being pregnant was that I just couldn’t sleep one night," she says. "Right now it’s past 4am and I've been in bed since about 9pm as I was so tired. Slept an hour and PING! awake and can't get comfy."
Meanwhile Lauri27 says she initially blamed her insomnia on anxiety and excitement at finding out she was pregnant. "I am 4 weeks and only just found out I was pregnant," she says. "I haven’t been able to sleep for the last 2 nights and thought I was just nervous. I didn’t know this was a thing!"
20. Vivid dreams
"Some just-pregnant women mention experiencing strange or unusually vivid dreams," says midwife Ellie Cockburn. "This is not so much a symptom of pregnancy as it is of all the emotions and natural anxiety around becoming a parent."
And as some of our forum mums share, the dreams really can be unusual!
"I dreamt I bought my older daughter a baby goat, as there is a little grey one at our local open farm that she absolutely adores. But it was white and I was so worried that she wouldn’t like it, I woke up crying!" says 3-little-princesses.
One of Critters-Mum-Claire-21 was particularly vivid: "I dreamt last night I had a 4 ft 11in baby and the only thing I could get to fit him was a red velour jumpsuit!"
Find out what your pregnancy dreams might mean
"Headaches can certainly be an early sign of pregnancy," says Dr Larisa Corda. Although more common during the latter part of your first trimester and then into your second, she says headaches can start earlier and are (you guessed it!) due to the change in hormones in your body.
For forum mum RedBrown28, they were definitely there at the start. "I had headaches for about a month in early pregnancy," she says. "It was a nightmare as I normally never get headaches. Thankfully they did pass and, by about 15 to 16 weeks, they were nowhere to be seen."
"They were torture," agrees Happy-Mrs-S. "I phoned my midwife in tears. She told me that they are very common in early pregnancy and caused by all the hormones. She told me to make sure I drank as much as I possibly could and, as it was summer, I tried to get extra liquids from eating lots of melon and ice lollies, too."
Check out which headache painkiller is safe to take in pregnancy
22. Feeling dizzy
Dizziness and feeling faint is more commonly reported as a 2nd and 3rd trimester symptom but it's definitely not unknown as an early-pregnancy sign – and for forum mum Supersquish it was the clincher.
"I was queuing in Primark," she says, "and felt faint all of a sudden, and it suddenly hit me! I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God!’ and dropping my items and running to Boots for a test! I knew it was going to be positive."
And it was!
Is that faint feeling a lack of iron?
YOUR MUSCLES & JOINTS
Back pain, particularly in your lower back, is an early symptom pinpointed by several of our mums – even right at the beginning of pregnancy.
"I had lower backache about a week before my period was due," says forum mum-t0-be xlittlemissx.
"It is caused by ligaments in the body becoming softer and stretching, which can put a lot of strain on the lower back," explains midwife Ellie.
"In addition," says Dr Larisa, "constipation, which is common in early pregnancy because of the effect of pregnancy hormones on the gut, can also cause backache too."
Forum mum-to-be nikkiandneil was suprised to get early backache. "'I’m only 5 weeks!" she says. "I have been having backache every day for the last week and a half. It usually eases off if I move about, though."
Read the best mum tips for soothing aching pregnancy backs
24. Achy hips, legs and arms
Yep, it’s not just your back – your hips, legs and even arms may also ache at different times during early pregnancy due to hormone changes.
“Yesterday I had a achey left leg and an achey right arm and I was like, ‘Am I falling to pieces?’ And then this morning I got a BFP [Big Fat Positive test]. At least I know why!” says Sparkling_DiamondButton.
"Yes," says Dr Larisa. 'It's those pregnancy hormones loosening up your ligaments and joints to prepare for accommodating your growing baby."
25. Leg cramps
Studies, such as this 2006 one in the Journal of Reproduction & Infertility, suggest that between a third and a half of pregnant women experience leg cramps in pregnancy – although usually not until they're well into their 3rd trimester.
Early cramping does happen but it's not often as severe as the cramping you may experience later on (there's something to look forward to!)
They are plenty of theories as to why leg cramps happen in pregnancy – from vitamin deficiencies to electrolyte imbalances – but no one's come up with the definitive answer yet.
Hop? Stand on a cold floor? Best tips for relieving leg cramps
26. Sour or metallic taste
Forum mum sealeyB says she had a "really metallic taste" in her mouth very soon after ovulation and "it didn't go for 2 weeks". And she's definitely not alone in experiencing this early pregnancy symptom.
"Experiencing strange tastes, known as dysgeusia, is one of the lesser-known but actually quite common early pregnancy signs," says Dr. Amin Gorgy. And, once again, pregnancy hormones are the culprit.
The metallic taste symptom can vary in its intensity but it's definitely sour. "It’s as if I have sucked 2p pieces!" says forum mum-to-be Deli3.
Could there be other reasons why you have a strange taste in your mouth?
27. Food tasting 'wrong'
Dysgeusia can affect you in early pregnancy is other ways – going off previously favourite foods and drinks because they don't taste 'right' any more.
"My first sympton was an aversion to Diet Coke which I normally love! It just seemed to taste funny," says forum mum-to-be Hushpuppy.
"I had a problem with coffee," recalled fellow forum mum bev6. "It tasted stronger, if not bitter, and I could not drink it. I also had a horrible film in my mouth that I could not get rid of - it lasted for weeks”
28. Excess saliva
Another weird one – you may find you have more saliva in your mouth or notice a bit of drooling when you fall asleep!
The medical term for this one is 'ptyalism' and experts believe it happens because your body knows it is pregnant and the nerves that control salivation are more stimulated than usual.
29. Dry mouth
Then again, you may get the opposite to excess saliva: a dry mouth. And, along with that, you may find you’re more thirsty than usual, which is normal but, very occasionally, can be a sign of gestational diabetes.
When mum ILOVECUPCAK3S discovered she was pregnant – very early on – dry mouth was one of the many symptoms she experienced. "I had headaches, really spotty skin, low, mild period-like pain, restless sleep, dry mouth, hot flushes, tiredness, crying all the time, sore boobs and major bloatedness." Almost a full house there, ILOVECUPCAK3S!
Not a pretty symptom but, from fairly early on in pregnancy, when you brush your teeth, you may find a bit of blood on your toothbrush or in the sink when you spit out.
This is all due to a combo of pregnancy hormones and more blood pumping around your body, making your gums swell.
But even if it’s uncomfortable, it’s best to brush your teeth more, not less according to the experts. “Many people think they should stop brushing if they have bleeding gums but this isn’t the case,” says Janet Clarke from the British Dental Association. "Brush more and make an appointment to see your dentist about it,”
What you should know about looking after your teeth in pregnancy
31. Increased sensitivity to smells
This is a big early sign for lots of our forum mums. Can you suddenly smell damp? Does your pet have a new whiff about them? And have you started thinking your partner could do with a good wash and a splash of cologne?
Oh yes, your sense of smell may be so heightened that you can smell things that you didn’t even know had a smell, as MadForNO5 experienced: “Seven days after ovulating, I started to get a strong sense of smell. I could smell absolutely everything!"
The downside? The slightest odour can make you feel queasy.
32. Stuffy or runny nose
"I have a runny nose and I'm sneezing a lot. It started a week before my period was due and I'm 5 weeks now," says forum mum-tone jumpingzebra.
But anouska-b has the opposite problem. "I've had a stuffy nose all the way through, starting right from the beginning. I've become one of those annoying people who breathe really loudly!"
Sounds contradictory until you realise that the main culprit here is your pregnancy levels of the hormone oestrogen, which can increase mucus production. Pass the tissues...
Are Vicks and Sudafed decongestants safe to take during pregnancy?
It doesn’t get more glamorous than this early sign: blood dripping from your nose. It happens quite commonly in pregnancy, from early on till quite late, because the blood vessels in your nose expand when you’re pregnant, putting more pressure on the delicate vessels in your nasal passages.
“My nosebleeds started as soon as I got pregnant (although I didn’t know I was at the time) and I get them quite badly," says forum mum kelsy1978. "My midwife suggested I carry a small bottle of Lucozade with me at all times so that, after the nosebleed, it gives me a little pick me up. “
Find out the best way to stop a nosebleed when you’re pregnant
YOUR DIGESTION & APPETITE
34. Not hungry
In those 1st few weeks of pregnancy, your appetite may be affected. Many of our forum mums-to-be found they were suddenly less hungry than before – either because they were feeling queasy or because their normal hunger just wasn’t there.
That's how it was for ClaireHair: "I'm off food," she said. "Not much appetite. I just have to eat what I fancy [when I do feel hungry]. Saturday night, that was chips, curry sauce and deep-fried chilli beef from the Chinese!"
35. More hungry or more thirsty
While some mums-to-be suddenly can't bear the thought of eating, others suddenly find they’re so ravenous, eating is all they can think about.
For forum mum MsDodger, her appetite went through the roof. "I eat a lot normally but this it was a massive leap," she says. "I could not (and still cannot) stop snacking all day and eating large meals."
And this ravenous urge can apply to drinking as well, as eating, as bleurgh discovered. "Thirst! I wondered how much I could actually drink before drowning myself. Even my hubby said he nearly asked if I was drinking for two before I tested."
36. Not sure if hungry or sick
Oh dear, our appetite really can be a bit of a rollercoaster in early pregnancy. It can be a confusing time when you're not sure if you're feeling sick because you need to eat or you're feeling sick because you've got morning sickness and eating will make it worse.
Forum mum-to-be katie4matthew sums it all up when she says, "I can’t tell the difference between feeling sick and hungry at the moment. I'm so confused!"
Ouch. While heartburn is a very frequent mid to late-pregnancy symptom, we know from our forum posts that some mums-to-be experience it in the early weeks of pregnancy, too.
Indeed, for MissTysonMayer, it was 1 of the very first signs that she was pregnant. "I felt different from what would of been around 3 weeks," she says. "Had a bad stomach and felt sick, heartburn, headaches. The lot. Then I tested the next week when I was due and it was positive!"
So what's going on? "In pregnancy, the sphincter at the top of your stomach relaxes, allowing stomach acid to rise up into your oesophagus," explains family GP Dr Philippa Kaye.
Can you take antacids, like Gaviscon, when you're pregnant?
38. Spots and acne
Remember those outbreaks that peppered your teens? Well, they could be back now you’re pregnant. Given the hormonal changes in early pregnancy, it’s no surprise that one of the first signs can be an eruption of spots – as if we don’t have enough else to cope with!
“When I got pregnant, the first symptoms were that I got little bumpy spots on my forehead a few days before my period was due," forum mum mama pink says.
"Yes, for many pregnant women, the hormone progesterone can cause a flare up of the teenage acne that you thought you’d ditched years ago," explains GP and homeopath Dr Jeni Worden. "Essential as it is, progesterone is to blame for many of pregnancy’s less desirable effects."
In a bad spot? What you can do if you have a breakout
39. Hot flushes
Some of our forum mum-to-be say they have felt that rising heat creeping up on your skin during early pregnancy so it might just be a sign that there is good news on the way.
It's well known, as the NHS Pregnancy & Baby Guide confirms, that hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin can mean your basal temperature (your normal resting body temperature) is higher than normal. And US researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have found that hot flushes affect just over a third of mums-to-be at some stage in their pregnancy.
For Tullah on our forum, hot flushes affected her from as early as 5 weeks' pregnant: "I’m normally always cold but have been really hot especially in bed," she says. "Yesterday I was walking about the shops and had to have a sit down, I was so hot. My stomach seems to be very hot, too!"
Cool facts on hot flushes in pregnancy
40. Oversensitivity, grumpiness, tearfulness
Can’t watch Bake Off without tearing up? Find niggly things have become super niggly? Your emotions are heightened in the early days of pregnancy and the result can be sudden and surprising mood swings.
"Your body is producing hormones at levels you’ve never experienced before and they’re whizzing round your system like wildfire," says independent midwife Eleanor May-Johnson of Neighbourhood Midwives.
Which would explain why forum mum-to-be racheltidy is finding herself flying off the handle at anything and everything: "I am 5 weeks pregnant. I'm usually a chilled-out person. However, the last few days I have turned into the devil! I just want to shout at everyone!"
Up and down? Find out what mood swings are normal
Finally, sometimes there’s not a specific ‘thing’ that’s different, it’s just you don’t feel quite, well, the same. Pregnancy can work in mysterious ways, and sometimes you just have a gut feeling that you've conceived.
Obviously, there are no scientific studies to substantiate that 'feeling' pregnant could, in any way, mean you are pregnant but this, from ace10 on our forum, is not the only post we've seen like this:
"I am 6 days past ovulation and today I just can not shake the feeling that I am pregnant. It's like something in me is telling me I am? Its very strange."
And then, a week later, she comes back to add: "Well I guess my feeling was spot on because I got my Big Fat Positive [test result]. I tested today and the line came up pretty much straight away. We are so happy!"
So maybe there's something in it...
So, I've got some of these symptoms. Am I definitely pregnant?
Frustratingly, as we've already explained, many of the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy we've details above are the same as, or can be easily confused with, the signs and symptoms of PMS or the signs and symptoms that your period's on its way.
Some of the signs – nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and a frequent need to wee – are, anecdotally, more common signs of pregnancy than others. But you could be pregnant without experiencing any of them. And you may not be pregnant even if you experience them all.
"We will all experience the first signs of pregnancy in completely different ways," says Dr Amin Gorgy. “There is no specific way that you ‘should’ feel. We are all individuals."
As wise forum mum gazsgirl says, "Everyone is different and most symptoms are so like period ones, it’s always hard to know until you see the line."
Time to take a test if you haven’t already...
About our fertility expert Dr Amin Gorgy
Dr Gorgy co-founded The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy in 2004 and is now its co-director. Previously, he was the deputy director of the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2006) and a member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
About our expert obstetrician Dr Larisa Corda
Dr Corda is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who specialises in IVF. After working in Sydney at IVF Australia (2012-13), she returned to the UK and was awarded membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She now works as a gynaecologist and IVF consultant and is also Fertility Expert for ITV's This Morning show.
Find out how soon you can take a pregnancy test
Late period but negative pregnancy test? Why you could actually be pregnant
I'm pregnant, now what?
The first signs of pregnancy in the early stages - how to determine whether conception has occurred?
Table of contents:
First signs of pregnancy
Minor signs of pregnancy
Signs of pregnancy while breastfeeding
Types of pregnancy diagnostics
Not every woman realizes that the long-awaited pregnancy has already begun. Indeed, the first signs of the birth of a new life can easily be mistaken for the harbingers of menstruation. How to determine pregnancy in the early stages and prepare for the thought that you will have a baby? In this article, we will give an answer to this question.
Some women quickly realize that they are about to become a mother, others do not notice any changes in their condition for a long time. But if you listen to yourself, it will not be difficult for you to recognize the first signs of pregnancy even before the test shows the coveted two strips. This will allow you to see a doctor as soon as possible in order to undergo the necessary examination and ensure peace of mind for the next nine months.
After how many days can you find out about pregnancy?
In the very first days after conception, the body will not give you any specific signals. Signs of pregnancy in the early stages can be observed no earlier than the 8-10th day from the moment of fertilization of the egg, when the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus and the pregnancy hormone, chorionic gonadotropin, begins to enter the mother's body. How noticeable they appear depends on the body's sensitivity to hormonal changes. On the 20th day of embryo development (coincides with the first days of delayed menstruation), most women usually guess about their condition.
Important! Standard rapid tests determine the content of human chorionic gonadotropin in the urine at the 3-4th week of pregnancy, i.e. 1-2 weeks after fertilization 1 .
During this period, it is extremely important that the body receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals for the development of the baby. Therefore, as soon as you begin to suspect that you are expecting a baby, start taking special vitamin and mineral complexes. This is important because the formation of all organs and systems of the embryo occurs from the very first weeks.
The first signs of pregnancy
After the fertilization of the egg and its passage from the fallopian tube to the uterine cavity, a series of hormonal changes occur in the woman's body, which quickly make themselves felt in the form of the first signs of pregnancy in the early stages1.
Breast enlargement and tenderness
A few days after the expected date of menstruation:
Nipple halo widens and darkens,
pimples on the halo, the so-called Montgomery tubercles, increase in size.
If swollen breasts cause discomfort and pain during sleep, try wearing a padded bra without wires at night.
Important! The mammary glands are designed in such a way that they do not have muscles that could prevent the skin from stretching, therefore, during pregnancy and lactation, it is necessary to wear a supportive bra and change it in accordance with breast growth to avoid squeezing.
This is not a sure sign of pregnancy, as nausea can also be caused by digestive problems. But in combination with other symptoms, nausea often signals that you will have a baby. In the first trimester, this is an absolutely normal, albeit unpleasant, manifestation of your new condition.
Nausea is more often mild and occurs only in the morning, but if it continues throughout the day and is accompanied by vomiting, then you should consult a doctor.
A few simple tips will help you overcome the attacks that often overshadow the first weeks of pregnancy.
If you feel sick in the morning, drink plenty of fluids. Before you get out of bed, you can eat low-fat yogurt - this will make you feel better. Avoid long breaks between meals, as even increased salivation when you are hungry can cause nausea. Salty crackers and biscuits are good snacks.
Eliminate coffee with milk, sweets and fried foods.
Eat more often, but in small portions.
B vitamins and vitamin D can help reduce morning sickness. Add more whole grains, wholemeal bread, beef liver, cheese, dairy products and nuts, cabbage, apples to your diet. In addition, vitamin-mineral complexes specially designed for taking in the 1st trimester can replenish the reserves of these components.
In the very first weeks of pregnancy, many women experience frequent urination. This is due to the increased production of the hCG hormone. Especially often the urge to go to the toilet disturbs at night.
Carefully monitor your condition, drink more fluids to make up for its losses. During this period, mineral water without gas, green tea, fruit drinks, compotes, juices half diluted with water are useful. They will not only replenish the volume of fluid, but also help reduce the severity of nausea.
Hypersensitivity to smells
If you feel nauseated by morning coffee, perfume, or any other strong smell, you may be expecting a baby. Some women note an increased sensitivity to smells and a sharp change in taste preferences as one of the first signs of pregnancy even before the delay in menstruation in the early stages. Do not rush to get rid of perfume, the aroma of which has become unbearable: after the baby is born, the old aromas and tastes will again become pleasant to you.
To reduce nausea caused by odors, spend more time outdoors and walking more. While at home, ventilate the room for 5-10 minutes every two hours. Access to fresh air will help reduce discomfort.
Drowsiness and fatigue
Decrease in blood pressure at the beginning of pregnancy and more intense metabolic processes in the body often provoke severe fatigue. A balanced diet and walks in the fresh air will help to improve the general condition.
Important! If in the early stages you are haunted by dizziness, we can talk about anemia, that is, a lack of iron, or changes in blood pressure. It is necessary to consult a doctor.
To reduce the risk of anemia, it is necessary to eat foods containing iron: red meat, offal (beef liver, heart). In order for iron to be better absorbed from food, it is worth adding foods rich in vitamin C to the diet: fresh vegetables, citrus fruits, garden greens. Meat dishes, complemented by vegetable salad, are a great option. Special vitamin-mineral complexes for pregnant women with the inclusion of iron will help replenish stocks. They contain the necessary daily dose of this mineral.
One of the most reliable signs of pregnancy. After menstruation stops, because the endometrium creates optimal conditions for the development of the child. However, cycle disorders can also be associated with stress, diseases of the reproductive organs and hormonal disruptions.
Important! About a week after conception, small spotting is possible, which accompanies the attachment of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Doctors call this phenomenon implantation bleeding. It is also considered one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Important! From the very first days you learn about pregnancy, you need to start taking folic acid. The active form of this substance is metafolin. When ingested, metafolin is 100% absorbed and helps the proper development of the baby's heart and brain.
Secondary signs of pregnancy
In addition to direct, there are indirect signs of pregnancy that will help confirm your guesses. They also shouldn't cause you concern.
Heaviness in the lower abdomen
The uterus is preparing to receive its new inhabitant, therefore the blood circulation in it increases, which is accompanied by characteristic sensations in the pelvic region.
At the beginning of pregnancy, the body consumes more energy - no wonder you are constantly hungry. However, bouts of hunger attack just before the onset of menstruation, stress can also be the cause. In any case, you should not lean on fast food, sweets and starchy foods, especially if the suspicion of pregnancy is confirmed.
Diversify your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, protein products (fish, chicken). An excellent snack between meals can be nuts, dried fruits, dairy products (cottage cheese, yogurt). They saturate well without giving an excess of calories.
It happens that as a result of hormonal and psychological changes, the expectant mother has difficulty falling asleep and often wakes up at night. Try to compensate for the lack of sleep by resting in the afternoon at least on weekends, before going to bed, take a walk in the fresh air and ventilate the bedroom for at least 10-15 minutes.
Important! Never take sleeping pills without consulting your doctor. There are many ways to improve sleep without drugs. A warm (not hot) shower or bath, reading a book, relaxing music helps. At least an hour before bedtime, you must stop using gadgets and watching TV: they overload the nervous system. Warm milk with a spoonful of honey before bed will help you fall asleep.
During pregnancy, the increased production of progesterone relaxes the intestinal muscles, making it difficult for digestion to work. Include high-fiber foods in the menu in reasonable quantities: whole grain bread, fruits, vegetables.
Magnesium helps in the regulation of the intestines, it is also involved in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle function. Magnesium is found in grains and nuts, dark chocolate, legumes, leafy vegetables and dairy products. To provide the body with a daily dose of magnesium will help to take a specialized vitamin and mineral complex for pregnant women.
Magnesium not only regulates bowel function, but has a sedative, anti-stress effect and is important for the prevention of increased uterine tone.
Due to the same hormones , the expectant mother feels a headache in the early stages, which can also be one of the signs of pregnancy. It is necessary to consult a doctor in order not to miss arterial hypertension.
Make it a rule from the very beginning of pregnancy to regularly measure the pressure twice a day: in the morning, just waking up, before breakfast and hygiene procedures, and in the evening, at about 19-20 hours, after a 15-minute rest.
Many pregnant women complain of emotional instability and mood swings in the early stages. When you find out the good news about the addition to the family, warn your loved ones that your whims had a very good reason.
If you forgot about skin rashes after you got out of adolescence, then during pregnancy you will probably have to remember: acne can reappear on the face and again under the influence of hormones. Be patient, over time, the condition of the skin will return to normal.
It is important during this period to pay attention to face and body care. The immune system is being rebuilt to protect not only you, but also the baby, so choose hypoallergenic care products. They do not contain dyes and fragrances that can irritate the skin.
Pigmentation on the abdomen
The appearance of a dark strip running from the navel to the lower abdomen is also included in the list of signs of early pregnancy.
Tingling in the groin
Under the influence of the hormone estrogen, the ligaments become more elastic so that the stomach can further increase in volume without hindrance. This process can respond with mild discomfort in the groin area.
If you have calf cramps, this indicates a change in metabolism and, in combination with other symptoms of pregnancy, signals your condition.
Consult your doctor, he will select a set of measures that will save you from cramps, and tell you about measures to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy. Wear shoes with low heels, do foot baths with alternating cool and warm water, a light massage of the calf muscles and feet.
An increase in vaginal secretions is normal during pregnancy. But if the discharge has become liquid and has acquired a gray-white color with an unpleasant odor, or, conversely, has become cheesy, flaky or purulent, be sure to consult your doctor. In these cases, the risk of infectious complications, including infection of the fetus, increases.
Signs of pregnancy while breastfeeding
The myth that a nursing mother cannot become pregnant is one of the most persistent. If the birth of another child is not in your plans, do not forget to use reliable methods of contraception. Your doctor will help you choose a contraceptive. If you are preparing to give your baby a brother or sister, it is not at all necessary to stop breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is also possible during pregnancy if your doctor allows it. It is important that you get all the minerals and vitamins you need. Pay attention to the sufficient intake of iodine: it helps in the formation of the brain and thyroid gland of the baby.
Why pregnancy diagnosis is important
The sooner you find out that you are pregnant, the sooner you will be registered at the antenatal clinic and will meet with doctors who will exclude the risk of ectopic pregnancy, hereditary and genetic diseases of the fetus, and will also provide all the necessary information about how to behave during pregnancy. They will tell you the rules of nutrition and recommend taking special vitamin and mineral complexes for the proper formation of organs and the development of the baby, they will warn you about what changes will happen to you during this period, and indicate the timing of screening examinations that allow you to assess the course of pregnancy and fetal development.
Types of pregnancy diagnostics
The level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) increases gradually, so a standard rapid pregnancy test will give a reliable result only two weeks after conception.
A laboratory blood test for hCG will give reliable information starting from the 7th day after the fertilization of the egg.
Ultrasound will confirm pregnancy no earlier than 3-4 weeks after fertilization.
By examining the condition of the uterus, the gynecologist will also be able to diagnose pregnancy after egg implantation.
No matter how your assumptions are confirmed, the joyful news will surely make you forget about the slight ailments that pregnancy makes itself felt. All of this is survivable. The main thing is not to worry unnecessarily, trust the doctor with whom you can consult in case of doubt, and behave prudently. By the second trimester, the discomfort characteristic of the first three months disappears, and the expectant mother feels great.
where to start and what you need to know
Table of contents:
Consider your age
Adjust physical activity
Start using vitamin-mineral complexes
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
As a rule, a couple starts planning a new addition to the family a year or two before the birth of a child, but is this time enough? The lifestyle and habits you adopt now can have a big impact on conception, pregnancy, and the health of your baby in the long run. Where should you start and what do you need to know now?
Consider your age
Doctors agree that the optimal age for the first pregnancy is 20-29 years, and after 30-35 years is a good time for a second pregnancy. This is the official opinion, however, the age limits today are rather arbitrary. With a high level of modern medicine, a woman can safely endure and give birth to a child at the age of 40, and even later, although control by a doctor will be strengthened.
From a psychological point of view, one of the main difficulties of late pregnancy is the obsessive desire of the expectant mother to make this time and childbirth ideal. But with good intentions, she drives herself into real stress: constant excitement, overload in numerous classes, fears, restructuring to a new mode of life do not benefit the child. Advance pregnancy planning will help you avoid difficulties in carrying a baby at any age, adjust your lifestyle in advance and prevent possible complications during childbirth.
The dangers of smoking are not empty words. Women who smoke have been shown to go through menopause earlier, are more likely to have estrogen deficiency, and, in addition, smoking has a negative effect on metabolism. If you are still prone to this destructive habit, remember that between the last cigarette and conception should be at least a year. In the event that pregnancy has become a pleasant surprise for you, smoking should be stopped immediately - every cigarette smoked prevents the proper development of the embryo. For example, toxic nicotine and tar interfere with blood circulation in the placenta, which means that oxygen enters the baby's body in insufficient quantities. In addition to oxygen starvation, children are deficient in many nutrients and trace elements. Not surprisingly, babies are often born underweight 1 . Let the prospect of becoming a mother be a good motivation to quit smoking right now or think seriously about the need for this step.
Correct physical activity
The main brain center - the hypothalamus - was formed in the prehistoric era, and this explains some of the vicissitudes of its work. According to experts, the hypothalamus may perceive fast running as a way to escape from danger, and regard a lack of vitamins as hunger. The center transmits disturbing information to the reproductive system, and as a result, the body “thinks” that it is not the best time for reproduction. That is why, instead of active sports, when planning a pregnancy, it is better to do recreational physical education. So, long walks in the fresh air during daylight hours are useful: you enjoy communication or music, the body is saturated with oxygen and vitamin D, and the muscles receive a moderate load.
As a preventive measure, a woman under 25 should be screened for chlamydia trachomatis and mycoplasma genitalium at least once a year, other tests can be ordered by a gynecologist only if alarming symptoms are detected.
Testing for the presence of antibodies in the blood and timely vaccination against rubella will protect against unwanted risks. For the unborn child, diseases and not at all of a gynecological nature can pose a danger. When planning a pregnancy, the first thing to do is to find out if you have had rubella: the virus that enters the mother's body during pregnancy is instantly transmitted to the child and can lead to serious consequences for his health (cataracts, deafness, heart disease and other defects). Testing for the presence of antibodies in the blood and timely vaccination against rubella will protect against unwanted risks 2 . For the health of the baby, those diseases acquired during the life of the mother that can negatively affect hormonal homeostasis and disrupt the secretion of hormones in the placenta are also important. First of all, we are talking about diseases of the thyroid gland, diabetes and others. Of course, they should not become an obstacle to conception, but you should assess the risks and consult a doctor in advance in order to properly adjust your lifestyle and, if necessary, start timely treatment.
If you are unable to conceive, do not rush to conclusions: infertility is a clinical diagnosis made by a doctor to a healthy couple of reproductive age who have had a regular sexual life for a year and are not able to conceive a child. Experts explain that regular sex life is unprotected sexual intercourse, repeated 2-3 times a week, regardless of the woman's menstrual cycle. Only a doctor can determine infertility, prescribe an examination, suggest methods of treatment or alternative options for conceiving a child.
Start taking vitamin and mineral complexes
Folic acid is one of the key vitamins that a woman should regularly consume, especially during pregnancy planning. With its deficiency at the time of fetal formation, the risk of neural tube defects in a child, which is formed during the first 28 days after conception, is significantly increased. In addition, with a lack of folic acid, other malformations may develop, the risk of miscarriage and termination of pregnancy increases. Of course, not only folic acid is important, but also a whole complex of related vitamins.
It has been proven that the protective properties of folic acid are better manifested in combination with other vitamins: groups B, C, PP. It has been proven that the protective properties of folic acid are better manifested in combination with other vitamins: gr. B, C, PP 3 . The role of vitamins A, C, E, D, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc and many other trace elements cannot be underestimated. It is no secret that during pregnancy the body must produce more blood than usual: part of it is spent on the formation of the placenta, and part is transferred to the child. Iron plays a key role in the processes of hematopoiesis. If before pregnancy the required daily dose of iron for a woman is 18 mg, then with the onset of pregnancy, the “norm” rises to 33 mg 4 . Where do you get these "building materials" for your body?
Yes, many vitamins and nutrients enter the body with food, but not all and not in the optimal need - heat treatment of food simply “kills” some of the vitamins, in addition, some foods are not always present in our diet in the right amount (for example , seafood, fresh herbs).
Lead a healthy lifestyle
It turns out that inactivity, unbalanced nutrition and stress have a bad effect on a woman’s fertility 5 . You should start to lead a healthy lifestyle as early as possible, because otherwise pregnancy may not occur at all.