Most of us have seen enough pregnancies depicted in movies or TV shows to be familiar with some of the most common signs, like “morning sickness,” food cravings or aversions, and mood swings. While these make for compelling viewing, don’t take for granted that they’re the only symptoms of early pregnancy. Even without any of those, you could be pregnant.
And some pregnancy symptoms are more subtle. Here are three you may not know about…
1. Shortness of Breath
During early pregnancy, your body ramps up its production of a hormone called progesterone. Progesterone is critical for pregnancy, as it helps build and sustain the uterine lining.
During the first several weeks of pregnancy, the increased progesterone level also triggers you to breathe more often in order to expand your lung capacity, which will enable your blood to carry large quantities of oxygen to your baby.
This can create the feeling of being short of breath. You may feel like you just can’t get enough breath into your lungs, even when not exerting yourself. You may also feel tightness in your chest. These feelings are often intensified in women with heart or lung conditions.
2. Sore or Swollen Breasts
Your breasts can be tender early in pregnancy and they may grow a bit bigger. Here again, hormones, including progesterone, are to blame. Pregnancy-triggered increases in progesterone, estrogen and prolactin boost blood flow and fluid retention in the breasts. The body’s goal, of course, is to prepare the breasts for possible breast feeding of your child.
Your breasts can continue to increase in size throughout your pregnancy. Many women experience growth in the range of a full cup size or two. Thankfully, the soreness typically lessens later in pregnancy, with the feeling of swelling transitioning to more of a feeling of fullness.
3. Loss of Balance
You may find yourself a bit off-balance early in your pregnancy. This results from a couple factors.
First, your body begins releasing a hormone called relaxin. It’s intended to soften the ligaments in your pelvis in order to make space for your growing baby. Unfortunately, relaxin doesn’t just affect your pelvis, it can relax ligaments throughout your body, which can make you a little unsteady.
Second, blood flow is elevated throughout your body during early pregnancy. While this provides vital nutrients for your developing baby, it can also produce low blood pressure for you. And that low blood pressure can sometimes cause you to feel dizzy.
If you suspect you may be pregnant, it’s important to get a medical pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy as soon as possible. At Sira in Gainesville, we offer free medical pregnancy testing for any woman, with no insurance required.
Contact Sira today at 352-377-4947 for your free appointment.