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Are you Pregnant?

C’mon, fess up! There have been times when your period has been a couple of days late. Your stomach has immediately started tying itself into knots, you become sweaty, breathless and anxious. Are you pregnant?

When a pregnancy isn’t something you’ve planned for, this is probably a time of stress and uncertainty. But when you’ve been trying so hard, it’s something that will make you want to shout from the nearest roof top. You may become incredibly impatient, wanting to know for certain that you are in fact with child
Here are some signs of pregnancy. Remember though, these are only guidelines and only a visit to the doctor will give you 100% confirmation.

01Tender Breasts and Darker Areolas
You may notice that your breasts feel slightly heavier and incredibly sensitive to touch. Putting your bra on in the morning and taking it off at night may actually be slightly painful. Your areolas will also probably become a bit darker. This will only last for a while, as your body becomes used to the increase in hormones.

02Fatigue
You’ll come home from the office feeling absolutely shattered! You probably won’t understand what’s hit you and why you’re so exhausted. It’s been said the effects that the first trimester has on your body, is the same as climbing a mountain. Your body is doing an enormous amount of work as that little egg keeps dividing and growing.

03Missed period
This is probably the best way of establishing that you’re pregnant, especially if your cycle is pretty regular. You may however still see light spotting about 8 days after you’ve conceived. You’ll notice a slight bleed, that’s brown or light pink in colour. Don’t worry about this. It’s probably the egg, burrowing into the blood-rich lining of your uterus. If the bleeding is heavy or bright red consult your doctor.

04Frequent urination
Sitting through a business meeting may become a little challenging, especially if you’ve had one or two cups of tea to drink. Going to the bathroom frequently is a sign that you may be pregnant, as the body starts producing a hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. This should become better though until you hit your third trimester, when the bathroom will become the most-frequently visited room in the building.

05Nausea
Whoever coined the phrase morning sickness, knows nothing! Nausea and/or vomiting during pregnancy could hit you at any time of the day or night and isn’t confined to mornings only. Most women experience some form of morning sickness. Some are just luckier than others and experience only a mild form of nausea, which lasts only a few days. Others may be debilitated by extreme vomiting for several months. In general, this should clear up at the end of the third month. Avoid eating rich foods. Ginger biscuits, Marie biscuits and Provita’s are great to get through this period.

06Cramping
You may feel some cramping, similar to when you’re ovulating or when your period is about to start. This is just your uterus contracting. It could be caused by a number of things including exercise. If the cramps are fairly intense, consult your doctor.

07Elevated body temperature
If you’ve been monitoring your basal body temperature regularly, you may notice that your temperature has increased slightly. This usually happens when you start ovulating. But if your temperature remains slightly higher until your period is supposed to start, you may be pregnant.

08Food Cravings / altered sense of taste
Some believe this is just an old wives tale. But food cravings, accompanied by some of the other symptoms, could be a sign that you’re pregnant. You could crave anything, from really salty chips to chocolate. Try not to overindulge though, as you will struggle to lose the weight once baby is born.

You may also find that your sense of taste has changed. Suddenly cappucino’s don’t taste as good as they did a week ago and a medium rare steak, makes you feel ill.

09Constipation
You may notice a change in bowel movement in your early pregnancy, accompanied by abdominal bloating. This is probably because your intestines are more relaxed because of the change in your hormones.

10Pregnancy Test
The one way to confirm that you are in fact pregnant is to have that Pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are generally accurate, provided you do the test at the right time. Testing too early, i.e. soon after conception, could result in a negative test. You need to wait approximately two weeks before you do the test. If you’re too impatient to wait two weeks, ask your doctor to do a blood test. This is usually very reliable, and can generally give an accurate result around 8 days after conception.

If you’ve got most of these symptoms, now’s probably the best time to visit your doctor.
Remember that the first trimester is incredibly important for your baby’s development and you need to take good care of yourself.

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