July 5, 2016
Signs You May be Pregnant
“Am I pregnant?” You may have asked yourself that question if you have some telltale pregnancy symptoms, like a missed period or morning sickness. There are many different signs of pregnancy. Some women will experience only a few of these. Others will experience most of them. We asked one of our medical directors, Dr. Marcus Wallace, to walk us through symptoms of pregnancy. He provided information and advice for expecting mothers.
7 most common pregnancy symptoms
1. Missed period
Dr. Marcus Wallace explains:
“A missed period is the number one symptom that alerts women that they may be pregnant. And if it’s accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and tender breasts, most likely, they are pregnant. However, an irregular period is also the number one reason that causes women to falsely assume they’re pregnant. But if they’re not pregnant, they need to know why they’re not having regular periods. An irregular cycle can point to a health problem or other issue that should be addressed sooner rather than later.”
2. Breast tenderness
Hormonal changes may also cause breasts to be sore or swell. Breasts may also feel fuller and larger. Areolas also become larger and darker. WhatToExpect.com reports that breast soreness typically ends after the first trimester.
3. Increased need to urinate
Always rushing to the restroom? It’s one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms. It typically lasts for the majority of the pregnancy.
4. Nausea, or “morning sickness”
Nausea during pregnancy is probably due to changes in hormones. Hormonal changes may also cause an increased sensitivity to smell. This leads to more nausea. Even though it’s called “morning sickness,” nausea can hit pregnant women at any time of the day (or night!).
5. Food aversions
Due to the increased sensitivity to smell and nausea, many women find that even the sight of some foods make them recoil.
6. Food cravings
While some foods can flip a newly pregnant woman’s stomach, other foods make for intense cravings. Eating right during the early stages of pregnancy is important, though.
Dr. Wallace notes his two biggest pieces of advice for pregnant moms:
“First, start prenatal vitamins as soon as possible. Even if your diet is perfect, it’s hard to get all the nutrients your body needs while pregnant. And for women who have certain diets or dietary restrictions, taking prenatal vitamins is even more important.
Second, DO NOT eat for two. While a woman’s nutrient requirement increases considerably, her energy intake does not. Considerable weight gain during pregnancy presents other possible complications. It can also lead to potential problems for the baby post-delivery.”
Extreme fatigue can set in only a few weeks after you become pregnant. Let your body get the rest it needs if you’re newly pregnant.
Dr. Wallace advises:
“Do sleep for two. Sleep helps boost the growth hormones a mother’s uterus, her baby, and its placenta all need. And getting plenty of rest is especially critical in the first trimester. As your body grows and changes, it becomes more difficult to find comfortable positions for prolonged rest and sleep.”
8 more common signs of pregnancy
Other common symptoms of the early stages of pregnancy may include:
8. Slight spotting or bleeding
11. Mood swings
15. Back pain
If you have some of these symptoms of pregnancy, Dr. Wallace recommends taking a pregnancy test as soon as possible. “This way,” he notes, “potential mothers can see their doctor within the first six to eight weeks of pregnancy and begin prenatal care immediately.”
What to do if you’re pregnant
If you are pregnant, Louisiana Healthcare Connections has a lot of pregnancy benefits for our members. These include:
- Full pregnancy coverage at no cost to you
- Unlimited visits to your in-network OB/GYN
- Up to $195 in CentAccount rewards for pregnancy care
- Access to 24/7 nurse advice
- Free transportation to medical appointments
- Prescription medications at no cost to you
- Access to our new Start Smart for Your Baby phone application
Have more questions about potential pregnancy symptoms and how to get the healthcare you need? Give our member services department a call at 1-866-595-8133.