If you're anything like me, you probably didn't have the first clue about what to expect in the early stages of pregnancy. Sure, I'd seen examples of wild mood swings and the bad timing of morning sickness played out in movies and on television, but, as I'd soon find out, what you see on the big and small screen doesn't truly prepare you for what will happen in real life. In fact, there are some things your body will do the first weeks of pregnancy that may freak you out that no movie ever preps you for. Plus, if this is your first time as an expectant mom, I'm sure your nerves are already at an all-time high like mine were.
Though everyone from my doctor to my friends and family warned me about the dangers of searching the internet for information about pregnancy, you know I searched those forums in the middle of the night to question every single symptom I experienced (or might possibly experience). Most of the time it ended up being that my stomach pains were the embarrassing result of eating too many bean burritos, but for every logical explanation, there will always be those bizarre hypotheticals in the back of your mind. So to prepare you for the things that will occur during the first few weeks of your pregnancy, check out these interesting tidbits of info.
1. You Might Bleed
Did you think that being pregnant meant no more periods? Well, you're sort of right. According to Parents, some women experience vaginal bleeding in the first few weeks of pregnancy. You might mistake this for your period, but the small amount of blood is actually a result of the fertilized egg implanting itself in your uterine wall. If you're concerned, though, don't hesitate to call your doctor about your bleeding.
2. Your Breasts Tingle
No, you're not gaining superhero senses just because you've developed an odd sensation in your breasts. According to the medical advisory board at Baby Center, an early sign of pregnancy is tingling in your breasts or nipples because pregnancy hormones cause your blood supply to increase. This makes sense since your mammary glands are going to become very important once your baby arrives.
3. You Have To Pee — All The Time
Despite what you may think, the urge to urinate happens early on in pregnancy. Later, of course, it's the size of your baby weighing down on your bladder that has you running to the bathroom. But what causes this in the first few weeks? As the Mayo Clinic noted, "the amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder." So there's the scientific reason why a tiny cluster of cells can increase your frequency of urination.
4. You're Nauseous, Not Sick
Plenty of women experience morning sickness and become very acquainted with their bathroom. But did you know that you can feel nauseous without vomiting in the first few weeks of pregnancy? According to the American Pregnancy Association, nausea without vomiting during the beginning stages of pregnancy is caused by a combination of increased hormones and your developing placenta siphoning off nutrients. People always made fun of me for saying that being pregnant felt like being the host body for an alien, but it turns out I was sort of right because the placenta was basically sucking away my life force.
5. You're Constipated
Again, though there are many reasons for difficult bowel movements throughout your pregnancy, nothing really compares to the beginning. According to Kids Spot, "an increase in progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines," in the first weeks of pregnancy and that can lead to some serious constipation. You might want to add prune juice to your shopping list.
6. Your Sense Of Smell Intensifies
You may have already heard that your nose can have you feeling like a detective when you're expecting. But the reason your body cranks up the dial at the olfactory center is pretty interesting. According to Parenting, your heightened sense of smell, "helps you stay away from foods that have a high bacteria content or natural toxins." Basically, this is Mother Nature's way of making sure you're not ingesting foods that could potentially harm your still-developing fetus.
7. Your Nose Is Stuffy
Your nose goes through a lot during pregnancy. Weird, right? In addition to heightened smell, you might feel congested or even get nosebleeds during those first weeks. According to the Mayo Clinic, an increase in blood production and hormones, "can cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, dry out, and bleed easily." So, if you're constantly reaching for the tissues, now you know why.