Clue 4} Frequent urination
You might think this comes later, when the baby presses on your bladder, but frequent peeing sometimes starts early. Not only can the swelling uterus put pressure on your bladder, but the extra blood flow to the kidneys (which begins right away) also causes them to produce more urine.
What to do Nothing, unless the frequent urination is accompanied by burning, urgency or other signs of infection. (If so, notify your doctor.) Do not cut back on your fluid intake.
Clue 5} Food aversions and nausea
This can start as early as two weeks after conception. “Progesterone causes a lot of things to slow down,” Singh says. That includes your digestive processes, sometimes resulting in constipation or indigestion. Since your stomach doesn’t empty as quickly as it normally does, it thinks there’s too much going on in there and wants to purge in some way—either into the gut or out through the mouth. Nausea also is related to human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that can be detected in the mother’s blood or urine even before a missed period. The higher the HCG level (as with twins), the sicker you may feel.
“Another theory is that nausea and food aversions are a protective effect the body has toward the fetus,” Perkins says. If things like free radicals or nitrates in some foods could hurt a growing baby, you may naturally develop a distaste to steer clear of them.
What to do Many women find ginger and lemons soothing. Ask your doctor about special vitamin B6 supplements that may alleviate nausea. Acupressure wristbands also can help. If you’re vomiting frequently or can’t hold down any liquids, see your OB for possible IV hydration and medication.
Clue 6} Mood swings
Find yourself weeping over a “Desperate Housewives” episode or raging because the DSL guy can’t come until Tuesday? “Because of the flux in hormones, you can go from being tearful to angry instantly,” Perkins says. Generally, mood swings in early pregnancy don’t require any medical attention.
What to do Wait it out. “Be aware of your mood shifts and make sure others around you also are aware of the reason and are supportive,” Perkins suggests.
Clue 7} Bloating, cramps and backache
Many women mistake these common early signs of pregnancy for PMS symptoms, but actually they’re caused by hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus.
What to do Nothing, unless the pain is severe or symptoms are accompanied by bleeding.
Clue 8} Dizziness and fainting