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Early Pregnancy Care

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Dietary Advisory as of April 2016

Early pregnancy symptoms help you detect pregnancy a few days after conception. Many of these symptoms are subtle and can be confused for other conditions. However, if you have more than one of the early pregnancy symptoms, then most probably you have conceived.

These signs help you understand your changing body and the growth of the baby inside you. Here are some early pregnancy symptoms.

  • Missed Period. Though a very prominent early pregnancy symptom, a missed period can have many causes. By the time you have confirmed the period was delayed by pregnancy, you are already a few weeks into it.
  • Nausea. Morning sickness can take you by surprise any time of the day. You feel queasy all of a sudden. Many women are unable to eat spicy or greasy food. One of the ways to deal with it is to eat light, eat smaller meals and keep your surroundings cool.
  • Sensitive breasts. Tender breasts are another problem for pregnant women. Apart from tenderness, you may also notice swelling of the breasts. Veins along the sides of the chest become more prominent. The colour of the areola darkens.
  • Spotting is known as "implantation bleeding" in medical terms. Implantation bleeding happens a few days after conception, when the embryo implants itself on the uterus wall. This is where it will stay and develop in the next nine months.
  • Cramps. Along with implantation bleeding, you might also experience cramps. Cramping is another early pregnancy symptom that alerts you to conception. It is like the cramps you feel during your period. If the cramps are severe, consult your doctor immediately.
  • Tiredness. You may feel tired all the time. Fatigue is one of the more subtle early pregnancy symptoms. Be careful of ignoring the signals your body is sending you to take it easy. Cut down on your workload and take plenty of rest.
If you have one or more of the early pregnancy symptoms, you should consult an obstetrician.

Most miscarriages occur within the first two months of pregnancy. The warning signs are vaginal bleeding, cramps and backache similar to those experienced during your menstrual period, and absence signs such as tender breasts and morning sickness. Once a miscarriage starts, little can be done to halt it.

Most couples who lose a pregnancy do so for no clear reason and go on to have a healthy baby later. While a miscarriage, particularly in the early months, does not mean an increased risk of another, some women do have repeated miscarriages.

If you have repeated miscarriages, consult your obstetrician. You may be referred for an investigation, which may include a genetic counsellor who will determine the level of risk and the best way forward.

Rubella and Chlamydia are known common causes of miscarriage. Miscarriage can also be caused by major abnormality in the foetus or abnormalities of the uterus, such as fibroids or polyps. An incompetent cervix can also result in a miscarriage.

Severe vaginal bleeding in the third trimester is the symptom most indicative of placenta previa and placenta abruption. These are disorders that need urgent attention. An emergency Caesarean is performed to prevent extensive blood loss in the mother and oxygen deprivation in the foetus.

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