Baby Bucket List

Ready to POP mom? here the bucket list for you before give birth, congratulation and enjoy!

1. Pose (and be candid) for professional pregnancy photos
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Instagram selfies as much as the next girl, but professional pregnancy photographs can capture a mama’s – and her growing family’s – style and spirit in ways that continually amaze.

2. Romance
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Right now you have the ability to spontaneously walk out of the door with your partner and do anything you want. You could go to dinner, a movie, nowhere even – just have a cuddle on the lounge and talk about your day. These simple things become so desired once they are taken off your plate. Sure, you might still manage a date night, but post-baby it becomes a mission in logistics.

3. Set up baby’s space and gear
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Baby’s space will be in master bedroom maybe, in a corner next to the bed. Have prepared a large basket full of cloth diapering supplies in that corner. Do plan to decorate, however, and prepare a cozy, comfortable, colorful space for us to share. Even if it’s just for the sake of strolling and browsing. Take the time to get the stuff you think you’ll need for life after baby now. We’re not just talking about baby gear. Stock up on pampering products for you. As time goes on they’ll be the last thing you throw in the trolley, so stockpile now. Trust me, there will be days when you’ll thank yourself for having a hair treatment in your bathroom cupboard.

4. Stock your freezer

Your future-self will thank you for this. Fill your freezer with batches of cooked comfort food like pasta sauces, lasagne and casseroles while you can. New-mum, meet microwave – you’re going to be best friends.

5. Put yourself first

So, we’re not saying this is impossible once you have kids, but it comes with a healthy dose of the tainting mum-guilt I spoke about earlier. Feel like taking a nap in the middle of the day? DO IT! Feel like browsing in a store for ages? DO IT. Feel like sitting in the sun and reading a book? DO IT. Do it all, now.

6. Catch up with friends
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Whether it’s a girls’ night, a dinner date, a cuppa catch-up or an hour-long phone call – minus the many interruptions that are soon to be a constant in your life. Do it now. You won’t regret it, this may be the last adult conversation you have for a while that doesn’t involve nipples, poo or placenta.

Pregnancy Exercise

Swimming
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Swimming and water aerobics may just be the perfect pregnancy workout. Why? In the water you weigh a tenth of what you do on land, so you’ll feel lighter and more limber. A dip in the pool may also help relieve nausea, sciatic pain and puffy ankles — and because baby’s floating along with you, it’s gentle on your loosening joints and ligaments (your body’s natural response to pregnancy hormones).

Brisk walking
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There’s no easier exercise to fit into your busy schedule than walking…and it’s a workout you can continue to fit in right up until delivery date (and even on D-day if you’re anxious to help the contractions along). What’s more, you don’t need any special equipment or a gym membership to participate — just some good sneakers. If you opt for a hike, be sure to avoid uneven terrain (especially later in pregnancy, when your belly can block your view of that rock in your path), high altitudes and slippery conditions.

Running
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Want to go a little faster? Experienced runners can stay on track during pregnancy. Just stick to level terrain (or a treadmill or an elliptical machine) and never overdo it (loose ligaments and joints during pregnancy can make jogging harder on your knees — and make you more prone to injury).

Group dance or aerobics classes
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Low-impact aerobics and dance workout classes are a great way to increase your heart rate and get the endorphins flowing if you’re a newbie exerciser. As your abdomen expands, avoid any activities that require careful balance. If you’re an experienced athlete, just be sure to listen to your body and never exercise to the point of exhaustion.

Indoor cycling
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A wonderful way to break a sweat without putting pressure on your ankle and knee joints, indoor cycling lets you pedal at your own pace without the risk of falling. Try transitioning your cardio workouts to a stationary bike, or hop into an indoor cycling class for a more structured ride. (Just make sure your instructor knows you’re expecting, and feel free to sit out sprints and hills if you feel overheated or exhausted at any point.)

If you’re an avid outdoor cycler, talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe to continue bicycling outdoors after getting pregnant (and if, at some point, you should stop). The extra weight of your baby belly can affect your balance, and you don’t want to risk toppling over when baby is on board.

Diet During Pregnancy

Unsurprisingly, a lot goes into making a baby. The good news is there’s something you can do to help yourself have a healthy pregnancy and baby: Eat a healthy pregnancy diet. By following a few guidelines dedicated to baby’s wellbeing and yours, you’ll experience some impressive benefits:

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For baby: Helps improve the odds baby is born at a healthy weight, boosts brain development, descreases risk for certain birth defects (including neural tube defects like spina bifida) and, as a bonus, could result in better eating habits after birth as your baby grows to be a potentially picky eater.

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For you: Decreases the odds you’ll experience some pregnancy complications (anemia, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are less prevalent among women who eat well), makes your pregnancy more comfortable (a sensible diet can minimize morning sickness, fatigue, constipation and a host of other pregnancy symptoms), balance your emotions (good nutrition can help moderate mood swings), improve your odds of a timely labor and delivery (you’re less likely to go into preterm labor) and a speedier postpartum recovery (a well-nourished body bounces back faster and has less pounds to shed after delivery).

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Luckily scoring these benefits is relatively simple. The foundation of a healthy pregnancy diet is the same as the average healthy diet: a balanced mix of lean protein and calcium, whole grains, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats (with usually a little more calories and nutrients to nourish baby).

Lose Taste and Smell During Pregnancy

Will my sense of smell change now that I’m pregnant?

It’s possible that it will.

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About two thirds of women say that their sense of smell changes in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. In fact, it’s often thought to be one of the earliest signs that you’re pregnant.

You may find that unpleasant odours are more intense than usual, and smells that you once loved may now make your nose wrinkle. Some pregnant women even find the smell of their partner repulsive!

If your newfound superpower is bothering you, you’ll be pleased to know that this is only a temporary change. Your sense of smell should return to normal after you give birth, if not before.
Why is my sense of smell stronger in pregnancy?

It’s not clear why women react differently to certain odours when they’re pregnant. Some studies have linked changes in the sense of smell to rises in the levels of pregnancy hormones in the first trimester.

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The first trimester is when your baby is most vulnerable. So one theory is that your sense of smell is protecting him from potential threats.

For example, studies have found that women react strongly to the smell of alcohol, cigarettes and coffee in early pregnancy. Nicotine, alcohol and too much caffeine can all be harmful during pregnancy.

While the difference in your sense of smell probably feels huge to you, in reality the change may be quite subtle. In fact, there’s limited evidence that your sense of smell changes at all!

That could simply be because the tests they’ve used so far aren’t sensitive enough to pick up any changes. For now, your unique nose remains a mystery of pregnancy.
Can certain smells trigger my morning sickness?

Sense of smell does seem to be linked with pregnancy sickness. About three quarters of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, and many say particular odours are a trigger.

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If you’re already feeling a bit queasy, then a strong whiff of something unpleasant could be enough to tip you over the edge. The next time you come across that smell your brain may automatically associate it with being sick, triggering your nausea once more.

However, the specific smells that mums-to-be say they’re most sensitive to seems to differ from woman to woman.

Interestingly, women born without a sense of smell (a condition called anosmia) often don’t suffer from morning sickness.

You Should Know! Trimester During Pregnancy!

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER

Are you a first-time mom-to-be? That infamous pregnancy fatigue is probably making you eager to cozy up to the couch right now so you can read up on all that you’re experiencing. To the rescue: This quick list of exactly what you can expect in your first trimester as an expecting mom.

1. YOU MAY NOT GAIN TOO MUCH WEIGHT


As soon as you spotted the positive sign on your pregnancy test, you probably envisioned yourself with a pleasant, round bump — but chances are you’ll only gain a few pounds during the first 12 weeks. Morning sickness is mostly to blame: It will be hard to up your calorie intake when you’re having trouble keeping food down. Not feeling nauseous? Certain smells and foods might bother you, or you’ll lose your appetite. Add that to the fact that you’re skipping high-calorie items like alcohol and soft cheeses, and it could be tough to maintain your calorie intake.

2. IT MAY SEEM SHORT


For a lot of moms-to-be, time flies during pregnancy. And although your first trimester is technically 13 weeks long, it will feel like way less time has passed. Here’s why: The pregnancy calendar counts your first week of pregnancy as the last day of your period (even though the egg and sperm haven’t met yet). But there’s actually no way to know you’re pregnant for sure until week 5, when your hcG hormone level (which turns your pregnancy test positive) is finally high enough to confirm you’re really expecting (and that’s assuming you take the test the second you miss your period). That knocks you down to nine weeks to get through the first trimester, at most.

3. SOME FOODS ARE OFF THE MENU


It’s probably safe to say you know to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, but there are some off-limits foods that may surprise you. For instance, while it’s important to bone up on calcium, be cautious that you’re not eating products made with unpasteurized dairy products, which can contain pregnancy-unfriendly bacteria like Listeria. That includes soft cheeses like feta, Brie, and goat cheese. Same goes for unpasteurized juices, so check the label before you chug OJ. More to avoid: hot dogs and deli meat, which can also contain Listeria, as well as nitrates and nitrites (in processed meats like hot dogs). Raw sprouts can also contain E. coli and Salmonella, so opt for spinach or arugula instead. In fact, pass on almost anything with the word “raw” — raw eggs (including Caesar dressings and hollandaise sauce), undercooked meat, sashimi and raw sushi. Speaking of fish, be cautious of sea foods with a high mercury content, like mackerel and tilefish.

4. YOUR BABY IS STILL TINY


Another reason you likely won’t gain much weight in trimester one: Your little one is very little. When you’re able to confirm your pregnancy in week 5, your sweetie will be as small as an orange seed. And while your baby will be hard at work developing his brain and growing itty-bitty bones, he’ll only measure up to the size of a peach by the time your first trimester is through. Chances are your breasts will be growing faster than your belly at this point!

5. THE WORLD HAS A LOT OF SMELLS


Since when did your mother-in-law wear such strong perfume, and did your hubby’s aftershave always reek? In your first trimester, you may begin to notice you have a super sense of smell — and that could even start to rub you the wrong way. Some moms-to-be may not be able to stomach their favorite foods, just based on smell, while others may start resenting that co-worker who insists on eating garlicky pizzas and pastas (and doesn’t even sit too close to you!).

Tips for Happy Pregnant

Track Your Weight Gain
We know — you’re eating for two. But packing on too many extra pounds may make them hard to lose later. At the same time, not can gaining enough weight can put the baby at risk for a low-weight birth, a major cause of developmental problems. Recently the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued new guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy. Here’s what the IOM recommends, based on a woman’s BMI (body mass index) before becoming pregnant with one baby:

– Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds
– Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds
– Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds
– Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds

Check in with your doctor frequently to make sure you’re gaining at a healthy rate.

Go Shoe Shopping
At last — a perfect excuse to buy shoes! As your bump grows, so may your feet — or at least they may feel like they are. That’s because your natural weight gain throws off your center of gravity, putting extra pressure on your tootsies. Over time this added pressure can cause painful over-pronation, or flattening out of the feet. You may retain fluids, too, which can make your feet and ankles swell.

To prevent these problems, wear comfy shoes with good support. Many expectant moms find they need a larger shoe size even after they give birth, so go a step up if you need to.

Rethink Your Spa Style
Pregnancy is definitely a time for pampering, but you need to be careful. Avoid saunas, which can make you overheated. Ditto for hot tubs: According to the American Pregnancy Association, it takes only 10 to 20 minutes of sitting in one for your body temperature to reach 102 degrees Farenheit — nearly the limit of what’s considered safe for pregnant women. Also, certain essential oils can cause uterine contractions, especially during the first and second trimester, so check with your massage therapist to make sure only safe ones are being used. On the taboo list: juniper, rosemary, and clary sage.

Eat Folate-Rich Foods
“Folic acid is crucial for the proper development of the baby’s neural tube (it covers the spinal cord), and it’s vital for the creation of new red blood cells,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D., author of the new book Feed the Belly. Even before you find out you’re pregnant, it’s smart to start eating plenty of folate-rich foods like fortified cereals, asparagus, lentils, wheat germ, oranges, and orange juice.

Recharge with Fruit
Most doctors recommend limiting caffeine during pregnancy, since it can have harmful effects on you and the baby. Cutting back can be tough, though — especially when you’re used to your morning java. For a quick pick-me-up, try nibbling on some fruit. “The natural sugars in fruits like bananas and apples can help lift energy levels,” says registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth.

Go Fish
In a 2007 study of more than 12,000 children, researchers found that youngsters whose moms ate the most fish during pregnancy had higher I.Q.s, plus better motor and communication skills, than those whose mothers did not eat fish. Scientists say that’s because fish is high in omega 3s, a nutrient critical to brain development. There’s just one catch: Some kinds of fish contain mercury, which can be toxic to both babies and adults.

To be safe, the FDA recommends that pregnant women eat no more than 12 ounces of fish per week. Stick with canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollack, or catfish. Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish, which are all high in mercury.

Healthy diet before pregnancy significantly lowers risk of having preterm birth later

Preterm birth

Preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy) has been linked to significant short and long-term negative health effects. Almost 3 out of every 4 newborn deaths are linked to preterm delivery.

“Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant disease and death and occurs in approximately one in 10 pregnancies globally. Anything we can do to better understand the conditions that lead to preterm birth will be important in helping to improve survival and long-term health outcomes for children,” said Dr Jessica Grieger, the leader of the research team.

Study findings

The research team from the university’s Robinson Research Institute had looked at the eating habits of over 300 women in South Australia. They found that women who had diets consistently abundant in protein and fruits before conception had a lower chance of having a preterm birth. On the other hand, those whose diets were high in fats, sugars and takeaways were about 50% more at risk of preterm births.

“In our study, women who ate protein-rich foods including lean meats, fish and chicken, as well as fruit, whole grains and vegetables, had significantly lower risk of preterm birth. On the other hand, women who consumed mainly discretionary foods, such as takeaway, potato chips, cakes, biscuits, and other foods high in saturated fat and sugar were more likely to have babies born preterm,” said Dr Grieger.

Diet during pregnancy important too

Of course, what a pregnant lady eats during pregnancy is also very important. Another study published earlier in 2014 in the British Medical Journal had revealed that pregnant ladies who consumed a “prudent” diet containing good amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and who drank water had a markedly lower risk of preterm delivery. The researchers from Iceland, Norway and Sweden also found that a “traditional” diet of boiled potatoes, cooked vegetables and fish was associated with significantly reduced risk as well.

“It is important to consume a healthy diet before as well as during pregnancy to support the best outcomes for the mum and baby,” added Dr Grieger.

The bottom line

A woman who wishes to have a healthy pregnancy and to give birth to a healthy child needs to consume a healthy diet. This applies to both during and before pregnancy. A well-balanced and varied diet containing lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, healthy protein and water is recommended. At the same time, the consumption of high-fat, sugary and processed food should be cut down, if not ceased altogether. Organic foods are preferable, while non-organic produce should be washed to remove toxic chemical residues.

Another key point — it is never too late to make positive dietary changes.

“Diet is an important risk factor that can be modified. It is never too late to make a positive change. We hope our work will help promote a healthy diet before and during pregnancy. This will help to reduce the number of neonatal deaths and improve the overall health of children,” Dr Grieger also said.

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant — or if you already are — you probably know some of the basics about taking care of yourself and the baby. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Get your rest. Here are more tips, from taking vitamins to what to do with the kitty litter, that can help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Take a Prenatal Vitamin
Even when you’re still trying to conceive, it’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it’s important you get essential nutrients, like folic acid, calcium, and iron, from the very start.

Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at most drug stores, or you can get them by prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward can help, too.

Exercise
Staying active is a must for most moms to be. Regular exercise will help you control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and help you sleep better. Plus, getting into an exercise habit now will help you set a good example for your child after she’s born.

Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are all great activities for most pregnant women, but be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t overdo it.

Write a Birth Plan
Determined to have a doula? Counting on that epidural? Write down your wishes and give a copy to everyone involved with the delivery. According to the American Pregnancy Association, here are some things to consider when writing your birth plan:

– Who you want present, including children or siblings of the baby
– Procedures you want to avoid
– What positions you prefer for labor and delivery
– Special clothing you’d like to wear
– Whether you want music or a special focal point
– Whether you want pain medications, and what kind
– What to do if complications arise

Educate Yourself
Even if this isn’t your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns. You’ll also become more acquainted with the facility and its staff.

Now is also a good time to brush up on your family’s medical history. Talk to your doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and report any family incidences of birth defects.

Practice Kegels
Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, bowels, and uterus. Done correctly, this simple exercise can help make your delivery easier and prevent problems later with incontinence. The best part: No one can tell you’re doing them, so you can practice kegels in the car, while you’re sitting at your desk, or even standing in line at the grocery store. Here’s how to do them right:

– Practice squeezing as though you’re stopping the flow of urine when you use the bathroom.
– Hold for three seconds, then relax for three.
– Repeat 10 times.

Change Up Chores
Even everyday tasks like scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning up after pets can become risky when you’re pregnant. Exposure to toxic chemicals, lifting heavy objects, or coming in contact with bacteria can harm you and your baby. Here are some things to (hooray!) take off your to-do-list:

– Heavy lifting
– Climbing on stepstools or ladders
– Changing kitty litter (to avoid toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by a parasite which cats can carry)
– Using harsh chemicals
– Standing for long periods of time, especially near a hot stove

Also, wear gloves if you’re working in the yard where cats may have been, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.

Nutrition during Pregnancy

The single most important thing that you can do for your baby is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. A well-balanced diet is one that includes foods from all food groups in appropriate amounts, so as to ensure proper nutrition. Proper nutrition ensures that all essential nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and water) are supplied to the body to maintain optimal health and well-being. Good nutrition is essential for normal organ development and functioning; normal reproduction, growth and maintenance; for optimum activity level and working efficiency; for resistance to infection and disease; and for the ability to repair bodily damage or injury. While pregnancy is a normal alternative condition for the female body, it is stressful, and all nutritional needs are increased in order to meet the needs of the pregnancy.

Dr. Tom Brewer found through more than 30 years of research that each day, pregnant women need a well-balanced, high-quality diet that includes 80 to 100 grams of protein, adequate salt (to taste), and water (to thirst), as well as calories from all of the food groups. The World Health Organization recommends that a pregnant woman eat a minimum of 75 grams of protein per day, but protein is just a marker for a nutritious diet. It must be obtained from a wide variety of whole food sources in order to get all of the important nutrients a woman needs during pregnancy. While the government’s food pyramid is a good example of a well-balanced diet, pregnant women need more protein and calories in general. This means including:

2 to 3 servings of meat, fish, nuts or legumes, and tofu
2 to 3 servings of dairy (milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese)
2 servings of green vegetables; 1 serving of a yellow vegetable
3 servings of fruit
3 servings of whole grain breads, cereals, or other high-complex carbohydrates
salt to taste
6 to 8 glasses of clean, filtered water each day.
While this may seem like a lot of food, it will supply the 2000 to 3000 calories needed per day to make a healthy baby.

saladA study conducted at Harvard University found that by eating at least 75 grams of protein per day, pregnant women could prevent diseases of pregnancy such as preeclampsia (metabolic toxemia of late pregnancy). During pregnancy a woman’s blood volume increases as much as 40 to 60 percent, and in order to reach this necessary level and maintain it, a woman’s body needs adequate protein, salt, calcium, potassium and water from her diet. In April of 1996 the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article indicating that calcium may also help reduce the incidence of preeclampsia. Other recent research indicates that pregnant women need adequate folic acid (a B vitamin) to prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. The Food and Drug Administration now recommends that breads and pastas be fortified with folic acid to ensure that all women of childbearing age get enough of it. Four hundred micrograms of folic acid a day is recommended. This can be obtained by eating whole grain breads, citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables.

As long as junk food and excessive sweets (sugar) are avoided, or kept to a minimum, weight gain should not be an issue. The diet listed above (or something similar) should provide all of the necessary nutrients, and a woman should have little problem obtaining everything she needs. A “whole food” is one that is unprocessed and is as close to its natural state as possible. While vitamin supplements are very popular these days, there are risks to taking supplements of certain vitamins while pregnant (i.e., vitamin A), and others are simply poorly assimilated (i.e., calcium or iron). The B vitamins, for example, must be taken in congress (B complex supplement), as absences, insufficiencies or excesses of one or another can cause problems. Check with your care provider before taking anything while pregnant. Vitamins and minerals should be obtained from natural, whole sources whenever possible, to ensure quality and proper assimilation by the body. A qualified nutritional expert should assess special dietary needs.

Cravings for foods are common in pregnancy and, in theory, can indicate a need or deficit in a diet. Cravings for healthy foods can be indulged, but cravings for non-food substances such as clay or laundry starch, a condition known as “pica,” can be harmful and should be reported to your care provider.

eggsMilk, eggs and other dairy products are inexpensive sources of calcium and protein. For those who are vegetarian, or simply to provide variety in an omnivorous diet, soy products, beans and nuts can be substituted. Dark green vegetables provide carbohydrates, water, bulk fiber, vitamins A, C, and B, calcium, iron, and magnesium; the darker green, the better. It is best to eat these vegetables raw whenever possible, but steaming or baking will also retain most of the nutrients. Citrus and berry fruits provide a great deal of vitamin C, and yellow fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, sweet potato, carrots and mango are good sources of vitamin A. Both of these vitamins are important for fighting infection, boosting the immune system, cell structure development and preventing placental detachment (abruption). Zinc is another important mineral for pregnant women, as it aids in supporting the immune system. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, zinc also helps to improve birth weight and certain aspects of fetal development.

Signs of pregnancy

Could you be pregnant? Some early pregnancy symptoms may show up about the time you’ve missed a period – or a week or two later. In fact, 7 out of 10 women have early pregnancy symptoms by the time they’re six weeks along.

If you’re not keeping track of your menstrual cycle or if it varies widely from one month to the next, you may not be sure when to expect your period. But if you start to experience some of the early pregnancy symptoms below – not all women get them – and you’re wondering why you haven’t gotten your period, you may very well be pregnant. Take a home pregnancy test to find out for sure! If you are pregnant, visit our Newly Pregnant area for a quick overview of what’s in store.

Food aversions

If you’re newly pregnant, it’s not uncommon to feel repelled by the smell of a bologna sandwich or a cup of coffee, and for certain aromas to trigger your gag reflex. Though no one knows for sure, this may be a side effect of rapidly increasing amounts of estrogen in your system. You may also find that certain foods you used to enjoy are suddenly completely repulsive to you.

Mood swings

It’s common to have mood swings during pregnancy, partly because of hormonal changes that affect neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). Everyone responds differently to these changes. Some moms-to-be experience heightened emotions, both good and bad; others feel more depressed or anxious.

Note: If you’ve been feeling sad or hopeless or unable to cope with your daily responsibilities, or you’re having thoughts of harming yourself, call your healthcare provider or a mental health professional right away.

Abdominal bloating

Hormonal changes in early pregnancy may leave you feeling bloated, similar to the feeling some women have just before their period. That’s why your clothes may feel more snug than usual at the waistline, even early on when your uterus is still quite small.

Frequent urination

Shortly after you become pregnant, hormonal changes prompt a chain of events that raise the rate of blood flow through your kidneys. This causes your bladder to fill more quickly, so you need to pee more often. This symptom may start as early as six weeks into your first trimester.

Frequent urination will continue – or intensify – as your pregnancy progresses. Your blood volume rises dramatically during pregnancy, which leads to extra fluid being processed and ending up in your bladder. The problem is compounded as your growing baby exerts more pressure on your bladder.

Fatigue

Feeling tired all of a sudden? No, make that exhausted. No one knows for sure what causes early pregnancy fatigue, but it’s possible that rapidly increasing levels of the hormone progesterone are contributing to your sleepiness. Of course, morning sickness and having to urinate frequently during the night can add to your sluggishness, too.

You should start to feel more energetic once you hit your second trimester, although fatigue usually returns late in pregnancy when you’re carrying around a lot more weight and some of the common discomforts of pregnancy make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Sore breasts

One common pregnancy symptom is sensitive, swollen breasts caused by rising levels of hormones. The soreness and swelling may feel like an exaggerated version of how your breasts feel before your period. Your discomfort should diminish significantly after the first trimester, as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes.

Light bleeding or spotting

It seems counterintuitive: If you’re trying to get pregnant, the last thing you want to see is any spotting or vaginal bleeding. But if you notice just light spotting around the time your period is due, it could be implantation bleeding. No one knows for sure why it happens, but it might be caused by the fertilized egg settling into the lining of your uterus.

Note: About 1 in 4 women experience spotting or light bleeding during the first trimester. It’s often nothing, but sometimes it’s a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If your bleeding is severe or accompanied by pain or lightheadedness, or if you’re at all concerned, call your doctor or midwife.

Nausea

For some women, morning sickness doesn’t hit until about a month or two after conception, though for others it may start as early as two weeks. And not just in the morning, either: Pregnancy-related nausea (with or without vomiting) can be a problem morning, noon, or night.

Most pregnant women with nausea feel complete relief by the beginning of the second trimester. For most others it takes another month or so for the queasiness to ease up. A lucky few escape it altogether.

A missed period

If you’re usually pretty regular and your period doesn’t arrive on time, you may decide to do a pregnancy test before you notice any of the above symptoms. But if you’re not regular or you’re not keeping track of your cycle, nausea and breast tenderness and extra trips to the bathroom may signal pregnancy before you realize you didn’t get your period.

High basal body temperature

If you’ve been charting your basal body temperature and you see that your temperature has stayed elevated for 18 days in a row, you’re probably pregnant.

And finally …

The proof: A positive home pregnancy test

In spite of what you might read on the box, many home pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to reliably detect pregnancy until about a week after a missed period. So if you decide to take a test earlier than that and get a negative result, try again in a few days. Remember that a baby starts to develop before you can tell you’re pregnant, so take care of your health while you’re waiting to find out, and watch for more early pregnancy symptoms.

Once you’ve gotten a positive result, make an appointment with your practitioner. Now head over to our pregnancy area and check out amazing pictures of how your baby develops during your pregnancy week by week. Also, don’t forget to update your profile and sign up for our My Baby This Week newsletter. Congratulations!