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Top 8 signs you are pregnant

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Are you preggers?

Wondering if you might be pregnant? Early signs of pregnancy vary, but there are a few that most women experience — usually before the pregnancy test is positive. We rounded up the eight most common pregnancy symptoms to help you answer the question.

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1

Sore breasts

Are the girls feeling swollen and sore? Are they getting more attention than usual? Better bust out the pee stick — you may be pregnant.

Sore breasts are often one of the first signs of pregnancy. Hormonal changes cause an increase in blood flow as the breast tissue changes and prepares for breastfeeding. As early as four to six weeks into your pregnancy, your breasts may begin to feel tingly and tender. Make sure you get a comfy and supportive bra because over the next few months — those bad boys may just grow a size or two. You will most likely feel less tender after the first trimester passes, as your body adjusts to the wave of hormones.

2

Morning sickness

Anyone who has experienced "morning sickness" knows that it is not restricted to the morning at all, but can strike at any time of the day (or night). It is not uncommon to suddenly be nauseated by certain smells or tastes, especially when you are newly pregnant. Morning sickness is not a given, and a lucky few never experience nausea at all while pregnant.

Caused by the dramatic increase in hormones during the first trimester of pregnancy, some women stop feeling nauseous around 12 weeks. Others, however, continue to feel nauseated throughout their entire pregnancy. If this happens to you, consult with your physician about medications to help control the nausea so that you don't become dehydrated or lose too much weight.

3

Fatigue

Have you been incredibly tired lately — so tired you feel it in your bones? Fatigue is a common first sign of pregnancy. Many women describe early-pregnancy fatigue as the most extremely tired feeling they have ever experienced. It isn't known for certain what causes the extreme fatigue, but it could be related to increased progesterone levels.

Exhaustion is typically worst during the first trimester of pregnancy. You may feel revived and more energetic during your second trimester, but find your fatigue returning as you near the end of your third trimester. You will want to nap as much as possible now because after the baby arrives, you may never nap again. Or at least not for the next 18 years.

4

Hunger

Strangely enough, nausea and hunger often go hand-in-hand during pregnancy. During the time when you aren't feeling nauseous over the smell of certain foods, you are probably eating your weight in some food item that you've become obsessed with over the last few weeks — like barbecue potato chips, mint-chip ice cream or the traditional pickles.

While it is OK to give in to some of your pregnancy cravings, make sure that you don't go overboard and decide to live on pita chips and grapes for the next nine months just because they are the only thing that doesn't make your stomach flip. Try to follow a balanced diet and stay away from any foods that are unsafe for pregnant women.

5

Frequent urination

Have you been spending more time in the restroom than in any other room of your house? When you are newly pregnant, you may find yourself visiting a restroom more often. Get used to it — as your uterus expands and pushes on your bladder, fluids in your body increase and cause the kidneys to work overtime. As your baby grows, expect some tiny limbs to put a bit of pressure on your bladder too, which doesn't help.

6

Moodiness

Moody much? Did you just threaten to divorce your husband because he wanted to watch Deadliest Catch while you wanted to watch The Bachelorette? Don't worry. Moodiness is completely normal during pregnancy thanks to the dramatic hormonal shifts your body is undergoing. Each woman experiences these hormonal changes differently. You may feel extreme mood shifts in either direction, or be more anxious or depressed.

It is important to note that if you feel overwhelmingly hopeless or unable to perform daily duties, you should seek professional help from your healthcare provider or mental health professional immediately.

7

Missed period

A missed menstrual cycle is usually a good indication that you might be pregnant, but it can also be deceiving. Some women do not menstruate regularly, or may not keep accurate track of when they last menstruated. If your periods are irregular or vary between spotting and heavy flow, you may experience other early signs of pregnancy well before you realize you have missed a period.

Some women experience a bit of spotting during implantation, which occurs very close to the time that your regular menstrual period would have occurred. If you think you might be pregnant, make sure to take a pregnancy test just to be safe before engaging in any activities that would be dangerous for your baby.

8

Pregnancy test

Your tender breasts and nausea may already have you convinced that you are pregnant, but make sure to visit your obstetrician or midwife for a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests — despite what they claim — are not always accurately able to confirm pregnancy before you have missed your period. If you take an early home test and it comes back negative, try again a week later. It is always important to get your pregnancy confirmed by a medical professional and begin monitoring that brand new bundle of joy.

More on early pregnancy

Early signs of pregnancy
Early pregnancy bleeding: What's normal?
Pregnant but no symptoms?

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