15 Most Common Early Pregnancy Signs And Symptoms

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Each pregnancy is different, with its own set of manifestations. Morning sickness, sore breasts, and food cravings are the most common early pregnancy symptoms. However, women may also experience a few other symptoms, which may come across as weird. Although they may seem strange, they are as normal as any other pregnancy symptoms.

Keep reading this post where we discuss some such strange symptoms of pregnancy.

15 “Weird” Pregnancy Symptoms

  1. Bigger feet: Hormones during pregnancy might cause the ligaments to stretch and relax, which may cause your foot to increase in size (1). This is produced by an impedance of venous return. Elevation of the legs especially in the lateral decubitus position will improve the circulation. Diuretics are contraindicated.
  1. Pregnancy brain: It is a type of memory loss starting early in pregnancy. You tend to forget things. A study has found that pregnant women may witness reduction in gray matter, which may cause cognitive impairment (2).
  1. Fuller hair: Hormones, primarily the high levels of estrogen during pregnancy, may extend the growth phase for your hair and prevent hair fall. Thus, your hair might become fuller or thicker (3).
  1. Heightened sense of smell: Increased estrogen levels could heighten the sense of smell during pregnancy. Researchers at Stanford hypothesized that morning sickness could be associated with this heightened sensitivity in some (4).
  1. Metallic taste: The elevated estrogen levels in early pregnancy might cause a strange metallic taste in the mouth. It may aggravate symptoms of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), leading to aversions to certain types of foods (5). The nausea probably results from rapidly rising serum levels of human chorionic gonadotropin. 
  1. Acne: You may notice acne breakouts during pregnancy due to the surge in hormonal levels.
  1. Nightmares: You may have strange, frightening, or beautiful dreams that might feel realistic, and you might recall those dreams throughout the day (6).
  1. Rumbling stomach: Your stomach could produce noisy or gurgling sounds, which could develop when you stay without food or water even for a short duration. You may also find yourself frequently hungry, and your appetite may increase.
  1. Tiny bumps around the areola: As your pregnancy progresses, the Montgomery glands that are present around the areola become more pronounced and the areola darkens. The Montgomery glands may appear as tiny bumps and become more visible on stimulation (7). Enlargement of these glands occurs at 6-8 weeks of pregnancy and is due to hormonal stimulation.
  1. White discharge: You might notice a whitish or yellowish discharge in early pregnancy. This is an increase in vaginal discharge consisting of epithelial cells and cervical mucus resulting from hormone stimulation. This could be due to hormonal changes or yeast infections that are common during pregnancy (8). A vaginal culture is necessary to exclude pathogenic microbes like streptococcus group B.
  1. Retching while brushing the teeth: Some women report of retching while flossing or brushing their teeth, particularly the molars (9).
  1. Sensitivity to certain colors: Some women might feel nauseous when exposed to certain colors.
  1. Skin tags: These are small flaps of skin that form due to surging hormonal levels. They develop anywhere in the face, armpits, neck, breasts, or groin. Skin tags are harmless most of the time (10).
  1. Rise in body heat: Your body temperature is likely to rise 24 hours after you ovulate and remain high for several days after ovulation (11).
  1. Pain around the navel: A growing uterus may sometimes put pressure on the abdominal wall, causing the “innie” belly button to turn into an “outie.” It is sometimes painful and usually becomes an innie after delivery (12).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the stomach feel weird during early pregnancy?

Yes. Abdominal pain, cramps, or mild pulling sensations are common during the early weeks of pregnancy (13).

2. What part of the stomach hurts in early pregnancy?

During early pregnancy, pain in the lower abdomen is common (14).

Your early pregnancy symptoms may not always be obvious. As stated above, many women may experience strange pregnancy signs and symptoms such as thicker hair, nightmares, acne, bigger feet, and sensitivity to specific colors. Since these symptoms are not generic and differ with every woman, they cannot be considered to diagnose a positive pregnancy. Instead, use a home pregnancy test kit to determine if you’re expecting and follow up with a test a the doctor’s clinic. If you experience these uncommon early pregnancy symptoms, you should discuss them with your healthcare professional.

Key Pointers

  • Suddenly feeling a boost in your hair volume or sense of smell?
  • Noticing skin tags, color sensitivities, or a strange metallic taste in your mouth? These could be weird pregnancy signs.
  • Changes in the breast, increase in foot size, rise in body heat could indicate that you may be expecting.
  • More strange and unknown signs of early pregnancy as you scroll down.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Why your feet get bigger as you age; Harvard Health Publishing
2. Elseline Hoekzema, et al.; Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure; Nature Neuroscience; Volume 20 (2016).
3. Hair Changes in Pregnancy and Postpartum – What’s Going On? Lamaze International
4. New evidence connects nausea to sense of smell; Stanford University
5. Neda Ebrahimi, Caroline Maltepe, and Adrienne Einarson.; Optimal management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; International Journal of Women’s Health (2010).
6. 5.4 Strange dreams and nightmares; The Open University
7. The Breasts; UCSB SexInfo
8. Yeast Infection; Millersville University Health Services
9. Pregnancy and teeth; BetterHealth Channel; Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia
10. Skin Changes During Pregnancy; Health Sciences Library Upstate Medical University
11. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting; Regents of the University of Michigan
12. Postpartum Pooch – Why Sit-ups Aren’t Cutting It; ISSA
13. Common Changes During Pregnancy: First Trimester; Stanford CHildren’s Hospital
14. Stomach Pain In Pregnancy; NHS
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Dr. Irene (Eirini) Orfanoudaki

(PhD, MD)
Dr. Irene (Eirini) Orfanoudaki is a gynecologist-obstetrician, having a private practice in Heraklion, Crete, and collaborating with private health clinic 'MITERA' - Euromeda in Heraklion. With more than two decades of experience as a gynecologist-obstetrician, she specializes in ultrasound, colposcopy, minimal and advance gynecologic surgery, aesthetic gynecology, fertility consulting, menopause consulting, operative obstetrics, high-risk pregnancy, normal deliveries, antenatal, intra-parum, postnatal... more

Rebecca Malachi

Rebecca is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for delivering research-based and engaging content in areas of fertility, pregnancy, birth, and post-pregnancy. She has been into health and wellness writing since 2010. She received her graduate degree in Biotechnology and Genetics from Loyola Academy, Osmania University and obtained a certification in ‘Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy’ from Ludwig... more

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