Your pregnancy and baby guide
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy
Open all pages about Your pregnancy and baby guide
- Secrets to success
- Am I pregnant?
- Early days
- Week by week
- Preparing for the birth
- Work out your due date
- Tests scans and checks
- Your pregnancy (antenatal) care
- Your health and wellbeing
- Existing health problems
- Common pregnancy ailments
- Pregnancy-induced conditions
Labour and birth
- The start of labour
- The birth
- Emotions and worries
- Premature babies
- How to breastfeed
- Breastfeeding problems
- Lifestyle and breastfeeding
- Bottle feeding
- Newborn screening tests
- Newborn essentials
- New parents
- New mums
- Twins and multiples
Babies and toddlers
- Weaning and solid foods
- Baby health and care
- Spotting signs of serious illness
- Reflux in babies
- How to take a baby's temperature
- Reducing the risk of SIDS
- Treating a high temperature
- Sleep problems in children
- Coughs, colds and ear infections
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Infectious illnesses
- Children's medicines
- Looking after a sick child
- Serious conditions and special needs
- Constipation in young children
- Your baby's height and weight
- Baby health and development reviews
- Leg and foot problems in children
- Learning, play and behaviour
- Safety and accidents
Early signs of pregnancy
For women who have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
Women who are pregnant sometimes have a bleed similar to a very light period, with some spotting or only losing a little blood. This is called implantation bleeding.
Some of the other early pregnancy signs and symptoms are listed below.
Every woman is different and not all women will notice all of these symptoms.
Feeling sick during pregnancy
You may feel sick (nauseous) or be sick (vomit). This is commonly known as morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day or night.
For most women who have morning sickness, the symptoms start when they're around 4 to 6 weeks pregnant.
If you're being sick all the time and cannot keep anything down, see a GP.
You may have hyperemesis gravidarum, a serious condition in pregnancy that causes severe vomiting and needs treatment.
Feeling tired is common in pregnancy
It's common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks or so.
Hormonal changes in your body at this time can make you feel tired, sick, emotional and upset.
Sore breasts in early pregnancy
Your breasts may become larger and feel tender, just as they might do before your period. They may also tingle.
The veins may be more visible, and the nipples may darken and stand out.
Peeing more often suggests pregnancy
You may feel the need to pee more often than usual, including during the night.
Other signs of pregnancy you may notice are:
Strange tastes, smells and cravings
During early pregnancy, you may find you no longer like some foods or drinks you used to enjoy.
You might notice:
- a strange taste in your mouth, which many women describe as metallic
- you crave new foods
- you lose interest in certain foods or drinks you used to enjoy, such as tea, coffee or fatty food
- you lose interest in smoking
- you have a more sensitive sense of smell than usual – for example, the smell of food or cooking
If you're worried about symptoms
If you have any symptoms you're worried about, talk to a GP or your midwife.
Find out about:
If your pregnancy test is negative
A positive test result is almost certainly correct, as long as you have followed the instructions correctly.
A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think you may be pregnant, wait a week and try again.
If you're pregnant, use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby's due.
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You can find pregnancy and baby apps and tools in the NHS Apps Library.
Page last reviewed: 04/10/2019
Next review due: 04/10/2022