Did you have a ‘happy accident’ you don’t know about?

Could your missed period be a sign of pregnancy? We give you a list of other early pregnancy signs.

You’ve just referred to your period tracker app and realised that you are about a week late. Maybe you put this down to stress or increased working hours at the office. Maybe you need to check with your doctor if there’s a health problem that delayed your period.

Or maybe you could be pregnant.

You may not have tried for a second child, but here you are. But do hold your horses just yet: your period may just appear, though you should certainly look out for early signs of pregnancy.

The early signs of pregnancy: How to tell if you’re in the ‘family way’

A missed period – at least a week past its due date – is often the first and earliest sign of pregnancy. But it is a reliable indicator only if your period follows a regular cycle. There are other early signs of pregnancy that you should watch out for, such as –

  • Irregular headaches
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Bloating around your midsection
  • Slight bleeding accompanied by abdominal cramping. This is referred to as ‘implantation bleeding’ which occurs when the fertilised egg plants itself on the uterine wall. The bleeding may occur for a couple of days, and maybe mistaken for a light period.
  • Tender and swollen breasts
  • Flatulence
  • Frequent urination and/or constipation

If you experience any of the above, you might be in the early stages of pregnancy. Take a urine pregnancy test about two weeks after your missed period, or a serum beta hCg test about 10 days after the missed period to be certain.

You’re pregnant again. Now what?

* It’s still joyful tidings. So what if you hadn’t planned on a second pregnancy? It’s important to get ready for Round #2 with a cheerful mind. You set the tone for the rest of your pregnancy, and being in good spirits is good for the baby. Avoid stressful situations and anything that dampens your mood.

* Follow important pregnancy care tips. You’ve done this before, but every pregnancy is different. So be prepared for the unexpected. It might be a lot easier this time, or tougher. You might have unusual cravings, or develop severe back and hip pain, or gestational diabetes. Your health profile and age have a lot to do with how well your pregnancy turns out. Do follow your doctor’s pregnancy care tips for diet, exercise, rest, and stress control.

* Get moving. A good daily meal plan as well as exercise regimen will keep you and your baby in good health. Light cardio at the gym is fine up to the second trimester, complemented by yoga to keep the joints and muscles limber. Yoga is especially helpful to stave off back pain.

Keywords: Early signs of pregnancy, pregnancy care tips