Your Pregnancy Experience

Feeling Pregnant? Symptoms, Feelings and Side Effects During Early Pregnancy

What does it feel like when you first get pregnant? How does your body and mind feel when you are first pregnant? Find the answers to these questions and more here.

The feeling of being pregnant can be the most amazing feeling in the world. If you are looking forward to raising a child of your own, the first feeling of pregnancy can seem like an answered prayer. It may be accompanied by all kinds of emotions — joy, hopefulness and even a twinge of nervousness — but many say that the first feelings of being pregnant are the most wonderful moments in their lives.

For others who weren’t planning on becoming pregnant, the first feelings of pregnancy may come as an unwelcome surprise or something that induces anxiety and worry. Whatever your situation, know this: There is no one “right” way to feel when pregnant, especially when you first discover this newfound reality.

But, how do you first know that you’re pregnant? How does it feel when you first get pregnant, and what should you feel in the first weeks of pregnancy?

First, know this: Every woman’s pregnancy is different. Your first feelings of pregnancy may be completely different from another expectant mother’s. While there are several general symptoms and side effects of early pregnancy, the best way to know whether or not you are pregnant is through a pregnancy test — either completed at home or in a doctor’s office. Symptoms of pregnancy can sometimes also be symptoms of other things, too, and only an official test can give you the answer you are looking for, whatever it may be.

In the meantime, you can find some basic information about the feelings during early pregnancy below.

What Does Early Pregnancy Feel Like?

It’s a common question from women, whether or not they are planning to become pregnant. While they know the tell-tale sign of pregnancy — a skipped period — they may want to know if they are pregnant before that missed period comes. Perhaps they feel like their body is a bit “off,” and they wonder if what they are feeling could actually be early pregnancy feelings. Can they tell if they are pregnant just from symptoms and side effects?

As mentioned before, only a pregnancy test can truly confirm your pregnancy. However, if you are wondering, “How do you feel when you first get pregnant?” there are a few common experiences women have:

How Does Your Body Feel When You are First Pregnant?

A skipped period is just one sign that you may be pregnant. As you likely know, there are a few side effects of early pregnancy that may be your first feelings of being pregnant, long before you find out your period is late.

So, what does it feel like when you first get pregnant? How does your body react?

Again, every pregnancy is different, but there are a few common symptoms that women experience during their first weeks and months:

  • Cramps and body aches
  • Tender and swollen breasts
  • Slight spotting or vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea throughout the day (also known as morning sickness)
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Food aversions or cravings
  • Faintness and dizziness

Keep in mind: Many women do not have any feelings during early pregnancy until they are at least five weeks pregnant. Studies have shown that 50 percent of women have symptoms at that time, while 70 percent have symptoms by six weeks and 90 percent have symptoms by eight weeks. Because many symptoms don’t emerge until after the embryo has formed, it’s important than any woman considering becoming pregnant or anyone who thinks they may be pregnant lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

How Will You Feel Emotionally During Early Pregnancy?

When it comes to feelings during early pregnancy, emotions and mental health are just as important as the physical side effects you may experience. Whether a woman has planned her pregnancy or not, there’s a lot that goes through her mind during her first few weeks and months of being pregnant.

So, how do you feel when you first get pregnant?

Know this: There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel when you find out you are pregnant. Women have all kinds of reactions to discovering they are pregnant, from joy to anxiety to disappointment. Pregnancy is not right for everyone at every time in their life and, if your feelings during early pregnancy don’t match up with what society says you should feel, you have no reason to be ashamed. It’s more important to do what is right for you, which may include taking extra time to think about this new change in your life.

Depending on your situation, you may be coping with several different emotions:

Some of the most complicated feelings during early pregnancy come from those women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. Almost half of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, which means that not every expectant mother you meet was initially thrilled about her pregnancy. If how you feel when you first get pregnant is less than excited, know that you are not alone.

You should also know that you always have options. If your early pregnancy feelings are those of dread or worry, remember that you do not have to parent this child unless you are 100 percent ready to. If you are early enough in your pregnancy, you can choose abortion. If you want to give your unborn child a life with opportunities and love, you can also choose adoption.

If you are dealing with complicated feelings upon discovering your pregnancy, consider reaching out to a pregnancy counselor or another loved one for support and advice. They can help you work through your early pregnancy feelings, learn what to expect from the remainder of your pregnancy, and help you make the right decision for you.