Early signs of pregnancy: common, odd and surprising

If you’re hoping to conceive, you’ll be eagerly awaiting signs that something is happening towards the end of each cycle. It’s different for everyone, but here are some early signs of pregnancy, as experienced by The Early Hour’s readers…

Some women know, instinctively, as soon as they conceive. Others are well into the first – or even second – trimester before they realise. But most have at least some early signs of pregnancy – so we asked The Early Hour’s readers what made them realise they’d conceived. There are common early signs of pregnancy, some you might never have heard of and a few that are downright bizarre…

Early signs of pregnancy

As experienced by The Early Hour’s readers and writers…

Annie Ridout: I was completely exhausted from just a week after conception (while away on holiday) – so much so, that I thought I had some kind of serious illness. I also had a stitch when running, felt dizzy and had a bizarre dream about snakes, which some people say is a (superstitious) sign of pregnancy.

Shona French: Firstly, when I was in Italy I was doing loads of exercise and running nearly every day. Instead of becoming a better runner, I started to get a stitch every time I ran, which I thought was strange and looking back it was one of the first signs I was pregnant. This was literally one week after conceiving. Also, I felt sick and had a stomach ache about two weeks in. I went to the doctor and she told me I had a stomach ulcer. I told her that I could be pregnant and she said I wouldn’t have any symptoms and gave me two months worth of medication. Luckily I trusted my instinct and didnt take it!

Jenny Lewis: I had a very weird twinge of pain when kicked in the stomach at my kick boxing class and just knew… that was the end of my kick boxing days. I think I was about four/five weeks. Ruby is now 10.

Billie Woodcraft: Firstly, a little odd but I actually dreamt about the sperm making its journey on the night I believe I conceived. Weird I know but it’s true! And then more normal signs – I was VERY emotional from day dot. Particularly teary and sad. This continued and got a lot worse all the way through my first trimester. Generally all my pregnancy symptoms were emotional not physical.

I was convinced my car had been stolen. Police came out and everything – turns out I’d just looked on the wrong part of the street. Took a test that night. Very bad case of baby brain.

Rachel Jones: I felt the embryos implanting. Really weird stabbing pains over a few days in places I didn’t ever remember having feelings before. At the right number of days after ovulation and a couple of days before positive pregnancy tests. I think I’m wired a bit differently to most people because I can also feel follicles growing once they get to 13-14mm (I was having scans to track them so I could always say which side and when they were that size, the doctors doing the scan were impressed). A few days after that tingly boobs. And the usual nausea a week or two later.

Katherine Anstey: I had a crazy insatiable thirst unlike anything I’ve experienced before. After a week or two I started to wonder what was going on, combined with sensitive boobs I took a test to rule it out and hey presto. I was only about four weeks pregnant and was amazed how early symptoms had started. Thirst wasn’t something I’d ever heard of as being part of the early signs. A slightly odd one.

Steph Douglas: I had a massive tantrum when my husband forgot to get mushy peas with his fish and chips (that I’d said I didn’t want) and threw some chips at him and called my friend. Who said straight away “um, you were a bit like this when you were pregnant last time”. And whaddya know – I was.

Rachel Thomas: I remember suddenly bursting into tears at my boyfriend’s birthday party. I had to go to the bathroom so I could let out a huge sob. I didn’t know what I was so upset about. Then my boyfriend had a dream that I was pregnant and was convinced I was. I was not so sure. I did have cramps but I thought they were premenstrual stomach aches. I actually, embarrassingly now, had taken a topless photo as I thought my boobs were looking great and sent it to my boyfriend that evening.

I also had very sore breasts and was having strange poos – one day very constipated the next day about four normal poos!

To put his mind at ease, I agreed to do a test the next morning. I had a big deadline for an art exhibition that week, and I remember going to get all the signage laser cut and having a heart to heart with the technician. I then took myself to the chemist and vividly remember picking up the test and suddenly having a definite “knowing” that the test would be positive. Sure as anything, when I got to my cousin’s house, I got the confirmation…

Ellie Smith: My early pregnancy symptoms surfaced in a variety of ways. Firstly, I was super sleepy. We were on holiday and I was really rested yet kept falling asleep. I also had very sore breasts and was having strange poos – one day very constipated the next day about four normal poos! I knew I must have been pregnant when I suddenly became repulsed by alcohol, which I had been enjoying. I also started to have an increased appetite.

Chloe Denham: Before I realised I was pregnant with Olive I kept bumping the car… my spatial awareness was atrocious. We drove our bashed up Polo to Pimlico one night in January to have supper with friends (I must have been two weeks pregnant or something) and I managed to reverse into and front bash the neighbouring posh-as-you-like Westend cars whilst trying to park our clapped out east-end banger in a rather upmarket street in the shadows of parliament. Only occurred to me later that this was a very early sign of pregnancy. I basically realised I was pregnant that night because usually my spatial awareness is totally sharp. Needless to say I became hopeless at parking for the entire pregnancy

Early signs of pregnancy from our Instagram followers

@alisoninwonderland_UK: I had to get up in the night for a wee. I never have to do that. And then again the next night. It took me four days to pluck up the courage to do a test (my partner was away at the time) and there was that little extra line!

@joeyjkelly: I didn’t fancy drinking any wine! It was July last year, a long hot week at work, and normally I would have been longing for a glass of something once I got home each evening… But just didn’t fancy it at all. I also found myself falling asleep on the sofa, which had never happened before. Still, kept pushing it out of my mind as nothing and only did a test at the end of the week because we were going to Lovebox and wanted to double check before drinking there!

@livingafullerlife: With my first – sore boobs and would sleep from the moment I got home from work until the next morning, only waking up for dinner. Second – I just decide to test the day my period was due… maybe it was an inkling! Third – two weeks late on my period, I had a feeling I was but was too scared to take a test in case I wasn’t.

@mrsjohnson80: My first pregnancy symptom with baby number three was hot flushes. I knew I was pregnant when I had them in a church, as churches are ALWAYS cold.

I knew something was up when wine/beer/gin all tasted off

@betty_salter: I was at the gym and my personal trainer couldn’t work out why my body wasn’t moving as it normally did when I did a suspended plank. He (yes he!) asked me if I could be, I said definitely not as I had a headache, sore boobs and a period-like tummy ache, clearly due on… Or not! Preggers with twins.

@mrsappo85: Usual sore boobs and tiredness – but also, oddly, sore gums? It was that last one that made me think “something is going on here” and made me do a test. No idea why that would be a symptom.

@littlestonecot: both times it was because alcohol didn’t taste right. I knew something was up when wine/beer/gin all tasted off.

@thebumptobabychapter: With my third, my early pregnancy signs were heartburn and round ligament pain. You know the kind where you sneeze and it feels like someone has stabbed you in the groin!

@yazhas: sore boobs, the most intense tiredness, waves of mild dizziness… Still didn’t put it down to being pregnant.

@charlottestewart: Crying at anything and everything for two weeks. Emotional time bomb.

@pennyjamieson: I was convinced my car had been stolen. Police came out and everything – turns out I’d just looked on the wrong part of the street. Took a test that night. Very bad case of baby brain.

@eclipsestem: Ahh the false alarm metallic taste shot any confidence in knowing. But a friend advised that I should ignore that negative test result because apparently I’m the least likely person to uncontrollably sob while brushing my teeth, ever. After 15 minutes of sobbing I thought I’d lost the plot, but since it returned with consecutive teeth-cleaning it started to make sense.

Turns out you also get a positive ovulation test if you’re pregnant

@jessiegooddooher: Before I knew I was pregnant, I was craving white wine with ice – normally I can’t stand it. Then I went off tea (teachers’ lifeline!) – that’s when my colleagues started to question if I was. After that came extreme tiredness (I never used to nap in the day but I could barely keep my eyes open) and then the morning/afternoon/evening sickness reared its ugly head.

@lexietready: Nobody believes me, but I knew I was pregnant with number three when I was felt ligament pain around my hips as I recognised it from later stages in previous pregnancies. Was trudging around an RHS garden when I felt a twinge and started to grin (that was a five weeks but it was a very real feeling and I was right).

@emilygrayphoto: I had a positive result on an ovulation test. I had been having negative results for about a year, wasn’t having periods and then had stopped doing the tests. I started acupuncture but still didn’t have a period. They think I ovulated once, and feel pregnant straight away and had no idea. Turns out you also get a positive ovulation test if you’re pregnant and the scan I was booked in for showed I was 10 and a half weeks!

@ailsanap: Super sensitive sense of smell, I could smell when a certain coffee-drinking, smoking colleague was in the building! And tea, coffee and pepper made me very sick, both pregnancies.

My husband ran at me to tickle/grab my tummy and I felt an overwhelming protectiveness. I did a test the next day and was three weeks pregnant

@lauraamiss: Metallic taste in mouth and my usually tiny boobs were less tiny and very veiny. Second and third pregnancies I knew as soon as I saw veins in my breasts. Although second wasn’t planned and I had a 10-month-old so spent a lot of time trying to ignore the early signs of pregnancy and convince myself that it was something else!

@Lizziemell: My husband, daughter and I were in the park messing around. My husband ran at me to tickle/grab my tummy and I felt an overwhelming protectiveness. I did a test the next day and was three weeks pregnant.

_mrsk.e.a: I never used to drink milk or like dairy products then all of a sudden I was desperate for a cup of milky tea and a creme caramel.

What were your early signs of pregnancy? Let us know in the comment section below…