The Most Common and Unusual Pregnancy Symptoms Explained, Week by Week

During a pregnancy, a woman goes through a variety of physical and emotional changes that can vary on a week-by-week basis. It’s important to be aware of these symptoms and signs as they can indicate the progress of the pregnancy and any potential concerns. These changes can be exciting, but they can also be challenging and even uncomfortable.

From the first week of pregnancy, there are several common symptoms that may occur. These can include fatigue, breast tenderness, and nausea, commonly known as morning sickness. As the weeks progress, additional symptoms may appear, such as frequent urination, food cravings, and mood swings. It’s important to note that not all women will experience the same symptoms, and the severity and timing can vary.

On a weekly basis, the pregnancy symptoms can change. For example, in the early weeks, a woman may experience implantation bleeding, which can be mistaken for a light period. As the weeks progress, the belly may start to show and the baby’s movements may become more pronounced. Other symptoms that can occur on a weekly basis include back pain, leg cramps, and increased vaginal discharge.

It’s important for expectant mothers to pay attention to these symptoms and signs, as they can indicate the health and progress of the pregnancy. If any concerns or unusual symptoms arise, it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider. Pregnancy is a unique and transformative experience, and being aware of the weekly changes can help women navigate this exciting and sometimes challenging time.

First Trimester Symptoms

During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience a variety of symptoms and changes on a weekly basis. These symptoms can be both physical and emotional, and are often a sign that the body is adjusting to the changes caused by pregnancy.

Early Signs of Pregnancy

  • Missed period
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings and aversions

These early signs of pregnancy are often the first indicators that a woman may be pregnant. They can vary in intensity from person to person, and some women may experience all of them, while others may only experience a few.

Physical Changes

  • Increased breast size
  • Darkening of the areolas
  • Weight gain
  • Appearance of a baby bump

These physical changes are a result of the body preparing for the growth of the baby and the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. They can be exciting and visible signs that a woman is expecting.

It’s important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and not all women will experience the same symptoms or changes. If you suspect you may be pregnant, it’s best to take a pregnancy test and consult with a healthcare provider for confirmation and guidance.

Second Trimester Symptoms

During the second trimester of pregnancy, which starts from week 13 and ends at week 27, there may be several common signs and changes that occur on a weekly basis. These symptoms, although varying from woman to woman, are typically less severe compared to those experienced in the first trimester.

1. Increased Energy Levels

Many pregnant women notice a surge in their energy levels during the second trimester. This is a welcome relief after the fatigue experienced in the first trimester and can be attributed to hormonal changes in the body.

2. Reduced Morning Sickness

For most women, the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness tend to lessen or disappear entirely during the second trimester. This can make it a more enjoyable and comfortable time of the pregnancy.

Despite these relieving symptoms, it’s important to note that every pregnancy is different, and some women may continue to experience morning sickness during this time.

3. Growing Belly

As the pregnancy progresses, the uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus. This can lead to a visible change in the size and shape of the belly. Many women enjoy seeing their baby bump grow during this trimester.

It’s normal to experience some stretching and discomfort in the abdominal area as the belly expands. Regular moisturizing and gentle stretching exercises can help alleviate any discomfort.

4. Increased Fetal Movement

During the second trimester, women often start to feel their baby’s movements. This is known as quickening and can be experienced as flutters, kicks, or rolls. Feeling the baby move is an exciting milestone for many expectant mothers.

It’s important to keep track of the baby’s movements and report any significant changes or decrease in movement to the healthcare provider.

5. Backache and Pelvic Pain

As the pregnancy progresses, the additional weight and changes in posture can put strain on the back and pelvis, leading to discomfort and occasional pain. Proper posture, gentle exercises, and prenatal massages can help alleviate these symptoms.

These are just a few of the common symptoms experienced during the second trimester of pregnancy. It’s important to remember that every woman’s experience is unique, and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider for proper guidance and care throughout the pregnancy.

Third Trimester Symptoms

During the third trimester of pregnancy, which typically begins around Week 27 and lasts until Week 40, a variety of symptoms and signs can occur on a weekly basis. These symptoms are a normal part of pregnancy and are usually the result of the physical and hormonal changes that occur as the body prepares for childbirth.

Common symptoms experienced during the third trimester include:

  • Increased fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Backaches and pelvic pain
  • Shortness of breath and heartburn
  • Swelling in the ankles, fingers, and face
  • Frequent urination
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Increased fetal movement
  • Stretch marks
  • Varicose veins

It’s important to note that every pregnancy is unique, and not all women will experience the same symptoms or in the same intensity. If you have any concerns about the symptoms you are experiencing during the third trimester, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider for guidance and reassurance.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

On a weekly basis, the signs of pregnancy can vary from woman to woman. Early pregnancy symptoms can begin as soon as a few days after conception, but often take a few weeks to become noticeable. Some common early pregnancy symptoms include:

– Nausea and vomiting, commonly referred to as morning sickness

– Fatigue and increased sleep

– Tender, swollen breasts

– Frequent urination

– Food cravings or aversions

– Mood swings and irritability

– Missed period

While these symptoms can be indicative of a pregnancy, it’s important to note that they can also be attributed to other factors. It’s recommended to take a pregnancy test or speak with a healthcare professional for confirmation.

Nausea and Morning Sickness

One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is nausea, often referred to as morning sickness. This feeling of sickness can occur on a weekly basis, affecting women in different ways depending on the stage of pregnancy.

During the early weeks of pregnancy, morning sickness may only occur sporadically or not at all. However, as the pregnancy progresses, the symptoms can become more frequent and intense.

For many pregnant women, morning sickness is a daily occurrence and can last for several weeks or even months. Nausea can strike at any time of the day or night, although it is most commonly experienced in the morning. The severity of the symptoms varies from woman to woman.

In some cases, morning sickness may cause vomiting, which can lead to dehydration and loss of appetite. It is important for pregnant women to stay hydrated and eat small, frequent meals to manage these symptoms.

Week Symptoms
4-6 Occasional nausea, mild morning sickness
7-9 Increased frequency of morning sickness
10-12 Severe morning sickness, possible vomiting
13-15 Gradual reduction in morning sickness

While morning sickness can be uncomfortable and challenging to deal with, it is generally considered a normal part of a healthy pregnancy. If the symptoms become severe or if you are unable to keep any food or drink down, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and potential treatment options.

Fatigue and Exhaustion

One of the most common signs of pregnancy is fatigue. On a weekly basis, the level of fatigue experienced by pregnant women can vary. In the early weeks of pregnancy, many women feel an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. This can be attributed to the hormonal changes happening in the body.

As pregnancy progresses, the body’s energy is focused on growing and nourishing the baby, which can lead to feelings of constant tiredness. The increasing weight and size of the belly may also contribute to physical fatigue.

It’s important for pregnant women to listen to their bodies and rest when needed. Taking short naps during the day or scheduling breaks can help alleviate some of the fatigue. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in gentle exercise may also help boost energy levels.

While fatigue is a common symptom of pregnancy, it’s essential to pay attention to any excessive or persistent exhaustion. In some cases, extreme fatigue could be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as anemia or thyroid problems. If fatigue becomes overwhelming or starts to interfere with daily activities, it’s important to discuss it with a healthcare provider.

Breast Changes and Tenderness

During pregnancy, changes in the breasts are a common and expected part of the experience. These changes occur on a weekly basis and can be a significant sign of pregnancy. Breast tenderness is one of the most common symptoms experienced throughout the different stages of pregnancy.

Week by Week Breast Changes:

Week 1-2: In the early weeks of pregnancy, hormonal changes may cause the breasts to feel slightly swollen or sensitive.

Week 3-4: As the pregnancy progresses, the breasts may continue to feel tender and may start to increase in size.

Week 5-6: The nipples and areolas may darken in color, and the veins in the breasts may become more visible due to increased blood flow.

Week 7-8: The breasts may continue to grow and become even more tender. Some women may also start to experience colostrum leakage, a yellowish fluid that is the precursor to breast milk.

Week 9-10: Breast tenderness may continue and may be accompanied by increased sensitivity in the nipples.

Common Signs of Breast Changes:

While every woman’s experience with breast changes during pregnancy may differ, some common signs to look out for include:

– Swelling or increased fullness – Soreness or tenderness
– Darkening of the nipples and areolas – Visible veins
– Growth in size – Colostrum leakage

If you experience any severe or concerning breast changes during pregnancy, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

Frequent Urination

One of the common symptoms of pregnancy is frequent urination. As your pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder, causing you to feel the need to urinate more often. This symptom can start as early as the first few weeks and continue throughout your entire pregnancy.

During the early weeks of pregnancy, frequent urination is mainly caused by hormonal changes. The pregnancy hormone hCG increases blood flow to your pelvic region and stimulates your kidneys, resulting in increased urine production. Additionally, the expanding uterus can put pressure on your bladder even in the early stages, leading to the need for more frequent trips to the restroom.

As you progress into the later weeks of pregnancy, the need to urinate frequently can become even more pronounced. Your growing baby puts additional pressure on your bladder and reduces its capacity, making it fill up more quickly. This, combined with the fact that your body is producing more fluids to support your pregnancy, can lead to increased frequency of urination.

Managing Frequent Urination

While frequent urination is a common and normal pregnancy symptom, it can be inconvenient and disruptive to your daily routine. Here are a few tips for managing this symptom:

  • Stay hydrated: It may seem counterintuitive, but drinking plenty of water can actually help prevent urinary tract infections and ease the symptom of frequent urination. Avoiding caffeine and spicy foods can also help.
  • Empty your bladder completely: When you do go to the restroom, make sure to take your time and fully empty your bladder to minimize the need to urinate again shortly after.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: Avoid tight-fitting pants or underwear that can put additional pressure on your bladder and exacerbate the need to urinate.
  • Pelvic floor exercises: Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with exercises like Kegels can help improve bladder control and reduce the urgency to urinate.
  • Plan ahead: When you know you’ll be away from a restroom for an extended period of time, try to time your fluid intake and bathroom breaks accordingly to minimize discomfort.

When to See a Doctor

In most cases, frequent urination during pregnancy is a normal symptom and doesn’t require medical intervention. However, if you experience any of the following signs in addition to frequent urination, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider:

  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever or chills
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Difficulty urinating or feeling a constant urge to urinate
  • Persistent abdominal pain or discomfort

If any of these symptoms occur, they may indicate a urinary tract infection or another underlying condition that requires medical attention. Your healthcare provider can evaluate your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment if necessary.

Food Cravings and Aversions

One of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is food cravings and aversions. These cravings and aversions can vary from week to week, and even on a day-to-day basis, as pregnancy hormones fluctuate.

Food cravings are intense desires for certain types of food. They can be for sweet, salty, spicy, or sour foods. Some women may have cravings for specific foods they have never liked before, while others may crave foods they previously enjoyed in large quantities.

On the other hand, food aversions are strong dislikes or repulsions towards certain foods. Certain smells or tastes may make a woman feel nauseous or even cause her to vomit. Food aversions can vary, but common aversions include strong-smelling foods, greasy foods, or foods with strong flavors.

These food cravings and aversions are believed to be the result of hormonal changes in the body. It is thought that they may serve as a way for the body to ensure it gets the nutrients it needs during pregnancy, or as a way to protect the mother and fetus from potentially harmful substances.

While food cravings and aversions are a common part of pregnancy, it is important to listen to your body and make healthy food choices. It is okay to indulge in cravings occasionally, but it is also important to eat a balanced diet that provides the necessary nutrients for you and your baby.

Week Food Cravings Food Aversions
Week 1-4 None None
Week 5-8 Spicy foods, pickles Meat, coffee
Week 9-12 Ice cream, citrus fruits Chicken, eggs
Week 13-16 Chocolate, peanut butter Salads, vegetables
Week 17-20 Pizza, hamburgers Seafood, garlic
Week 21-24 Cake, cookies Milk, cheese

It is important to note that every woman’s experience with food cravings and aversions during pregnancy may be different. Some women may not have any strong cravings or aversions, while others may have very specific ones. If you have concerns about your food cravings or aversions, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider.

Mood Swings and Emotional Changes

Pregnancy is a time of constant change, both physically and emotionally. One common symptom that many women experience on a weekly basis during pregnancy is mood swings and emotional changes.

Throughout each week of pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations can have a significant impact on a woman’s mood. These fluctuations are normal and are a sign that the body is adjusting to the changes happening during pregnancy.

Causes of Mood Swings

The causes of mood swings during pregnancy can be attributed to a variety of factors. Firstly, the surge in hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, can greatly impact a woman’s emotional state. Additionally, the physical changes and discomforts that come with pregnancy can also contribute to mood swings.

Changes in sleep patterns, increased fatigue, and changes in appetite can all affect a woman’s mood. The stress and anxiety that often accompany pregnancy can further exacerbate these emotional changes.

Managing Mood Swings

There are several strategies that pregnant women can implement to help manage mood swings and emotional changes. Prioritizing self-care, including getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular exercise, can greatly help regulate mood.

Communicating openly with a partner or loved ones about feelings and emotions can also provide support during this time. Seeking out a support group or counselor can offer additional tools and techniques for managing mood swings.

Remember, mood swings during pregnancy are a normal part of the journey. It’s important to be gentle with yourself and seek support when needed. If mood swings become severe or interfere with daily functioning, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is a common sign of pregnancy, and it typically occurs on a weekly basis. The amount of weight gained during pregnancy can vary greatly from woman to woman, and is influenced by factors such as pre-pregnancy weight, overall health, and individual body type.

Weekly Basis

Weight gain during pregnancy is usually measured on a weekly basis. In general, women can expect to gain an average of 1-2 pounds per week during the first trimester. However, it’s important to note that weight gain can fluctuate from week to week. Some weeks you may gain more, while in others you may gain less.

Signs of Weight Gain

As the pregnancy progresses, signs of weight gain may become more noticeable. Your clothes may feel tighter, and you may start to see physical changes in your body, such as a rounder belly and fuller breasts. These signs are usually a result of the growing baby and the natural changes occurring in your body to accommodate the pregnancy.

Week Recommended Weight Gain Range (lbs)
1 0-1
2 0-1
3 0-1
4 0-1
5 1-2
6 1-2
7 1-2

It’s important to remember that weight gain during pregnancy is necessary for the health and development of your baby. However, it’s also important to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet, and to discuss any concerns about weight gain with your healthcare provider on a regular basis.

Heartburn and Indigestion

Heartburn and indigestion are common symptoms of pregnancy that many women experience on a weekly basis. They can occur at any time during pregnancy, but are more commonly experienced in the later stages.

Signs and Symptoms

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest, usually felt after eating or lying down. It can also be accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in the mouth. Indigestion, on the other hand, is a feeling of discomfort or fullness in the upper abdomen. It may be accompanied by bloating, belching, and nausea.


Heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy are caused by hormonal changes and the physical changes that occur as the baby grows. The hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles in the body, including the muscles of the digestive tract, which can lead to acid reflux and indigestion. The growing uterus can also put pressure on the stomach, pushing stomach acid back up into the esophagus.

Other factors that can contribute to heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy include eating large meals, eating spicy or greasy foods, and consuming caffeine or carbonated drinks.

Managing Heartburn and Indigestion

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to help avoid overloading the digestive system.
  • Avoid eating spicy or greasy foods that can trigger heartburn and indigestion.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Try to maintain good posture while eating and avoid lying down immediately after a meal.
  • Sleep with your upper body slightly elevated to help reduce acid reflux.
  • Drink plenty of water to help dilute stomach acid.
  • Chew gum after meals to stimulate saliva production, which can help neutralize stomach acid.
  • Consider using over-the-counter antacids or talking to your healthcare provider about other medications that are safe to use during pregnancy.

If you are experiencing severe or persistent heartburn and indigestion that is affecting your daily life, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for further evaluation and management.


Constipation is a common symptom experienced by many pregnant women on a weekly basis. It occurs due to hormonal changes during pregnancy that can slow down the digestive system. As a result, bowel movements may become less frequent and stools harder to pass.

During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles of the intestines, causing food to move through the digestive tract at a slower pace. This can lead to constipation and discomfort. Additionally, as the uterus expands, it can put pressure on the intestines, further contributing to the problem.

Common signs of constipation during pregnancy include:

Infrequent bowel movements:

Pregnant women may experience less frequent bowel movements than usual. This can be a sign of constipation if the stools are hard and difficult to pass.

Bloating and discomfort:

Constipation can cause bloating and discomfort in the abdominal area. This can be due to the buildup of trapped gas and stool in the intestines.

To relieve constipation during pregnancy, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. This includes consuming fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly can also help promote regular bowel movements.

If constipation persists or becomes severe, it is recommended to consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment options.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on general pregnancy symptoms experienced on a weekly basis. However, every pregnancy is unique, and individual experiences may vary. It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance.

Swelling and Water Retention

Swelling and water retention are common symptoms of pregnancy. As the body undergoes hormonal changes and increases blood volume, it can lead to an accumulation of fluid in the tissues.

Swelling, also known as edema, is most commonly experienced in the ankles, feet, and hands. This is due to the effects of gravity and the pressure from the growing uterus on the blood vessels in the lower extremities.

Water retention can also cause bloating and puffiness in other parts of the body, such as the face and legs. This is often more noticeable in the later stages of pregnancy.

To alleviate swelling and water retention, it is recommended to:

  • Elevate the legs whenever possible to promote blood flow.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and avoid tight clothing.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Limit salt intake, as it can contribute to water retention.
  • Engage in regular exercise to improve circulation.

Swelling and water retention during pregnancy is usually harmless, but it is important to keep an eye out for any severe or sudden swelling, as it can be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia. If you are concerned about your swelling or have any questions, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are a common symptom of pregnancy, typically starting at around the 20th week. These contractions, also known as “practice contractions,” are often described as feeling like tightening or squeezing sensations in the abdomen. They are different from regular labor contractions, as they are usually not painful and do not lead to the birth of the baby.

Braxton Hicks contractions can occur sporadically or on a regular basis, and they vary in intensity and duration. Some women may not even notice them, while others may find them uncomfortable or slightly painful. These contractions are a normal part of the pregnancy process and are believed to help prepare the uterus for childbirth.

If you haven’t experienced Braxton Hicks contractions yet, don’t worry! Every pregnancy is different, and some women may never experience them. However, if you do experience these contractions, it’s important to remember that they are a sign that your body is preparing for the arrival of your baby. If you have any concerns or questions about Braxton Hicks contractions, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are a common sign of pregnancy. They can occur on a weekly basis as the pregnancy progresses. Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the skin as the baby grows inside the womb. They commonly appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, and buttocks.

Stretch marks may start to appear around the 12th week of pregnancy and become more noticeable as the pregnancy continues. They can also be influenced by factors such as genetics, weight gain, and skin type.

Although stretch marks cannot be prevented entirely, there are ways to minimize their appearance. Regularly applying moisturizers and creams can help keep the skin hydrated and supple, reducing the likelihood of stretch marks. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can also contribute to overall skin health.

It is important to remember that stretch marks are a normal part of the pregnancy journey and do not have any negative effects on the health of the mother or baby. They are simply a physical reminder of the amazing changes happening within the body on a weekly basis.

While some women may find stretch marks bothersome, it is essential to embrace and appreciate the changes that come with pregnancy. These marks are a symbol of the incredible journey of motherhood.

Backache and Pelvic Pain

One of the common symptoms of pregnancy is backache and pelvic pain. It can occur at any time during the pregnancy, but it is more common in the early weeks of pregnancy. This symptom is caused by the hormonal and physical changes that the body goes through during pregnancy.

During the early weeks of pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone helps to relax the ligaments in the pelvic area, preparing the body for childbirth. However, this relaxation can also cause backache and pelvic pain. The weight of the growing baby and the changes in the center of gravity can also contribute to these symptoms.

As pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus puts more pressure on the lower back and pelvic area, which can lead to increased discomfort. Hormonal changes also play a role in the development of backache and pelvic pain. The ligaments and muscles in the back and pelvis become softer and more pliable, which can lead to strain and discomfort.

To help alleviate backache and pelvic pain, pregnant women can try the following:

1. Maintaining good posture: Sitting and standing up straight can help relieve pressure on the back and pelvis.

2. Using proper body mechanics: When lifting objects, the legs should be used instead of the back to prevent strain.

3. Wearing supportive shoes: Proper footwear can help distribute weight evenly and provide better support for the lower back and pelvis.

4. Practicing gentle exercises: Exercises such as prenatal yoga or swimming can help strengthen the core muscles and provide relief for backache and pelvic pain.

5. Applying heat or cold packs: Heat or cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in the back and pelvis.

If the backache and pelvic pain become severe or persistent, it is important to consult a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and treatment.

Overall, backache and pelvic pain are common signs of pregnancy that can occur at any week. By taking proactive measures and practicing self-care, pregnant women can find relief from these symptoms and have a more comfortable pregnancy experience.