Skip to Content

Pregnancy symptoms and what to do next

Learn about early signs of pregnancy and when to make an appointment with your OB.

June 03, 2024
Young woman holding a pregnancy test and looking at the results.

When you first get pregnant, your body goes through many physical and hormonal changes that can lead to noticeable symptoms. 

“Your body is changing daily, and while this is a miraculous experience, some days it's uncomfortable and perplexing. When you have questions about your pregnancy symptoms, it's best to seek out tried and trusted resources like your obstetrician.” says from Dr. Aliese Smith, an OB/GYN with HCA Florida Healthcare. 

Whether you’re recently pregnant, trying to get pregnant or aren’t sure what’s happening, we’re here for you. Need pregnancy care but not sure where to start? Search for OB/GYNs near you. 

Early signs of pregnancy

Every person and pregnancy are different. That means you may have all, some or very few of these early pregnancy symptoms. 

Missed period

A missed period is the main sign that you’re pregnant according to the Office on Women’s Health

If you of are sexually active and of childbearing age, you should take a pregnancy test if you are one or more weeks late for your menstrual cycle.

Know that missing a period doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. You may have an irregular cycle. Or other factors like health conditions and medications can also affect your period schedule. Either way, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you experience a missed period, so you can see if you’re pregnant or are experiencing another health issue.

Tender or swollen breasts

Sore breasts are common, especially early in pregnancy. As your body responds to an increase in hormones, blood flows to the breasts, which can make them extra tender. 


Morning sickness is nausea that happens at any time of day. You may start to feel nauseous or experience some vomiting about a month into pregnancy. 


Many people feel extremely tired when pregnant, especially in the first 12 weeks. Hormones, such as progesterone, increase a lot early on, making you extra sleepy. Your body also gets tired as it works to grow and protect the fetus. 

Pregnancy discharge and light spotting

You may see light bleeding, also called spotting, throughout the first trimester, along with an increase in white discharge throughout your pregnancy. Call your doctor right away if you have vaginal bleeding, which is a heavier blood flow and more serious.

Other pregnancy symptoms

Pregnancy hormone changes can lead to other symptoms, including (but not limited to):

  • Food cravings 
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Increased urination
  • Lower backaches
  • Mood swings
  • Urge to avoid certain foods or smells
  • Weight changes

Note that there are other possible causes for these symptoms — from food poisoning to anxiety. It’s always best to talk to your provider if any symptom is severe. 

“Most obstetric practices have someone on-call around the clock in case of emergencies. For non-urgent concerns you can call your obstetrician's office or raise your concerns during your regularly scheduled appointments,” Dr. Smith.

When to schedule your first pregnancy appointment

Do you think you’re pregnant? Start by taking a pregnancy test at home. Most drug stores and pharmacies sell pregnancy tests, which measure human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone levels in your urine. At-home pregnancy tests often are accurate, though accuracy improves the further along you are in your pregnancy. 

You’ll also want to schedule an appointment with a prenatal care provider. As one of the largest healthcare providers in the state, our extensive network is home to everyone from OB/GYNs and midwives to high-risk pregnancy doctors and neonatologists. Find an OB/GYN here. 

June 03, 2024

Related Blog Posts

How to create the best birth plan for you 

June 03, 2024
Know what to include in your birth plan, what labor and delivery questions to answer, and when to be flexible.

How to create the best birth plan for you 

June 03, 2024
Know what to include in your birth plan, what labor and delivery questions to answer, and when to be flexible.

Celebrating PRIDE month with a growing family 

June 01, 2024
As we celebrate PRIDE Month alongside our LGBTQ+ colleagues, we’re sharing the experience of HCA Florida Healthcare nurse, Yoiris Varela-Mora. Yoiris and her partner, Liz, welcomed their first child this year at HCA Florida Mercy Hospital.

8 reasons to schedule a women's checkup for adults or teens 

May 06, 2024
Discover four reasons to schedule a women's checkup today, whether you're a teen or an adult.