Strange & unusual early pregnancy symptoms & signs: 23 real moms share their strange early pregnancy symptom stories
If you’re here I’m guessing you’re either newly pregnant (congratulations) or hoping that you’ll be pregnant soon. Either way, you’re in for a wild ride that begins the minute you get your big fat positive (BFP) pregnancy test. As you’ll see below, sometimes, the weirdness begins even before your missed period and positive test. Find out all the strange early pregnancy symptoms and hear strange early pregnancy stories from real moms. I’ll be honest, some of the symptoms aren’t so strange – but some are definitely out there. So, let’s dive right in.
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First things first, I’m going to share all the early pregnancy symptoms you can expect, whether they’re the strange early pregnancy signs, or just the normal symptoms, we’ll cover them all. Then I’ll share the early pregnancy stories of 23 real moms who had some pretty interesting early inklings that they were pregnant.
Strange early pregnancy signs & symptoms
A Missed Period
I almost didn’t want to put this one here because it’s a no-brainer, and it’s definitely not strange — but then I thought I’d include it in in case anyone is here who doesn’t have a regular cycle. Many early pregnancy signs can come even before your missed period, but this is the biggest early sign that you may be pregnant.
If your period is a few days late and you’ve been feeling “off” or if you have an irregular cycle and you have any of these other early pregnancy signs, go out and get a pregnancy test.
Breast changes are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy for many women, and one of the most common changes are sore or sensitive boobs. You may also see veins becoming more prominent and your nipples will usually darken as you get closer to your due date. You may also have growth and swelling as an early pregnancy sign but actual breast growth is more common later in pregnancy.
This is also a common one. Blame the hormones. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to stop or get better throughout pregnancy. As your baby grows, she’ll actually end up pushing on your bladder, making frequent urination even more, well frequent, and urgent.
This is also another tell-tale early pregnancy sign and is usually accompanied with gas. All the changes in hormones as your body prepares your uterus to grow a baby cause some upheaval in your midsection. *Usually* this one levels off a bit.
A heightened sense of smell
My husband joked that I could become a canine detective. I could literally smell EVERYTHING. And since my nausea was so easily triggered, the heightened sense of smell often triggered nausea or retching. Fun. This one came on pretty early and lasted the entire time. Many women say it’s their first pregnancy symptom.
This usually precedes (or accompanies) the next symptom of nausea and vomiting. Are you suddenly revolted by your once beloved cheesesteak? Or does the sight of watermelon make your stomach turn? It may be an early sign of pregnancy. If you’re having any of these other symptoms, you may want to grab a test. Luckily, these usually reverse after you deliver and the hormones dwindle. Sadly, I got so sick during my first pregnancy I still can’t look at ginger ale (five years later).
Nausea / Vomiting
This is one of the “typical” early pregnancy signs, but many women never even experience nausea, so it’s certainly not the only sign. If you don’t get nauseous or have any vomiting, consider yourself lucky and go on about your day. Don’t second guess whether or not you’re healthy (you are) and know that you got a pass. For many of us, this is truly debilitating and may even make some women reconsider a subsequent pregnancy. In most cases, sickness subsides in your second trimester. If it doesn’t, hang in there mamma – I promise the payoff is worth it. And, try this tips to combat morning sickness.
Related: How to deal with morning sickness
I’m not talking tiredness like, oh I need a nap. I’m talking cant-keep-my-eyes-open and almost feel drugged tired. Many women absolutely NEED to sleep in the afternoons or early evenings and it’s almost physically impossible to stay awake. Luckily this only lasts a few weeks at most, and you’ll start to get your energy back by the second trimester.
Again, blame the hormones. If you’re prone to headaches they may become worse during your first trimester, or you may not get them at all. You may also start getting headaches out of the blue if you didn’t have them frequently before. There’s no real rhyme or reason, but be careful about the medication you take. If you’re pregnant you should really only take tylenol or something else approved by your doctor. Skip the migraine meds for now.
Acne or complexion changes
Adult acne is super common in pregnancy. And, thanks to the hormone surges you may also get dry patches or redness on your face as well. Basically, your body is going a bit haywire as it adjusts to creating a new life. This can manifest in a hundred different ways, and one of the common ones is breakouts.
A lot of women actually mistake implantation bleeding as an early period. Spotting during early pregnancy is totally common, but notify your doctor if it is heavy or bright red. Implantation bleeding occurs when the egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but again, it doesn’t happen to everyone. If you don’t have any spotting, it’s also not a bad sign!
Cramping is also often mistaken as an early sign of PMS, when in fact, it could just be your body preparing to grow a baby. As your body and hormone switch into high gear, you may get twinges, twitches, or even pulls from your round ligaments (and Uterus) as you grow. This can occur even with implantation as an early pregnancy sign.
Dizziness or Lightheadedness
Feeling dizzy is also at the top of the list of “first pregnancy symptoms” for many women. If you don’t typically get dizzy spells and suddenly feel yourself getting light-headed or needing to sit down, it might be time to grab a test.
This one is often hard to pinpoint as an early pregnancy sign, because it isn’t something people typically discuss as a pregnancy symptom. But, tons of moms I’ve talked with swear that they became super forgetful the instant they became pregnant. It definitely makes the list. And as you get further along, pregnancy brain is real.
Mood swings are also incredibly common during pregnancy. If you’re feeling irrationally angry or can cry at the drop of a hat, you might not just be emotional. It’s entirely possible you’re just pregnant.
Change in alcohol tolerance
This was one of the first inklings I had that I may be pregnant. I had three sips of wine and felt dizzy, more like I’d had three glasses. It passed quickly but I didn’t want to drink at all and threw the glass out (highly unlike me!). I took a test the next morning (3w) and saw a faint line. Changes in your alcohol tolerance (or desire to drink) are often an early sign of pregnancy.
Increased vaginal discharge
Your discharge will change throughout the course of your pregnancy, but if you’re noticing an increase it could be an early pregnancy sign. Again, blame all the hormone changes as your body prepares for a baby.
Metallic taste in your mouth
Luckily this is typically only an early pregnancy symptom and will go away after the first trimester. But changes in taste may persist throughout your pregnancy.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of cavities and also may deal with frequent bleeding gums. Those damn hormones again. They cause swelling of your gums (and bleeding) as well as inflaming the mucous membranes that give you the runny and stuffy nose that are last on the list.
Runny or stuffy nose
Like bleeding gums, these are caused by the inflamed mucous membranes due to all that extra blood flowing through your body. It’s not uncommon to have a stuffy nose throughout your pregnancy, or even increased nasal discharge. Fun.
Strange early pregnancy symptoms and stories from real moms – even before a missed period
My early pregnancy signs were similar, but there were a couple of differences. With both pregnancies, I found out at 3 weeks, before my missed periods. I tested at 11 DPO and had a faint line.
Pregnancy 1 (girl): frequent urination, bloating, and “flutters” in my uterus around the time of implantation (no cramping). Nausea started from weeks 5-24, and vomiting from weeks 6-15. I also had an EXTREMELY heightened sense of smell from week 5+.
Pregnancy 2 (girl): extreme tiredness mid-afternoon, and felt “off” when I tried to work out (weeks 2-3), immediate dizziness after a few sips of wine. Took a test the next morning and saw a faint line. Nausea/vomiting started at week 5, but vomiting stopped at week 9, and nausea at week 20. I had a heightened sense of smell throughout my second pregnancy as well.
As if that laundry list of early pregnancy symptoms wasn’t enough, some of the women below have even more interesting ways they knew they were pregnant. Here are the early pregnancy stories from more real moms.
How I knew I was pregnant before my missed period: strange early pregnancy symptom stories
“I was throwing up a lot and had stomach pain” – Ariel T.
“I experienced bloating, cramping, and increased urination. My husband and I went through IVF so I was closely monitored by bloodwork and ultrasounds.” – Ashley S.
“My boobs hurt so bad!” – Patricia S.
“I woke up one morning and just felt weird. Something felt different so I took a test and here I am one month postpartum.” – Victoria M.
“Headache and feeling off the day I tested. 5 days earlier I got a negative test and thought I was going to have to wait for the next month, but my period was two days late. I thought it was due to the stress I was dealing with at the time. Tested again and came up positive.” – Cortney W.
“Extreme tiredness and increased hunger. I’ve always been the type to love food and naps but could always do without a nap. Once my body was pregnant both were mandatory. Slept in later than usual, ate a whole meal for breakfast when I was more of a snack person, and went right back to sleep. Sleep, eat, sleep, eat seemed like my new schedule even before my BFP. I also for the first few weeks had hiccups ALL THE TIME! Before I started testing I had a sinking feeling in my tummy a couple of times a day which was weird.” – My’Ka C.
“Extreme soreness in my breasts. I was also urinating more frequently, but the sore breasts were the “aha” moment.” – Jasmine A.
“I woke up and got sick so I took a test, and now my daughter is four months old.” – Morgan B.
“Falling ASLEEP in a meeting. Could not keep my eyes open. During the same meeting, needing to pee so many times (every 15 min). I thought people would think I was crazy, so I took detours and went to different bathrooms. My brain was also not functioning. I couldn’t figure out how to plug my computer back into my docking station at my desk.” – Melanie M.
“I planned out my fiance’s murder. In detail. Found out at 3w4d :)” – Megan S.
“ I was so bloated and my boobs hurt so bad. I also constantly craved hot dogs for like two weeks.” – Amanda D.
“My husband and I were trying. My period is usually very regular. The day it was due I had a couple spots and was cramping so I assumed my period was coming, and my breasts were very sore. I remember walking outside my house and it was the beginning of June- I felt like I could smell EVERYTHING! Flowers, dirt, everything I thought it was so weird. The next day when I woke up the spotting was gone and my period didn’t come. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I took 6 tests total and all were positive.” – Brianne A.
“My friend knew I was pregnant before I did. My boobs were so sensitive and swollen, and I had really bad heartburn. I asked my friend that day if she had any tums and she looked at me and said “you’re pregnant” then my mom said she had a dream I was pregnant. On Mothers Day last year, I took a pregnancy test at 2 a.m. and it was positive.” – Cheyenne M.
“I was soooooo nauseous one day. But did not know I was pregnant, as I hadn’t been getting my period with breastfeeding for the past 12+ months. Took a pregnancy test and found I was pregnant that day!” – Kara R.
“I was too tired to go on my weekly hikes over the summer! I remember feeling so fatigued, I couldn’t keep up with my partner. Then I was napping about 3 times a day. When I tested positive at 3.5 weeks, as soon as I missed my period, I got the bloodhound nose. I ended up having nausea so bad from all the smells around me. I could barely eat for 3 months!” – P.P.
“Really tired and sore boobs. Also, lack of appetite in the morning.” – Jillian C.
“I was 3 or 5 weeks and I felt HORRIBLY dizzy.. got a test as a joke saying “it’s either covid or I’m pregnant.” – Tiffany O.
“Very tired and then weirdly enough, my belly button started itching. I took a test two days later and it was positive!” – Shalisha H.
“My nose got crazy stuffy and wouldn’t go away and then I got consistent nose bleeds.” – Lindsey M.
“I had been tracking my periods and ovulation on the P Tracker app for 2-3 months and somewhat planning to be intimate during ovulation. I noticed that my period would always come 2-3 days before the app actually said it would. When I hadn’t started the day before it said it was supposed to, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. The only symptom I had before taking the test was fatigue (like 2-3 naps a day). Shortly after taking the test, my boobs were extremely sore. Both the fatigue and breast tenderness got a lot better right around the time I started my 2nd trimester.” – Alison P.
“I knew I was pregnant when I took a bite of my birthday crab legs and immediately had to run to the bathroom.” – Carey M.
“I bloated really badly, I cried hysterically because I saw a bird with a stick in its mouth (the bird looked very proud), and everything my husband did annoyed me.” – Adrianna R.
As you can see, there are a variety of early pregnancy signs and symptoms that can occur in a healthy pregnancy. You may get many of these symptoms or none of them, it just depends on your body.
Also, it’s not uncommon to not have symptoms until AFTER you miss your period. It all depends on your sensitivity to the pregnancy hormone, HCG, and how it builds in your body. If you’re trying to conceive and are reading this list, hang in there. Don’t worry if you’re in the two-week wait and not experiencing these symptoms yet. Many women don’t even get a positive pregnancy test until a week after their missed period.
Freaking out that you have no idea what to do if you ARE pregnant? I have a FREE baby prep crash course that will help with that!
I hope this list of strange early pregnancy signs and symptoms was helpful.
What was your weirdest early sign of pregnancy? Drop it in the comments below!