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Can someone be forced to have an abortion? Find out in this blog. Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic provides free pregnancy services in Northridge, CA. Schedule your appointment today.

Can Someone Be Forced to Have an Abortion?

Facing an unplanned pregnancy without the support and help of your family and friends can be incredibly challenging. As you make choices surrounding your pregnancy, it's important to remember that only you have the power to make these crucial decisions.  

If you feel as though you are being pressured into having an abortion, keep reading.

Can someone be forced to have an abortion? 

Many women who are walking through unplanned pregnancies experience pressure from those around them to abort. However, it's vital to remember that nobody — whether it is your parents, doctor, or partner — can force you to have an abortion.  This is true even if you are a minor.

Making a decision under pressure can lead to regret later on.  It's important to find support and help if you are in this situation so you can make the best decision for you.

What options are available in the case of an unplanned pregnancy?

When it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, you have three options — parenting, adoption, and abortion.

What you want to do regarding your pregnancy is entirely up to you and, with the help of your local pregnancy clinic, you can learn more about each option and be empowered to make the choice that's right for you. 

Here at Open Arms, we help educate women with information on all of their options, provide free health services like clinical pregnancy testing and ultrasound scans, and provide resources and referrals to help them feel confident in whatever choice they make. 

What to do if you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy 

An unplanned pregnancy is never easy, especially if you feel like you don't have the support you need. Thankfully, there's help available through your local pregnancy clinic.

Not only will you be met with care and a community of support, but you'll also be able to confirm your pregnancy through no-cost pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan and access important information on all of your pregnancy options. 

If you are being pressured to terminate your pregnancy, our caring and knowledgeable staff can help you understand your rights, think through how to stand against the pressure, have effective conversations with those who are pressuring you, and find other sources of support and help.

Visit Open Arms for no-cost pregnancy healthcare, education, and options counseling. Schedule your appointment today!

A true story of how I grew up in a wonderful home knowing the love of two parents and knowing the love of a mother I had never met.

A Letter to My Birth Mom

Dear Sharon,

I've never had the chance to truly tell you how your decision to make an adoption plan for me has impacted my life. I know a bit of your story which led to my adoption, and I'd like you to know a bit of mine. Shortly after my birth, I was placed in a loving family that had previously adopted a little girl. They wanted two girls, so I made our family complete. My adoptive mother wanted nothing more than to be a mom, but she was unable to conceive.  She was thrilled to have her little girls and dedicated her life to our care.  She made me clothes, cooked and taught me to bake. In addition, I was the apple of my adoptive father's eye. He taught me about camping and fishing. They both supported me in my interests. I always knew I was adopted and that I had a birth mother who was so beautifully self-less that she made the difficult choice to give me a family and home that she was unable to provide.  This is the gift that you gave me, and I know it must have been very difficult since you were unwed and pregnant. I want to thank you for valuing me enough to withstand all those difficult moments and feelings. Because of your act of love, I grew up in a wonderful home knowing the love of two parents and knowing the love of a mother who I had never met. I was proud of being adopted, that I had a unique story with more than one mother; both are equally important in the life given to me, how I perceive the world and the life that I have led.  Thank you, Sharon for being an incredible mother to me in a way that mattered most. I treasure who you are and I am blessed that my life began with you.


Love,

Monica
 

If you have experienced pregnancy or neonatal loss, you are not alone

Pregnancy Loss Support

If you have experienced a pregnancy loss or neonatal loss you may be feeling pain that is difficult for others to understand. At Open Arms, we want you to know that you are not alone. One of the resources we always share with our clients who have experienced pregnancy or neonatal loss is In Loving Arms. In Loving Arms is a six-week support class that comes alongside hurting mothers and fathers and helps them heal and find comfort. Over the course of the six weeks of classes you will explore tough questions together with others who are also going through loss and hear testimonies from mothers and fathers who have found healing after the loss of their baby.

Tony and Kat shared, "This support came at a much-needed time in our life. It provided a safe place for us to grieve and heal alongside other hurting moms and dad."

Find out more about In Loving Arms and register for their next 6-week session. You can also reach out to them through the contact form on their site.

This past year In Loving Arms planned a Wave of Light event to gather the community of those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. During this special event, parents who lost their babies came together and wrote down their babies' names and displayed them on a board together to honor their children. They also held candles together as they reflected and remembered their little ones.

In addition to In Loving Arms, another resource we point clients to is the website Miscarriagehurts.com. On this website, you will find helpful information including:

  • Exploring emotions as an important part of working through the loss of your child
  • Identifying losses and putting a name to them to help bring relief
  • Building support and reaching out to others to receive help
  • Telling your story to help you grieve
  • Identifying unhealthy behaviors and receiving resources to help with specific unhealthy behaviors that may develop

Again, at Open Arms we want you to know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to or would like to find help, please feel free to contact our office at 818-626-9400.

Choosing adoption is a big step for any woman. Whether you are a single mom struggling with finances or other life circumstances, adoption could be a great fit.

Making an Adoption Plan

Adoption takes strength, but it brings great opportunity for you and your child. If you are considering this option, here is more information about making an adoption plan.

What Is an Adoption Plan?

Creating an adoption plan gives you a clear path of action. It brings clarity to what you want for you and your child in the future. Taking the time to create a plan can ease the stress of the process and prepare you for the difficult questions that could come later on. It's important to note that what you initially decide for your adoption plan could change later on and that's ok. 

Types of Adoption

Making an adoption plan will be based on how much contact you want with your child and the adoptive family. Think over what type of adoption would best fit your family and the type of connection you want with your child.

Open Adoption

The most popular type of adoption is called an "open adoption." Open adoption allows you as the birth mom to be in regular contact with your child. You will review adoptive family profiles to see which one is the best fit and then select which family you want for your child. Though there are still some guidelines with open adoption, you ultimately get to decide what kind of relationship you build over time with your child. That's the beauty of this type of adoption.

Closed Adoption

Though less popular, closed adoption is completely ok if this is more comfortable for you. There are times in life where you are not in the right place to take care of a child and are struggling to take care of yourself. A closed adoption allows an adoption agency to handle all the adoption details and choose a family for you. With this type of adoption, you will have no contact with your child or the adoptive family, unless they try to connect with you after they turn 18.

Semi-Open Adoption

This type of adoption is exactly like it sounds. It falls somewhere between an open and closed adoption, allowing you flexibility to determine what level of contact, communication, and relationship is best for you and your child. You'll work these details out with the adoption agency.

Is Adoption Right for Me?

We know how hard making a decision for you and your child's future can be. If you don't feel ready or capable to parent, adoption could be the option for you. Before you decide, take your time to talk to someone you trust.

If you need help understanding all your pregnancy options and want to learn more about adoption, feel free to reach out to us. We would love to support you in your pregnancy journey. You are not alone.

Schedule an Appointment

Schedule a no-cost and confidential consultation with our compassionate team today.

Photo by Eric O. IBEKWEM on Unsplash

Graduate high school, go to college, find a job, get married, and have babies — this is the sequence of a successful life many people envision for their future. But what happens when things don't go as planned?

Can I graduate high school if I am pregnant?

It's important to remember that what might feel like an insurmountable hurdle may simply be a new part of your journey. This journey can be as beautiful and fulfilling as the one you've imagined for yourself.

Finding out you're pregnant can definitely feel like one of those hurdles, especially if you're still in high school. Thankfully, however, completing high school while pregnant or parenting is absolutely possible.

Here at Open Arms, we're passionate about empowering women facing unplanned pregnancies to accomplish their goals. Whether you're looking to graduate high school, attend college, or get your dream job, we're here to help you think through how to make that happen.

Check out these helpful tips below on how to graduate high school while navigating pregnancy and beyond. 

Understand your rights as a pregnant student

If you just found out you're pregnant, questions are likely swarming in your mind. From wondering what fellow students will say, to questioning if you should even go back to school at all, these thoughts and questions can feel overwhelming.

As you seek answers to these questions and make the choices that are best for you and your pregnancy, it's important to understand your legal rights as a pregnant student.

According to federal law (Title IX), public schools at all levels must provide provisions for pregnant women to be able to graduate while pregnant or parenting. Not only does this provision protect you from harassment or discrimination based on your pregnancy or parenting status, but it also details special accommodations to make it easier for you to accomplish your goals while pregnant.

These accommodations include allowing for you to participate in extracurricular activities and special programs, providing you with elevator access, frequent restroom breaks, and a larger desk, giving you an excused absence due to pregnancy or childbirth, and more. 

To learn more about how your school will work with you during this time, schedule a time to talk to your school counselor and make a plan to meet your goals.

Build a support team around you

When facing an unplanned pregnancy in high school, having a supportive community will serve as a life-line when you need extra help.

Consider tapping into these groups for help when you need it:

Family and Friends

Find specific people within your friend group or family who you know will be there to champion you and support you when you're tired, frustrated, or discouraged. It's important to surround yourself with positive influences and encouraging people who will lift you up and inspire you to achieve your goals.

Mentors and Other Supportive Adults

In addition to your supportive friends and family members, it can be nice to have adults outside your family to advocate for you in different ways. Whether it's a school counselor, a teacher, or someone else in your community, find a few supportive adults who you can trust and go to for advice and help in times of need.

Your Local Pregnancy Clinic

Your local pregnancy clinic is an amazing resource for additional help and support. Pregnancy clinics provide no-cost medical services, education, physical resources, and a listening ear to women like you.

Make a plan that works for you

Almost every goal in life requires a plan to achieve it. Graduating high school while pregnant or parenting is highly achievable, it just takes a bit of extra planning.

We recommend working with a few people from your supportive community to put together an actionable plan to achieve your goal and stay on track

Your plan might include items like:

  • Getting in touch with your local pregnancy clinic to learn more about your pregnancy and the support and resources available to you
  • Working with a school counselor to figure out if/when you'll need to make up missed work based on your due date
  • Joining a support group for teen moms to connect with other pregnant students
  • Signing up for courses on parenting and finances offered at your local pregnancy clinic

Pregnancy and college

Whether you're about to graduate high school or are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in the middle of your university years, graduating with a college degree is still very much a possibility.

For college students experiencing unplanned pregnancies, visit your local pregnancy clinic for no-cost pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and more. Your Case Manager at Open Arms will walk alongside you and empower you to achieve your goals during this new season of life.

Schedule an appointment today

Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and looking for no-cost medical services and other resources, Open Arms is here to help. All of our services are confidential and designed to empower you to pursue your dreams and make informed, confident choices for your future.

Schedule your no-cost appointment today.  

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Our world has been on quite the emotional rollercoaster with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting hard. While anxiety and depression have spiked with the unknowns of the pandemic, pregnant women with COVID-19 have even more emotions to work through.

How to find emotional support while pregnant with COVID-19

According to NCBI, the prevalence of mental disorders among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic are high, especially women in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. There are ways to receive emotional help.

Pregnancy already brings mood swings, morning sickness, and body changes. We want to give you some tips on finding emotional support while pregnant with COVID-19 and how to navigate it well. Get the help you need to stay strong emotionally throughout your pregnancy.

Manage Your Stress

Stress is normal, but how you manage it is what counts most. Less stress is better for both you and your baby. This is why it's so essential to eliminate any extra burdens or worries that could be affecting you emotionally and physically. Some great ways to manage stress and emotional well-being with COVID-19 are:

  • Stay active (short walks or even stretching)
    -Physical health affects your mental health, so it's important to stay active as much as your doctor advises while pregnant with COVID-19. This can majorly reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Maintain good sleep
    -Getting enough sleep is vital to keeping your immune system in good shape. Wind down 1-2 hours before going to bed and maintain a consistent sleep schedule for the best sleep. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your sleep rhythm.
  • Stay in contact with your doctor
    -Remaining connected with your doctor can bring peace of mind and ease any stress that COVID-19 and pregnancy bring. Alert your doctor of any worsening symptoms like difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain, blue lips of face, confusion, or trouble staying awake.

Connect With Family & Friends

Keeping a close connection with people you do life with and trust can do a lot to lift your spirits while pregnant with COVID-19. Let them help when you need it most, and update them on how you are feeling emotionally and physically. Social connection can also reduce anxiety and depression, help regulate emotions, and improve your immune system (cmha). Reaching out for help is never something to be ashamed of.

A Virtual Pregnancy Support Group

While it's more challenging to meet in person these days, virtual support groups are growing in popularity as people desire connection. This is a great way to find emotional support while pregnant with COVID-19. It can give you the extra support you're looking for. A support group with other pregnant women can:

  • Provide assurance that you are not alone
  • Let you receive empathy with how you are feeling
  • Give you inspiration from others' stories

If you need parenting support, our team at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic offers free pregnancy classes to help you prepare for your newborn. We would love to talk more about your needs and help in any way we can.

Schedule a free appointment with us today.

Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

 

You may be weighing your options and are considering adoption after finding out you're pregnant.

What Are the Different Types of Adoptions?

With an unplanned pregnancy, it can be easy to want to delay the decision-making process. We understand and want to help. Adoption could be a great fit for you. You may be considering adoption because:

  • You want to give your baby life, but you don't feel ready to parent
  • Your living situation is not fit for raising a child
  • You desire to provide for your child financially and emotionally but are unable to yourself
  • You want your child to have two parents involved in his or her life

Motherhood looks different for every woman. Adoption is a selfless and loving decision for you, the adoptive parents, and your child. There are many kinds of adoptions that allow you to have the type of relationship you desire with your child. As the birth mother, the adoption plan is entirely up to you. You are in control.

Different Types of Adoptions

If you are exploring the idea of adoption due to financial hardship, a complicated life situation, or your age, you have options. With any adoption, the birth mother (and birth father, if available) makes an adoption plan for their child with the help of an adoption agency or legal representative. Let's get into some of the different types of adoption:

Open Adoption

Most adoptions today are called "open adoptions." With this adoption type, you get to have regular contact with your child and the adoptive family of your choosing. You and the adoptive family will exchange contact information and other information you both would like to know.

You then discuss how often you will see your child and come to an agreement. Many times, the birth mother becomes a part of the adoptive family with close communication and events. You decide how much you want to be involved and what's most comfortable for all of you.

Semi-Open Adoption

If you like the idea of communicating with the adoptive family but don't want to give out your contact information, you may consider a semi-open adoption.  This type of adoption gives you the freedom to choose the type of communication you want with your child. Communication is usually mediated by the adoption agency and is usually through phone calls, emails, letters, and pictures through the agency.  A semi-open adoption makes it possible to keep your identity private while still allowing you contact with your child and their family.  Visits can be scheduled and attended by this adoption professional.  If both parties decide it would be comfortable, they can decide to have the adoption become open.

Closed Adoption

Closed adoption is rare but it is a viable option if it suits you better. This involves the process of an adoption agency choosing a family for you. If you do not want contact with the adoptive family or your child at this time, this may be the option for you. It's totally ok to remain anonymous.

You may want to work with an adoption agency to find an adoptive family. If so, know ahead of time that the adoptive family goes through an extensive process to be approved. Background checks, including criminal and abuse records, are done. The family must fill out a lengthy questionnaire about their home life, hobbies, religion, and more. Plus, they create a family portfolio. By the end of the process, you will have a good idea if the family is a good match.

Who Pays Expenses

If you work with an adoption agency or attorney, you can receive financial assistance for medical, legal, counseling fees, and possibly living expenses. Any reputable agency or attorney will ask nothing of you financially. You should pay nothing.

Is Adoption for You?

You may need adoption advice to make a confident decision. Our team at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you understand this option more fully. We can also connect you to valuable resources to learn more about adoption.

Schedule a no-cost and confidential appointment to talk to one of our caring and professional case managers to further explore this option. We are here to help so you can make a fully informed decision and have support along the way.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Read more about the risks of ordering the abortion pill online in this blog.

If you're in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, you might find yourself dreaming of just wishing it all away — if only a fairy godmother would just show up and make all of your problems disappear.

For many women, ordering the abortion pill online feels like the closest thing to "wishing it all away," however, as with any medication, it's important to use caution.  Like most medical procedures, the abortion pill comes with a list of risks and side effects, but possibly even more so when ordered online.

Here are a few important reasons to avoid ordering the abortion pill online:


1. The abortion pill is required to be administered under the supervision of a healthcare provider
 

In order to understand the risks you might encounter, it's important to first understand how the process works.

The abortion pill is a two-step process using the drugs Mifepristone (Mifeprex®) and Misoprostol. The first pill terminates the pregnancy by stopping the production of the pregnancy hormone called progesterone. Misoprostol, the second pill, then causes contractions in the uterus to expel the embryo from the womb.

Typical side effects include diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, or indigestion.(END NOTE 1)  In addition to these side effects, there are other more serious risks discussed later in this blog.

Because of these risks and possible side effects, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that the abortion pill "must be ordered, prescribed and dispensed by or under the supervision of a healthcare provider." (END NOTE 2)

2. Ordering the abortion pill online bypasses important safeguards designed to protect your health

 

Any medication has possible side effects, but the risk increases significantly when the medication is purchased over the internet.  Many online sites sell abortion pills from foreign sources which are not approved by the FDA and may not be safe possibly leading to additional complications and side effects.

The FDA warns specifically "You should not buy Mifeprex over the internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health."[i](END NOTE 2)

3. There are risks of serious complications
 

The FDA warns of risks of serious complications including "fatal infections or bleeding", and requires that the abortion pill be available only through a "restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy."(END NOTE 3) 

Patients must be advised about the "risk of these serious events" and know whom to call and what to do in the event of sustained fever, severe abdominal pain, prolonged heavy bleeding, or fainting, or general malaise (including weakness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea) for more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol.

It is recommended that women have an ultrasound exam before terminating a pregnancy to ensure that they are not within a higher risk category. Health conditions such as ectopic pregnancy can cause severe outcomes. 
 

4. The at-home abortion process may cause emotional harm
 

The emotions experienced by a post-abortive woman range greatly.  While some experience an initial sense of relief, there can be longer-term effects on a woman's psyche and/or her physical health that surface months or years later. (END NOTE 4 AND 5)

A study on abortion and mental health reveals a "moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.(END NOTE 6)

One important consideration for the emotional impact of the abortion pill is that since the gestational age for when the abortion pill can be taken was increased from 7 weeks to 10 weeks, it becomes more likely a woman will recognize the expelled baby.  The impact of this is unknown. 

5. An ultrasound is the only sure way to know if the pregnancy is early enough for the abortion pill to be effective


The abortion pill is given to women within the first 70 days (or 10 weeks) of gestation.2 In later stages of pregnancy, the fetus will be too far along in development.
Before taking the abortion pill, a limited OB ultrasound exam is highly recommended.  This exam will determine three key things about a pregnancy:  1) Is the pregnancy located in the uterus (if not, that can be fatal to the mother), 2) Is there fetal cardiac activity (if not, the pregnancy may end on its own), and 3) How far along is the pregnancy.

An important first step°

If you are considering terminating your pregnancy, it's important that you gather all of the information on your pregnancy — how far along you are, whether the pregnancy is viable, and what options are available to you.

At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we provide the services needed to help you make a fully informed choice. From clinical pregnancy testing, to ultrasound scans, to options counseling, all of our services are provided on a no-cost and confidential basis so that you can make a fully informed decision for your health and your future.
 

Contact us today and let us help.


Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and need help understanding all your options? You are not alone. Before you move forward, take your time to consider all your options and discuss them with someone you trust.

What Are the Different Types of Abortion Procedures?

If you are considering abortion, you should know about each type of procedure and what each one entails.  There are several methods including medical abortion, vacuum aspiration procedure, and a dilation and evacuation procedure. Each type has potential physical and/or emotional consequences, so it's important to be fully informed before making your pregnancy decision.

Surgical Abortion Procedures1

There are two types of surgical abortions, a vacuum aspiration procedure and a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure.

Vacuum Aspiration

Women can have a vacuum aspiration procedure up to 14 weeks gestation (healthline, 2016). This procedure uses a suction catheter to empty the contents of the uterus.

Side effects of a vacuum aspiration abortion could include:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Infection
  • Dizziness

Dilation & Evacuation

A D&E abortion is typically performed after the 14th week of pregnancy (healthline, 2016). In this procedure, the patient's cervix is dilated and then forceps and an instrument called a curette are used to remove the contents of the uterus. This procedure takes two days to complete and recovery can take up to two weeks.

Side effects of dilation and evacuation abortion could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Incomplete abortion

Surgical abortions increase the risk of scarring the lining of her uterus which poses potential risk for future pregnancies.

Medical Abortion2

The other type of abortion procedure is called a medical abortion. A medical abortion is performed up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy (mayoclinic, 2020). This procedure involves ending a pregnancy through two types of medication.

Mifepristone, the first medication, is taken at a medical office and the second medication, Misoprostol, is taken at home. The first medication thins the lining of the uterus to prevent the embryo from staying implanted or growing. The second medication causes cramping to expel the embryo. Follow-up visits with a doctor are needed 24-48 hours after.

Side effects of a medical abortion could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Incomplete abortion

What's Next?

The best step to take before making a pregnancy decision is to confirm your pregnancy through testing and an ultrasound. An ultrasound will determine how far along you are and alert you to health concerns such as ectopic pregnancy.

We are here for you. Receive clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound from our medical team at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic. We offer our services at no cost to our clients and all are completely confidential.

Schedule your appointment today.

 

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

"Surgical Abortion." Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/surgical-abortion#overview.

"Medical Abortion." Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687.

As the female body prepares to grow, carry, and care for another human, it only makes sense that it might experience some noticeable changes.

How to Recognize Early Pregnancy Symptoms

If you think you might be pregnant, there are some signs to keep an eye out for that might help indicate whether or not you're right. While the only real way to be certain is through clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan, understanding how to recognize early pregnancy symptoms will help you know when to visit your local pregnancy clinic.

Here are the top early pregnancy symptoms to look out for:

1. Missed Period

When a woman becomes pregnant, she will no longer ovulate or have her period. For many women, a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy that's noticed. However, if you have irregular cycles or don't typically keep track of your period, you might miss this sign.

2. Spotting

Spotting is a common sign early on in pregnancy and can occur when the fertilized egg is implanting and attaching to the uterine lining.

3. Cramping

Similar to period cramps, women might experience mild cramping in their abdominal area in the early pregnancy stages.

4. Swollen or Tender Breasts

As the entire body changes to prepare itself to carry and care for a human, pregnant women will also likely experience a change in the size and sensitivity of their breasts as they prepare to supply milk for the baby.

5. Fatigue or Tiredness

In the early pregnancy stages, the body's production of progesterone increases drastically. So will a woman's levels of tiredness and fatigue. While this might make typical activities exhausting, it's important to get that extra rest your body needs.

6. Nausea

Pregnancy brings on an increase in hormones to care for the developing fetus and these changes can often lead to pregnancy-related nausea. While this symptom is sometimes referred to as "morning sickness," it can, unfortunately, affect women throughout all hours of the day and night. Thankfully, this side effect of pregnancy will typically only last through the first trimester.

7. Frequent Urination

The hormonal changes that come in the early stages of pregnancy can lead to increased fluid in the body and more efficient kidneys, leading to more frequent urination. Additionally, the uterus, as it starts to expand, can put pressure on the bladder. It then sends signals to the brain that it's time to go to the bathroom.

8. Darkening of Areolas

In addition to swollen and tender breasts, women might experience a change in the color and texture of the areolas. This change is typically due to an increase in the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

9. Food Cravings

Similar to the changes in appetite surrounding the ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle, newly pregnant women might find themselves craving new, and sometimes unusual, foods.

Wonder if you're pregnant? Click here to take our pregnancy symptom quiz!