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Are you feeling irritable and tired, and are your breasts tender? Well, you might just be pregnant!

Nature has a strange way of working. You might feel low if you have your usual PMS symptoms and think it means that you haven't conceived, but in fact, there are many similarities between the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and those of early pregnancy. This is because the hormones that cause PMS are raised in pregnancy and so can cause the same symptoms. In addition to this, you might be irritable and emotional even without having PMS, just due to the anxiety of wanting to be pregnant and waiting to see whether or not your period arrives.

While you are in the middle of this storm of hormones and raging emotions it can be difficult to remain calm. Talk to your partner about your emotions and anxieties-just expressing that you're finding things stressful can help you get through this tense time. Alternatively, confide in a female relative or friend, who might be able to relate to how you're feeling.

Frustratingly, at this point it is still a waiting game; all you can do is try to be patient until you take your pregnancy test. If your period was due today-day 28 of your cycle-and hasn't made an appearance, you can take a test as early as today or tomorrow. Good luck!

Focus On... Your body

Start squeezing!

It's never too early to start Kegel exercises and you'll be glad you did once you become pregnant. The pelvic floor is a broad sling of muscles that stretches between your legs and extends from the pubic bone in front to the spine at the rear. It holds and supports your bladder, uterus, and bowel in place and controls the muscles which hold closed the anus, urethra, and vagina.

    Try these simple steps to tone your pelvic floor:

  • First try to locate your pelvic floor: sit on a chair and close your eyes-now visualize the sling of muscles stretching right across your body holding your uterus and bladder.
  • Next contract your pelvic floor muscles pulling inward and upward, hold for a count of five, then release. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times a day.
  • Test: if you're having trouble identifying the muscles, imagine that you are trying to stop the flow of urine; the muscles you feel contracting are those of the pelvic floor.
Kegel exercises for pregnancy
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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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