“How do u know ur pregnant?” a friend texted me the other day, just after I read an article in the Washington Post about a runner mom who went to the ER with what she thought might be a ruptured disk and came home with a baby girl. A mom of two, the runner mom hadn’t missed a period or noticed any weight gain and honestly had no idea she was pregnant! So I didn’t laugh at my friend’s text.
Figuring out you’re pregnant isn’t as easy as you might think.
How do you know you’re pregnant? Here are 5 telltale signs that something special may be coming your way in nine short (long) months:
1. Breast Engorgement: For a lot of women tender or engorged breasts are the first sign of pregnancy. Of course, breast changes can also be a sign of an impending period.
2. Tiredness: If you’ve never taken a nap in your life and suddenly the sidewalk looks like a comfortable place to rest, you might be pregnant. “That was the only symptom my sister ever had,” my friend Cara tells me. “She’d fall asleep every afternoon, like clockwork.”
3. Unusual Period: By the time you skip a period, you can pee on a stick and see if two lines appear instead of one but a lot of women don’t know they’re pregnant at first because they don’t miss a period. Abnormal spotting or a lighter-than-usual flow may be the giveaway.
4. Nausea: If going down the twisty slide after your toddler makes you queasy, the hot dog cart smells like a landfill, or your partner’s breath makes you gag, those first trimester pregnancy hormones might be kicking in. My mother-in-law noticed I looked a little green at the park weeks before I realized I was pregnant. “I’m fine,” I laughed off my nausea. “Oh, yeah?” She raised her eyebrows. Nine months later our son was born.
5. An Urgent Need to Pee: For many women waking up five times a night to pee and running to the bathroom every half an hour (to find, somewhat surprisingly, that not much comes out) are the first things they notice after conception. The growing embryo puts pressure on your bladder, even in the first days of pregnancy, and it can take awhile for your body to adjust.