“How do u know ur pregnant?” a friend texted me the other day, just after I read an article 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 always as easy as you might think.
The signs of pregnancy are different for every woman, some more obvious than others.
What are the signs of pregnancy? 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 one of the first signs of pregnancy. Of course, breast changes can also be a sign of an impending period. If you notice that your breasts are unusually big and unusually sensitive (either you can’t bear for anyone to touch them or you want your partner feeling you up much more than you usually do), you may be pregnant.
2. Tiredness: If you’ve never taken a nap in your life and suddenly the sidewalk looks like a comfortable place to rest, it’s very likely you’re pregnant. Growing an entire human being is exhausting, especially in the first trimester.
“Tiredness was the only symptom my sister ever had,” my friend Cara tells me. “She’d fall asleep every afternoon, like clockwork.” It’s a special kind of tiredness—where you feel bone weary or you fall asleep even when you don’t want to—that is often one of the signs of pregnancy.
3. An 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. Sometimes an unusually heavy period can also be one of the signs of pregnancy.
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 are most likely 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 the 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 you 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. Needing to pee all the time is one of the telltale signs of pregnancy. Expect to be making bathroom runs for nine long months. If you are pregnant you’ll need to stay hydrated. And that growing baby will be sending you to the ladies‘ room often.
Published: June 14, 2013
Last update: May 19, 2020
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I am always fascinated (in a train-wreck, can’t look away kind of way) by stories of women who had babies without knowing they were pregnant. I mean, I was trying to get pregnant so obviously I was looking for signs with my first, but even so, I felt COMPLETELY different, right away. I remember feeling very body-aware and vulnerable — like that feeling you have when you’re about to get sick, and your skin feels tingly and hyper sensitive? This was before any breast changes, before any nausea. I remember my cousin telling me she knew she was pregnant when her makeup would feel like it was sliding off her face.
Ok, it’s one thing to not know that you’re pregnant, maybe….maybe (and it’s a stretch) the first 3-4 months…but then once the baby starts kicking. I mean what did she think that was moving around in her belly? Bad gas? I know that some people don’t detect kicks as strongly as others (I’m one of them) because of the placement of the placenta, but still they were impossible to miss, especially if she has had two other children. It’s unlike anything else your body does when not pregnant. So curious about these cases.
I had a dream that I was pregnant, but I ignored it. I wasn’t trying to conceive- the opposite in fact- and I hadn’t changed my lifestyle to prepare for a pregnancy. I was remembering all of this just the other day. After the dream, and five days before I peed on a stick just to prove to myself that I *wasn’t* pregnant, I had a discussion with my boyfriend about the fetus-themed Massive Attack music video, and we watched it together. On a deeper level, I knew, and he probably did too. My daughter will be four this July. 🙂
Joanne Davis says
Nowadays, if you’re pregnant, its now easy to know for there are so many ways and symptoms that you will notice. These signs that you shared are so important and helpful as well.
Myra Lou says
For me , I get a ‘tin-metal” taste in my mouth within the first month, very noticeable. I heard Ina May Gaskin say she has heard of this symptom. Weird huh?