“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.
Last updated: June 14, 2013
Updated: November 20, 2019