How can you know if you are pregnant?
Pregnancy is a completely normal stage in your life as a woman. Sometimes it’s easy to forget in the midst of going to doctor check ups, hospital visits, morning sickness, watching your diet etc but pregnancy is not an illness and there is no need to restrict your way of living.
Not all pregnancies are easy nor all the same, they will vary depending on each person and the new being growing inside them. We quite often presume that each pregnancy will be the same as our first but this is not always the case. Sometimes gender of the baby can make the difference especially when it comes to morning sickness.
Giving birth to a healthy baby means to have to try and stay healthy yourself and this can be a lifelong process which will roll on to how you want to raise your children. Many rules for having a healthy pregnancy are really just an extension of how you live your life outside of pregnancy.
So, how can you know if you are pregnant? Well the first clue is usually once you have skipped a menstrual period especially if your cycle is usually fairly consistent and regular. If your period is around 10 days late then this is probably an indication you should take a pregnancy test.
If you miss a second period and still haven’t tested then there would be quite a high chance that a pregnancy may have taken place. Other tell tale signs are nausea, tender breasts, lower back ache, urinating more often. A lot of the time symptoms can be very similar to what you get when you have a period. Many times you think your period is coming because the symptoms can be similar so you wait, but then the period never comes.
These days the pregnancy tests you can buy over the counter are very accurate and you can test as early as the day your period is suppose to come in many cases. To be 100% sure once a pregnancy test has been confirmed a visit to your Doctor is a good idea where you can have a quick and easy blood test to confirm your suspicion and check your levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which is a hormonal signal of pregnancy.
Details of secondary signs of pregnancy
Besides your skipped period, there are other changes happening in your body that could hint towards signs you could be pregnant.
For many women one of the first signs is tender breasts and changes that begin to take place in them. Breasts can feel fuller, enlarged, firmer and more tender. Sometimes they can tingle as skin is being stretched. The nipples and surrounding brown areas, the areolae, increase in diameter. The areolae puff, and the network of small milk glands proliferates.
Frequently urinating is another sign of possible pregnancy. You can find yourself running off to the toilet a lot more than usual. This can occur based on hormonal changes. It is said that higher levels of estrogen may stimulate the pituitary gland to release additional quantities of a diuretic hormone that triggers urination. The other possibility is that estrogen may act on the smooth muscles of the ureters, the tubes carrying urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The need to urinate often decreases after the first trimester but can recur later when the baby grows to a weight that presses on your bladder.
Morning sickness which can actually occur at any time of day, effects at least 50% of all pregnant women. You can even feel nausea before your first missed period but more commonly you could start to feel sick around the 6th week of pregnancy. You will probably lose your appetite and feel loss of energy along with anxiety if you are anxious about the pregnancy.
Sometimes you could feel light headed or dizzy or even faint but this doesn’t happen to all women. It can be relieved by sitting for a while with your head lower than your heart.
Choosing your Doctor or Midwife
Now that you have confirmed you are pregnant, you want to find a great antenatal provider. Alternative birth methods are popular but a large majority of women still have their babies in a hospital, under the care of a registered physician or experienced midwife. You want to find a licensed physician that is qualified to provide obstetrical care and be available to help with the birth of your baby.
You want to find somebody you feel comfortable with, who specializes in maternity care and you feel confident with. If your family doctor does not provide maternity care then you could contact your local community hospital for a list of obstetricians or midwives in your area.
Your first visit
A good time to schedule an appointment with your chosen antenatal provider is around your 8th week of pregnancy. This is a good chance to discuss any concerns you may have, talk about diet and any nutritional supplements you should perhaps start taking. Your doctor or midwife will probably will want a more thorough check up around the 12th week where you may even have your first ultrasound in some cases depending on your history and age.