Actually, it’s probably a lot easier than you think. In fact, women have been determining their pending motherhood for centuries without peeing in a little stick and waiting for those lines to show up! The human body is a pretty amazing machine; it contains built-in devices to alert the owner to a variety of different conditions, including pregnancy. If you’ve lost or misplaced your pregnancy sign user’s manual, here are six common signs that you’re likely pregnant.
1. You’ve Missed a Period
Missing a period likely indicates you’re pregnant. Ovulation happens approximately 14 days after your last menstrual cycle. If you have unprotected sex during this time, and the sperm makes it to the egg, you’ll likely miss your next menstrual cycle. Although some women can miss their periods for a range of conditions including stress, if you’ve been trying to conceive you likely did! It’s important to note that a small percentage of women report an abnormal period or light bleeding when in fact they are pregnant.
2. You’ve Noticed a Change in Your Breasts
During the first trimester (and throughout the other two) your breasts are likely to swell and feel tender. Women report this pregnancy sign comes with varying degrees of tenderness; while some say it’s mild, others say that touching them is uncomfortable. Your breasts swell during pregnancy in preparation for breastfeeding. Until now, your milk glands have been dormant; with conception, your body is rallying the troops for your baby.
3. You’ve Suddenly Experienced Nausea
Though many women refer to this nausea as morning sickness, this is actually a misnomer. Pregnancy-related nausea can hit anytime: morning, noon, or evening. And it’s often without warning: one minute you’re fine and the next minute you’re desperately trying to find an acceptable place to lose your lunch. This is one of your body’s not-so-subtle hints that you’re pregnant. Thankfully, most nausea subsides by the end of the first trimester.
4. You’ve Never Felt So Exhausted
If you’re coming home from work, grabbing something to eat, and putting yourself to bed by 7 p.m. you may be pregnant. Creating another human being is hard work! Not only is your body taking care of you, but it’s also taking care of the baby—and it’s taking care of the baby first. If you’re experiencing fatigue, it’s a pregnancy sign, so treat yourself kindly, and give yourself more time to recover. Most women experience an energy surge during the second trimester.
5. You’ve Experienced Food Cravings
They may not be the famous movie pickle-and-peanut-butter cravings, but if you’re suddenly craving food you don’t normally eat, your body could be communicating your current state as a mama-to-be. Cravings are particularly common during the first trimester as cells are rapidly dividing and multiplying, working hard to build a baby. Cravings may be your body’s signals that it needs particular nutrients at particular points to help with building your baby’s body.
6. You’ve Inexplicably Cried a River
A song on the radio, a television commercial, a gesture from your partner all may bring you to tears…of course they also may bring you to annoyance, giddiness, or increasing anger. Mood swings are a very common pregnancy sign. After conception the hormones in your body go a bit haywire; during this time all you can do is be aware of your reactions and try to reign them in as appropriate. But hey—crying has been shown to relieve physical tension, so now just may be the time to order that tearjerker On Demand and have a cathartic cry.
Although the (near) certainty of modern pregnancy tests may be nice, they are by no means necessary to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. Women have been figuring this out on their own for over 1,000 years. Just remember: every woman’s body is unique, so while your coworker may have complained about constant morning sickness, you may only experience two weeks. Every pregnancy, and pregnancy sign is unique. Just hang in there; the first trimester is by far the roughest.