How to Tell if You’re Pregnant? A Comprehensive Guide Explaining the Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy


For women who are trying to conceive, the anticipation can be both emotional and physical. As they eagerly wait to find out if they are pregnant, they can sometimes become anxious amidst the whole ordeal. Recognizing pregnancy symptoms can be quite hard, especially during the first weeks of pregnancy. This article aims to inform and educate women on the early symptoms of pregnancy that they should be on the lookout for, the different types of pregnancy tests and the results they produce, the estimation of their due date, the breakdown of each trimester, and lastly, the necessary steps they need to take once it’s confirmed that they are expecting.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

While some women may not experience any symptoms during the early stages of pregnancy, others may experience mild to severe symptoms. Here are some of the common symptoms a woman may experience:

Missed Period

It’s one of the most obvious signs that a woman may be pregnant. A missed period can mean that you’re pregnant, and it’s time to take a pregnancy test. If you’re not sure when you’re meant to get your next period, it’s recommended you keep track of your menstrual cycle so that you can tell if there’s ever a missed period.

Breast Tenderness

Another change you may feel is breast tenderness. When pregnant, a woman’s body tends to produce more hormones causing their breast to become tender. A quick check can be made if you notice tenderness, pain, or a change in colour or shape of the breast.


Another possible sign of pregnancy is a feeling of nausea, commonly known as morning sickness. This feeling can occur at any time of the day and may last for four to six weeks. Some women may not experience this symptom at all, while others may experience it frequently throughout their pregnancy.


During early pregnancy, the body works overtime to adjust itself; hence a woman may feel more tired than usual. It’s normal to feel exhausted, but it’s essential to rest according to your body’s need.

Frequent Urination

A pregnant woman’s kidneys are always working in overdrive. Hence they have the urge to pee often. Keep a check on this symptom and ensure appropriate hydration is maintained.

Pregnancy Tests: How Do They Work?

Pregnancy tests work by detecting if the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is present in a woman’s urine or blood. Two standard pregnancy tests are available:

Urine Tests

Urine tests are available at pharmacies, grocery stores and can be performed at home. It would be best to do this test first in the morning as they hold a higher concentration of hCG. Always follow instructions on the package and wait for the results cautiously. The results are mostly accurate, but it’s always recommended to follow up with an appointment with the healthcare professional.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are more sensitive and can detect if hCG is present in a woman’s bloodstream earlier on in pregnancy than a urine test can. Blood tests can also measure the quantity of hCG in the blood, which can help health care providers identify potential problems such as molar pregnancies, multiple pregnancies or ectopic pregnancies.

Due Date Estimation: When Is Your Baby’s Arrival?

Estimating a baby’s due date is important as it makes it easier to monitor the pregnancy and ensure that both the mother and the baby are healthy. Here are a few methods that can help estimate baby’s due date:

Last Menstrual Period

By calculating the first date of your last period, women can expect a baby to come 40 weeks hence. It’s the most common and preferred method to estimate the due date, but it’s not an exact science. It’s considered an estimate, and the baby may arrive a few days before or after this date.


An ultrasound performed by a health care provider can help estimate the baby’s age and due date. It also provides information on the baby’s growth and development.

Factors That Might Influence Due Date

It’s important to realise that the baby’s due date may not be the exact date it arrives. Many factors can affect the due date, including genetics, maternal age, birth history, and multiple pregnancies, among others. Hence medical professionals will always keep reassessing the due date based on individual cases.

Trimester Breakdown: What to Expect in Each Phase.

Pregnancy is divided into three phases, and each trimester comes with different milestones, physical and emotional changes to the baby and mother. Here’s a breakdown of each trimester, as well as tips to cope with changes and keep the baby healthy:

First Trimester (Weeks 1–12)

The first trimester is a critical phase for development, and any changes can influence the baby’s overall wellbeing. A woman’s body will undergo significant changes during this phase, causing symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue. It’s important to rest when exhausted, eat a healthy balanced diet, keep hydrated, and most importantly, take prenatal vitamins as recommended by a healthcare provider.

Second Trimester (Weeks 13–27)

During the second trimester, the baby’s development pace starts slowing down, and the woman should start feeling better. However, physical changes still happen, and the belly starts growing, the baby can be felt, and weight gain occurs. Appointments with health care provider should be kept, and continous prenatal vitamins on diet and exercise should be followed.

Third Trimester (Weeks 28–40)

In the last stage of pregnancy, the baby is preparing to come, and the woman might experience some discomfort in the form of Braxton Hicks contractions. The woman might also feel more tired as the baby grows bigger, causing difficulty in sleeping. It’s advised to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities during this stage, but instead, take walks and rest as needed.

Next Steps: Pregnancy Preparation Checklist

Once pregnancy is confirmed, there are a few necessary steps that women need to take. Here’s a pregnancy preparation checklist:

Prenatal Appointments

Schedule regular appointments with a healthcare provider. It’s important to keep up with the schedule as health care professionals will track progress, monitoring the baby and women’s overall health, and ensuring anything alarming is addressed in good time.

Prenatal Vitamins

Pregnant women need a balanced diet with the right vitamins and minerals to keep the baby healthy and ensure a smooth pregnancy. A healthcare professional will suggest the appropriate prenatal vitamin to be taken during pregnancy.

Diet and Exercise Changes

It’s essential to take care of oneself during pregnancy by following a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and keeping a regular exercise schedule as advised by health care providers.

Emotional Support

Pregnancy can be an emotional rollercoaster, and women should seek encouragement from family and friends and cherish this time with people who matter to them. Stressful activities and interactions should be avoided, and women are encouraged to practice some self-care measures as needed.


Being aware of the early signs of pregnancy, the different pregnancy tests available, and estimating your baby’s due date can help you prepare for the changes that pregnancy brings. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups with a health care professional, maintain a balanced diet, exercise and seek emotional support from loved ones. Finally, it’s crucial to remember that listening to your body is key to having a healthy and successful pregnancy.

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