How can women be pregnant and know it? It’s kind of mind-boggling, isn’t it, when you hear the stories of women “suddenly” going into labour and bearing children… who had no idea that they were even pregnant to begin with! Can you imagine how unprepared these women must be?
I mean, one day, they’re living their lives without a care in the world, and the next day – boom! – they are holding a tiny infant in their hands. They have not purchased any baby clothes, diapers, formula, bottle, pacifiers, or wipes, and they don’t have a crib ready for their baby to sleep in. Geez! I think I’d have a heart attack if that ever happened to me!
While the majority of women actually don’t fall into this category, there are many who do. It’s important, therefore, for females to learn how to become more in tune with their bodies, to be aware of the signs that might indicate a pregnancy, and to avoid becoming the next mommy featured on the reality show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.
There are 7 signs to watch for that could indicate you are pregnant and not know it.
The first sign you might be pregnant and not know it is that you’re always tired.
Now, for all you full-timers out there, I can hear you already.
Okay, let’s get serious here, ladies. Naturally, you’re not going to have a baby if you’ve haven’t had sex in three months. Immaculate Conception is not really “a thing.” But if you’ve been engaging in sexual intercourse at all – even with using protection, which is never 100% effective – then there is a chance you could be “with child.” That chance is remote, but it still exists!
If you normally have high energy levels, and suddenly find yourself zapped of energy, you should get checked out. Fatigue, sluggishness, or a decrease in motivation can be manifested as early as one week after conception, due to changes in your blood, your blood sugar, and amount of hormones you produce.
Progesterone will increase when you’re pregnant, and, because it contains sedative-like properties, you’ll likely feel more drained than usual.
Now, let’s look at facts and stats about overweight women that will astonish you. Let’s do some math, too.
Women who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of being pregnant without realizing they are. According to statistics obtained by the World Health Organization, “In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these, over 600 million were obese.” Because the female population constitutes about 49.6 of the world’s population, this means that 942,400,000 women in the world are overweight and more than 297,600,000 women are obese.
It’s pretty scary to think that this many women can be pregnant and not know it!
Overall, babies don’t really weigh that much, so it’s easy to attribute a small pregnancy weight gain as being food-related. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re probably not going to notice a ten-pound difference in your weight.
The second sign you might be pregnant and not know it is if you are experiencing mood swings. Many women have mood swings on a regular basis – this is just part of being a women (and menstruating every month). How many times have men avoided us because we’re PMS-ing? How many times have they called us names that are not nice during this time? A lot, right? (Those bastards!)
Pregnant women, however, are moodier and more irritable than usual. Their stress levels are higher, too.
Yet, because many women are moody, this symptom often gets overlooked. Women are often moody for many reasons:
There are many other reasons for why women get moody. It doesn’t take much for women to become irritated, especially if they are stressed out to begin with. Sometimes the littlest thing can cause a women to freak out!
General worry contributes to mood swings. Worrywarts are more likely to experience discomfiture. They constantly wonder if they are doing a good job at work, if they will have enough money to last them until their next pay cheque, if they are going to be able to find happiness, etc.
Mood swings are more common in pregnant women because of the changes that are happening in their bodies. Their hormone levels rise, and so the increase in estrogen and progesterone make women tearful and irritable.
To deal with mood swings, you can do plenty of things, including:
If your moodiness doesn’t dissipate after engaging in these activities, you should consult your doctor, in case you are suffering from major depression. But check to see if you’re pregnant first!
The third sign you might be pregnant and not know it is if you have tender breasts and have not missed a period. These two things, when coupled together, generally mean that you’re not pregnant. But you could be – that’s the scary part!
Having tender breasts is a common symptom most females experience when they are menstruating, or just before they start. From past experience, you might notice that your boobs don’t get sore each month, but do some months. Some months, your boobs might just ache and ache. (I know that I have experienced this on a few occasions. And it wasn’t because someone was being rough with my breasts during sex!) However, I was not pregnant. But you may be, if you are feeling the same thing!
What makes things extra scary is that some women don’t get regular periods, so it’s hard for them to tell if they are pregnant or not. Most women assume that they’d know if they were pregnant, but we all know that’s not always the case.
Although a “regular” menstrual cycle is supposed to be about twenty-eight days, this varies for each individual. Some women have a period every two months, some every three, some every six, and some only once a year. The point is this: you cannot rely on your period to tell you if you are pregnant or not.
Plus, you can still have a period and be pregnant. Ouch.
Your period might be a bit lighter, it might be a bit heavier, or it might be “normal.” Regardless, we all know that getting your period sucks! Your breasts might not feel any different than “normal,” either. You might, however, only have a bit of “spotting,” which can also indicate that you’re expecting.
If you have not missed your period, and generally have regular menstrual cycles, chances are you’re not pregnant. That is why it is a good idea to know all of the signs to watch for. Knowing one or two just isn’t enough! Otherwise, you might be in for a big surprise!
The fourth sign you might be pregnant and not know it is if you have either lost or gained weight. There are many reasons for our fluctuating weights:
Weight loss or gain can be attributed to many factors.
If you are overweight to begin with, there is a slim chance (no pun intended!) that you will notice a gain of a few pounds. As mentioned in Sign #1, babies don’t weigh that much. Therefore, if you are overweight or obese, it’s easy to attribute a small pregnancy weight gain as being food-related.
If you have started to work out, diet, or have changed your eating habits in any way, there is a very good chance that you will attribute your weight loss or gain to these changes and not to a pregnancy, even if you are pregnant. You won’t think that you’re pregnant; you will simply think that your body is changing because you are making it change.
What most people don’t realize is that muscle weighs more than fat, so even if you lose inches, you can still gain weight. Plus, if you happen to work at a job that requires you to do a lot of physical labour, you might not notice that you are pregnant (if you are) because of the demands made on your body.
This is yet another reason for you to check yourself regularly for pregnancy if you are sexually active.
The fifth sign you might be pregnant and not know it is if you have experienced a trauma in your life. Traumatic events occur in all of our lives, are unique to each of us, are devastating, and have a negative impact on our emotions and our psyche. They are hard to cope with and cause us grief and pain. They can make us irrational. They also can make us ignorant of changes going on within our bodies, including pregnancy.
Traumatic events generally consist of horrible experiences we do not wish to repeat, such as dealing with a loved one’s death, being in or witnessing an accident, or suffering some type of physical or sexual abuse.
Other traumatic events include:
Dealing with these types of events takes time. Generally speaking, we cannot handle them ourselves, and seek comfort from friends and family. Sometimes, we seek counselling. Talking and getting our feelings out in the open is therapeutic. Knowing that you’re not alone helps, too.
Learning how to cope, however, can take a lot of energy and time. Often, we become so focused on the event and its after-effects that returning to our “previous lives” may seem wrong to us.
We can also act out in our attempts to heal ourselves. Rape victims can turn promiscuous. I know this to be true, because I was raped when I was a virgin. I didn’t tell anyone about this traumatic event for years. I also ended up looking for love in all the wrong places (having sex with many men), even going so far as to become involved in prostitution.
I also got pregnant and had an abortion. Fortunately for me, I was able to catch the pregnancy in time so that this could happen. Doctors generally won’t perform abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The sixth sign you might be pregnant and not know it is if you think you have food poisoning or indigestion.
When a woman is pregnant, she will often experience periods of nausea, commonly known as “morning sickness.” However, if a woman does not know she’s actually pregnant, she will simply think that she ate something that may have been tainted or “bad.” She might be believe she has either food poisoning or is suffering from a bad case of indigestion – even if she has never had indigestion before!
Movement from a fetus has often been mistaken for indigestion. When you have indigestion, your stomach can rumble and growl. You might feel like throwing up. You might even feel like you have a burning sensation in your upper abdomen. Plus, you can be gassy or feel bloated. These are all uncomfortable feelings.
Indigestion is caused by acids from your stomach coming into contact with your mucosa – the protective lining of your stomach. Indigestion during pregnancy can be caused by the hormonal changes your body is going through and the pressure of the growing baby in your uterus (it presses on your stomach). A baby’s kick can, therefore, easily be mistaken for indigestion.
Indigestion and morning sickness can lead to an aversion to certain foods. In addition, morning sickness can also be equated to a lingering flu virus. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, giving you the impression that you simply picked up a bug somewhere.
It’s important that you know for sure if you have the flu or actually have morning sickness because some of the treatments you may use can harm your baby. “Some medicines can pose risks to fetuses and unborn children, even if they are otherwise perfectly safe to take.”
The sixth sign you might be pregnant and not know it is if you are in denial or think you’re infertile.
Maybe you’ve had an abortion in the past, and were told you’d be unable to bear children. Maybe you’ve had a miscarriage, and think that you’re never going to get pregnant again. Perhaps you believe that you have already experienced menopause. Maybe you have other mental health issues. Perhaps you simply think you are too old to have a baby. Whatever the case, you are in denial if you don’t think you are pregnant – and you are!
It’s pretty scary that one in six hundred women has no idea she's pregnant. It’s also scary that one in four hundred fifty doesn't know she is pregnant until she’s been pregnant for five months.
There are many reasons for you to be in denial.
You might not want to be a mother, and so you convince yourself that you are not pregnant. At all. Even when you are. This type of pregnancy is referred to as a cryptic pregnancy or a “denial of pregnancy.” Denial of pregnancy is a psychological problem, and can manifest itself in a few different ways, as effective denial, psychotic denial, or pervasive denial. Each type of denial has its own characteristics.
Pregnancy can be thought of as a tug-of-war between mother and fetus. The fetus wants the mother's limited resources, the mother holds back, and the baby ends up taking nutrients from the mother, but not enough to cause any real damage to the mom.
Denial, however, can harm the baby. So even if you don’t think you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to check regularly to find out if you are – or aren’t – and it’s a good idea to get yourself checked out or take a home pregnancy test if there is even a remote chance that you could be carrying a child inside you. But beware of false positives. Get a blood test to be sure.