Human pregnancies, unlike those of other mammals, last 38–40 weeks on average, although the World Health Organization defines a normal pregnancy term as lasting 37–42 weeks. In the beginning there are many signs a woman looks for to determine whether or not she’s pregnant. Generally these initial symptoms are followed by a pregnancy test. If the test is positive, symptoms are present, and her period is more than three weeks late, chances are she’s pregnant. Find out more about pregnancy below.
Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs
Early symptoms can be confusing to a woman who is unaware that she may be pregnant. Many women confuse pregnancy symptoms with menstrual symptoms, as the breast tenderness, cramping, and fatigue are also symptoms of PMS. It usually isn’t until a woman has missed a period that she realizes her symptoms may not have anything to do with her menstrual cycle. Other early pregnancy symptoms include:
Later in a woman’s pregnancy, symptoms of being pregnant will include:
- Varicose Veins
- Weight Gain
- Frequent Urination
- Heightened Sense of Smell
- Darkened Areolas
Taking a Pregnancy Test
If you’ve missed your period, you may be considering a pregnancy test, regardless of whether you’re expecting or not. Pregnancy tests can be bought over the counter — these generally test urine — or you can schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to take a pregnancy blood test. Blood tests tend to be more accurate, and there is less chance of a false positive or false negative. To learn more about reading or taking a pregnancy test, please click here.
Being pregnant can be a joyous experience, but it is also a tough one. A woman’s body is constantly changing inside and out, and some women struggle with the hormone imbalances that cause them to be emotional and unstable throughout the pregnancy. Many women and couples join childbirth classes such as Lamaze, Yoga, or Bradley Method when preparing for labor and delivery. If you’re interested in learning more about the changes that occur week by week, please click here.
Giving birth can be a tough experience too. As you await the arrival of your new baby, many things can fill your head. PregnancyCorner.com suggests that you look into creating a birth plan to help you plan for the strenuous time that lies ahead. A birth plan gives everyone involved a chance to understand and meet your needs.
Every pregnancy is different. Depending on whether yours is a high-risk or low-risk pregnancy, you may or may not be able to deliver your baby vaginally. Occasionally problems occur, and a woman must give birth via c-section. Again, each pregnancy is unique. To learn more about pregnancy in general, please feel free to browse our other sections and articles.