What are the pregnancy symptoms I need to look out for in my wife? What are the first signs that my wife may be pregnant?
Every man would like to know these answers quickly. Apart from the nausea or the urge to vomit and a missed period, did you know that there are other pregnancy symptoms as well? I will share these in a moment.
But know this too, just because you don’t see any symptoms, it doesn’t mean your wife isn’t pregnant. There are numerous instances where the lady doesn’t show any sign of pregnancy and then on a haunch decides to get herself checked and finds out she is indeed pregnant!
So, let’s get down to the pregnancy symptoms right away.
1. She misses her period
Menstrual cycles are fairly regular and happen like clockwork in most cases. So, if your wife has missed her cycle by over seven days or more, chances are that she is pregnant.
I say chances because I remember that my wife had missed her period once by several days and we thought it was a sure sign of pregnancy. But that very night she had her period.
If your wife has an irregular menstrual cycle, then this symptom won’t be a very reliable one. So just wait out a few more days to be sure. You could then take a home test or visit your gynecologist.
There’s one thing I wish you would keep in mind – don’t ever stress out, get discouraged or go all moody if the test is negative. Hold on to your hopes, because it’s not the end of the world.
2. She gets nausea or morning sickness
It’s a bit strange, but ‘morning sickness’ can happen any time of day, not just in the morning. When morning sickness hits her, your wife will feel nauseous, meaning, she’ll feel like vomiting and may actually vomit.
You’ve seen it in the movies. The heroine vomits, everyone’s joyous and they break into a song and dance. But hold on cowboy!
Sometimes morning sickness may not be a very early symptom at all and my show up only a month after your wife is pregnant. Sometimes it never shows up at all.
You see, pregnancy is a different story for everyone. Pregnancy symptoms differ, the intensity of the symptoms differ, the timing too differs – all of which you’ll get to know along the way.
So be patient, and know this too – there will be anxiety involved. But that’s not your story alone. Every father-to-be goes through it without fail.
3. She complains of tender breasts
Pregnancy involves hormonal changes in your wife. And these are pretty deep changes spanning the months of pregnancy. Tender breasts are one of the early results.
So, your wife could get a prickly sensation in her breasts and could even feel it swollen. That’s possibly because her breasts are preparing to produce milk for the baby already.
(Tender breasts are also a sign of the onset of the menstrual cycle.)
Sometimes she would also feel that the areolas or dark circles around her nipples are getting darker and bigger. Not to worry that’s mother nature at work. The swelling and tenderness will last for a few months. Here’s another of those pregnancy symptoms you need to look out for.
4. She goes to urinate more often
If your wife feels the urge to urinate often, it could be an early sign of pregnancy. She would possibly get up several times at night to go to the bathroom.
This happens because of the pregnancy hormone called hCG. It could also be due to the fact that the amount of blood in her body has increased due to her pregnancy.
This makes her kidneys work more than before to process the extra fluids that are sent out to her urinary bladder. How miraculous is the human body!
Oh, do ensure that there is adequate light on the way to the bathroom at night and that there is a zero-watt bathroom constantly on at night in the bathroom.
5. She complains of constipation
Hormonal changes due to pregnancy could get your wife’s digestive system to slow down leading to constipation. So, if she is constipated, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
This is one of the early pregnancy symptoms with a lot of women. But then if your wife has always been prone to constipation, then this will not be a very reliable symptom.
All said, constipation is bad and must be addressed. Your gynecologist will guide you here. However, there are things you could do at home.
Begin with asking your wife to take plenty of water and fibre-rich foods like spinach and other vegetables. Also remember to take her for a walk every evening or whenever time permits.
6. She says she’s tired lately
Fatigue or tiredness could be one of the pregnancy symptoms that you’d want to look out for. This could be due to increased levels of pregnancy hormones. As a result, she would feel like she has no energy, that she’s tired and sleepy.
This is a very normal reaction. This is a time to make sure she has a healthy diet and drinks plenty of water and other healthy fluids. Remember that healthy means home-cooked food.
This is also the time to avoid takeaway food and aerated drinks including so-called ‘energy drinks’ and also stop all the self-administered, seemingly harmless supplements your wife could be taking for health and beauty reasons.
7. She’s moody and has unusual mood swings
We’ve been speaking about heightened hormonal activity in the early days of pregnancy all throughout this article. One immediate after-effect of this is moodiness. It’s one of those baffling pregnancy symptoms
So, if your wife suddenly weeps while seeing a movie or her favourite TV show or gets unusually moody with something you have done, be kind to her, maybe she’s carrying happiness.
Of course, you won’t know until you do a test. I’ll briefly cover that at the end of this article. But you’ll still want to know why such dramatic moods swings happen – one word: pregnancy hormones.
There’s a great deal of change happening in your wife’s body in preparation for baby and that can be very traumatic for some. So, love her more for it. 😊
8. She complains that she feels bloated
Usually, at the start of her menstrual period, it’s normal for your wife to feel bloated – where she has that gassy, filled-with-air kind of feeling. But it could also be a symptom of pregnancy.
For some women it is a symptom that could last till the end of their pregnancy. Bloating could also be accompanied with burping, flatulence and cramping.
Now, only a test can confirm if the bloating is related to pregnancy. But your wife still needs to manage it. So, as a first step, she needs to stop having food like beans that increase the gas. And have fibre rich food which is good for her overall.
9. She has food aversions she didn’t have before
She will suddenly start hating the smell of eggs cooking, for instance, or even the smell of hot parathas or idili. These could be her favourite foods but she wouldn’t want to be anywhere near them now.
Food aversions and aversion to even the smell of certain foods is all because of the hormonal changes that is happening in her body. This is why it would be a good idea to have someone else cook around this time.
Foods with strong smells would be the most common ones to trigger aversions – like meat, garlic, fish, onions, eggs sometimes even tea and coffee.
10. She complains of nasal congestion
Some believe this is one of the surest pregnancy symptoms. So, if your wife suddenly has a sharper sense of smell than before and also suffers from nasal congestion that is not related to a cold, she is probably pregnant.
This nasal congestion could be because of the hormonal changes that cause the formation of excess mucus. This may be mother nature’s way of protecting the foetus from toxic compounds in the air.
And since this particular symptom is not in any way related to the menstrual cycle, it can be assumed as a positive sign. Though, of course, you will have to do a test to be sure.
Other pregnancy symptoms
There are also other symptoms like food cravings and hunger pangs. You may have heard that pregnant women look forward to have raw mangoes, tamarind etc. They suddenly develop a taste and longing for special foods.
Some women sweat at night when they never used to before. Some complain of spotting – a light bleeding that happens as a result of the fertilized egg attaching to the lining of the uterus.
Some women experience a metallic taste in their mouth. The long and short of it is that these symptoms are not always related to pregnancy – some of these symptoms are also related to other conditions.
And as mentioned in the beginning not every woman shows all these pregnancy symptoms. Some don’t show any at all. I personally have heard the story of a senior woman who is a distant relative who did not find out she was pregnant till she was eight months into it.
She was tired, yes. Now that’s a possible sign of pregnancy. But this lady was also a diabetic and she thought the tiredness was due to it. She didn’t show any other sign of pregnancy either. Only a clinical test confirmed it.
So, there you are! Those are some of the early pregnancy symptoms. Now you would also want to know how you can do a pregnancy test at home. Let’s begin with the types of pregnancy tests.
What are the types / kinds of pregnancy tests?
Pregnancy can be confirmed by two kinds of tests. (1) Urine test. (2) Blood test. Urine tests are usually done at home with a pregnancy kit. Blood tests are done at the clinic or hospital.
Blood tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test. These can be done in 6 to 8 days after ovulation and is usually recommended by a doctor.
The thing with blood testes is that the results take longer to arrive. There are two types of blood tests – qualitative and quantative tests for hCG, the pregnancy hormone.
A qualitative hCG test only checks for the presence of hCG. If it is present, congratulations, your wife is pregnant. A quantitative hCG test will measure the exact amount of hCG and also help spot problems during pregnancy.
Urine tests are usually done at home, but they are also done at the clinic. It’s quick, easy and convenient. What’s important is that the instructions for use of the home pregnancy test kit be followed strictly. You can get the result in a few minutes and it would almost always be reliable, provided instructions have been followed.
Remember to confirm the result with your gynaecologist, because if your wife is pregnant, it’s time for extra care in lifestyle and food habits from now on. And only a gynaecologist can give you the proper advice.
Where can a home pregnancy kit be bought?
Every medical store will have a home pregnancy kit and most a reasonably priced. Just ask for a ‘pregnancy kit’ from a reputed pharmaceutical company. It would be better if you do not go for local makes.
You do not need a prescription to get this kit. Ensure that you check the expiry date on the kit. If the date is too close to the date you have bought it, ask for another one and go to a medical store that has a current one.
Negative results with home pregnancy kits…
As mentioned earlier, it is important that your wife follows the instructions on the pregnancy test kit strictly. In spite of it if you get a negative result, your wife is probably not pregnant. But there is a possibility she may be if:
- 1. The pregnancy test kit is past its expiration date.
- 2. The test was taken too soon, wait for another few days to try again.
- 3. The urine sample was diluted, or was not the first urine of the day.
- 4. Your wife is on certain medication like antihistamines.
Do the test again and if you get a different result, get it confirmed by a gynaecologist. Remember to take the first urine of the day for the home test as it has the highest concentration of hCG, the pregnancy hormone.
What is the procedure for a home pregnancy test?
That would depend on each brand. Home pregnancy tests are done with kits you buy from a medical store. They are also available online, but it would be better to buy it from a store so you can ensure the expiry date is in the safe zone.
Each brand of kit has its own instructions. But generally, the steps would be as follows:
- 1. Collect a sample from the first urine of the day in the clean dry container.
- 2. Collect the mid-flow urine sample, leaving out the beginning and end.
- 3. Using the dropper provided place the prescribed number of urine drops on the strip.
- 4. Wait till the first drop is fully absorbed before adding the next drop.
- 5. Read the results within the prescribed time mentioned on the kit.
A reading after a cut off time mentioned on your kit may not be accurate. Take the test only 2 to 3 days after a missed period for accurate results. An early test could give you a false-negative result.
In case your wife has an irregular period, the result may not show for about two to three weeks after the missed period. So, wait this time out and take the test.
If there is any confusion, visit a gynecologist.