Pregnancy FAQs 1: Preception – Early Pregnancy

By: Katie-Anne Gustafsson

Pregnancy is full of insecurities.  We read books and magazines, we hear stories from other women who have been through pregnancy (and some who haven’t) and are full of information – and quite often this information-overload conflicts.  It’s all very confusing.  Pregnancy does not conform to standard patterns.  There are many variations on the pregnancy theme and it seems that each pregnancy is a pick ‘n’ mix of the options available!  Hopefully the answers below will answer any questions that are niggling in the back of your mind.

1.    Am I pregnant?

Even if you don’t feel any other symptoms, if your usually regular period is late by a few days, it is worth taking a test.  Normal practice at the Drs is that they have you wait until your period is no-show for a week before they carry out a test, but you could get a positive result with some home pregnancy test kits as early as your period being one day late.

2.    How long does it take to get pregnant?

This varies from couple to couple.  I say “couple” because getting pregnant is not just a “woman’s thing”.  It takes two and the most common scenario is that the woman almost always assumes the blame for failure to conceive (a practice backed up by the medical profession who always check out the woman first!).  There are couples that conceive immediately, and then there are couples that wait months, or even years, before they are blessed with a much-wanted child.  Problems can occur when stress at failure to conceive starts to interfere with the process.  Keep it enjoyable.  Optimise your chances of conceiving by making love during the time you ovulate (around 14 days before the end of your monthly cycle).  Research currently indicates that making love in the missionary position can increase your chances of getting pregnant.  If after 6-8 months you are still not pregnant, seek medical advice.  Don’t assume it’s your fault!  As well as getting yourself tested, ask the Dr to run a sperm analysis on your partner also.  This is fairly painless for him and may save time in the long run.  You will probably find that there is no medical reason for you not becoming pregnant, and it is simply a case of trying and waiting.  As I have personally learned, babies come when babies are ready - and not before.

3.    The home test was negative. Can I still be pregnant?

YES!  False negatives are common in pregnancy tests taken during the early weeks.  If your period remains no show, wait another week and take the test again, and then again, if still nothing after another week.  Even tests taken at the Dr’s office have been known to give false negatives if taken too early. 

4.    What are the symptoms of pregnancy?

The most common symptoms are:

a) No-show period
b) Fatigue
c) Sore breasts
d) Nausea - not only in the morning, and usually related to certain smells that haven’t caused a problem in the past
e) Increase in visits to the bathroom
f) Cravings for foods not normally in your eating pattern
g) Odd metallic-type taste in your mouth

You may experience all of these, or except for the no-show period you may experience none. Each pregnancy is different.  Having morning sickness with your first child does not mean that you will have it with the next pregnancy - you might, but it isn’t a “for sure” thing.

5.    When will I need maternity clothes?

Just as each baby is an individual, as is each pregnant woman.  There are some women who miraculously can fit into their clothes throughout their entire pregnancy and have very few people suspecting that they’re pregnant.  On the other hand there are women who are showing a little bump early into the first trimester.  This is not symptomatic of too much “eating for two” (although it could be a factor in some cases!), it’s just the way some pregnancies go.  It’s even possible to wake up one morning to find that nothing in your wardrobe fits comfortably anymore - as if you had ballooned literally overnight.  To be prepared, make sure that you have at least one outfit that is a little on the large size just in case you have to make a quick trip to the local maternity store!

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