Many women explain the number of ways they just ‘knew’ they were pregnant – even before they had a positive pregnancy test – solely based on their symptoms.
Some women, on the other hand, have absolutely no symptoms of pregnancy in the first few weeks.
You don’t have to have a feeling that you’re pregnant to have conceived a baby!
There are many common factors that play a role in how and when pregnancy symptoms develop.
Women who do not have obvious pregnancy symptoms might not believe they are pregnant, particularly in the first trimester.
Hearing stories about how other women ‘knew’ they were pregnant before positive results can add to the worry.
It’s typical of some expectant mothers to experience an absence of pregnancy symptoms during the first trimester. Every woman and every pregnancy is different.
So what happens when you know you are pregnant but aren’t feeling pregnant?
Some women might ask:
‘I’m pregnant but don’t feel like I’m pregnant – should I be worried ?’
I don’t feel pregnant at four weeks.
At four weeks pregnant, you might not be feeling pregnant at all. You might find that there isn’t a lot going on in your body at this early stage.
Some women don’t realize that they’re pregnant for weeks unless they keep a close eye on their menstrual cycles, or have an OB or family doctor check them and run a pregnancy test.
At this very early stage, your baby is developing rapidly inside your womb. The fertilized egg has just implanted itself into the side of your uterus. Right now, your baby is only about the size of a poppy seed!
Your body is now starting to produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – the hormone that will result in a positive home pregnancy test. This hormone is present in your blood 7 to 11 days after conception. Blood tests can also check your hCG and progesterone levels.
As other pregnancy hormones like estrogen and progesterone begin to increase, so too will the tell-tale feeling of pregnancy.
I don’t feel pregnant at six weeks
At six weeks pregnant, your baby’s tiny heart has started to beat, but you’re still in the very early days and weeks of pregnancy. It’s still normal to feel normal!
At this stage, some women have suspicions they could be pregnant, based on symptoms they are experiencing.
You could begin to experience conditions that imitate PMS, such as exhaustion, headaches, sore breasts, cramping, excessive urination, excess gas, or bloating. Then there’s the inevitable morning sickness that lots of pregnant women feel early on.
On the flip side, other women don’t find out they are expecting a baby until many weeks into their pregnancy.
Your baby’s heartbeat might be detectable using a Doppler or an ultrasound at six weeks, although sometimes you might have to wait a little longer. At this stage, your baby looks a bit like a tadpole.
The lungs and digestive system are starting to branch out, forming the organs that will enable your baby to breathe and eat in just a few months time.
Common pregnancy symptoms
The most common signs of pregnancy in the first trimester include:
A missed period
‘Could I be pregnant?’ is the million-dollar question when you have a missed period. This is often the first sign of your baby.
Although a missed period is most often associated with pregnancies, there could be other explanations when you have missed a cycle.
Nausea and vomiting affect almost half of pregnant women in the first trimester. Don’t let the name fool you; morning sickness can visit at any time of the day.
For many pregnant women, morning sickness disappears by the end of the first trimester. In saying that, about half of pregnant women do not experience morning sickness at all. So, it’s normal to be pregnant without feeling sick.
It’s also something women can experience in the second trimester. The reason for morning sickness is pregnancy hormones, and every woman adjusts differently to the changes.
Fatigue is a common symptom of early pregnancy. Unfortunately, you are likely to suffer from exhaustion during at least one stage in your pregnancy.
You might find that being so tired also affects your sex drive.
It is most frequent in the first trimester, but it also reappears near the end of pregnancy. This is due to higher than usual levels of progesterone in the body.
If you are not experiencing tiredness at six weeks pregnant, perhaps it will take an extra week or so before it starts to affect your energy levels.
Having food cravings is a well-known occurrence during pregnancy, and it can happen at any stage – not just in the first trimester.
Rapidly changing hormones could be the cause.
Do you suddenly crave pickles and ice cream? The need for odd food combinations can be a giveaway; there’s a baby on board!
Doctors believe that few cravings go on after delivery, so you won’t be wanting the same weird stuff forever.
On the other hand, a heightened sense of smell and taste can lead to food aversion.
Food aversions are the opposite of food cravings, and they might present themselves differently to each person depending on the circumstances.
Smells that never bothered you before might become intolerable, causing nausea.
Although they are more common in the first half of pregnancy, food aversions can occur at any stage, and might come and go throughout your pregnancy.
Some women experience breast tenderness as early as a few days after conception, while others might not feel anything until several weeks have passed.
Just as every woman’s body and breasts are unique, so too are their pregnancy symptoms.
Uncommon pregnancy symptoms
We previously listed the common signs of pregnancy, but an absence of these symptoms does not mean you aren’t pregnant.
You might have symptoms you didn’t even realize were symptoms of pregnancy.
What are the most uncommon signs of pregnancy?
Mood swings are common in the early weeks of pregnancy and they are usually due to hormonal changes.
You might mistake pregnancy mood swings for PMS. Your hormones, and your libido, might suddenly change when you become pregnant. Your sex drive could go from high to low.
Higher progesterone levels in the body can relax the bowel muscles, making it harder to go to the toilet.
Although this is usually more common in later pregnancy stages, as your baby grows, some women experience constipation in their first trimester.
Strange taste in the mouth
The cause of a strange taste in the mouth during pregnancy is dysgeusia – a harmless condition that is thought to occur due to increased saliva (and, of course, hormones).
When you’re pregnant, estrogen levels can fluctuate widely. Side effects produce a metallic or sour taste in the mouth.
Increased levels of estrogen in pregnancy can cause headaches in some women. In some instances, headache pain can be a symptom of additional health problems while pregnant.
The amount of blood flow increases during pregnancy, and the heart is working a lot harder to pump the extra blood around. The blood vessels in your nose are relatively small compared to the blood volume, which causes nose bleeds in some women.
Nasal congestion is also more likely to happen while being pregnant.
Once again, changing hormones could be the reason for vivid dreams during pregnancy.
Researchers from the Sleep Foundation believe that higher progesterone levels might be linked to more vivid and realistic dreams.
Pregnancy-related discomfort can also disrupt regular sleep patterns; this causes you to wake during a dream cycle, and therefore you’re more likely to remember the dream accurately.
Is it normal sometimes not to feel your baby in the first trimester?
It is not uncommon for symptoms of pregnancy to come and go. This is particularly evident in the first trimester before you begin to see and feel your belly expanding from your baby’s growth.
If you haven’t noticed symptoms by now, it’s likely you will during the second trimester.
Although it might seem like a bit of a relief not to experience any or all of the above pregnancy symptoms in the early days of pregnancy, it can also be worrying.
It’s important to understand that each pregnancy is different. Just because your best friend, sister, mother, or next-door neighbor experienced any or all of these pregnancy symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you will too.
Well-meaning families and friends might increase your worry by giving you their perspectives.
An individual woman has to evaluate her pregnancy against her own emotions, wellbeing, and what her doctor tells her to do.
Some of the typical problems a woman faces can make her feel as though she’s not even a member of a pregnancy club. It’s very natural not to feel pregnant, so don’t panic if you’re feeling like this.
If you are concerned about a lack of pregnancy symptoms, contact your healthcare providers. They can confirm your pregnancy with a blood test or by hearing your baby’s heartbeat, and will put your mind at ease.
When to see your doctor
Some people don’t experience morning sickness, tiredness, food cravings or food aversions, or breast tenderness.
Some women don’t have mood swings, constipation, headaches, nosebleeds, or vivid dreams. Sometimes the changes are mild enough that a woman might not notice them at all.
The most conclusive way of seeing if you are still pregnant is to have an ultrasound.
If you have had a positive pregnancy test and you aren’t feeling pregnant, you should contact your health care provider for peace of mind.
If you are concerned you might be experiencing a miscarriage, it is important to seek medical care.
You can also read about signs, symptoms, and everything to expect in BellyBelly’s article on early miscarriage here.
Is it normal not to feel pregnant?
Although you don’t feel pregnant, or might not be experiencing anything or everything listed in this article, it doesn’t mean that one or more of these symptoms are not on the way.
As time goes on and your belly swells, you will begin to feel the magic of your growing baby move inside you. Then, you will have no doubts about feeling pregnant.
Be sure to read the Healthy Foods Every Pregnant Woman Needs To Eat for a happy and healthy pregnancy.