Pregnancy signs and symptoms: Here's everything you need to know

It's best to compare pregnancy to a snowflake, since no two are alike.
It's best to compare pregnancy to a snowflake, since no two are alike.

Ever heard of instances involving childbirth where an unsuspecting woman hadn't known she was pregnant until she was in labour? 

The internet is never short of stories like these, here's one Parent24 shared just a few weeks ago: Model had no idea she was 37 weeks pregnant until she gave birth in her bathroom

Yikes! Thankfully, pregnancies like these, sometimes called cryptic pregnancies, occur only in rare cases. 

It is common, however, to be pregnant and 'symptomless' up to about seven weeks into a pregnancy before the more common signs present themselves.

Also see: ‘I didn’t know I was 6 months pregnant’

Like a snowflake 

What's worth noting, experts say, is that it's best to compare pregnancy to a snowflake, since no two are alike. 

And even when the signs are there, it remains hard to tell. 

A basic online search will tell you that the signs of pregnancy vary so much so that's it's hard to know whether you're expecting a baby or a period. 

That's because, for the most part, symptoms experienced in early pregnancy are almost identical to those that usually pop up in the weeks leading to menstruation. 

From the earliest to strangest and everything in between, we've pooled together everything you need to know about pregnancy signs and symptoms to help you determine whether its time for a visit to the obstetrician. 

The first signs of pregnancy 

Parent24 readers share their personal expereinces of pregnancy and what tipped them off very early on. 

How to tell if you're pregnant 

Some of the most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy. 

The weirdest pregnancy symptoms you weren't expecting 

Nose bleeds, vivid dreams and dandruff; here are some of the stranger pregnancy symptoms. 

How to test for a pregnancy 

From faint lines on home kits to blood tests; how can you tell if you're pregnant?

Mommy and baby

Pregnancy week-by-week updates 

Parent24's pregnancy week-by-week updates provide detail from common symptoms to the development of the fetus from the earliest weeks of conception all the way the to birth!

Pregnancy week 3

This is essentially your first real week of being pregnant, yet you still won't even know it! 

Pregnancy week 4

From missed period to morning sickness! More early signs that you could be welcoming a baby soon. 

Want to know more? 

For more information on pregnancy, check out the Parent24 Pregnancy Hub, where you'll find all our pregnancy information in one place. 

Planning for a baby? 

In our Fertility hub, we give you advice on getting pregnant/trying to conceive, fertility problems, fertility treatment, and miscarriage.

Scan through our Trying to conceive hub for answers questions like: Is there such a thing as a "best position" to conceive? How can I boost my fertility? What time of the month is the best time to conceive? When do I ovulate?

Sign up to the Parent24 newsletter for more resources and advice:

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 302 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
81% - 3845 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 571 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.