Sixteen women share the surprising signs that tipped them off.
The hallmark sign of a pregnancy is a missed period, and that’s typically what leads women to the drugstore to get that pregnancy test. But there are other early signs of pregnancy besides the obvious. And since many women don’t have regular cycles in the first place, and others get thrown off by period-like spotting or bleeding during pregnancy, ob/gyn Christine Greves, M.D, tells SELF, it’s often other symptoms that tip them off. Nausea, sensitivity to smells, and a quicker heartbeat often kick in before the point when you notice a missed period, according to ob/gyn Lizellen La Follette, M.D.
Here, women share the weirdest, funniest, and most unexpected ways they first came to suspect they were pregnant.
1. I suddenly loved beer.
“I hate beer so much. So much. One day, I went to a restaurant that was BYOB and the chef sat with me and offered me an oatmeal stout. To be polite, I sipped it. It was delicious! I called my boyfriend. He was really surprised because he’d had me try a bunch of beers at Belgian bars and stuff and I hated everything. Then, I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I learned later that pregnant women crave the hops for lactation. I liked beer up until I stopped breastfeeding, and now I hate it again.” —Swati K., 40
2. My heart was racing.
“I had been trying to get pregnant for ages, and around 10 days after ovulation (I was charting), I woke up and my heart was pounding. It freaked me out. It did the same for two more mornings when I finally decided to test. Pregnant!” —Monica B., 42
3. I fainted.
“I fainted twice at a major business conference. I was so embarrassed.” —Joanie, 45
4. I got grossed out by…books.
“I walked into a used bookstore, and the musty smell almost made me vomit. Never had that reaction to used books before!” —Andrea C., 37
5. The color orange made me want to puke.
“During my first pregnancy, the color orange made me nauseous. I'm not fond of the color to begin with, but it doesn't normally make me want to puke. I couldn't look at anything orange. The feeling went away after that pregnancy, and I didn't have that sensation with my next two.” —Julie K., 47
6. A metallic taste
“One of my earliest symptoms was a terrible metallic taste in my mouth. It was awful. Nothing would get rid of it!” —Jamie A., 39
7. I couldn’t stop sleeping.
“I was so unbelievably exhausted after sleeping a normal amount. I felt like I had been drugged. I left work at 2 and slept until 10 the next day. My husband and I went out to dinner that night, and when he asked if I wanted a martini, I said, ‘No, because I think I might be pregnant.’ Sure enough, a test the next day confirmed. Surprise!” —Janice S., 33
8. Sudden flakes
“Both times, I suddenly got dandruff.” —Tamara A., 44
9. I noticed my boobs got bigger.
“I put on a silky nightgown I wore on hot nights and it was way tighter than usual in the boob area. My breasts were a lot bigger. I also could not handle the smell of peanut butter. I got tested a few days after that and yep, I was pregnant.” —Nichole G., 44
10. My friend noticed my boobs got bigger.
“A friend of mine said, ‘Wow, your boobs are huge! Are you pregnant?’ I was like, ‘Huh?’ Turns out I was.” —Julie T., 53
11. Weird armpit cramp
“I had a weird armpit cramp, no lie. I googled it, and as soon as it said ‘possible pregnancy symptom,’ I knew.” —Sarah W., 28
12. Breaking bad habits got a lot easier.
“I was a big smoker and drinker, and suddenly, I didn't fancy doing either. The body is a clever machine.” —Laura S., 38
13. I had superhuman sense of smell.
“I could smell the breath of a woman I was speaking with. She was fastidious in how she was dressed and put together, and I knew she didn't neglect to brush her teeth!” —Leslie L., 53
14. I just knew.
“Intuition. I somehow suspected as soon as we completed the act that I could be, and within two weeks I knew it almost for sure, before taking a pregnancy test or telling my partner.” —Dee D., 47
15. My cat just knew.
“My cat, who never sits in laps, slept on my stomach one night. Turns out I was pregnant. This happened each time for my subsequent pregnancies. I think it was the change in my body temperature. Even my husband noticed.” —Nicki S., 41
16. My dog just knew.
“My dog started sleeping on my side of the bed the moment I became pregnant, well before I was able to take a test. He has done this sixth-sense pregnancy announcement with all three of my children.” —Gemma H., 27
Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.
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