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Can I tell if I'm pregnant by touching my belly?

We know that the most viable way to know for sure if we are expecting a baby is to take a pregnancy test. However, it is possible that we can be almost sure (or at least suspect) that a baby is on the way even before doing it, paying attention to the symptoms of our body.

Faced with the first doubts and suspicions, many women begin to be more observant of their bodies, so they can ask themselves a question that is usually common among those who will be mothers for the first time: can I know if I am pregnant by touching my belly?

Beliefs about pregnancy

Throughout history, pregnancy has been something that has always fascinated us and filled us with doubts. Before the pregnancy tests that we know today, women had to manage to find out if they were expecting a baby or not .

From there, many ancient customs and beliefs about pregnancy arose, some of them focused on discovering early if a woman was pregnant.

We know, for example, that the women of ancient Egypt did a home urine test that consisted of using wheat and barley seeds, to find out if they were pregnant and, incidentally, discover if they were expecting a boy or a girl. Amazingly, thousands of years later we discovered that this test was 70% effective.

On the other hand, there were cultures that did not perform tests but checked certain signs in the body of women . In 16th-century France, the doctor Jacques Guillemeau claimed that it was possible to tell if a woman was pregnant just by looking into her eyes, while in traditional Chinese medicine it is believed that just taking a woman’s pulse is enough to find out.

So can I tell if I’m pregnant by touching my belly?

Although the methods that we have discussed have some truth, since the woman’s pulse and eyes do go through some changes throughout pregnancy, the truth is that they are not reliable tests .

The changes that a woman presents at the beginning of pregnancy usually go unnoticed, and although the belly undoubtedly transforms throughout those nine months, it is not possible to know if you are pregnant by touching the belly . At least not before the belly begins to show, or the baby’s movements are felt, approximately between week 18 and week 20 if we talk about first-timers.

However, although we cannot tell if we are expecting a baby just by touching our belly, it is common to feel certain things in the belly during the first weeks of pregnancy.

For example, pain in the lower abdomen is often felt during the first few weeks, similar to the cramps that occur around menstruation. In fact, it is common for the first symptoms of pregnancy to be confused with those of menstruation.

You may also feel pins and needles or cramps accompanied by pain in your lower belly and back. These are due to congestion of the uterus, when the embryo is taking root in the uterine lining.

Another symptom that can occur in the belly during the first few weeks is the feeling of a queasy stomach. Also, due to the increase in progesterone that relaxes the intestinal muscles, it is common to have gas.

As we have seen, knowing if we are pregnant just by touching our belly is not possible, although if we pay attention to our body we will be able to notice the first symptoms that make us suspect that we are expecting a baby. But to know precisely, it is best to do a pregnancy test . The most recommended thing to do to ensure that the result is reliable is to perform the test at least one day late, ideally with the first urine of the day, which is the one with the highest concentration of the pregnancy hormone.

Cover photo | Karolina Grabowska at Pexels

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