Wondering what information your midwife will use to determine if you are actually pregnant? Here are some of the ways pregnancy is confirmed.
Your midwife will assume you are probably pregnant if she sees:
Pregnancy Test The presence of HCG in the urine or with a blood test done after 14 days gestation.
Uterine Enlargement With a vaginal exam, uterine enlargement can be detected around 7-8 weeks pregnancy (5-7 weeks gestation), uterine enlargement can be detected from abdominal exam at 12 weeks. You may not be aware of an increase in uterine size until 16 weeks pregnancy (14 weeks gestation). The uterus will continue to enlarge at a regular rate.
Cervical Softening With a vaginal exam, the softening and discoloration of the cervix can be detected around 8 weeks pregnancy (6 weeks gestation).
Your midwife will be certain you are pregnant when:
Fetal Heart Tones Using a Doppler ultrasound device, your baby's heart beat can be heard for the first time around 12 weeks pregnancy (10 weeks gestation). Using a special stethoscope pressed on the abdomen, your baby's heart beat can be heard around 25 weeks pregnancy (23 weeks gestation).
Feeling the Baby Your baby's body parts, such as the head and limbs, can be felt (palpated) through the abdomen from about 26 weeks pregnancy (24 weeks gestation).
Ultrasound (sonography) images Actually seeing the baby proves you are pregnant. This is generally only done early in pregnancy if there are concerns of a problem. For most healthy women, the first and only ultrasound will be done around 16-18 weeks pregnancy (14-16 weeks gestation). This is when the baby is big enough to determine the sex and recognize the most common problems, but small enough to still confirm baby's age.