Newly Pregnant: Pregnancy Test Questions and Answers

pregnancy test

You can’t be just a little pregnant – if there’s a line, even if it’s really faint, congratulations! You’re having a baby! Image by LESkzn

Congratulations! A line is a line and you can’t be halfway pregnant. While there are very rare conditions that can mimic pregnancy hormones, a positive (even faintly positive) pregnancy test, especially when combined with other signs and symptoms of pregnancy, is a good sign!

A home pregnancy test will measure the level of the pregnancy hormone, hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in the urine. Your midwife or doctor can confirm your pregnancy with a blood test, or may also use an internal ultrasound to confirm a pregnancy.

My pregnancy test showed negative but I feel pregnant. Could my test be wrong? Thanks, No Line

Yes, a pregnancy test can show a false negative, especially earlier in pregnancy. When you are testing earlier than your first missed period, there is a greater chance of a false negative – and different pregnancy tests have different levels of sensitivity! In fact in our local area, one of the more sensitive pregnancy tests is the Wal-Mart generic brand. Different times of day can effect how much of the pregnancy hormone is present in your urine too. If you had a false negative on a test but feel you might be pregnant, try testing again first thing in the morning when the hCG levels will be highest.

I’m worried about telling my family (parents, friends, in-laws) about my pregnancy because I don’t think they will be supportive. Any tips? Sincerely, Big News; Crazy Family

Well, this is reaching out of Childbirth Educator, and into Dear Abby territory. but I do have a few suggestions. If you are in fact afraid of your physical safety when telling a spouse, family member or guardian that you are pregnant, please get help from a local Crisis Pregnancy Center or Women’s Shelter. You have to stay safe for your own well-being, and that of your baby.

If you’re talking about just family drama, and the yelling matches that can make family holiday gatherings miserable, here are a few suggestions. Try letting the family member you’re most worried about know ahead of time, when they won’t be on the spot to process and “be supportive” right away. I know people who have sent notes ahead of time saying something like,

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“We just found out we’re expecting again and we’re very excited about it. We know you might not be supportive but don’t want to cause a fight at the Mother’s Day Lunch next month. So when we see you there we expect you to not say anything negative. If you don’t want to tell us congratulations, that’s OK, but please don’t ruin Grandma’s lunch with negativity. Thank you.”

Most of the time these things are worse in our mind than in real life. Just remember that calm communication ahead of time, and stating your desires and expectations, can go a long way towards smoothing over a potentially tough situation.

Expect the Unexpected

Pregnancy is a time filled with unexpected changes as well as all the symptoms and situations that are common to most pregnant women. Before the morning sickness starts, and the bustle of finding cribs and carseats and taking care of all the other details starts to overwhelm you, take a moment to celebrate – you’re pregnant!

Next month’s column will deal with pregnancy complaints and concerns. Do you have a question for the childbirth educator? Submit it to our ‘Ask the Expert’ section.

© Copyright 2013 Angela England: Childbirth, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Pregnancy
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