Am I Pregnant?

Are you wondering: How can I tell if I’m pregnant?

Photo by cottonbro on

Here are some of the top 10 signs early on in pregnancy

  1. Missed period:

Some of those who experience irregular periods might decide to wait 1 to 3 weeks until they take a test (it can take 5-14 until a fertilized egg fully attaches to the lining of the uterus).

  1. Implantation bleeding:

Slight bleeding or abdominal cramping can occur but it’s typically a few days before your expected period. Can consist of pink or brownish spotting and can last about 1 to 3 days.

  1. Nausea:

Due to suspected increase in the hormone estrogen.

  1. Food aversions:

Are there certain foods or smells bothering you lately? Some people experience morning sickness and some may just have heightened sensitivities. Also, even though it’s labeled as morning sickness, this feeling can unfortunately occur for some people throughout the entire day.

  1. Bloating.
  1. Frequent urination:

As the uterus expands, pressure is placed on the bladder. Early on, hormone changes are also responsible. The increased blood flow to the urinary system and more fluid going through the kidneys, can speed up the filling process in the bladder.

  1. Change in breasts:

There are many hormone changes happening which can cause the breast to feel firm, larger, or just more tender in general. Even early in pregnancy, some people may notice other changes in breast appearance like lines or darker veins.

  1. Constipation:

Due to the levels of the hormone progesterone, muscles of the digestive tract can be more relaxed causing food to move slower through your system. Also if you take iron or prenatal vitamin, those could also contribute.

  1. Mood swings:

Feeling more emotional, weepy, or extra irritated? This can occur given the amount of hormone changes experienced in early pregnancy. This cam improve once your body adjusts to the higher levels of hormones. Of course on top of that, if a person has sickness, metabolism changes, changes in sleep, stress, and fatigue, emotions can certainly be running high anyway.

  1. Fatigue:

In the first trimester, an increase in your progesterone hormones can cause you to feel unusually tired. Also the increased blood volume Blood vessel dilation, can also result in mild headaches, dizziness, lower blood sugar or lower blood pressure. 


*Keep in mind that (like many things), Everybody is different.
Some may experience symptoms prior to getting sick or prior to their menstrual period, but other pregnant people may not have many symptoms at all. 

*Which test should I take and Where should I buy it from?

-Blood test with your doctor, nurse, community clinic, local Planned Parenthood Center, grocery store, dollar store, drugstore, local pharmacy, even ordering one offline. 

*Home tests:

There are a lot of brand names to choose from with home tests. Many home tests claim to be about 97-99% accurate if used correctly, and

keeping the following in mind:

  1. make sure you actually read the directions. It’s important to not read the test too early or too late for unreliable results.
  2. Some tests could get false positives if the person was taking birth control, antibiotics, fertility meds, etc.
  3. Check the expiration dates to make sure the test is not expired.
  4. Typically accuracy is increased of taken in the morning when your urine is less diluted.

*Is there really one brand that is more reliable than the others?

-Ask your pharmacist or provider. 

-Another resource is the website:, where you can read about some tests that could be more sensitive to reading early levels of hCG.

*Your hCG levels double every 48 -72 hours. Therefore, some people may choose a 2-3 pack of tests to repeat a few days after they’ve actually missed their period.

*Other resources:


FDA, food and drug administration






Mira J MD Mayo Clinic: guide to a healthy pregnancy, 2nd edition, 2018

-Capstone Doula Services 

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*This blog is not medical advice and any concerns you should bring to your providers attention.

Published by Capstone Doula Services

My name is Becky. I’ve worked in healthcare now for 14 years. I am a certified labor and postpartum Doula, level I Reiki certified, a certified Childbirth Educator and taken trainings for continuing education in VBAC, Infant Feeding, Mental health, infant loss, cultural competence, spinning babies and more. I love keeping up with the latest trainings. I also offer c-section education to those with planned cesarean birth and I do post surgical education with people to learn how to prevent injury after an abdominal surgery such as c-section where I teach best ways to move around in your daily routine and give you recovery tips and tricks. I got my Master's degree in occupational therapy with a minor in psych. As an OT I focused 11 years of my career in rehab and acute care. I worked with multi-diagnoses, intensive care units, burn survivors, amputees, orthopedic injuries, knee/hip replacement surgeries, back pain, post spinal surgeries, multi-trauma patients, patients, heart disease, genetic disorders, stroke and much more. Using evidence based practice, team work, non-judgemental care, and great communication are strong skills of mine that I gained from these experiences. My husband and I live in melrose, Massachusetts. We have two sons, we love dogs and spending time with family and friends. I’m 37 years old and since I was 15 I’ve always been volunteering which is another passion of mine. I love helping families in my community and giving people the best resources to help them succeed in having a positive labor + postpartum experience! When you hire me, you learn hands on techniques, coping skills, and all the practical skills you will need. My skill set is unique and valuable to families across my whole community due to my background in the medical field working along side the medical team. Working on teams helped me to gain great communication skills and great customer service skills, to give people the best experience. I also have completed doula trainings with both DONA and ProDoula; Certification completed for labor, postpartum, and CBE all through ProDoula. Having doula support can be the difference between people feeling overwhelmed vs. feeling confident, educated, well rested, and feeling fully supported throughout your experience. My favorite part of labor support is that through our prenatal meeting preparation, it can take the fear out of the birth experience because they come out of our prenatal feeling educated on all topics, prepared and ready for anything. Lastly, if you’ve had any health conditions or complex medical issues, I'm specially equipped to support you. For labor I will help you get into the mental state you need to be in, physically be more comfortable with massage, help suggest the best positions and comfort measures to cope with pain whether in or out of bed, with or without epidural. If you have a support person involved, having a labor doula can also make them feel more at ease, not only to show them how they can be more effective with hands on techniques and emotional support, in each of the stages of labor (as we practice this in the prenatal meetings at home), but also is very helpful for partners /spouses to know someone is there supporting their needs too. For ex: if they need a nap during a long labor, to run home to check on a pet, a child, etc, or just to grab food in the cafeteria to take a breath, take a break and move their legs to prevent them from getting woozy, etc. they can feel comfortable taking some time away knowing you're in the best hands with your doula. Your partner knows you best and your doula knows birth best, so together we make a great team to help you through the labor process. As your doula, I’m here to support you 24/7 through phone, text, email once you hire me. Call or email today for a consult on how I can best serve you and your family!

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