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Recognizing Pregnancy Symptoms in Northern California

A missed period is the most widely known sign of pregnancy. However, some women have symptoms of pregnancy before they even miss a period. Remember, a missed period can be due to things other than pregnancy. 

At Dignity Health North State, we’re all about babies — and we want to make the pregnancy experience as comfortable as possible for both you and your little one. We offer maternity centers at our hospitals to make sure both of you get the care you need every step of the way. Find a Doctor who can diagnose your pregnancy symptoms in Northern California today.


Early Signs of Pregnancy

Besides a missed period, the most common signs of pregnancy include: 

  • Nausea with or without vomiting. Nearly a quarter of women remember nausea as their first pregnancy symptom. Morning sickness is common in pregnancy, but doesn’t affect all women. 
  • Swollen, tender breasts. Early in pregnancy your breasts may feel larger or fuller than usual. They may also be extremely sensitive. 
  • Mood swings. Hormone levels change quickly during early pregnancy and can cause mood swings.
  • Fatigue. Levels of the hormone progesterone increase sharply in early pregnancy. Progesterone makes you feel sleepy.
  • Food cravings or aversions. Pregnancy can cause you to become more sensitive to certain tastes and smells. You may suddenly find the thought of a former favorite food sickening or you may start to crave certain foods. 
  • Frequent urination. Increasing hormone levels can cause you to have to empty your bladder more frequently.
  • Headaches. Hormone spikes trigger headaches in early pregnancy in some women.

If you have any of these symptoms — and they continue over time or you suspect you might be pregnant — it’s time to talk to your doctor about a pregnancy test. 


Pregnancy Tests at Dignity Health North State

Pregnancy tests measure human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that’s present in rapidly increasing amounts in the early days and weeks of pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotropin can be detected by blood tests and urine tests. 

Home pregnancy tests use a stick you dip into a container of urine or hold in your urine stream. Follow the directions carefully. For the most accurate result, you need to wait the allotted amount of time before reading the test.

Some at-home pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy even before you miss a period. However, the results are more reliable if you test with your first morning urine about a week after a missed period.

Even if you decide to use at-home pregnancy test, your doctor will need to confirm it. It’s important to begin prenatal care as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Talk to you doctor about how to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible during this exciting time. 

Dignity Health North State can confirm pregnancy symptoms in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.