Woman dream for years of becoming pregnant and seeing that positive pregnancy test; while for others, it takes them by surprise. Whichever way it plays out for you, finding out you’re pregnant is a life changing moment filled with various emotions. Your body could be pumping with joy and excitement or you could be feeling anxious and confused. Whatever the case, the biggest question you might have right now is “What should I do after finding out I’m pregnant?”
We are here to help! Here are some things to do after finding out you’re pregnant.
Tell your partner
There are many creative and interesting ways to tell your partner about your new addition. If this pregnancy was planned, then I can imagine that you are bubbling with excitement. You could simply tell him the good news, or you could choose a more creative path. You have options from custom t-shirts to romantic dinners to writing on your baby bump. The possibilities are endless.
But if this pregnancy is a little more on the unexpected side, you could be experiencing mixed emotions- feeling anxious or confused. But hope is not lost. Take the time out to sit down your partner and discuss the future together, share your news and you will know where you both stand in this new life. During a time like this, it is very important to have your partner’s support and a shoulder to lean on.
Calculate your baby’s due date
One of the most important things the doctor will ask is when was your last menstrual period. You would then have to state when it began and ended and if it was light or normal. In our technologically advanced world, you won’t have to draw for pen and paper to calculate it yourself, there are many apps that can do the work for you. You just have to input the data and in seconds, your date has been estimated. Apps such as Baby Centre, the Bump and What to expect are excellent options for weekly and monthly updates on your progress. These give you a timeline until you meet your little one and shows the different stages your body and baby will go through in the process.
Schedule a prenatal appointment with your doctor
This step is one of the most important things you should do in the early stages of your pregnancy. A prenatal appointment with your doctor will get you started on the right track for prenatal care. Some doctors may request you go in soon while others may recommend waiting until a few weeks have passed. During this stage, you can also consider your options for care and birthing.
But what should I expect at my first doctor’s visit?
At your first doctor’s appointment, you will be examined by the OBGYN and your urine tested to further confirm the pregnancy. The doctor will then question you to find out any illnesses or issues you may be having. He or she may also provide you with pamphlets and reading materials to provide you with information needed for the next few months.
This appointment is more an information session than anything else. Therefore, use this time to ask any questions you may have about the pregnancy and disclose any medications you have been taking to get confirmation if they are still safe to used during pregnancy. If they are not safe, your doctor will provide alternatives or recommend you to someone who can.
Take your prenatal vitamins
Your doctor might prescribe a set of prenatal vitamins or recommend a brand from your local pharmacy. These vitamins are crucial during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins help to ensure a healthy pregnancy. They are packed with folic acid which is an important source of folate to help protect against birth defects. The earlier you start to take these vitamins the better as there is a higher risk of birth defects in the first trimester of pregnancy. Here are some great prenatal vitamins to take and gummies. Just talk to your doctor first.
Manage your pregnancy symptoms
During the first few weeks of pregnancy, most women begin to experience some sort of morning sickness or nausea. This can last all day or occur at different times throughout the day, but they won’t last forever. By the end of the first trimester, things should be a little easier. But of course, this will vary based on the person.
Some ways to manage morning sickness and nausea include:
- Ginger- Drinking ginger tea or ginger ale is a great way to ease nausea.
- Crackers- The starch in crackers help to reduce nausea. Just eat a few and it can work wonders
- Lemon water- Dehydration can also contribute to the nauseating feeling, but drinking lemon water would surely hit the spot. The taste of lemon can help to provide nausea relief while the water itself is keeping you hydrated. A win-win!
For other types of symptoms such as fatigue and breast tenderness would be helped by getting adequate rest. Each pregnancy is different, and the symptoms manifest differently, so it is important to do your reading and find which method helps you the most
Develop healthier habits
Pregnancy usually signifies the time for big changes and a healthier lifestyle is high on that list. Some ways to live a healthier lifestyle include:
- Exercise- This gets the body moving and increases blood flow to all areas. It can also help to boost mood and reduce pregnancy fatigue.
- Eating a balanced diet- More fruits and vegetables must be incorporated into the daily diet to ensure the baby is getting proper nutrition. This also means eating less junk food and coffee and drinking more water.
- Prenatal vitamins- Do not forget to take them daily!
- No smoking or drinking- These habits must be broken as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Alcohol and other forms of drugs can cross the placenta and cause birth defects in the baby.
Planning and Saving
Now that we have discussed the self-care and doctor visits, it is time to start planning and saving. First you would want to check in with your insurance to get an idea of what is covered, what is not and what you will have to pay out of pocket throughout. This could possibly include tests at the doctor’s office, c-section fees, anesthesia fees etc. Finding out this information will also allow you to fine tune your birth plan by checking if insurance covers alternate methods like home births or doulas.
This would also be a good time to double check your work’s maternity leave policy. It is important to know how much paid time off you will be granted and what to do if you require more. Maternity leave policies vary based on employers but generally a 2-3 months paid leave is granted. Do your research on your own job so that when you decide to disclose your pregnancy to your boss, you already know what their policy is like.
Additionally, saving is important. You will now have to provide for a whole human being and things are expensive. When you calculate the cost of a nursery, plus a car seat or even having to move to a bigger house, the dollars can start piling up. Saving more will ensure that you are able to properly take care of your child when he or she comes. It would also be good to research baby products and see which ones are good and if they fit your budget. The key is to never spend above your means.
Note: Do not overwhelm yourself, take everything in stages. The researching, planning and saving can be done throughout the course of your pregnancy and does not have to be done all at once. Remembering this helps to ease the pressure off your shoulders as things tend to get overwhelming at times.
Tell your family and friends
We all need support and during pregnancy, we need it two-fold- here is where family and friends come in. Announcing your pregnancy to your friends and family can be nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time. Persons usually wait until after the first trimester has passed before they share their good news as the risk of miscarriages are lowered then.
But ultimately, whenever you decide to tell your family and friends is up to you. You could get creative and post a cute baby bump photo on your social media or keep very private and only tell your closest companions.
Take pictures and enjoy
During pregnancy, you will see your body morph and change like you have never seen before. But don’t be sad or alarmed. Grab your phone or camera and start recording! Take pictures of your beautiful body and record your pregnancy experiences. These will serve as exciting memories and you will enjoy the ride. Show off yourself, be bold and be you, after all, you are creating a whole new human inside that tummy.