You’ve taken that first pregnancy test and it comes back positive!! Yippie! But, now what do you do? Pregnancy can be such a foreign concept to those who are experiencing it for the first time, so here is a list of items to tackle, now that you are expecting!
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1. Tell your Husband/Spouse/Boyfriend/etc.
There are so many fun ways to share the news, but it’s important to let them know one way or another! Whether you capture the next viral video, or you just blurt it out, hopefully, they can enjoy this exciting time with you. My husband was in the next room while I was taking the test, and heard “OH MY GOSH!” before he came running in. We were both ecstatic, and a little bit shocked, but it was great having this huge secret just between us.
2. Decide when to announce to family, friends, coworkers, etc.
You don’t have to announce to everyone all at one time. It is okay to share the secret with certain people first. Some expecting parents decide to wait until the risk goes down after that 12-week mark, while others shout it from the rooftops right away. There is no wrong answer, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to either wait or reveal if you don’t feel comfortable with it. Just make sure you and your significant other are on the same page.
3. Schedule your first appointment.
Before you can do this, you might have to make some decisions. Do you want a Midwife or OBGYN to oversee your prenatal care? Do you prefer to deliver in a hospital, at home, or in a Birth Center? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, the following posts might help you make that decision! Most doctors can book up quickly so call early and schedule that first appointment. Most practices will want to see you at around 6 to 8 weeks.
4. Start taking prenatal vitamins.
Your body is now in charge of giving your baby all of their vitamins and nutrients. It is possible to get all of the necessary nutrients from your diet, but extremely unlikely. The best thing to do is take a vitamin daily to ensure you are getting everything your baby needs. This is an article by Pharmacy Times on “Recommending Prenatal Vitamins: A Pharmacist’s Guide”. It does a great job of comparing the recommended dosages between four of the top entities:
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
The main difference between a prenatal vitamin and a multivitamin is that prenatals usually contain more folic acid (or folate) which prevents neural tube defects and is an important supplement, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. Prenatals also contain more iron, as it is typical for your iron levels to decrease during pregnancy.
If you are feeling nauseous, try changing the time of day that you take your vitamins. I always took mine at night after dinner, and this can help with aiding the nausea. Taking the prenatals in the morning, before food, can make your stomach more unsettled than it already is. Some doctors will prescribe a prenatal vitamin while others will have you pick them up on your own. Check with your prenatal care provider and ask for recommendations on certain brands.
5. Invest in a quality tumbler
It is so important to stay hydrated and drink lots of water not only during pregnancy, but postpartum as well. Becoming dehydrated during pregnancy can cause some discomfort, and can even trigger some false contractions. I purchased a very nice Yeti 30oz tumbler to carry with me everywhere!
I normally hate ice water (my teeth are super sensitive), but even during my winter pregnancy, I was obsessed with ice-cold water. The colder, the better! The Yeti was perfect because my ice would stay frozen all day long, even throughout my summer breastfeeding months this was a must-have.
6. Look into Daycare!
If you are planning on going back to work, you will want to start checking out daycares as soon as possible. Some locations have wait lists that span close to a year; meaning people have signed up before they even get pregnant. It’s never too early to start the search, and you can even make a few calls to find out what the waitlist looks like. If they are not super impacted in your area, it will at least give you an idea of when to get your name on the list.
I have a full post on the different types of daycare, tips for helping you make the decision, and questions to ask during your tour HERE.
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7. Start a Pregnancy Journal
I started mine on google docs so I could access it from my phone. At the end of each week, I would log on and write up everything that happened. It is so awesome to be able to look back and see exactly how that first doctor’s appointment, when my son kicked me for the first time, or the first set of hiccups. You can talk about anything you want, and you will definitely appreciate having it later, especially during your next pregnancy (if you want a next)!
8. Take milestone photos
Along with writing in a journal, you should also start taking milestone photos! You can even insert the photo into the journal if you want to get fancy. As you go through pregnancy, you don’t feel much of a difference day-by-day. It’s not until you look back at the previous weeks’ photos that you see the huge changes your body is making. Whether you share these with everyone on social media, or you keep them to yourself, you should at least take the photo and decide what to do with them later.
9. Make some diet changes
Some foods are not recommended during pregnancy due to a few different reasons. The main one being the chance of listeria (aka food poisoning). The following was pulled from the American College of Gynecology (ACOG):
“To help prevent listeriosis, avoid eating the following foods while you are pregnant:
- Unpasteurized milk and foods made with unpasteurized milk, including soft cheeses
- Hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless they are heated until steaming hot just before serving
- Refrigerated pâté and meat spreads
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
- Unwashed raw produce such as fruits and vegetables
Avoid all raw and undercooked seafood, eggs, meat, and poultry while you are pregnant. Do not eat sushi made with raw fish (cooked sushi is safe).
Cooking and pasteurization are the only ways to kill Listeria.”
10. Start doing light exercises
If you are feeling a bit nauseous, the last thing on your mind might be exercising. However, doing some light pregnancy exercises, stretches, and yoga can help with how you feel during pregnancy and might improve your labor.
Pregnancy Yoga for Sciatica and Low Back Pain:
Pregnancy Exercises – First Trimester Workout:
You can also research how to do a kegel, which has been shown to improve your pregnancy and birth. Women who did kegels regularly during pregnancy claim to have an easier birth, and have better bladder control during pregnancy. During the third trimester, it is common for women to lose bladder control, resulting in some embarrassing moments. The American Pregnancy Association explains what a kegel is, and how to strengthen that muscle in their article “Kegel Exercises”.
11. Get a bellaband
Someday soon, your pants are going to feel a little more snug than normal. There are plenty of hacks like using a hair tie to button your pants or living in yoga pants. However, I loved my bellaband and used it so often throughout my whole pregnancy. Even if you aren’t showing quite yet, your stomach will most likely start to feel bloated, making your jeans a little uncomfortable. I have a full review of the Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband HERE.
12. Talk to your significant other about sharing
Make sure the two of you are on the same page as to what you want to share with others, and what you want to keep to yourself. Do you want to find out the gender? Will you tell others? Are you going to tell people Baby’s name? It doesn’t matter what you decide, as long as you come to the conclusion together. You don’t want one person sharing the gender with everyone, while the other wanted to keep it a surprise.
If you are impatient (like me), you can check out my full review of the Sneak Peek gender test that you can take as early as 9 weeks pregnant!
13. Download an app to track the development
I loved the what to expect app. It gives daily updates on your Baby’s development, articles for you to read, and a forum where you can connect with other expecting moms with similar due dates. It’s a great way to ask simple questions (leave the important ones to your doctor) and feel a sense of community during this time.
14. Start doing research, reading, and listening to podcasts.
There is so much that goes into pregnancy and parenting! When you find out you’re pregnant, it’s important to start doing some research so you can make informed decisions about your body and your baby. Here are some great resources for you to check out:
If you are planning for a natural birth, you should check out this amazing guide. It covers advice, tips, and techniques for achieving an unmedicated birth.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, this book should be your first step. This guide covers everything there is to know about succeeding in your breastfeeding goals.
This is a great choice for those who want to learn a little more about pregnancy from a trusted source. It also includes a pregnancy calendar and symptom guide.
- The Growing Our Family Podcast – I might be a little biased since this is my podcast, but I feel like there is a lot of great information on there for moms! You can check out the pregnancy edition or listen in to the parenting podcast to see what’s ahead!
- The Birth Hour with Bryn Huntpalmer – This is a great podcast full of real labor and delivery stories. Everything from natural home births to scheduled c-sections, and everything in between. It really does a great job of giving you a realistic view on birth.
- The Birthful Podcast with Adriana Lozada – She is a birth doula who interviews other birth experts to inform your intuition.
- Pregnancy Podcast with Vanessa Merten – This podcast focuses on evidence-based information to navigate your way through pregnancy, birth, and being a new parent.
- PregTASTIC Online radio – This podcast is full of information, opinions, different perspectives, and expert advice from pregnancy professionals.
- Preggie Pals on the Parents On Demand network – I love this whole series. In addition to Preggies Pals, they have Twin Talk, Boob Group, Newbies, and Parent Savers. It has a panel of people relevant to that episode and they talk about the issues at hand.
- Bonus** Dad University with Jason Kreidman – A great podcast for dads where he focuses a lot on empathy, supporting moms, and learning how to take care of a baby!
15. Buy your first baby item!
The last item of the list is to do a little bit of shopping! They have some extremely cute gender neutral outfits that you can purchase or buy your first baby book. This is such an exciting time for expecting parents, so you should take a moment and celebrate a bit!
Although it seems like it will be forever before you get to meet your little one, the day will be here before you know it! Take some time to yourself and make sure not to forget about YOU and your wellbeing. Try to get some extra rest, take that midday nap, and enjoy the good moments while you can! Good luck momma!
If you want to learn more about the 1st trimester, check out my blog post HERE!
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