The pregnancy test says positive. OMG, now what do you do? Here, ten things to do in those first several weeks of having a baby in your belly.
Take another pregnancy test.
If you have any doubts about whether or not you are truly pregnant, take another pregnancy test. Some people, especially first-time moms, just want that reassurance before they start to plan next steps.
However, you should know that false positives are much less likely than false negatives. Meaning, if you get a positive pregnancy test, it indicates that the pregnancy hormone, beta-hcg is detected, and you are most likely pregnant. Even if your pregnancy test shows a very faint line. This is exactly what happened to me during one of my pregnancies — I had two lines, the second being very faint, but clearly present.
START TAKING A PRENATAL VITAMIN
Most docs will actually recommend you start taking this as soon as you let them know you’re trying to conceive. Why? The nutrients are essential to your baby’s development, in particular in the first four weeks. Look for a supplement that contains at least 400 milligrams of folic acid (crucial to the baby’s brain health) and an omega-3 of DHA (this helps with visual and cognitive growth).
CALL YOUR OB-GYN
Even though the pregnancy test came back positive, most gynecologists won’t see you until six to eights after your last period. Still, it makes sense to call now and book an appointment so you’re on the schedule and they can run through any recommendations for the first six weeks over the phone.
THEN CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
You’ll want to get a sense of what’s covered and what’s not, based on your plan, so that you can start budgeting early for any high-deductible expenses. (Even a high deductible can catch you off guard.) Important details to confirm include finding out the portion of hospital bills they’ll pay for, as well as prescribed medical tests. It also never hurts to triple check that your OB-GYN is in network.
This may seem obvious but it can sometimes be hard to find time for some extra z’s. So keep this in mind when planning out your week. Early weekend brunch plans? Push them back an hour or so, you are growing another human after all.
START MOURNING ALL THE FOODS YOU CAN NO LONGER EAT
RIP soft cheeses, lunch meats, raw seafood and, ugh, wine.
AND CHECK THE INGREDIENT LABELS ON YOUR MAKEUP
The major one to be on the lookout for is phthalates, which are chemicals often found in beauty products that can be harmful to the development of your baby’s organs. If you find a product on your shelf with this included, find a replacement stat.
PACK YOUR PURSE WITH WATER AND SNACKS
Your hormones are raging thanks to the little one now growing in your belly. As a result, it’s tough to predict when your blood sugar will suddenly hit a low. The best defense is to carry snacks (and water) in your bag at all times. Something as simple as a pack of almonds or piece of fruit should do the trick in a pinch.
Start healthier habits.
Along with your prenatal visit, one of the top things on your first trimester to-do list should be beginning healthier lifestyle habits in terms of nutrition, exercise and activities.
The first trimester is the MOST critical in terms of development — and if all goes well, chances of miscarriage drop dramatically after the third month.
PEEP YOUR COMPANY’S MATERNITY LEAVE POLICY
Unless they’re dealing with horrible morning sickness, most women wait until the end of their first trimester to share any baby news at work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at your company’s maternity leave options. In a perfect world, you have a copy of the employee handbook—which usually spells all this out—but, worst case scenario, you could also casually email HR. (The convo is confidential, after all.)
TELL YOUR PARENTS (OR NOT)
When you share the news is totally up to you and your partner. But we’re firm believers in the virtues of telling a close family member or friend early on. It can be comforting to tell someone who’s been through it before, especially when your mind is reeling with emotions and worries and questions that you’d rather not email your doctor about at all hours of the night.
TAKE A PICTURE OF YOURSELF
In a few short weeks, you’re going to start, um, expanding. Take a picture of your not-yet-baby-bump now so that when the going gets huge, you can look back and remember how you were at the very beginning.