Just found out you’re pregnant and not sure what to do next? Here are some things to do when you find out you are pregnant to help you prepare and stay calm!
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).
Decide when to announce your pregnancy
I always wait to announce my pregnancies publicly until the second trimester. I think family is okay to tell, but it can be smart not to tell the whole world until after the first trimester is over.
Yes, it’s hard not to tell your friends as soon as you find out you are pregnant but try not to post it to Facebook just yet. One of my biggest fears is having to go back and tell people that something has happened and you have had a miscarriage. The baby is most vulnerable during the first 12 weeks you are pregnant, and after the first trimester, the chance of a miscarriage drops dramatically (down to 10-15% of all known pregnancies).
Everyone is different and you may decide to tell people as soon as you find out, but think about where your support system lies in the small chance that something does happen.
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.
Take lots of pictures
This sort of goes along with documenting your pregnancy, but it is really fun to take lots of pictures. You can do weekly pictures or monthly pictures. With all of my pregnancies, I took a picture every two or three weeks. It’s fun to see how you grow, and you can even get creative with a little sign or use your computer to put in the text.
This also makes it so you can compare what you looked like with different pregnancies, and you can see how much sooner and bigger you are the second time around! And get Dad and other kids involved, too. There are lots of cute pictures I have seen on Pinterest with kids kissing their mom’s belly or with a couple maternity shoots. Just take lots of pictures!
Use lotion early and everywhere
During my first pregnancy, my skin decided that it was going to have stretch marks all over. And I mean all over. My chest, my thighs, my butt, and yes, my stomach. So as soon as I started seeing those little lines I started slathering on Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and Palmer’s Tummy Butter. And while I still had the stretch marks, I think it definitely helped me not to get them as bad as they could have been.
So, my advice would be to use lotion early and everywhere, because you don’t know where you are going to get those stretch marks, especially if it is your first pregnancy. You will go through a lot of it and it’s not the cheapest stuff, but it really is worth it!
Check The Ingredients 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.
Find a workout plan and stick to it
Not only is it important to work out when you aren’t pregnant, but it is also important to stay healthy and workout while you are pregnant! Your body is going through a lot of changes and you want to keep it healthy. When I was pregnant the first time I used the stretches and exercises in the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book and I did them every day. They helped me stay flexible and I think especially the ones that strengthen your pelvic floor helped me have really fast delivery.