What to Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant for the First Time
You ran through a list of super early pregnancy signs.You got that faint (or glaring) second line on a pregnancy test and now you KNOW- you’re pregnant! Congratulations 🙂
First off, take some time to process and celebrate. Order your favorite meal in, watch a fun movie (have you seen Saved?) and just let your brain try to process what is happening. And make sure you check out this list of no fluff pregnancy essentials 🙂
Next, it’s time to think about practical things to do when you know you’re pregnant:
- Schedule a doctor’s appointment.
- Decide who you are willing to share the news with (early).
- Start a prenatal vitamin.
- Quit smoking/drinking alcohol.
- Stop cleaning out your cats litter box.
- Avoid raw fish and deli meats.
- Start a baby registry.
- Start gaining knowledge about pregnancy, labor and birth.
- Begin a pregnancy journal.
When Should You Go to the Doctor After a Positive Pregnancy Test?
Make an appoint with your doctor so that they can confirm and give you medical advice on your next steps.
It’s important to make the appointment for as soon as possible, especially if it’s your first pregnancy.
Bring any questions you might have- write them down or start a note in your phone so you don’t forget!
When is it Safe to Announce Your Pregnancy?
There is a 10-15% chance of having a miscarriage in any pregnancy. Most of these occur before 12 weeks.
The people who I trusted and wanted to share in my pain if I had a miscarriage- those are the people I told early.
This was my mom and two close friends.
Everyone else I told after 12 weeks.
A miscarriage is devastating. We all pray it won’t happen to us but the truth is that is does happen sometimes. It’s good to be realistic about it.
If you can’t imagine telling someone about a miscarriage, don’t tell them you’re pregnant before 12 weeks.
Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin
It really is important to start taking a prenatal vitamin right away- they contain important nutrients for your tiny babe and for YOU!
- Folic acid– this reduces the chance of birth defects like spina bifida. It also helps your baby’s spinal cord and brain to develop properly.
- Calcium– did you know that your baby will actually take calcium from your bones and teeth? It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough to keep your bones and teeth strong.
- Iron– this helps your blood bring oxygen to your baby.
Quit Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
If you are smoking, please consult your doctor about what to do and how to quit safely. I happened to quit smoking before I found out I was pregnant and I did it without any pharmaceutical help- try reading this book. (I’ve actually bought 8 copies of this book and given them to people who are trying to quit smoking- it’s insane how it works!)
Definitely stop consuming alcohol immediately.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause stillbirth, FASDs and miscarriage.
Exercising during pregnancy has a lot of benefits:
- Better sleep.
- Increases energy.
- Improves your mood.
- Reduces back aches.
- Will help you to be able to cope with labor and birth!
If you haven’t been exercising, don’t worry about starting some crazy routine right away. Calm down, process this life change and then slowly start adding in walks or yoga- whatever you WANT to do.
Find something you enjoy!
It IS important though- being active throughout your pregnancy will help you during labor and birth.
It’s almost like training for one the hardest things you’ll ever do- physically and emotionally.
Stop Cleaning Out the Litter Box
There is a parasite that lives in cat poop and the litter box that can cause toxoplasmosis.
It’s rare but if you happen to get it, it can pass to your unborn baby and cause stillbirth or miscarriage.
So if your partner is putting up a fuss, show them the facts.
Avoid Raw Fish and Deli Meats
Both raw fish and deli meats have a higher chance of being contaminated and are very much best to avoid while pregnant.
Deli meats can contain listeria which can cause miscarriage.
Raw fish/meat have the risk of being contaminated with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis and salmonella.
Start a Baby Registry
A baby registry is nice because you can add all the things you need and when you let friends and family shop from your registry, there is less chance of people getting doubles or too many of something.
When you sign up for Amazon’s Baby Registry you actually get a free 35$ welcome box of free stuff 🙂
Start Gaining Knowledge
There is something I deeply regret after becoming pregnant with my first child and that is not researching or taking any classes.
I thought that being pregnant and having a baby was natural and therefore I would be fine.
It was okay, but there were moments during labor/birth that I really wish I had known certain things so I could advocate for myself better or known what to do and trust myself.
Knowledge is power. Take a really good prenatal class, read a some books you trust and ask your doctor lots of questions.
Hilary has been an OB nurse since 2001 and offers a free prenatal course you can take online from the comfort of your home- very worth it. She knows her stuff and is very down to Earth- grab her prenatal course here.
Some pregnancy books that will help you:
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- Nurture– a modern guide to pregnancy and birth.
You can start a free audible trial and get all the above books for free (just cancel your trial before it’s over- I think it’s 30 days.)
Start a Pregnancy Journal
This is a huge, life changing event. It’s fun to look back and see how you were feeling during your first pregnancy.
This pregnancy journal has it all laid out week by week and offers a place for ultrasound and bump photos.
Seriously, if you are pregnant, CONGRATS!!! It’s scary, life changing and amazing! You are going to rock this. And if you find yourself not rocking it, you find yourself some people that GET you and understand that not everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time.
There will be highs and lows- just like anything in life. Embrace the highs. Embrace the lows. You got this.