So you’re pregnant! Now What?!
From the minute you pee on the stick and get positive result that you’re pregnant, your life is changed forever! You may have planned this pregnancy, prayed for it, tried for a long time or be pleasantly surprised! However you arrived to this moment, now that you know you’re pregnant, you might be wondering what’s next! Even if you’ve been pregnant before, time can make it easy to forget. So, here is my list of the top things to do once you find out your expecting!
1. First off, do a happy dance! You are now growing a little person inside of you. It’s exciting, terrifying and an amazing adventure to embark on! Get happy, girl and dance with your spouse on this beautiful news!
2. Find out when your due date is. That’s simply looking up when the date of the first day of your last period and plugging it into an online due date calendar like this one: Now mark it in your calendar!
3. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor. When you do, mention that you got a positive pregnancy test and then you can schedule a blood test at your doctor’s office to confirm your results.
4. Hang tight and start educating yourself. What I mean is, once you find out you’re pregnant, your body KNOWS what to do and there’s little you can do to control the outcome. That being said, you’ll want to do some research into the kind of health care you want for your pregnancy and birth. Have you thought about where you’d like to give birth? Did you know you can choose between birthing at home, in a birthing center, or at a hospital? Some women have never thought about it or assume they know the answer until they are actually pregnant and do some research and then they might change their minds based on learning the differences between midwifery and OBGYN maternal care.
I personally chose to give birth at home and that worked great for me! But, I also know it’s not for everyone and so I encourage you to figure out what IS for you. Check out my list of favorite books for expecting families HERE to get your education under way.
5. Get on a prenatal vitamin. You’ll want to switch from your regular multivitamin to a high quality prenatal, which provides the right levels of folic acid, iron, iodine and calcium, all important nutrients for an expecting mama. One preferred brand is Ritual Prenatal.
6. Decide with your partner when you want to share the news. Many couples wait until they enter their 2nd trimester to share the news publicly, like making announcements at work, online or with their larger social circle. The reason is because the risk of miscarriage drops significantly at the end of the 1st trimester (10-12 weeks). Besides for being a security measure, there IS something special about having only the most important people in your life know the news, like a special secret.
7. Tell your insurance that you’re pregnant and look into your work’s maternity leave options and coverage. If you don’t want to tell anyone at work yet, you could just say that you and your partner are hoping to start a family and you want to re-acquaint yourself with the business’ maternity policies.
8. Get stocked up on some basic First trimester must haves. Every pregnancy is different and you may or may not experience the typical 1st trimester symptoms like morning sickness or nausea. But, just to be safe, it’s a great idea to have a few things on hand: Ginger Ale, Bubble Water, Kind Bars (simple protein bars to stave away hunger without needing to eat a full meal), Saltines, Sea Band Mama!, ginger candies or mints, Peppermint Tea.
Make Your Self Care #1 - Being pregnant takes a lot of energy and once you have your baby, you’ll be doubly consumed, leaving what feels like little time for taking care of yourself. If you start making self care a priority during your pregnancy it’ll be that much easier once you have your baby, too!
Some self care basics include:
Daily Movement - prenatal yoga or walking are a great place to start (and end)
Nutrition - start drinking a lot of water, even if it makes you pee a ton! Keep yourself full of healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains.
Weekly or bi-weekly treats - book yourself a massage or a mani-pedi on a regular basis, meet up with a friend for coffee, go to a nearby bookstore or go see a movie at 11 am! You’ll be glad you did!
Sleep - you may start to feel extra tired once you’re pregnant. Be kind to yourself and plan on getting as much sleep as you can fit in, going to sleep early or even taking naps during the day.
Those are my top tips for what to do when you find out you’re pregnant. Congratulations and don't forget to enjoy this journey!
Rivkah Leah Gelb, Newborn & Family Photographer