One tiny pink line on a pregnancy test just told you that your life is about to change forever: you’re pregnant!!! Here’s what to do next.
Even though you’re probably excited, the first trimester can be one of the most overwhelming times during your pregnancy. Although you’re anxious to make an appointment with your provider, most of the time they won’t see you until eight weeks or later. So, what do you do until then? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Choose Your Provider and Give Them a Call
Like I mentioned, many OBs and midwives won’t schedule your first prenatal appointment until further into your pregnancy. But, deciding who you want to take care of you during this amazing journey is important. If you already have a provider you love, great! If not, do some research. Ask your friends who they loved (or didn’t love). After you choose, give them a call and get that first appointment on the calendar.
Calculate Your Due Date
The first few days and weeks of pregnancy can seem surreal. You may not have any symptoms yet, and of course, aren’t sporting the tell-tale sign of pregnancy: a blossoming belly. So, it’s nice to know when your little one will actually arrive. There are some great due date calculators online, like this one. Just keep in mind, the due date could more accurately be referred to as a “guess date” – most babies don’t arrive right on schedule.
Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin
Prenatal vitamins are important for you and your baby. Even though you may already be putting a higher priority on eating healthy, taking prenatal vitamins will help to fill in any “gaps” in nutrition. When looking for a prenatal vitamin, it’s especially important to make sure they contain folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium.
Decide Who You Want to Tell – And When
Deciding when to spill the beans about your pregnancy can be a very personal decision. Some people like to share the news as soon as they can. Others choose to keep their pregnancy a secret until the second trimester when the risk for miscarriage decreases dramatically. You may want to share with a handful of trusted friends and family before truly “going public”. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a decision that you’re comfortable with.
Prepare for Early Symptoms
Thankfully, not everyone will experience uncomfortable symptoms. However, the first trimester is notorious for being unpleasant. You may experience nausea and vomiting (misleadingly known as “morning sickness”, it can strike any time during the day), fatigue, frequent trips to the restroom, tender breasts, heartburn, or constipation. Knowing what’s coming and preparing yourself ahead of time can help make the symptoms less bothersome.
Take Precautions with What You Put in Your Body
If you are on any medications, check in with your doctor to make sure they safe for pregnancy; if they’re not, ask about alternatives. There are also certain foods that you should avoid while pregnant, including raw meat, certain types of seafood, soft cheeses, and, of course, alcohol. There are other foods that you need to choose with caution or should only eat in small amounts.
Call Your Doula
Many clients wait until later in the second or third trimester to call their doula to schedule birth or postpartum services. However, it can be very beneficial to reach out earlier on in your pregnancy. You’ll know you’re booked and on their calendar; one thing checked off your list! Plus, many doulas offer unlimited phone and/or email support. Therefore, the earlier you register, the more support you’ll receive. You’ll have extra time to build a great rapport with your doula so she’ll be a trusted confidant once the big day arrives.
Don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the ride! Take some pictures, start a pregnancy journal, treat yourself to a massage, and take as much time as you need to rest and relax. Pregnancy is a unique time in your life. Savor it as much as you can.