Pregnant! Now What Should You Do? All Of The Things You Need To Know
Now that you are pregnant, you may be wondering what to do next. What are you supposed to eat? What type of doctor should you visit? What type of problems should you look out for? Where is the baby going to sleep? What type of European baby formula should you buy? These along with a million more are probably floating around in your head, but thankfully we have the answers to help you get started on your journey to motherhood.
Pinpoint Your Approximate Due Date
Using an online due date calculator, enter your cycle details to pin down the approximate date your little bundle of joy will make an appearance. This will give you a great way to plan the rest of your pregnancy, gestation milestones, and doctors appointments. It will also help you plan your new baby purchases accordingly.
Select A OB/GYN
One of the most important things on your list should be selecting a doctor to monitor your health and the health of your growing child for the duration of your pregnancy. Make sure that you choose one that aligns with your personal ideals and one that you feel comfortable with. During the course of your pregnancy, you will spend a lot of time with your chosen doctor, so it’s very important that you make the best match possible. After selecting a doctor, go ahead and set up your first prenatal appointment.
Announce Or Keep It Private
While it may not seem like a big thing, deciding when or if you want to announce your pregnancy is something that you and your partner should decide together. Many couples choose to announce their pregnancy right away, while others may wait until after the tenuous first trimester has passed safely. Other’s may choose to wait before letting anyone know due to work pressure or simply because they prefer to keep the news private as long as possible. Whatever your reasons may be, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page to avoid miscommunications down the road.
Ditch Bad Habits
Most people have at least one bad habit and some may less harmful than others. If you happen to be a smoker, the moment you find out you are pregnant is the moment you should seek help to quit. The same goes for alcohol, your baby’s growth can be negatively affected due to the consumption alcohol so it’s better to avoid it until after you have given birth. A few other habits should also be avoided such as recreational drug use, heavy weight lifting, the consumption of exotic foods and any other activities that may be harmful to your health during pregnancy.
Start A Budget
Babies are a true joy, but they also have a whole new set of expenses that come along with them. Take some time to sit down and plan out an expense budget for your first year. This should factor in health insurance, medications, diapers, formula, baby meals, outings, clothing, and everything else you will need during their first year of life. This will allow you to start saving in advance to avoid stress later on.
Take Care Of Your Health
When you only have to think about yourself, skipping a meal or staying up late may not have that much of a negative effect on your short term health. Once you are nurturing a child, you have to take extra care now that you are living for the both of you. Taking prenatal vitamins, folic acid supplements, eating well-rounded meals and topping up on lots of sleep are all essential parts of a healthy pregnancy.
Think About Baby Names
Naming your baby is one of the best parts of your pregnancy journey. What may seem easy on the surface may well turn out to be much more time consuming and difficult that you can ever imagine. Make a list of names you like and ask your partner to do the same. If you are so inclined, you can even ask for input from your family and friends. Spend your pregnancy narrowing down the list until you find the perfect one for your upcoming bundle of joy.
Prepare For Changes
Everyone’s pregnancy journey is slightly different but there are some common changes that you should expect to see such as:
- Larger Breast
- Stretch Marks
- Longer, Thicker Hair
- Acne Breakouts
- Sensitivity To Smells & Food
- And so much more...
There are many more changes you can expect along the way, but these are some of the most common. Your baby changes quickly as they grow, and your body will change just as quickly in an attempt to keep up.
Plan Your Pregnancy
Now that you have a few things on your list, the next thing you should do is educate yourself about what to expect during each stage of your pregnancy so you can plan accordingly.
Your first trimester lasts for 12 weeks and starts on the first day of your last period. Most people are already 4-5 weeks pregnant by the time they find out. In the first trimester your babies bones, heart, and other organs are being formed. Most mothers will be able to hear their child’s heartbeat by the end of these 12 weeks. Morning sickness usually makes itself known as do tender breast, mood swings and aversion to some foods and smells.
The second trimester consists of weeks 13- 28 of gestation. During these three months, you can expect to get a boost in energy as well as see your morning sickness subside. Along with your second trimester comes blood test to check your nutrition levels and several ultrasound sessions to ensure your little one is growing properly. It’s also a good idea to start planning for where you want to give birth to your child-- at home or at the hospital. Your little one will have learned to yawn and to hiccup by this ace, and towards the middle of this trimester, you will start to feel their robust acrobatics.
The third trimester, the home stretch, start from week 29 and end at the birth of your child. During this stage, you can expect to keep your same energy levels, but you will notice that your movements slow down as your size increases. You will also start to get excited with the thought of holding your new bundle in your arms. Most mothers will begin nesting towards the end of this trimester. You will want to make sure you always sleep on your side, and also that you attend each prenatal visit to ensure you and your baby remain in good health. Your little one will continue to grow by adding fat to their size, firming up their bones, and even form all of their senses during this phase. You may notice their reaction to your voice or emotions, which is a great way to distract you from the constant aches and pains you will begin to feel in your lower body.
There is a lot to think about once you find out you are pregnant but don’t let that take away from the amazing journey to motherhood. We hope our quick guide on what to expect has helped you to get started. For more information, check out our complete guides that cover everything from what to expect during each trimester to what you should expect during your first year.