After you find out you are pregnant, you may be wondering what to do next. Baby registries, maternity clothes, car seats, bottles, breastfeeding… ah! help! There is a lot to cover, but relax mama.
Planned or not, finding out you are pregnant is so surreal and exciting.
It marks the beginning of a new adventure. Either way, it is a gift from God that has been given to you.
When you first become pregnant, especially for first time moms, it can be a little overwhelming. But here are the first 4 things you need to do after you find out you are pregnant.
4 Things You Need to do After You Find Out You are Pregnant
Contact your OBGYN for an appointment
If you don’t have one, you need to get one. Prenatal care is necessary for your health and your baby’s health.
The first thing they will have you do is come in for a urine sample so they can confirm the positive pregnancy test. Then they will schedule your first appointment with the doctor, but usually not until you are 8-10 weeks pregnant.
This seems really strange, I know, but the reality of it is there is not much for the doctors to do during this time period.
In a healthy low-risk pregnancy, they do not confirm with ultrasound. They will not be able to hear a heart beat by doppler this early.
It is a frustrating time period for a new mom because you might feel like you just need to be seen for reassurance, but there is little for a doctor to do.
This time period is also when the risk for miscarriage is at it’s highest. Some women may actually have miscarriages before they even realize they were pregnant because it mimics a menstrual period.
If a woman is having a miscarriage there is not a way for it to be stopped. Some have expectations that the doctors should be able to do something, but the unfortunate part is there is nothing that can be done in this circumstance.
At the first appointment with the OBGYN they will discuss your health, you and your spouse’s family history, and if you want to have genetic screening done.
The first test is an ultrasound to determine risk for Down Syndrome. This exam will be done between 9-13 weeks if you choose to have it.
They will also discuss getting your blood work done to determine your blood type, iron levels, and maternal presence of viruses such as HIV.
Start taking necessary vitamins
If you haven’t already been taking vitamins, you definitely need to start now.
I have an article here that discusses the vitamins you should be taking and why. In summary of that article, you should be taking a prenatal, calcium and vitamin D.
Take a look at your diet
Fast food and frozen dinners are not going to cut it.
When first find out that you are pregnant you need to consider that your body is not only sustaining you, but your baby now. You are what you eat and your baby is what you eat.
The best thing you can do for your baby is to give them the best nutrients right from the beginning. There is a great tool on this website by the USDA.
It is called My Plate. This is the new take on the “food pyramid”. It shows you what it means to have a well balanced diet. It will help give you a guide for your daily intake and how much of each food group you should be eating.
Are you a big coffee drinker? Read more about drinking coffee while pregnant here.
You can get the proper information you need to know about caffeine consumption while pregnant and breastfeeding. You may be surprised what you learn!
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you may be taking
Many medications are not safe during pregnancy- prescriptions AND over the counter. You should speak to your doctor about any prescription medications you are taking and determine if they need to be stopped or substituted for a safe alternative.
Most notably, you should not be taking any NSAID’s: Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve, Naprosyn (naproxen sodium), Aspirin, Excedrin (has aspirin in it). Please look at labels of any over the counter medications before you take them, and if you need help ask your pharmacist.
These are the first four things you need to do after you find out you are pregnant.
It is the first stepping stone into this journey of motherhood.
Start your pregnancy off right by doing what is best, and take control of your health for your new baby on the way.
Congratulations mama- it’s an exciting time!