Just found out you’re pregnant? CONGRATULATIONS MAMA!!
I know what a roller coaster of an emotions you must be on right now. Especially if you are pregnant for the first time and are going to be a first time mom. Mainly because this is all very new to you and you feel like YOU HAVE NO CLUE.
I know there are a million things going through your head right now. What to do when you are pregnant, what foods should you stop eating when pregnant, whom should you tell and so on.
I know because I was there too. This is what I frantically typed the day I found out we’re pregnant.
In this post, I am hoping I’d be able to make some things easier for you. Here is everything you need to do when pregnant for the first time. I hope this list will give you a clear direction as to everything you should do right away, so you don’t miss out anything. And more than anything, I hope this list will help keep your anxiety in control ( I know how crazy it can be), so that you can enjoy this blissful time in your life without worrying or thinking about a million things.
#1: Tell your partner:
This will probably be the first thing you’ll do when you’re pregnant. So you’ve just taken a home pregnancy kit and it came out positive?
I don’t know whether you are the kind who’ll jump in excitement and tell their husband immediately while tearing up. Or you’re the one who will plan a surprise announcement, like the ones they do in youtube videos.
Whatever you decide to do, telling your partner that you’re pregnant is such an exciting thing to do.
#2: Schedule an OBGYN appointment/ Find a provider:
If you already know of a doctor/ midwife/ health care provider you trust, great. If not, ask around and start looking for one. Ask your friends who’ve had kids and had a great experience with their providers. And when you do find one, go ahead and schedule an appointment.
It’s going to be your first appointment, so it’s totally okay to feel all kinds of emotions. I was happy, confused, anxious and curious whether I actually am pregnant or not. LOL. Even though I had taken 3 pregnancy tests at home.
Here’s what to expect on your first pre natal appointment:
#3: Quit drinking:
If you drink alcohol regularly, STOP.
Yes, sorry your wine at the end of the day routine is gonna have to wait. You will have to find some other way to relax at the end of the day. Drinking during your pregnancy is not safe for the baby. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can result in still birth, birth defects, miscarriages and premature birth.
So there is never a safe time to drink alcohol during your pregnancy. And it is even advised to quit drinking when you’re trying to conceive.
#4: Quit SMOKING:
Smoking during your pregnancy is a NO NO. Yes in capitals. Even if it’s just one cigarette a day, it’s one too many. Nicotine, carbon mono-oxide and other toxic substances in cigarette get carried to your baby through blood stream.
And it increases the chances of miscarriage, premature birth, risk of birth defects etc.
Also, these poisons that you inhale (whether it is through smoking or second hand smoke), they decrease the oxygen supply to your baby and result in defects in lung development and your baby developing conditions like asthma.
So quit smoking right away.
#5: Get your finances in order:
Having a baby is expensive. I am not even kidding and not going to sugarcoat it either. And if you found out you’re pregnant, now is the time you start getting your finances in order and start saving for the baby, if you aren’t already.
Of course if you have been trying to conceive for some time and have already started saving up, it’s great> But if not, now is not too late.
You’ll be surprised to see how quickly the expenses add up during your pregnancy. All the doctor’s visits, all the tests you will get done and all the supplements etc, everything adds up. And it’s always good to be prepared rather than not.
Here are my best money saving tips:
#6: Investigate your health Insurance:
It’s also a great time to investigate your health insurance. If you don’t know it already, check and see what all your health insurance covers and what are the terms and conditions for the same. Read the fine print carefully. No need to get stressed though. Knowing what is covered and what’s not will help you be better prepared financially.
I was insured from my husband’s company and there were some terms and conditions that we didn’t know. So it really helped that we looked into it early on.
If your health insurance does not cover the costs of hospitalisation etc, then consider getting one that does (if you can) or else making a savings plan for the same.
BONUS TIP: Keep all your bills etc in a separate folder. That will make it easier will the insurance claim procedure later on.
#6: Consider who else you want to tell right now:
If it’s really early, you might not want to tell anyone else other than your husband. And that’s okay. Because there are risks associated with miscarriages during the early weeks of pregnancy. And the risks are higher during the first 12 weeks. And I don’t want to stress you out, but it’s good to be practical.
If you can’t imagine sharing the news of a miscarriage with a person, don’t tell them you’re pregnant. Not right away. So, it’s best to wait for the 12 week mark before telling most of your friends and family.
#7: Start taking your supplements::
Most women start taking pre natal supplements like folic acid when they’re trying to get pregnant. But if you didn’t do that or if it was a surprise pregnancy, now is the time to start taking pre natal supplements. They are super important for proper development of your baby.
Your body uses nutrients that are present in food, to grow a healthy baby, so it becomes crucial that you are supplementing these vitamins and nutrients.
Some essential pre Natal supplements that you should consider are:
Perhaps the single most important supplement that you should start right away. Folic acid is responsible for the development of neural tube that eventually grows in spinal cord. So it’s important to start taking folic acid when you find out you are pregnant.
Iron is responsible for blood and oxygen that helps in formation of a healthy placenta. Taking iron supplements also ensure that you have the right amount of blood cells and do not develop anemia during pregnancy. It also helps in increasing the blood volume, which is very much needed during pregnancy.
Developing bones and teeth is no easy feat and there is no doubt that your baby is using a lot of calcium and that means you need a lot of calcium in your diet and in supplements. Your baby will take whatever it needs from your body, but you need to supplement calcium to make sure you are getting enough calcium too.
#8: Focus on getting enough rest:
Getting enough rest during your pregnancy is going to be your best friend. Whether it is getting enough sleep or taking power naps during the day, make it a habit to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.
I am one of those prople who find it hard to relax and rest during the day and I couldn’t come to terms with how tired I was in the first trimester.
Turns out, growing a whole human, is tiring and it exhausting. And you’d need proper rest and sleep to make the pregnancy a positive experience for you. So listen to your body and make it a habit to relax and rest every once in a while.
#9: Keep yourself hydrated:
Hydration is something that a lot of people struggle with. And you’d be surprised to see how much of a difference it makes. Keeping yourself hydrated is super important during your pregnancy, not just the first trimester but during all the trimester. Even though it’s going to be super difficult when you feel the need to pee every few minutes during your third trimester.
So keep yourself hydrated. And if you feel like you can’t keep water down during your first trimester, drink other fluids like fresh juice or coconut water. Just make sure they are fresh and not the packed ones that are full of preservatives and sugars.
#10: Stop eating Deli/Raw Fish:
While eating the right kind of fish and in limited quantity is actually considered healthy, but not all fish are made the same. Some fish contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful for your baby. So it’s best to avoid fish that’s high in levels of mercury like Sharks, sword fish, tuna etc.
However it’s best to eat cooked fish and stay away from raw fish. And yes, it means sushi is a big no-no. I am sorry.
Here are other foods that you should avoid during pregnancy.
#11: Stop cleaning kitty litter box:
If anyone else can do this task, have them do it.
If no one else can do it, make sure you’re wearing gloves and wash your hands immediately after cleaning it out. Also ensure that you are cleaning out the litter box daily.
The concern is a parasite in cat poop called toxoplasmosis which can be transmitted. But it becomes infectious after 1 to 5 days. So cleaning out the litter box daily is the key. Also make sure to avoid stray cats or getting a new cat when you’re pregnant.
#12: Talk to your dietician:
Talk to your dieticiam to discuss how much weight you need to gain during your pregnancy. Some women gain about 30 pounds, while some will gain somewhere around 12-15 pounds. It all depends on how much you weigh at the time of conceiving and what’s your BMI.
And no you don’t have to start eating for two, that’s a myth.
If you are overweight or obese to begin with, you dietician might recommend you to not gain more than 15 pounds. And if that’s the case, consult your dietician about the right diet plan for you and the baby. having wholesome nutritious and balanced meals is the key to a healthy pregnancy. But it’s not always that easy.
So ask your dietician what foods you should be eating and what foods to avoid.
#13: Find a local Mom’s group/community to join:
Having a support group or a community when you’re pregnant is amazing. So find a local group in your community or on Facebook. And start interacting with other moms or moms-to-be. It’s amazing to see women asking questions that come to their minds and getting answers without any judgements whatsoever.
#14: Consult your provider about the Medications:
If you are currently on any medications, make sure you consult with your provider about their safety. while most medications are safe to take when you are pregnant, you might need to make some changes to some of them. Either way, it’s best to be on the safer side and clear it with your provider.
#15: Cut down on Caffeine:
While there is no need to cut down on your caffeine totally, but you should still limit your caffeine intake to about 200 milligrams every day, that’s equivalent to one 12 ounce cup a day.
Here are some guidelines to the amount of coffee present in different drinks:
- 8 ounces of brewed drip coffee: 137 mg
- 8 ounces of brewed tea: 48 mg
- 8 ounces of an energy drink: 100 mg
What you also need to keep in mind is that caffeine is also present in other things like soda and chocolates and tea. And while you don’t have to cut it out totally, it’s best to consume these things in moderation.
#16: Make sure you are not doing activities that are not safe:
While you will be okay to do most of your everyday activities while pregnant, there are some that you should avoid. these activities might pose a risk to your baby. And these activities that should be avoided during pregnancy include:
- Hot saunas, baths, hot yoga, exposure to extreme heat etc.
- Avoid contact sports like boxing or football as they pose a risk to placenta
- Cleaning with toxic cleaners or cleaners with a very strong smell or fumes.
#17: Follow your baby’s development:
Download an app to follow your baby’s development. it might not be soemthing you do right away, but it’s so cool to track the development stage your baby’s at each week. There are a lot of apps that compare your baby’s size to a fruit or vegetable at each week of pregnancy. And it’s super cool to see how much your munchkin weighs and what’s the size at each week.
#18: Start taking bump photos already:
Start taking bump and progress pictures already. You bump might not be noticeable right now, but these photos make for great memories. So have your partner take a photo of you every week or take one in the mirror.
And it’s best if you wear the same clothes and stand in the same position. It’d so cool to see your body change during pregnancy.
#19: Talk to your partner about parenting:
It’s time to start talking to your partner about parenting. the way you’ve been brought up and they way they’ve been brought up are bound to be different. And you both might have totally different idea of how you want to parent.
So make of list of things that are super important to you and have your partner makes a list too. Then compare both the lists and discuss what each of you wrote. Of course your parenting style will change as you go, but it’s still a great idea to discuss these things and establish some basic rules.
#20: Start a Baby names list:
Start writing down names that you like because you will soon have to think about a name for your baby. We had ours finalised a few years after we got married. But if you don’t start a list and write names that you really like.
#21: Start a Baby journal:
Starting a baby journal is also a great idea and one of the things you could do right away. Write down your emotions from when you found out you are pregnant and all the little memories that are yet to come. It could be something your kids can see when they grow up.
You could fill your journal with your thoughts, plans for the baby, ultrasound print outs and pregnancy bump photos. They make for such good memories to look back on.
And that’s it mama. Everything you should think about when you find out you are pregnant and everything you need to do when you are pregnant. But most of all, don’t stress too much if you forget a thing or two and be happy. A happy pregnancy means a happy baby. And once again, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve got this! 🙂