Those first exhilarating feelings after seeing a positive pregnancy test stay with us for the rest of our lives. Whether they spark from fear, anxiety, excitement, worry, or relief, these feelings are very real. Here are 5 things you should do immediately after finding out you are pregnant:
Whether this was a wanted pregnancy or a surprise, share your news with your partner, a good friend or a family member so you can have some support in the next few big decisions that need to be made. Many women like to keep their pregnancy a secret from extended family, friends, and the public for a few weeks, even up until the 2nd or 3rd trimester, and that’s okay. But make sure you confide in at least one other person, who can listen to you and offer help, if needed.
See a Doctor.
Even the most accurate pregnancy tests can fail, so it is always wise to confirm the pregnancy within a few days or weeks with a doctor. They will do this either through a more accurate blood test or even an ultrasound. Either way, a medical professional can also give you some great prenatal advice, recommend or write a prescription for important folic acid vitamins, and answer any questions or concerns you may have about your pregnancy. You’ll also want to go back each month for check-ups in the first and second trimesters, and then each week during your third trimester.
Make Some Big Decisions.
Once you have fully comprehended what having a baby means for your future, the to-do list can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, especially if this is your first. Good thing you have several months to prepare! It can help to make a list of everything that needs to be done, prioritizing them each according to when they should be decided on. Who will provide your prenatal care, deliver the baby, and where? Will you take childbirth classes? What are the best maternity and baby items you will need? Will you formula or breastfeed? Do you plan to stay home with the baby or go back to work? Will you have help with childcare or need to consider interviewing nannies or daycares? Thinking about these things ahead of time will help the rest of your pregnancy be a little less stressful, and make it easier for you to consider alternatives if and when not everything works out the way you initially planned.
Take Care of Yourself.
As your OBGYN will tell you at your prenatal visit(s), it is really important to take care good care of both your body and mind during pregnancy. You are growing another human being, so get plenty of both rest and exercise, stay hydrated, eat well, and take the recommended prenatal supplements. If this was a planned pregnancy, hopefully you have already been preparing your body as you were trying to conceive, but if not, don’t stress. Start those good habits now, and let go of bad habits like smoking, drinking, eating poorly, and staying up late. Both your baby and your body will thank you after these nine months!
You’re having a baby, and becoming a mother. Life will never be the same again. Slow down and try to enjoy every moment of your pregnancy, and this precious time. Journal about it, take pictures and save mementos. Most importantly, relax. You will be prepared as best as you can be, and the rest will just work itself out!