There is no greater joy than holding your baby in your arms for the first time. However, you will undoubtedly feel a mixture of emotions when you find out you’re expecting, such as excitement, shock, and maybe even fear. Not only are you bringing a brand new human being into the world, but you’re also taking on extra responsibilities. To help you embrace the experience, find out what to do when you first discover you’re pregnant.
Visit Your Doctor
Did a pregnancy test read positive? If so, book your first appointment with a doctor or midwife. There are many things to consider when deciding whether to go with a doctor or a midwife for your pregnancy and delivery. Most women with low-risk pregnancies are actually safer and better off doing all their prenatal visits and birth with a midwifery team in a freestanding birth center or at home. Don’t worry, you have time to decide! Most women do not need to begin prenatal visits until they are about 8 weeks pregnant. If you are unsure which option is best for you, check out Ina May Gaskin’s book Birth Matters.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Of course, you may need to make various lifestyle changes to ensure the health and safety of your baby. For example, you will need to cut alcohol and cigarettes from your lifestyle, and you will also need to reduce your caffeine intake. There are also certain foods you must eliminate from your diet, such as raw meat, fish with mercury like tuna, raw eggs, shellfish, soft cheeses, and more.
While you shouldn’t join a gym or embark on intense physical activity, you should attempt to remain active while pregnant. Moderate exercise can be beneficial to both yours and the baby’s health, so keep moving by going for a walk with your partner, a friend, or the dog. However, it is vital you do not overdo it, as pregnancy hormones can make you feel both tired and stressed, which is why you must also make time to relax and unwind each day. The notion is that you can exercise like normal, depending on your current workout routine, but not to excel. Look online for pregnancy-friendly classes.
Learn More About Your Pregnancy
There will be so many things to learn about your new bundle of joy, and only nine months to do it. If you want to know what pregnancy has in store for you, start learning about the different trimesters and the size of your baby. For example, you can learn more about morning sickness when 8 weeks pregnant, as well as common FAQs.
Take Vitamins Daily
Vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy pregnancy, which is why you must aim to enjoy a healthy, varied diet during the next nine months. You will, however, need to take a folic acid supplement, which can prevent birth defects of the spinal cord and brain and neural tube defects. Discuss your needs with your doctor to ensure you are consuming the right number of vitamins and minerals each day. Choose a raw, organic prenatal supplement when possible.
Decide When to Share the News
Many expectant parents often choose to share their happy news with their close relatives when they first find out, before informing others three months into the pregnancy, when the risk of miscarriage has reduced. Others also choose to wait awhile to inform their employers, as they will not want to be treated differently at work. It is, however, your decision when to tell others about your pregnancy, as there is no right or wrong time to do so.