I’m pregnant! What to do as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.
Congratulations! You are pregnant! Now that you have taken the time to scream, cry, jump up and down and completely freak out, there are a few things that you may want to do as soon as you calm yourself down.
Tell your partner!
You have taken an at home pregnancy test (or 5) and you see the little line that says you’re pregnant. After those few moments of shock and excitement you should share the news with your partner. You’re husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife will definitely want to hear the news and this will allow you time to discuss any decisions that will need to be made. For those women who are going through this without a partner, power to you, but you should still find someone to share the news with, a mother, sister, close friend etc. Pregnancy is filled with a lot of changes and it is best to have someone to support you along the way.
Schedule a Doctor’s appointment.
If you’re anything like me you try the blue ink test, don’t quite believe it, take another blue ink test and still don’t believe it. Somewhere you read that the pink ink test was more accurate and you try that one! Still don’t quite believe the results and just need a little more confirmation.
This is why I made an appointment the very next day with my PCP. Once you find out you’re pregnant, you can set up an appointment with your primary care physician (PCP) and they can give you a blood test to confirm pregnancy. Most OBs will not schedule an appointment until you are about 8 weeks or so and may require a referral from your PCP.
Research OBGYNs, birthing centers and/or midwives!
Depending on your birth plan, you should start researching local OBs, midwives or birthing centers. Most doctors and clinics have reviews online so you can hear from other women how their experiences were and you can also look up doctors on your state’s medical board.
Get rid of toxins in your skin care/ beauty routine!
We all want the best for our babies, so one of the first things you should do is get rid of your lotions, shampoos, make-up and anything that contains chemicals that can harm your unborn baby. Some chemicals/toxins to look for are parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), formaldehyde, phthalates, triclosan, synthetic fragrances just to name a few. You should also avoid DEET and instead use natural ways to keep bugs away. A great alternative for moisturizer and make-up remover is using organic sweet almond oil!
Clean up your diet!
This is one that seems pretty obvious, however it is probably the hardest one to accomplish once you find out you’re pregnant. Morning sickness, food aversions and other pregnancy symptoms can make cleaning up your diet difficult. We should all strive to eat a cleaner more organic diet, but pregnant women even more as you are growing another human! Once you can get past your morning sickness and food aversions, you should incorporate more organic whole fruits and vegetables into your diet. Buying organic can be a little costly, but at least keep the dirty dozen organic. Also, keep in mind that you are not “eating for two”. Your caloric intake should not increase until your second trimester and it should only increase by about 300 calories.
Change out your household cleaning products!
The majority of household cleaning products have toxins in them that can harm you and your baby. Try to avoid any cleaning product with the word “antibacterial” as this can contain Triclosan and/or Quarternary Ammonium Compounds which can cause harm to your endocrine system and some studies show they are probable carcinogens. Avoid ammonia, chlorine and anything with fragrance. Window and multipurpose cleaners can contain 2-Butoxyethanol which can cause sore throats, breathing issues and liver and kidney damage. Try going for organic cleaning products when shopping and don’t be fooled by “green” or “all natural” products as this does not mean they are non-toxic. For best results, you should make your own cleaning products and that way you know exactly what is found in them.
Once my mother got over the initial excitement of finding out I was pregnant, she of course gave me a lot of advice. One thing she told me was to make sure not to exercise too much as this could harm the baby. This is one of those areas where old school family traditions/advice conflict with current recommendations. Of course ALWAYS consult your doctor or midwife before beginning or continuing any exercise regime. The old school of thought was that pregnancy was not the time to begin exercising especially if you did not exercise on a regular basis before. This could not be further from the truth. Exercise can help with labor and delivery and it can also help regulate blood sugar and control weight gain. Now I am not saying that once you find out you’re pregnant join a crossfit box, but doing light aerobic and weight lifting is healthy for you and baby. Find a workout plan that works for you and try to work out a minimum of 3 days a week for the entire pregnancy. Bonus: it will also help you get rid of your baby weight faster once baby has arrived.
If you have not already, start taking a prenatal vitamin. Keep in mind not all prenatals are created equal. Try finding one that contains folate instead of folic acid, as folate is found naturally in foods like dark leafy greens and your body knows how to process it. Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate and some people cannot process folic acid. Some people, including doctors, use the words interchangeably, but they are two different things so make sure to read the label of your vitamin bottle. TIP: Pregnancy brain is real, so make sure to set an alarm to remind you take it daily.
Download a Pregnancy App!
A nice thing to have when you’re pregnant is a fun little app that tells you what size fruit or vegetable your baby is. Now this isn’t always accurate, but it is a cute way to keep track of your baby’s development and most give you helpful tips on morning sickness and other pregnancy related symptoms. It is also a good way to keep track of how far along you are and how much further you have to go!
This time will fly by and you will want to document everything. Start by taking a picture of yourself before you get your baby bump. Keep a journal of how you felt that day and of any new symptoms you may have felt. One great way to to do all of the above and keep it in one place is to get a baby bump book. You can add pictures and ultrasound copies as well as document various aspects of your pregnancy for the entire 9 months!