First things first… Congrats & welcome to the club!
This is the beginning of an amazing journey with twists and turns and all kinds of surprises…
The next step is simple: Tell your partner and celebrate! But once the happy news sinks in, the next steps can seem overwhelming. To help we made a list of the most important things you should do.
1. Decide on your healthcare provider
Today there are lots of choices: You can go to a family practitioner, ob-gyn, midwife or health center. Decide what is best for your needs and your pocket. Whatever you decide it is important to let them know if you have a medical condition, like diabetes (sugar) or high blood pressure… this is really important. Your 8th week is usually a good time for that first appointment.
2. Know your medical history
Go find your immunization card, your doctor will need to know where you are with all of your shots. Brace yourself, this involves needles at some point.
3. Research your family tree
While you’re at it, check on the medical history of your family and your partner. You will have to answer questions about any mental health issues, illnesses, high or low blood pressure or genetic abnormalities, such as sickle-cell disease or Down syndrome. This helps your doctor look out for any potential problems during your pregnancy or birth.
4. Take a prenatal vitamin
Getting the proper nutrition is important for a healthy pregnancy, and your body requires an additional dose of certain vitamins at this time. For instance, pregnant women need folic acid to protect against birth defects. Your doctor will prescribe what you need… you also need to tell him/her what medication you are taking because some things are a no-no for you right now.
5. No more alcohol
Sorry, but drinking can cause permanent harm to your baby. It can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that hinders mental and physical development. Although there’s no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. Some experts disagree, saying that a small glass once in a while is fine; consult your doctor to determine what is best for you.
6. Kick the butts
More bad news, puffing on that cigarette exposes your baby to harmful chemicals, as a result, smoking increases your chances of having complications and birth defects. Speak to your healthcare provider about the best way to stop smoking.
Beyond your own habit, it’s also important to stamp out cigarettes all around you. Secondhand smoke is also dangerous to your baby. So tell your family to refrain from lighting up in your presence, and always choose non-smoking areas in public spaces.
7. Check yourself
Pregnant women should avoid strenuous work and excessive amounts of stress. So if lifting heavy objects is part of your job, or if your high-pressure workload causes anxiety, speak with someone in your company’s human resources department. Remember, you are pregnant… not ill, so no need to get dramatic about it, people around you will insist on helping you once they know anyway.
8. Avoid under-cooked foods, particularly meat
If sushi or a medium-rare steak is your thing, you should know that under-cooked meat may harbor harmful bacteria that cause a dangerous infection that can result in serious eye or brain damage. If you can’t bear to part with those yummy treats, you should go for the cooked versions. But trust us, your taste in food may change during this time.
9. Check in with your human resources department
Once you’ve informed others of your pregnancy, speak with someone in your benefits department to discuss the details of your maternity leave. Some companies don’t grant extra time if you have to enter the hospital early due to complications. Knowing the fine print can help you make the smartest decisions.
Finally, a legitimate reason to buy cute new outfits: Your body is going to change over the next nine months. Not only should you expect it, but you should embrace it and dress it up in comfortable / maternity clothes and comfortable shoes.
11. Come to terms with your emotions
More than half of women experience feelings of anxiety or depression during pregnancy. If you are feeling any of these emotions, tell someone so you can get the help you need, whether it’s a supportive hug, a shoulder to cry on or medication.
12. Decide when you’re going to spill the beans
Together with your partner, determine when you’re going to share the news with your family, friends and coworkers. This is a personal decision, so make sure that you’re both on the same page.
If you are a teenager… we got a list YOU should see!
13. Give your teeth some attention
When you’re dealing with so many changes in your body, your teeth isn’t the first thing on your mind. But the state of your gums and teeth can affect your baby’s well-being. From bacteria in your mouth to toothache can increases the risk of preterm contractions. So don’t forget to brush and floss, and schedule those dental checkups.
14. Enjoy the moment!
It’s all too easy to get caught up with the details. But don’t forget to step back to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. This is a special time in a woman’s life. So pamper yourself and put your pregnancy first!