I'm Pregnant. Now What? 9 things to do when you get the news.

By Babe | Photo by Stocksy

Got that little pink line? Yep, you preg!

Once the shock wears off, you might wondering, Okayyyy now what? Do I run to CVS to buy prenatal vitamins? Do I make an OB-GYN appointment? Do I tell anyone? Look, these are all totally logical questions. First, deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Take as much time as you need to process, but at some point, when you’re ready, let’s get into action mode.

Here are the nine things you need to do once you find out you’re pregnant.

1. Tell someone, if you want to

We’ve been there. You’re feeling ALL of the feels. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, maybe you’re excited! Maybe you’ll want to tell someone right away – like a partner, friend or family member.

If this wasn’t a planned pregnancy, and you need to weigh your options, you can still confide in a trusted confidante for support.

Many people think they have to keep the news of a pregnancy secret until they’re further along, but remember, there are no rules. You get to decide when and if to reveal your pregnancy. So if you want to keep this news a secret for now, that’s your right. You also might find it comforting to talk about it. It’s a great way to work through your emotions, whether you’re feeling excited, scared, or upset – or all three.

2. Schedule your first prenatal appointment

Most OB-GYNs won’t see you until you’re at least six weeks, but that shouldn’t stop you from calling for an appointment with your doctor right away. At the very least, it’ll give you a sense of calm to have a plan. If this isn’t your first rodeo, and you’ve had complications with pregnancy in the past, try to see your doctor as soon as possible.

While home pregnancy test kits are pretty accurate, your health provider may have you come in for an additional test that measures the exact hCG hormone level in your blood. If you’re considering alternative birthing and prenatal care options, your regular OB-GYN is still a good place to start and will likely be your go-to resource throughout this process.

3. Start your prenatal vitamins

Yep, get in the car or take a walk to CVS and get some prenatal vitamins. Perhaps you’ve been trying to conceive, so you’re already on them. Either way, prenatal vitamins contain essential vitamins and minerals that can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of birth defects.

Prenatal vitamins typically contain higher levels of folic acid, iron, and calcium, as well as other important vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and zinc.

Folic acid, in particular, is especially important in the early weeks of pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Iron is also important for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the baby, and calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. By taking prenatal vitamins, you can ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly, and reduce the risk of certain birth defects.

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4. Evaluate your lifestyle, and make modifications if necessary

It’s important to modify your lifestyle when you get pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of complications for both you and your baby.

For example, a balanced diet can provide the essential nutrients needed for fetal growth and development. Staying hydrated can help prevent constipation and urinary tract infections, which are more common during pregnancy – so drink up. Regular movement can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and prepare your body for labor and delivery.

Also start shifting your bedtime to get plenty of rest and start managing your stress. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can increase the risk of complications such as preterm labor and low birth weight. And you might want to chill on the booze and any recreational drugs. Speak to your medical provider for information regarding your lifestyle habits. You’ll also want to take stock of any prescription drugs you take and whether they’re OK to continue, or if you’re provider can offer alternatives.

5. Start tracking your symptoms

Tracking your symptoms can help you understand what’s “normal” for your body and identify potential issues or concerns that may need medical attention.

During pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of changes, and it can be difficult to determine what is normal and what’s not. By tracking your symptoms, such as morning sickness, fatigue, changes in appetite or mood, and any unusual pain or discomfort, you can identify patterns or changes that may require medical attention.

Additionally, some symptoms may indicate a potential complication, such as bleeding or severe abdominal pain, which may require immediate medical attention. By tracking your symptoms, you can identify potential issues early on and seek medical attention promptly, reducing the risk of complications for you and your baby.

Keeping a record of your symptoms can also be helpful during prenatal appointments. Your healthcare provider may ask about your symptoms, and having a record can help them better understand your experience and provide appropriate medical care.

6. Start thinking about your “birth plan”

We use that term loosely, but a birth plan outlines your preferences for labor and delivery, including where you want to give birth, who you want present, and what kind of pain relief you prefer.

Having a birth plan can help you feel more in control and confident about your birth experience.

It can also help you communicate your preferences to your healthcare provider and ensure that your wishes are respected during labor and delivery.

Additionally, thinking about your birth plan early on can help you prepare for unexpected situations. For example, if you plan to have a vaginal birth but need to have a cesarean section, having thought about your preferences beforehand can help you feel more informed and in control during the procedure.

Just remember, most birth plans don’t go as planned. So it’s OK to have a general sense of what you want, but remember to try to be OK if things don’t go according to plan.

7. Get informed about pregnancy and childbirth

We think knowledge equals power. Childbirth is a unique experience for each person, and understanding the process can help alleviate fear and anxiety. By learning about the stages of labor, pain management options, and possible complications, you can be better prepared for the physical and emotional aspects of childbirth.

Additionally, being informed about childbirth can help you make informed decisions about your birth preferences and communicate them effectively with your healthcare provider. You can discuss your options for pain management, the use of medical interventions, and the type of delivery that is right for you.

It’s also important to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with childbirth. While most pregnancies and births are uncomplicated, knowing what to expect and how to handle unexpected situations can help you make informed decisions and reduce the risk of complications.

8. Evaluate your work situation

Some jobs may involve exposure to hazardous substances or physical strain that can be harmful to a developing fetus. Other jobs may require long hours or irregular shifts, which can increase stress and fatigue, and have a negative impact on your pregnancy.

It’s important to evaluate your work situation and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on how to reduce any risks or modify your work environment to make it safer during pregnancy.

Additionally, evaluating your work situation can help you plan for maternity leave and prepare for the financial impact of taking time off work. You may need to discuss your leave options with your employer and make financial arrangements to ensure that you can take time off work without significant financial strain.

By evaluating your work situation, you can take steps to protect your health and your baby’s health, plan for maternity leave, and make any necessary adjustments to your work environment.

9. Enjoy it (if you can!)

Pregnancy can be a time of excitement and anticipation, so try to cherish it if you’re able to. It’s common to experience physical and emotional changes that can be difficult to cope with.

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By focusing on the positive aspects of pregnancy, such as feeling your baby move or hearing their heartbeat for the first time, you can stay motivated and positive throughout your pregnancy.

Pegnancy can be a time of bonding between you and your partner, assuming you’re doing it with someone else. Enjoying the moment and sharing your excitement and anticipation can bring you closer together and create lasting memories that you can share with your child in the future.