You just took a pregnancy test… and it was positive!
Congratulations, you’re going to be a mom!
Cue the balloons and streamers!
But, what should you do now?
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I’m pregnant – now what?!
Calculate Your Baby’s Due Date
This was the very first thing I did.
Click here to find out when your baby is due (opens in a new tab) then come back and read the rest!
Calculating your due date makes things seem more real:
- you can start planning for the big arrival
- you’ll know what the season will be – do you need light summer swaddles, or heavy winter newborn clothes?
- daydreaming about your baby… hehe!
Keep in mind, your due date is more of a guideline than an actual rule. Only 5% of babies arrive on their due date and a whopping 40-ish% arrive ‘late’.
Download a Baby App
It’s one of those pregnancy rites of passage to keep up with the latest fruit your baby is impersonating each week.
Serious – every app has the same sort of comparison and some of them are really weird. Maybe fruits are just different sizes in other parts of the world?
Here’s some great ones:
- What to Expect Pregnancy Tracker
- Baby Bump Pregnancy Pro
- Baby Center
Some apps even have forums attached so you can digitally meet other moms-to-be who are around the same stage of pregnancy as you are.
Start Your Prenatal Vitamin
Growing a baby takes a lot of raw materials and it’s a good idea to take your vitamins, even if you have a healthy diet. Some vitamins, like folate, are essential for healthy development and it’s best if you start taking them before you become pregnant.
If you haven’t been taking a vitamin, start now. This is the one that I chose because it has one of the highest amounts of Omega 3s. Elevit is another very popular choice, but some women find it harder to stomach because of the iron level.
Choose Your Healthcare Provider and Make Your First Appointment
Do you have an Ob-Gyn? If so, now is the time to call and make your first appointment.
If you don’t have one, call up your regular doctor for an appointment to confirm your pregnancy and your next moves.
You can ask your doctor/ob-gyn about your future schedule of appointments, scans, tests and hospital bookings. They should let you know what to expect over the coming months.
Call Your Insurer
You’ll need to let your insurer know that you’re pregnant and find out what you’re covered for with your current level of plan. This might be a lengthy conversation! It’s a good idea to touch on topics like:
- how much of your hospital fees are covered?
- what are your deductibles like?
- what testing is covered?
- is your chosen Ob-Gyn in network?
This is also a great time to find out if you’re eligible for a free breast pump under the Affordable Care Act and make sure you get it – pronto! Being prepared is good!
With this info in hand you’ll be able to make decisions and plan your budget to cover your expenses.
Pick Up Some Good Pregnancy Books
There’s so many changes going on during pregnancy you’ll be relieved to have a good book to refer back to when any questions come up. (You can try Dr. Google but… sometimes the results you get are a little over the top.) Pregnancy apps can also be a good reference.
I’m a Kindle girl, so I like to download my books from Amazon – you get them straight away and there’s no chance of awkwardly running into a friend at the library with a bunch of books that’ll give you away before you announce! Pssst… sign up for Amazon Kindle Unlimited and get 30-days free plus access to loads of books. You’ll never be stuck for something to read again.
Say Goodbye (For Now) to Some Foods…
The more we learn about pregnancy, we unfortunately learn of more and more things that can cause problems or miscarriages. While the possibility of something bad happening to you because you ate a ‘NO’ food is statistically very small, it’s best to avoid them when you can or take pains to make the ‘forbidden’ food safe.
Here are just a few things on the ‘no’ list in pregnancy:
- Unpasteurised cheese
- Deli meats
- Leftovers over 24 hours old
- Cookie dough (doh!)
- Raw egg
Most of these things are totally ok so long as they are cooked (apart from leftovers), which will kill off any potential microbes.
Read our Very Bad, No Good Foods List here.
Check Your Medications
Are you on any medications? If so, make sure to talk to your doctor asap. There are some meds that aren’t safe or recommended for pregnancy and you’ll want to stop those – however, be smart and do it under your doctor’s supervision. Some meds may have side effects from stopping immediately that could be dangerous to you and baby.
Your doctor may move you to a different medication or if the benefit outweighs the risk, the doctor might continue you on the medication under supervision.
Review Your Workout Goals
Were you in the process of losing weight, getting stronger or in some other way working on your physical fitness?
Yeah, me too. BOTH times… Often when we start to get physically healthier, that has an effect on our ability to get pregnant.
So here we are. What do you do?
First of all, don’t go trying to reach any personal bests while pregnant. Hormones like relaxin relax your ligaments and joints and make you more prone to injury.
You’ll also have to give up on your weight loss goals and make peace with the fact that your hard earned recent weight drops are now going to have to start going in the opposite direction.
While most women can remain as active as they were before becoming pregnant, it’s wise to check in with your doctor about your activity levels throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor should let you know if there’s anything you can’t do: for example, if you need to be on lifting restrictions due to a low lying placenta. Finally, listen to your body. If you’re dealing with first trimester fatigue and nausea you may need to take things a little slower than usual.
Get A Good Lotion
It’s questionable whether lotion helps prevent stretch marks, however, it can help with itching skin and it’s a lovely luxurious thing to do for yourself… so why not?
My favorite was the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter – it smells amazing! This one from the Honest Company also looks like a great option.
Start Researching Baby Products
There are a lot of baby products out there. Some are essential, some are nice to have, and some are useless or even downright dangerous.
Put Together A Plan For Your Maternity Leave
How long are you going to take off work? Are you going to return to work? When will you stop working before the birth?
This is a great time to work out a budget and start a savings plan for maternity leave.
Make Your Ultimate Pregnancy To-Do List
There’s just so much to get done before baby arrives. It’s kind of stressful! Write it all down so you can check things off as you go.
And Start Your Pre-Baby Bucket List
Having a baby changes your life. Understatement of the century! All those things that are so easy now – going to dinner, to the movies, leaving the house… – they become a little harder once baby is here.
A nice thing to do is create a pre-baby bucket list of fun things you’d like to do with your partner, just the two of you. Before there’s three of you.
Go to the Dentist
Pregnancy changes affect your teeth. Get a check-up now to avoid issues later on.
Start a Savings Account for the Little One
Even if you don’t have the extra cash to invest in a savings account for your upcoming baby, that doesn’t mean family and friends don’t. In fact, you could tactfully let your family and close friends know that if they felt inspired to give your baby a gift, putting money into their account would be a much better gift than more toys or stuff.
Get Hooked Into a Mom Community
This might be through your pregnancy app, but it’s nice to be part of a community of moms going through the same things.
Common topics of discussion: pregnancy symptoms, baby name ideas, best strollers and gear to get, family stresses, and work.
Document Your Pregnancy
There are so many ways you could document your pregnancy. You could:
- Start a pregnancy journal
- Write letters to your future baby
- Take photos each week or day in the same outfit in the same place to see how you change
Create a Master List of Stress Busters For Those Moments (and there will be those moments)
Pregnancy is stressful. Dealing with partners, family, friends, workmates, and their expectations can make you feel crazy. Having a master list of stress busters already written down can help you take time out for yourself and have some self care time.
Ideas to include:
- Reading a book
- Hot shower
- Going for a swim
- Taking a stroll through a local park or gardens
- Emergency chocolate
- Watch a pregnancy movie
Take Another Pregnancy Test (Just to Make Sure)
In those early days, it’s easy to forget that you’re pregnant (especially if you aren’t feeling symptoms). I think I took about 5 tests! I wanted to make sure!
So… it’s best to get them in bulk – some of those fancy ones are a bit expensive.
Download A Baby Name App and Spend Hours Finding the Perfect Name
With over 10,000 names (and counting), there’s a lot of options to consider before your baby is born. Happy hunting!
Decide When To Tell The News
The old advice is to wait to tell the news of pregnancy until the second trimester starts. The idea behind this is the first trimester is the time when pregnancy loss is most common and to avoid the need to tell people that a loss happened.
Many people choose to tell as soon as they find out because miscarriage isn’t taboo anymore and they want to be able to lean on their supporters if the worst happens.
Ultimately – it’s up to you!
Stop Any Bad Habits
It’s time to hang up the wine glasses until after baby is here. Drinking and smoking aren’t great for baby’s development. So stop these habits once you’re expecting. (If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, talk to your doctor.)
Catch Up On Sleep
Yawn… You might’ve noticed that the first trimester makes you extremely tired. It’s hard work baking up a baby! Use this time to catch up on as much sleep as you can.
It’s a pity we can’t store it up to counter any second/third trimester insomnia.
Get Clued Up on Symptoms to Watch
While most pregnancy problems are uncommon, it’s good to know the signs so you can seek treatment immediately.
Also good to learn symptoms of labor!
Having support makes life much easier. And the more the merrier. Tap into your existing network of family and friends.
While parents of children who’re older will be helpful, it’s also great to have support from parents of children around the same age as yours. They’ll know the best products and the latest gadgets and trends. These things change every few years.
Ease Your Symptoms (Or Make Plans To)
You might not be feeling too many symptoms just yet if you’re in the first trimester. Or morning sickness may have hit you like a truck. Either way, learning what you can do to ease your symptoms so you can be more comfortable.
Take a Photo!
You’re about to go through a lot of changes, physically and hormonally. So, take a quick snap of you before so you can look back on it.
Optional – include your positive pregnancy test! You could also plan a pregnancy week-by-week photo series.