We’re excited to bring you another great article from POPSUGAR Moms, a fantastic source for mamas who want advice and news about everything from packing healthy lunches to mastering the art of stroller chic. This week, we’re featuring their best tips for what to do after the exciting moment that you find out you’re pregnant…
Whether you’ve been trying for years, months, or not at all, that first positive pregnancy test is sure to rock your world. Suddenly, everything changes . . . even if, from the outside, nothing really has. So now what? Early pregnancy can be a frustrating waiting game, as most doctors won’t even schedule a first appointment until you’re around eight weeks pregnant. That can be as much as four-plus weeks after your positive test, a lifetime in pregnancy days, which you’ll soon find out, move much slower than your pre-prego ones since all you can think about is the tiny bean growing in your belly! So what can you do to make sure both you and that developing embryo are as healthy, both mentally and physically, as possible. We have eight must-dos for any new mama-to-be!
Take a Prenatal
Many doctors recommend taking a prenatal vitamin long before you even try to conceive. Look for a prenatal (like Rainbow Light) that includes at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, which helps prevent neural tube defects, at least 30 milligrams of iron, which supports the baby’s growth and development, along with calcium, vitamin C, zinc, copper, vitamin B-6, and vitamin D. You might also want to take an omega-3 of DHA supplement (some vitamins have it included), which has been shown to help with visual and cognitive development.
Put Down the Wine
While pregnant women in many cultures continue to have the occasional glass of wine, in the US, it’s still considered forbidden to drink and gestate at the same time. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends abstaining from alcohol during the entirety of your pregnancy, mainly because no one has determined a safe limit for drinking alcohol during pregnancy, and that amount may vary from woman to woman and baby to baby. One caveat: If you had a drink (or a handful) before you found out you were pregnant, don’t stress about it. You most likely didn’t do any damage to your baby, but don’t take chances going forward.
Research Unsafe Foods
Your doctor will probably give you a list of unsafe foods at your first appointment, but you can easily find them online as well. The main culprits: unpasteurized soft cheeses, smoked and raw seafood (sushi), cold lunch meats, undercooked meats, and raw eggs.
Make a Doctor’s Appointment
Every doctor has a different policy when it comes to first appointments, but most will see you about six to eight weeks after your last period. If you won’t be seen until you’re eight weeks or later, ask if you can go ahead and schedule an ultrasound if it’s not automatically done. Your first ultrasound should show you that amazing little heartbeat, and the ultrasound technician will measure the baby to give you a more accurate due date.
Get Some Sleep
Pregnancy can be exhausting — even when your baby is only the size of a sesame seed. Many pregnant women find themselves longing for their pillows long before sunset and wishing they could take a nap under their desks during the day. Don’t fight it too much: you’re building a new life, and it takes a lot of energy! But also don’t despair too much; your exhaustion should fade during the second trimester.
Decide If You’re Going to Share Your News
Some women don’t feel comfortable sharing their news until they’re out of their first trimester (when miscarriage risk is at its highest), while others want to tell the world right away. It’s really a personal decision, but it’s probably one you’ll want to think about early. Otherwise, it’s really easy to let the news slip before you’re really ready. Call it pregnancy brain!
Find a Support System
Even if you’ve decided to wait until you’re in your second trimester to share your news, it’s a good idea to find a support system, which you can share your joys (and hardships) of pregnancy. Whether it’s your partner, a close friend who’s also pregnant (the best!), or a parent, you’re going to need someone to confide in about all the crazy and exciting things that are going on in your body. If you’re set on keeping your pregnancy a secret, there are also some great online baby boards (we’re partial to Babycenter’s Birth Clubs), where you’ll find women who are due around the same time as you, and therefore, going through similar emotional and physical changes.
Check Out Our Pregnancy Must Haves
Pregnancy requires its own set of new purchases, and our must-have list is a great resource for figuring out what you’ll need now you’re with baby. From stretch mark-prevention creams to maternity wear, we’ve tried it all and are sharing our favorites.
Do you have any tips to add to this list? Share below.
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