It could be the best news you have been waiting for all life long, or it could be a bit of surprise that caught you flat-footed. But one you see those two lines in your home pregnancy test, it is normal to ask oneself “What to do when you find out you’re pregnant?”
Well, the most sensible and realistic answer to that question is “a lot.” Pregnancy is just the start of the journey of motherhood that will leave you happy, tired, appreciated, weary, optimistic, worried and more for the next 18 years at least. But really, what to do when you find out you’re pregnant? Here are some suggestions:
Let your partner know.
If he was not with you when you had your pregnancy test then inform your partner about the good news. If the pregnancy was a bit of surprise to him, and he is not as enthusiastic as you, then give it time. The information is life-changing and it may take a while to sink in.
Choose a health care provider.
This is one of the first steps to take upon learning that you are expecting. Your obstetrician-gynecologist or midwife will be one of your partners in this pregnancy. You will continue to coordinate with him or her for anything and everything and he will help ensure that your pregnancy goes on smoothly. Your life will literally be in her hands so ask for recommended OBs in case you do not have one yet. Schedule an appointment for your first prenatal checkup
Calculate your due date.
While waiting for your first prenatal checkup, check out a web-based due date calculator so you may at least know when more or less your bundle of joy will arrive.
Start taking pre-natal vitamins.
This is one of the most important things to do upon finding out that you are pregnant. Folic acid is very important in the first three months of pregnancy. Your doctor will prescribe you with a PNV that is appropriate for your needs.
Start eating right and healthy.
If you are still not so conscious about your diet then it is time to eat healthier and more nutritious food. Research about the best types of food to eat during pregnancy.
Cease unhealthy habits.
If you are a smoker or you drink alcoholic beverages then it is time to put a stop on it. Whether you decide to permanently quit or temporarily put a hold on it is your choice. You may also want to sleep earlier, and give your body a time to rest and relax.
Limit caffeine intake.
Caffeine is not a prohibited substance during pregnancy but the amount a pregnant woman can take varies depending on her health situation. A pregnant woman can have up to three cups a day while others have a maximum one cup of coffee per day, some not even allowed a bit because of sensitivities. While you have yet to consult your OB GYN about it, it is in your best interest to limit your intake first.
Review your finances.
If you haven’t planned for it yet, then it is time to take a look at your finances and take into consideration the expenses that you may incur during childbirth. Check your insurance provisions and that of your significant other’s. Know what will be spent out of pocket and how much will it most likely cost.
Always remember that the cost of childbirth will not solely come from medical bills. New parents will also spend on buying things for the baby like furnishings (new crib, cabinet, sprucing up of the nursery room, glider, changing table), baby gears (like stroller, car seat, bouncer, high chair, playpen and the like), and then the wardrobe, plus feeding and nursing needs.
Think about work arrangements.
If you have an 8 to 5 job then you may want to have an idea about the maternity benefits that you are entitled to. Start thinking as well as to when you are most likely to take your Maternity Leave, what work arrangements you would have during your leave, when you would like to announce your pregnancy in the office, and if you will continue with your career postpartum or you are leaning towards the idea of staying home for good.
Think about when you’d make the announcement.
Some women or couples announce even before the pee dries up in their home pregnancy test kit. Some wait for them to steer clear of the sensitivity of the first trimester so that the chances of viability of their fetus is high and the risk for miscarriage is lower. Some couples meanwhile take their time and do things at their own pace.
Once decided on when to announce, decide on how you will announce. Will you do it in person? Through a phone call, or via a creatively taken photo shared to friends via social media. It is up to you.
Read up and learn more about being pregnant.
Know the right information about pregnancy, what your options are and what you’d like to happen to you and your child. Read books and reputable websites, join a community and talk to moms who are also pregnant so you can at least have your feelings known and learn also from their experiences. You may want to have a look at this site to prepare the stroller for your toddler.
By knowing more about pregnancy you could prepare for the symptoms, possible changes physically and emotionally, as well as what to expect for the next nine months. You would also be abreast about the possible danger signs to ensure you can take good care of your body and your unborn baby.
Dealing with the information that you are heavy with a child is something that could be shocking, surreal, and wonderfully amazing – even to those who already have children prior to the current pregnancy. It is a life altering journey, that will be the start of one of the most fruitful, tiring, and happiest phase of a woman or a couple’s life – parenthood that is.