I'm pregnant: Now what?

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First of all – CONGRATULATIONS!  When you get to the point when you are done floating on cloud nine, or simply done completely freaking out, you may find yourself wondering “What do I do now?”  The following is a brief list of some of the most important things that you will need to consider during your pregnancy:

•    Choosing a Prenatal Caregiver:  During the upcoming months, you will be spending a lot of time in the company of an obstetrician, or a family physician, or a midwife.  It is very important that you find a good match for your personal needs!  Once you have made the choice that is best for you, it is important that you schedule your first prenatal appointment.  This will serve to give your pregnancy, and your baby, the healthy start that it deserves!  It is common for health care providers to schedule the first prenatal visit when you are at least 8 weeks pregnant.

•    Prime Your Body:  It is always important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but with a baby on board, it is even more important!  It is vital that you are getting a sufficient amount of folic acid, and it is highly recommended o you begin taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as possible (your healthcare provider should be able to recommend one that is ideal for you).  It is equally important that you try to get plenty of sleep, that you follow a healthy pregnancy diet, and that you consider an exercise routine that is pregnancy-friendly.

•    Announcing Your Pregnancy:  This is truly a matter of preference, as the opinions of the individual will dictate when it is the best time to share the good news.  There are some women who choose to wait until after the first trimester has passed, ask the risk of miscarriage drops at this point!   There are also some women who absolutely can’t wait to let the cat out of the bag!  You may choose to put off telling your co-workers or boss in order to avoid ‘separate treatment” at work, however, you may want your work family to understand why it is that you look a little queasy in the mornings!  

You should truly consider what works best for you, and give some thought as to how you want to make the news public.  You may be the type of person that prefers the personal touch of a phone call or direct conversation, whereas some may lean toward pictures, videos, or written announcements!  You can either seek inspiration from other parents, or strive to find a creative approach that best suits your personality.  Bear in mind that the announcement should be a joint decision, as it may be embarrassing to be maintaining absolute secrecy to family and friends when your partner has already posted to hundreds of Facebook friends!

•    Avoid Pregnancy No-No’s:  There are some things that can be very harmful during a pregnancy, and should be avoided!  There are certain foods that can have negative effects, and alcohol, cigarette smoke, and excessive amounts of caffeine have proven detrimental.  Various medications and toxins can be harmful, as well as the use of recreational drugs like marijuana.  There are also various activities and behaviors that should be avoided.  It is recommended that you talk to your health care provider in order to receive specific guidance as to what you may personally need to avoid during your pregnancy.

•    Early Pregnancy Symptoms:  First of all, please note that every woman will not necessarily experience every symptom of pregnancy!  It is recommended, however, that you familiarize yourself with the possible symptoms so that you are not surprised or caught unaware should they occur.  During pregnancy, it is quite common for women to experience some degree of nausea or vomiting, which is referred to as “morning sickness.”  Other common symptoms are: fatigue, soreness of the breasts, strange food cravings, and increased urination.  These are just a few examples, but know that more symptoms could be on the horizon!

•    Physical Changes:  Some of the most common body changes that are anticipated during pregnancy are the expansion of the belly and the enlargement of the breasts, but there are other changes that you may need to prepare for.  It is not uncommon for women to experience thicker hair, breakouts, and darkening of certain areas of skin.  During the later stages of pregnancy, women can also experience stretch marks, varicose veins, and swollen ankles.  Pregnancy can affect every woman differently, and the notable changes in body and beauty can vary widely from person to person.  Knowledge is power!  Knowing in advance the changes that your body may undergo can help you to better prepare to accept them and maintain your composure!

•    Following Your Baby’s Development:  Please keep in mind that the growth and development of your baby is occurring very rapidly!  If you try to monitor and understand this development on a weekly basis, it may serve to elevate your spirits as you are battling those sometimes unpleasant pregnancy symptoms.


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By Jack Rambadt of Expecting Parents Alliance of America

Get Access to Support, Benefits, and Resources for Expecting Parents. Join the EPAOA Community for FREE!

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