Today we’re talking all about what to do once you find out you’re pregnant!
Congratulations! Did you just pee on a stick or get good news about your recent transfer? Have you told anyone yet? Are you feeling all the things?
Whatever it looks like right now, I am so excited for you. Pregnancy is exciting and HARD but oh so worth it.
I have this whole list of things to do once you find out you’re pregnant but don’t let that overwhelm you. Go ahead and skip all of it this week if you want to (except maybe the prenatals or at least start eating some folic acid). You’ve got this, mama.
What to do right after you find out you’re pregnant
1. Decide how to tell your spouse:
Are you just going to run up and show up him the pee-stick? Will you hold off a few days and come up with a creative way to tell him? I love this creative list of ideas if you’re still looking!
2. Record your feelings:
You probably don’t have a pregnancy journal on hand yet but, grab a notebook, open up an email, or just save a note in your phone. Write down how you found out and how you’re feeling at the moment. This can be a sweet thing to share with your child later on, or, if you’re having lots of complicated feelings, a safe space for you to document and process your journey.
I LOVE my promptly baby books. One of the first things I did after I got a positive test was order a new one. The three I have for my older kids are some of my most cherished possessions (sounds dramatic, but the love runs deep). They have great prompts to help you capture details of life with your little ones from pregnancy through 18 years. I cannot recommend them ENOUGH!
3. Decide with whom and how you are going to share the news:
Are you going to wait until the first trimester to tell anyone? Are you going to tell family first? Are you going to hold off on announcing on social media altogether? There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to sharing this news, it is just something you should spend a few minutes deciding.
4. Make a doctor’s appointment:
Depending on your circumstances, some doctors may not see you until 9 weeks but it is worth calling and getting your appointment on the books now.
5. Start or continue taking a prenatal:
If you aren’t already taking a prenantal vitamin, now is the time to start. In this early growth stage some of the vitamins you take play a crucial role (like folate) in your baby’s development. There are a million different options
6. Take a picture:
Grab your pregnancy test and snap a picture. It’ll be fun to have it to look back on even if you aren’t sharing it with anyone right now.
7. Make a first trimester plan:
You might be one of those lucky ones who skates through the first trimester without a lot of changes but, more likely, you’re about to be hit by plenty of exhaustion and morning sickness. What can do you do to prepare for this (if you aren’t in the middle of it already)?
For my first pregnancies it just meant lowering expectations and passing on some of the dinner responsibilities to my husband. It could also mean hiring some additional help for the next two months (housekeeper, childcare, etc), scheduling grocery delivery, or organizing your favorite takeout menus.
It is also a good idea to have a few things on hand for when the nausea sets in. Here is a great list of things that actually help with morning sickness.
After things have settled down (more things to do once you find out you’re pregnant)
8. Buy a book/ download a book:
Especially if this is your first pregnancy, now is the perfect time to grab a book on pregnancy and learn what to expect. You can go with the dense classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” but I recommend Emily Oster’s “Expecting Better.” It is easier to read/listen to and She does SUCH a great job walking you through the standard recommendations for pregnancy and the stats + reasoning behind them so you can make informed decisions about your own health.
Also go ahead and put her book “Cribsheet” on your list to read later on to prepare for your time in the hospital and life with a newborn.
9. Take an online pregnancy class
If you need things to be a bit more interactive, skip the books and go straight for the pregnancy class.
10. Consider cutting these foods from your diet:
There are so many pieces of advice on what to avoid during pregnancy (read “Expecting Better” and it will help you understand the recommendations and make your choices). Here are some common ones pregnant women in the United States are encouraged to avoid:
- Raw Sushi (stick with those tempura rolls)
- deli meat (just make sure to heat up your turkey at home to kill listeria)
- Raw / undercooked eggs (can you handle 8 months without cookie dough?)
- Unpasteurized cheeses
- Fish with high mercury levels (like swordfish)
11. Swap your coffee order
Most doctors now recommend no more than one cup of coffee per day so you don’t drink too much caffeine while pregnant. The current recommendation is no more than 200mg of caffeine a day which is about 1 12 ounce cup of coffee. Researchers have shown how caffeine causes blood vessels in the uterus and placenta to constrict which could reduce the blood supply to the baby and inhibit growth.
Consider switching your morning coffee order to something smaller or less caffeinated.
If you’re looking for a cleaner pick-me-up in the morning (or anytime of day for that matter), my top recommendation is Taka (packed with lots of naturally occuring sources of caffeine and gives you a slow release of energy all day – it also worked wonders for my morning sickness in my first trimester when I was diligent about drinking it). Read my full Taka review here.
12. Think about adding in more of these to your diet
Certain nutrients are extra important now that you’re growing a tiny human. Consider adding more of these to your daily meals:
- Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and asparagus (great for your, great for baby)
- Citrus fruits
13. Find a low key workout plan and stick to it
I’m hesitant to even include this in a list you might be reading during your first trimester because these next few weeks might just be ones you try to survive. That said, exercise always helped A LOT with my morning sickness (on the rare occasions I got myself up off the couch to do some).
Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy and has so many benefits like:
- reduces the risk of pregnancy complications
- boosts your mood
- lowers blood pressure
- fights fatigue
- improves sleep
- relieves constipation
- speeds up post-delivery recovery
- eases back and pelvic pain
- helps get your body ready for labor
Find a pregnancy safe workout plan (or just commit to doing squats before bed each evening) and stick to it. You can always ramp up a bit as you get into your second trimester and have more energy.
14. Use lotion often
Whether you are trying to prevent stretch marks or just take care of your expanding skin, lotion is your best friend during pregnancy. Look for something with oil if you need extra hydration.
This is my top recommendation for preventing stretch marks.
This lotion is my top recommendation for an excellent body lotion that I use during pregnancy + afterward that doesn’t break the bank. I initially recommended it in this post about “13 Post Partum Changes No One Tells You About.”
15. Tour hospitals
If you have delivery options for your hospital stay, considering touring them in your second trimester.
To be honest, though, I’m in my fourth pregnancy and never toured multiple hospitals to compare
16. Consider a birth plan
You’ve got lots of time for this but things will creep up on you and now is the time to start considering a birth plan.
I love THIS free tool for creating a birth plan because it helps you think through all the different decisions that go into giving birth you might not be aware of yet. I also recommend the books “Expecting Better” and “Cribsheet” in your preparation.
17. Make a post-birth plan
Birth plans get a lot of hype but what about once the baby is born? Who will you invite to the hospital? Who will be at home with you? Will your mom or mother-in-law be coming to stay with you? Will you welcome visitors or ask them to wait a few days? Is your partner taking off work? Do you have someone lined up to help with other children/pets? Do you have freezer meals stashed away or friends bringing you food once baby arrives?
Whatever you can do now to plan for after the baby is born will be a huge help. I manage to forget every single time how all-consuming a newborn and my own recovery are that first week home.
18. Schedule a massage
Maybe the first trimester won’t be your favorite time for this but get in on the schedule for down the road. Your body is going through SO much right now that it is important to make time to unwind and relax. If you can’t swing a massage, order some bath salts (I like these pregnancy-safe ones) and pamper yourself at home.
What would you add to this list? What are you so glad you did once you found out you were pregnant?