As you see the magical pink lines appearing on your home pregnancy test and realise you are pregnant, you experience a gamut of emotions – joy, surprise and confusion. The first two are understandable, by why confusion? Well, you are confused because you are not sure what to do now that you have found out you are pregnant.
You want to dance with joy, you want to announce the news to the whole world and you also want to grab your bag and hit the first shop for maternity and baby clothes. I know these feelings. Been there, done that! Baby clothes can wait for the moment – you still have 34-35 weeks left before the baby appears.
I will tell you 9 things you should do when you find out you are pregnant.
Sit down and take deep breaths – If you are one of those who had been trying for a while to conceive, it’s a moment of pure happiness. You finally did it! So just sit down and enjoy the moment. For those who were not planning, this may come as a bit of a surprise. Still, sit down and take deep breaths. You can think of the next course of action better with a calm mind.
See your doctor immediately – Go see your gynaecologist who will not only confirm your pregnancy, but will also tell you :
- Your due date on the basis of your last period date
- How far along you are in pregnancy
- What you should eat and avoid
- and prescribe you folic acid and vitamins
I would also suggest you visit your physician especially if you are suffering from any form of thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure, anaemia or other physical problems. A pregnancy brings along many changes in your body and you should be equipped for that.
Talk to your close ones – Please refrain from announcing your pregnancy to the whole world. I know it’s such a wonderful news that you can’t help but share it with people you know. But remember, the first trimester is a vulnerable period as the risk of a miscarriage is extremely high. The second trimester is the ideal time when you should make the announcement. Keep the news only to a limited people who are very close to you and can actually help you with your pregnancy.
Having said that you might want to talk to your superior at your workplace. It would help you in case you are suffering from morning sickness or have a doctor’s appointment and want to report late to work.
You can also decide when to purchase maternity clothes (most women start showing by their 4th month) or baby related clothes (in India, gender determination is illegal, but you can still buy unisex clothes or other items like cot, nappies, blankets, stroller, etc.).
Join a support group – Join a pregnancy support group online that will send you weekly newsletter so that you know what’s in store throughout pregnancy. It will help you know what you should expect and how your baby looks, prepare a pregnancy to-do list and brainstorm baby names. There will be other ladies in the group who are due in the same month as you and are probably going through the same symptoms as you. Find them and chat with them for advice and support on pregnancy-related topics.
Sign up for classes – Being a first-time mommy, there are various things you don’t know about parenting. It’s quite natural. However, you can learn them even before the baby arrives. Find out if there are classes in your vicinity or the hospital where they can teach you basics of caregiving like
- What to expect from a newborn
- When and how to feed your baby
- How to clean your newborn
- How to cope with crying
- How to keep your child safe
But before that, check if there are breathing classes which teach you the technique to breathe during labour and delivery.
Document your pregnancy – Pregnancy is for 9 months or 40 weeks. It may seem long at first but really it passes by quickly. Get a baby journal to record the journey of your pregnancy and capture the precious moments like the first sonogram of your baby or the first time you felt the baby kick, the foods you crave/dislike, your pregnancy symptoms, etc. Also, don’t forget to take a before picture and the picture of your baby bump every month.
These create some beautiful memories or can also help you compare your pregnancy experience should you have another child later on.
Think about the future – If you haven’t already thought about how things will pan out once the baby arrives in your life, this is the time for that introspection.
- Do you want to engage the help of a confinement nanny? You might want to talk to your friends or contact an agency.
- Will you continue working or quit job after baby?
- If you decide to work, what will you do when you resume work? Hire a full-time nanny, enlist the help of your parents or enrol in a daycare? Do a recce on good daycare centers in and around your preferred area or contact nanny agencies.
- A child means additional burden on your finances. Plan your finances well so that you are not burdened with the cost of expensive vaccinations, baby requirements and daycare/nanny fees.
Make a bucket list – This may sound odd but it can actually be fun. Make a list of things you would like to do before the baby arrives or won’t be able to do for a long time after the baby. For example – go for babymoon (do check with your OB/GYN before embarking on one), take up some hobby classes, read the books you have always wanted to read or just sleep.
Apart from the above mentioned, you might also want to stop smoking and consumption of alcohol and caffeine and start rubbing cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil or olive oil on your belly.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy your pregnancy. Take care!!