Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most exciting moments in life, whether it’s your first pregnancy, 3rd or 10th you’ll experience a whole host of emotions. While some get bombarded with all the thoughts of the changes to come others (like me) totally blank out and just jump up and down with joy (there may have been screaming). And then you might go… NOW WHAT? and freak out, I know I did.
Plus if you have been trying for some time there is likely some relief mixed in there that all the struggle is now worth it. Congratulations your little one is on the way. <3
But what should you be looking at doing about it?
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Decide when and how you’re going to tell people
Telling people is a pretty big decision, if you are like me you are going to want to announce it to everyone and anyone who will listen. But there are things to think about like IF (and I hope this never happens to you) your little one becomes an angel instead of a baby in arms will you be comfortable telling these people about that change? For this reason, alone many couples wait until they’ve gotten past the first trimester.
Find out why I don’t wait.
If you have kids already will you tell them first? Or will you do something special to tell them? And if you want to do a big announcement on Social Media will you include your kids or some cute photo?
Chat with your partner and see what you guys are both comfortable with. And of course, don’t feel like you have to tell people in some cute or fun way if that isn’t your thing. Believe me a simple “I”m Pregnant” works for most. Unless you are an exhausted husband who had been working his tail off and you wake him up… like I did the first time… 😉
The big thing that I like to do is make a list of people to tell in person and who it’s ok hearing about it from others or through social media. Then make a point of seeing those you want to tell directly or send them a text or heck an email if you want. But make sure you connect with that list directly on your own first.
Decide on a Care Provider
Depending on where you are you may have options in who handles your pre-natal care and delivers your baby. I was told repeatedly that I had to see an OBGYN which freaked me out. Not sure the reason why as they are perfectly capable medically trained personal. But I freaked, and eventually ended up with a Midwife instead which (for me) worked out much better.
So Know the Difference between a Midwife and an OBGYN, and interview your possible carers. I think I interviewed a total of 9 and it was worth it.
Book your doula
Doulas are TOTALLY WORTH IT! When you get the right one for you. I had never heard about Doulas until after we found out I was pregnant with our first. And I found out by reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (which is awesome) and decided to go looking for one to see what it is all about.
Check out What the Heck is a Doula?
Turns out it was the BEST CHOICE I could have ever made, and was worth every penny. Where a Midwife or OBGYN is your medical team, your Doula is your comfort, your support, they are
Yes, your husband could do this, but let’s be honest he’s not going to like the idea of seeing you in pain and has very little previous experience helping relieve pain for a laboring woman. Your doula will have experience in helping women from various backgrounds and have ideas that could make your labor easier to handle.
One of the great things about a doula is that you usually get time with them while you are pregnant to get to know them and they get to know you. They can make recommendations on what could happen and how you could handle it (though they usually are not medically trained they have witnessed a lot of births) based on what they have seen other women do.
Make an appointment with your Pelvic Floor Physio Therapist….
You heard me right! All that extra weight and a little one that will be active inside you means your pelvic floor is going to get a workout. Get in to see your pelvic floor physiotherapist ASAP to see if there is anything you can do to strengthen it while carrying your little one. And no Kegels are not the end all be all. Did you know you can do a form of Kegels for your backside too? Me neither… until my pelvic floor physiotherapist insisted I started doing them.
At the very least get checked for a Diastasis Recti Muscle Separation and see what you can do now to minimize it.
You may also want to work with a Chiropractor for some alignment focus in your hips and spine throughout pregnancy and before you get to the labor. But I still recommend working with a Physio who specializes in Pelvic Floor work because they can help with alignment AND work with the soft tissue.
Make an appointment with your Dentist…
Did you know that your teeth will likely see less support from your body during your pregnancy? Yeah, I didn’t think of that either. But during this time when Baby Hijacks your system your teeth become one of the low priority items so get them cleaned! Just to make sure to tell your dentist upfront that you are pregnant (and with any health-related appointment) as there will be somethings they have to skip due to the pregnancy (like x-rays).
Download your favorite pregnancy app
My favorite was Glow Nurture the first time around, this time I’m still deciding. But I find it exciting to open the app once a week and see how the baby is developing. For instance, as I write this kiddo is 7 weeks old, and already has a strong heartbeat and looks kinda like a platypus. Plus right now he or she is developing around one hundred new brain cells each minute (according to TheBump.com). You may even want to follow sites like TheBump.com for their week by week developments instead of an app.
Take a before picture
Ok, let’s face it we are not all as photogenic as we want to be. And some of us will not take a bunch of photos of ourselves during pregnancy. But I gotta say this is one of those things I WISH I had done the first time around.
There are tones of images of women photographing every week or doing a video of them and the like, you don’t have to but I do highly recommend you take a couple here and there starting with a “We just found out” one. You’ll be glad you have it for you even if no one else ever sees it.
And believe me I totally understand if you don’t take any, the first time through I didn’t think of even getting one with my husband until after we were in labour…and I forgot the second time around too!
Stock up on the First Trimester Essentials
I did not realize it but the things I stocked up on made my first trimester SO MUCH EASIER.
- Prenatal Vitamins – the first time around we had been trying for years already so I’d been on a good prenatal before we got pregnant, but it’s always good to check with your midwife/doctor if there is anything that they recommend. I use the Nestle Materna Prenatal which my doc recommended for me.
- Belly Band – until I got pregnant I didn’t realize how quickly your body changes, from bloating and retaining more liquids you’re likely to feel it in your clothing faster then you think. And even if you are able to jump straight into maternity clothes why not save some money and extend the life of what you have by adding a Belly Band? All you need to do is put it on under your shirt and over your pants and presto you look like you have a long camisole on. Bonus after the baby arrives if you are breastfeeding it’s great to have one of these on when you go out as well for more discrete nursing.
- Morning Sickness Fighters – this could be something like Preggie Pop Drops, or crackers you can keep with you. But if you are dealing with a lot of Morning Sickness talk to your doctor, there may be medications that can help.
- Moisturizer – as your body changes that skin is going to itch! You could also get a stretch mark cream of some kind, but I always wanted a road map that showed off my pregnancies well after they were finished. To me it’s a badge of honor. I personally use raw Cocoa Butter and raw Shea Butter blended together to help relieve the itch. Or in a pinch, if I was out and about I used whatever Chapstick I had on hand over the spot.
- Stool Softener – Constipation is a common problem for many women throughout pregnancy. And not always just as the end when the baby is big enough to squish whole lungs not to mention the bowels they are in the middle of. If you are dealing with any slowing down of the process think about using a stool softener every now and then to keep you moving regularly. You’ll feel better.
- A Squatty Potty – while we are talking about constipation you should look into getting one of these in your bathroom. Not only will it help reduce the risk of constipation but it will make pooping postpartum easier too!
- Pregnancy Pillow – ok, you may not need this one right now. But it is a good idea to start looking into them and seeing what you would want. For my first pregnancy, I only had a body pillow and it is NOT the same thing. Not by a long shot! Just be warned, hubs and you will now have space between you when you sleep… but it is so much more comfortable when you have a Pregnancy Pillow.
- Your Tea of Choice – I personally love the Red Raspberry Leaf tea that I use for my monthly cramps. And the great thing is that it doesn’t hurt during pregnancy either. Plus it helps support your Uterus as it grows and develops throughout the pregnancy.
Grab a copy of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Seriously I can NOT say enough good things about Ina May’s book Guide to Childbirth. This thing saved my sanity while pregnant. It’s chocked full of awesome stories of all sorts of great info about different aspects of childbirth, and it got me set on the path to hiring my doula (the BEST investment I’ve ever made in the health of myself AND baby).
So arm yourself in case you meet one of “those people” who just have to tell you a horror story and keep this book with you. I used it multiple times to calm myself down after some well-meaning person talked to me a freaked me out. It’s worth every penny.
Evaluate Your Workout Routine
If you work out regularly chances are you may need to modify some things. But it is a good idea to check with your doctor/midwife before continuing. If you are not regularly working out you may want to consider adding some more daily movement to your routine.
Physical movement helps in all stages of life, but at this point it can help control nausea, excessive weight gain and helps build your endurance for labor and delivery.
I work sitting down MOST of the day, I’m at a computer. So for me I bought a FitBit and started increasing my steps in order to increase my fitness. I also do some light yoga, so I asked my Care Provider if there was anything I should stop doing and modified from there.
Evaluate what and how you are eating
Most of us know that eating healthy during our pregnancy is important to our little’s health. But did you know there are ways to make healthy eating easier in your busy day?
It’s also a good idea to think about your postpartum recovery (I know it’s a ways off so you likely are not thinking of it yet). And things like pre-made meals sitting in your freezer will be a God send, especially in the first few weeks.
But trying to build a stash of meals in your last trimester will be exhausting, believe me I tried that last time. And I ended up with a total of 5 meals stashed that lasted into week 2 of my recovery.
It will be even more challenging if you are not familiar with things like meal planning, freezer meals, and food prepping. So you want to start researching now to see what will work for you.
Here are some of my favorite links that I’ve learned more about meal planning and prepping from in the last few days then I knew before, and they are all beginner-friendly, simple to use and designed by Mom’s like you and me who are crazy busy.
Enjoy your pregnancy
There are so many things to do when you find out that you are pregnant, but relaxing and enjoying the moments is the MOST important. Sure there can be days where things get not so great, but this is really one of the most special and exciting times of your life. So RELAX, take some extra time for yourself, and let your man spoil you.