So you just found out that you're pregnant! It might have been a long-awaited moment, the culmination of a journey filled with anticipation, or you may have taken a test after the first time you tried and found -- to your surprise, perhaps -- that you are expecting. Either way, here you are with life blooming inside of you and a world full of possibilities ahead.
More likely than not, you are probably very excited. But you are also nervous, too, and you might even feel a bit overwhelmed. And that's okay, because it is kind of a big deal. But we're here to help you channel that nervousness into proactivity and get started on the right foot. Here are six steps you should take after you find out you are pregnant.
Choose a Healthcare Professional
The first thing you do as you step foot into that uncharted territory of morning sickness, odd cravings, tiny kicks inside your womb, and late-night whisperings to your baby as you tell them all the wonderful things you're preparing for them already, is to decide on a healthcare professional.
If you have already made the selection, perfect! If not, no worries -- now is the time. Take time and care to choose, though. Remember that you will be seeing this person quite frequently for the next nine or so months, and that they will be your primary source of information for most pregnancy-related matters.
Ask around and take opinions from friends and family or from local online groups if you're not sure who to choose. Be thorough so you can have a comfortable experience later. Once you decide on your provider, then you'll want to schedule your first prenatal appointment with them.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
If you are one of those who like to go on aggressive online hunts before undertaking literally anything, you might have started taking prenatal vitamins soon after you decided to become pregnant. But if you haven't, there's no better time to start than now!
These supplements contain a form of the crucial vitamin folic acid which helps the body build red blood cells. Make sure to get all the alphabet, from A through E, in your vitamin supplements! Usually, prenatal vitamins are available over the counter, but do ask your healthcare provider if you should take any particular supplements.
Check Your Due Date Online
Once you have selected a provider and scheduled a prenatal appointment with them, it's time to figure out your due date! Pregnancy is an exciting time; you've been waiting for this moment and you are, frankly, quite giddy.
Perhaps you can't wait to see your baby's face as it makes its entrance into this world, or maybe you're looking forward to the experience of the pregnancy itself. After all, everyone around you will rightly spoil you. Either way, it's good to know how long this period of your life will last.
Usually, the first day of your last period is used to calculate the due date. A bit of fancy-schmancy math gets you the due date. However, it's easier to just use an online pregnancy calculator to help you determine your due date. Once you know your date, you can start to mentally prepare yourself for the day without having to find out at your first prenatal visit.
Consult Your Doctor About Medications
If you are taking any prescription medications, supplements, or occasionally take over-the-counter medicines, such as paracetamol, discuss whether you should switch your medications. A lot of drugs are not formulated to be safe for usage during pregnancy, so it's super important to check with a professional.
It's equally important, and I can't stress this enough, to not immediately cease a medication schedule. You are, of course, taking the medicines for a reason, and the effects of discontinuing without proper instruction can be harmful to you and your baby.
Cut Out the Alcohol
Research consistently shows that there are no safe levels of alcohol for a developing fetus. So, sad as it may be, the greater joys in life require that you abstain for a little while. Go ahead and pack away the wine bottles and let them age, as there will be plenty of time (and need!) for relaxation after your baby is out of your belly.
Relax, And Take a Breath
Lastly, try not to fret. We live in an increasingly modern and scientific era, where we understand health better than ever before. No wonder guidelines for all conditions (including pregnancy!) are so in-depth and can sound overwhelming. However, as you already know, we have survived for millennia without our current medical and diagnostic advancements.
We will likely survive some more with them, so don't panic if you think you ate the wrong thing at the wrong time or are worried you did something wrong. Relax, and take a deep breath, momma-to-be. You got this, and it's going to be absolutely fine.
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