Two pink lines. A blue plus. A simple “pregnant.” Once you have that big fat positive (or BFP for all you baby forum members), you might be wondering what on earth to do next. While those first few weeks of pregnancy might feel overwhelming, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at the same time, it can also be a great time to begin preparing!
- Figure out your due date. There are plenty of resources that do the math for you to figure out the due date. You can use a site like Babycenter that has a due date calculator or an app like Ovia that will also update you of your baby’s growth. Knowing the due date will help when you are speaking with a provider about any early questions or concerns.
- Find an obstetrician or a midwife. A good provider will be instrumental in making your birth experience a positive one. Decide early on what you want your birth plan to look like and find a provider you can trust to listen to these choices. It can help to talk to friends to see if they have any recommendations. (Psssttt…looking for a good midwife? We know a few!)
- Create a budget. Sure, it might feel a bit early for this, but babies can be pricey! Looking realistically at your finances and deciding where you can cut back will allow you to start saving to ensure you’re fully prepared once the baby comes.
- Decide how to announce. Okay, this is the fun part! Decide when you want to announce your pregnancy. Some women wait until around the start of the second trimester since by then the risk of miscarriage is dramatically lower. Others prefer to build their support system early on and want to spread the news as soon as they know. Once you determine when you’re comfortable announcing, decide how you want to let people know! Whether you choose to call your friends and family or get creative over social media, enjoy this precious time of hearing reactions! And if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our Pinterest board!
- Learn about common pregnancy symptoms. Often, a positive pregnancy test precedes the majority of your symptoms. Understanding what to expect can help once you actually start to experience them, and it will reassure you about what’s normal and help you determine when you might need to call your provider. And remember, Google is a fickle friend. Always trust the advice of your doctor or midwife over what you read online.
- Adjust your diet. People like to treat pregnant women like delicate creatures who can only eat kale and stay off their feet as much as possible, but that’s just not the case! Still, there is a small list of foods that are best to be avoided (here’s the American Pregnancy Association’s guide). At Celebrate Birth, we tell our clients to mainly focus on building a nutritious, balanced diet. If you need more guidance, register for The Nest’s Prenatal Nutrition class that learn more about how to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy.
- Understand how your body will change. You already know you’ll have to put away those skinny jeans for a few months, but your body is about to go through other shifts that you might not expect. Your hair might thicken, and you could experience breakouts here and there. Some women experience unexpected swelling across their entire body. Stretch marks may appear as your skin stretches to accommodate your growing uterus. Your hormones will impact your emotions as well. Once you understand these changes, it will be easier to accept and prepare for them.
For the Baby
- Start brainstorming names. This is always a fun way to involve your partner! Make a list of names you each like as well as ones you both love. Discussing this early on gives you plenty of time to change your mind or come to an agreement in the case of a stalemate.
- Track development. Finding a way to track your baby’s development week-by-week can be a good way to distract yourself from some of those pregnancy woes. There are several apps that will let you follow along with physical development and growth. Ovia even allows you to decide how to compare your baby’s size and has categories like unusual animals or French bakery items that let you enjoy watching your baby grow from a wee macaroon to a Charlotte Royale cake!
- Create a registry. You don’t have to go crazy with this just yet, but creating an online registry is a handy way to start tracking all the must-haves you come across while planning. Plus, let’s be honest – looking at baby stuff can be so much fun!
Remember, one of the most important things you can do early on is to set up your first appointment with a doctor or midwife. Early prenatal care is an important part of staying healthy and low-risk during your pregnancy and equally important to your plans for an easy birth experience. If you’re interested in midwifery care, give us a call at Celebrate Birth!