Congrats! I remember the day I found out that I was pregnant. It was filled completely with anticipation for the future and excitement. The first few months of a pregnancy are critical and can be confusing for first-time moms — like me! — as well as dads.
After doing a lot of my own research and asking for advice from those closest to me, I found my way through the beginning weeks. But, having a go-to list somewhere would have been so helpful.
So, that’s where I come in for you!
Today, I am going to reveal a list of what I believe (just my opinion!) is helpful to do the first week you find out you’re pregnant.
1. Take a digital pregnancy test
The first few months we were trying, I used cheap pregnancy tests where you waited for the glorious line to appear. Truth is, I had two false positives from those! Do yourself a favor and double-check that you are, in fact, pregnant using a digital test. I used Clear Blue Digital and I absolutely swear by those. Not only is the test quick, but it is a clear YES or NO. No in-between!
2. Tell your partner
If you are in the position where you want your partner to know, I suggest thinking of how you want to tell them. Some people like doing something cute and planned with thought behind it. Personally, I ran from the bathroom into our bed where my husband was JUST waking up and blabbed it right away, freaking out with excitement! There is no right way, so decide what is best for you.
3. Call your doctor
No one really tells you this, but the doctor will most likely not see you until the 8 week mark. Why? A clear heartbeat cannot be detected until then. But, definitely call your doctor and tell them that you received a positive test. Schedule your first appointment and start a countdown (such an incredible appointment!). It is truly magical to see the heartbeat shimmer on the screen when you first go!
4. Begin taking prenatal vitamins
If you are not already, definitely start taking prenatal vitamins. If you are reading this in anticipation of getting pregnant soon, definitely start taking them now! I personally began taking prenatal vitamins a year before we conceived to get the nutrients in my body (over-planning much??). Overall, the vitamins will give your baby most of what it needs to grow into a little fetus over the next few months. I recommend stocking up when you see a sale! You will go through so many over 9 months.
5. Evaluate your diet & exercise routine
Hopefully it is obvious to you that drugs and alcohol are off the table now for the next 9 months. But, it is also important to take a look at what is in your kitchen. Do your best to clear out processed foods. I recommend switching to all organic foods and whole-wheat ingredients to truly give your growing babe all they need! No need for them to be pumped with trans-fats, GMOs, and pesticides. Also, do your best to move for 30-60 minutes a day, even if you’re just taking a leisurely walk with your dog!
6. Get plenty of sleep
To be honest, I did not need anyone to tell me to do this one. If you have ANY energy between 6-14 weeks, I ENVY you! I was a walking zombie the first 3 months. My husband can attest that I slept about 10-14 hours a day — often passed out on the couch at 8pm every night. No matter what, don’t fight the sleepiness if you have the option! Listen to your body. It is telling you to relax while it is literally building you a beautiful, sweet little human.
7. Avoid heavy lifting
I cannot stress enough how important this one is. Unfortunately, I have read countless stories on baby threads where women miscarried after heavy lifting items around their house or at their job. No, you cannot always pinpoint if this is the cause, but I would not take a chance. Most doctors recommend not to heavy lift the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. This timeframe is usually where the chances of miscarrying drops dramatically.
8. Calculate your due date
Something SO fun that you get to do is figuring out the due date of your baby! There are so many websites out there that can do this for you or you can count the old fashion way. You need to count 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. This will give you an idea of where you are week-wise and how much planning time you have until your baby arrives!
9. Research Common Symptoms
Many people will give you the advice to LOOK NOTHING UP ON GOOGLE! I disagree. There are SO many useful websites that help you understand the common symptoms during the beginning few months. Also, don’t discount message boards where real mommies are sharing their experiences and will help you realize that, no… you’re not alone in how you are feeling! Obviously, if something truly seems off call a doctor right away with your concerns.
10. Download fun pregnancy tracking apps
Definitely go through and download about 3-4 baby-tracking apps. Why so many? Each is slightly different and offers different pieces of information about this 9 month journey you are on. Find the one that works for you! Personally, I am using Ovia and What to Expect. Hands down, those are my two favorite after testing a few out. They are similar, but both provide different bits of information that are helpful at different stages of my pregnancy.
11. Decide when to announce!
Definitely take some time to think about this one. My husband and I told our parents around about 6 weeks. We told our close friends around 8. But, we waited to announce to the rest of the world until we were almost 4 months pregnant. For us, we wanted to be safely out of the miscarriage window and only really cared to tell those close to us in the beginning. But, you need to figure out what works best for you and your partner!