Whether you planned it carefully or it came as a surprise, there it is staring you in the face via an at-home pregnancy test. You’re with child! After freaking out both internally and externally, you probably have one huge elephant in the room with a major question written across his face: What now? Here are my (somewhat short) tips of what helped me through my 40 weeks+ 1 day pregnancy, below.
• Make an appointment for a blood test to confirm your pregnancy, they generally see you at 8-12 weeks gestation
• Check with your health insurance to see what is and isn’t covered
• Choose a doctor or midwife to provide prenatal care and deliver your little one. Also, research doula and see if their guidance throughout your pregnancy is something for you/your family.
• Schedule your first prenatal appointment early in your first trimester (see bullet point 1)
• Maintain your current workout regimen, or if you’ve been on a fitness break, start a new simple routine. A great one that I used during my pregnancy was The Pregnancy Project.
• Decide where you’d prefer to give birth (hospital, birthing center, or at-home)
• Take time for R&R and DRINK WATER. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your weight in ounces a day. (Ex: If you are 120lbs, you would drink 60oz a day)
• Eat organic. At the very least, make sure to purchase the “dirty dozen” organic to limit pesticide exposure
• Consume leafy greens daily as a whole food source for folate and fiber. If you are having food aversions, try juicing or blending your greens in a smoothie.
• Take prenatal vitamins to get in the extra nutrients you might miss in your daily diet. Honest company carries a great line.
• Add or increase your probiotic intake and your tummy will thank you
• Eat grass-fed pastured meats and wild-caught low-mercury fish, like salmon or cod
• Stop alcohol and drug consumption
• With advice from your doctor, stop taking potentially harmful prescription drugs
• Say bye-bye to sushi—raw fish may carry pathogens... I know, bummer :(
• Steer clear of unpasteurized dairy to avoid contracting listeria. Always opt for hard cheeses over soft varieties, like brie, feta, blue cheese, and queso fresco. Plus, no raw milk or yogurt. Better to be safe than sorry.
• Keep having sex! I know it's tough when you feel awful, but it's great for your mood, and keeps the baby machine healthy and thriving
• Talk about your parenting plans and goals
• Keep up with date nights
• Kiss—it sounds cheesy but you won’t do much of that once baby arrives
• Take lots of pictures because soon there will always be a new addition to your photo sessions and it will be harder and harder to have one of just the 2 of you
• All natural labor? C-Section? Develop a labor and postpartum support plan
• Sign up for birthing and newborn care classes. I had a all natural labor and delivery with Camden, which means no epidural, no IV etc. In order to properly prepare for this I chose the Bradley Method course. It was incredible and helped me stay on track with a natural delivery plan. I also read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth which was a wealth of knowledge.
• Enjoy pregnancy-friendly facials, manicures, pedicures and massages
• Make a luxurious body butter or oil to help soothe your soon-to-stretch skin. Check out my anti-stretch mark body butter I made during my pregnancy here.
• Invest in a few chic maternity pieces for your wardrobe. Target and Asos have affordable and stylish finds.
• Keep up with your haircuts, you’ll thank yourself later.
• Take belly shots, whether you do this weekly, monthly, or ever-so-often, they’re great to have
• Travel, just make sure all international travel is cleared with your doctor and complete before you’re full-term
• Start a pregnancy diary that you can gift to your child one day
• You can wait until 14-20 weeks to tell your employer about your pregnancy
• It's a stress reducer to hold off on any registry-building until the second trimester, and thinking about having a baby shower a couple of months before your due date
• If you opt to, you can find out the sex of your child at 20 weeks (and sometimes sooner)
CONGRATS!!! Now, go take a nap :)