Discovering you are pregnant for the first time is a very thrilling time in a woman’s life. However, it can also be nerve-wracking when you do not know what to expect. You may need to make some lifestyle changes to keep you and your baby healthy. Keep reading to find out what steps you should take next.
1. Confirm Your Pregnancy
Once you have skipped a period, you will take an at-home pregnancy test that can be purchased at any pharmacy. Call your obstetrician (OB/GYN) as soon as possible to schedule a visit to confirm your pregnancy. Your doctor may take a blood test to confirm that you are pregnant. Additionally, an ultrasound may be performed or scheduled.
2. Educate Yourself
Once you have had your pregnancy confirmed by a doctor, you can begin your pregnancy education. Your OB/GYN may give you diet and exercise information in addition to recommending supplements. To sustain a healthy pregnancy it is important to remain as active as possible and eat a well-balanced diet. Prenatal vitamins are often recommended to ensure you and your baby get the nutrients you may not get from food alone. Some medications are unsafe to take while pregnant. Be sure to review all documentation provided by your physician so you understand which medications you can and cannot take while you are expecting.
You should also learn about the three trimesters of pregnancy and what symptoms you can expect to experience in each one. If you are experiencing symptoms not indicated for the trimester you are currently in, you may want to call your physician to make sure the issue is not a cause for concern. Alternatively, you can mention symptoms to your OB/GYN at your next scheduled checkup.
3. Attend Regular Appointments
Throughout your pregnancy, you will need to see your OB/GYN frequently. Early in pregnancy, most women see their physician once a month. This could be more frequent if you are considered high-risk or if complications arise with your pregnancy. As you progress throughout the trimesters, your appointment frequency will increase.
You will also have several ultrasounds during your pregnancy. The frequency of ultrasounds varies depending on your overall health and risk level. These ultrasounds can be very exciting as they allow you to see your little one in your womb. If you choose, your ultrasound technician can tell you the sex of your baby after around the twentieth week of pregnancy.
4. Prepare for Birth and Baby
Conduct some research on birthing babies and determine whether you would like to be medicated during the birth or you would like to attempt a natural birth. Many women make birthing plans as a guide to present attending medical professionals with as they labor. Of course, you need to prepare your home for the baby with a crib, clothing, diapers and blankets. Install a car seat before you give birth as well.
Learning you are pregnant is a wonderful time! Be sure to confirm the pregnancy, educate yourself, attend regular checkups and prepare for birth and baby.