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What to do after finding out you are pregnant
Finally, mama, you see two lines on that pregnancy test kit! You will likely be overwhelmed, in disbelief, or suddenly anxious. Whether you’ve tried for years or you just got it really lucky, you should calmly take the next big steps to ensure your and your baby’s safety.
Knowing what to do next after learning you’re pregnant will help you smoothly navigate your motherhood journey. Here’s a checklist on what you need to do next after you find yourself positive (and we’re not talking about baby items shopping or planning your gender reveal).
You may already be delayed for two weeks before deciding to take that pregnancy test. It could also be later, but what’s important is you immediately consult an OB-Gyne. Your obstetrician will help you determine if your PT kit was not faulty and your doctor will also recommend that you get confirmatory tests. This is very important because this could determine the health of your baby. Ideally, you’ll have an ultrasound by 8 weeks and to see if there is bleeding or if the sac is growing well.
If there is bleeding, your OB-Gyne could immediately make interventions, such as ordering bed rest or some medications, lowering your risk of a miscarriage.
Choose people you want to know about your pregnancy
Of course, your husband or partner would ideally be the first to know. You can break the news creatively or as simple as showing the PT kit or ultrasound image. What’s important is you share it with him first before telling anyone else. Then you can tell your immediate family or in-laws, or hold off sharing the good news until you’re nearing the end of your first trimester. It really depends on you.
Most likely, you will also have to tell your immediate supervisor at work – in case you need to unload on some work during the delicate stage of your pregnancy.
Health check is in order
Your OB-Gyne will likely prescribe some vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and iron supplements. The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending the use of daily oral iron and folic acid supplementation with 30 mg to 60 mg of elemental iron and 400 g (0.4 mg) of folic acid to prevent maternal anemia, puerperal sepsis, low birth weight, and preterm birth.
Your health specialist will also check if you have essential jabs, and what other safe vaccines can be given you during your pregnancy. You should also share with your doctor any information about your allergies.
Watch your diet and make necessary lifestyle changes
Pregnancy is not a reason for compulsive eating. While cravings will always be there, moderation should always be the rule. Cut on sugar, eat more greens, and have a varied protein-rich diet.
After finding out you’re pregnant, you should also immediately quit smoking and alcoholic drinks, stop staying up late, and avoid strenuous activities. Quitting coffee however depends on how many cups you consume in a day.
“For pregnant women with high daily caffeine intake (more than 300 mg per day), lowering daily caffeine intake during pregnancy is recommended to reduce the risk of pregnancy loss and low-birth-weight neonates,” the WHO said.
When it comes to exercise, talk with your OB-Gyne and get clearance if you can carry on with the activity. For sensitive pregnancies, you may not be allowed to retain your routine.
Religiously attend your check-ups
Some pregnancies may require more check-ups. However there are essential weeks, like the 8th week checkup where you’ll hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
The next milestone would be the 16-week checkup, when you not only find out your baby’s gender, but also a thorough check if your baby has congenital illnesses that might need to be addressed.
Look for labor options
Whether it’s your first pregnancy or not, you should always consult your trusted OB-Gyne. If you’re not comfortable with your health specialist, find a second opinion early on so you can have a doctor who can monitor your pregnancy’s progress. Check too if your OB-Gyne is listed in your preferred delivery hospital.
You can also discuss if you’re eyeing a natural spontaneous delivery, or check if you’ll be needing a Cesarean.
Look for a hospital that would cater to your budget and needs. If you have a preferred type of birth or you want your husband to be beside you during delivery, confirm with your preferred health institution early on.
Find a hospital that will provide you a good birth experience, which, according to the WHO, practice the following:
- avoiding unnecessary medical interventions
- encouraging women to move around freely during early labor
- allowing them to choose their birth position and have a companion of their choice by their side
- ensuring privacy and confidentiality and providing adequate information about pain relief
Consider attending classes
Some Youtube tutorials may help but it’s better to get experts when it comes to birth and child rearing. You may enroll in birth classes to further know what to expect, and to also help your spouse or partner be better equipped prior the arrival of your baby.
Reach out to mama friends
They always say it takes a village to raise children. But it also takes a community to make any mama feel she belongs, too. Share pregnancy experience, questions, and quirks in a community you can trust, like edamama’s Connect.
Pregnancy is a wonderful experience. Though it is physically exhausting, it is truly rewarding. And when you know what to do and expect, you’ll enjoy your pregnancy better too.
Need some ideas on baby stuff you’ll be needing? Check out our ultimate essentials list, from A-Z!