When you first find out you’re pregnant, it may seem like things are moving very quickly, and you have no idea how to prepare for that special day. But, with a deep breath and some focus, you can quickly determine what you will need to do to take care of yourself and your growing baby.
What Should You do if You’re Pregnant?
The first thing that you should do is start with some of the basics. It can be easy to get carried away with planning everything out perfectly and conceptualizing every step of the way right now. One major step to take is to calculate the due date of your baby. It is important to know this date, as it can act as a factor in much of the other planning. Baby Center has a great calculator that they advise using to get a more accurate result than you would from pen and paper, as well as providing a deeper timeline that will help you understand the process.
Next, you should choose a Medical Professional. Your obstetrician, family physician, or midwife is someone that you will be consulting with regularly throughout this journey, so it is important that they be an individual that you trust and feel are a good match. After you have found a healthcare professional, be sure to schedule your first prenatal appointment.
8 Tips for Expecting Mothers
- Figuring out Finances: It may not be fun, but it is better to plan ahead for this instead of being blindsided by stacking costs. Additionally, it is a great idea to find out what your Insurance Company will cover. Pure Wow recommends this as well, as it will help you cut some of those costs, or make sure that you are staying in-network.
- Start Cutting Out: There will be quite a few things that will need to be removed from your diet and routine, for the health of your baby. Food and beverages are the biggest portion of this, from certain meats, a large number of kinds of seafood, soft cheeses, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products. You will also need to examine your makeup, as many products contain a chemical known as phthalates, which are harmful to the developing organs of your baby.
- Prep for Constant Nutrition: Begin taking prenatal vitamins as soon as possible. Most doctors actually recommend that you start when you are trying to conceive. Additionally, you will want to pack water and healthy snacks with you at all times, as you will not be able to predict sudden drops in blood sugar or spikes in hunger. All of the nutrients that you are putting into your body are being split between you and your child, so it’s important to plan accordingly.
- Get Ready for Change: There will be changes that you will go through on a physical level, that you will want to be aware of. Your hair can thicken, you may start to experience acne breakouts due to the hormone shifts, skin can darken. Other physical effects of pregnancy include stretch marks, swollen ankles, and varicose veins.
- Adjust your Habits: There are other activities, from fun and relaxing, to household chores, that you will need to avoid as well. Hot tubs and saunas are a pregnancy no-no. The high temperature may be relaxing for you, but it can lead to certain birth defects. A warm bath may be more ideal, at your doctor’s discretion. Another activity you can’t undertake, possibly to your benefit depending on your opinion of the chore, is the changing of kitty litter. Cat feces can carry toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease that you need to keep away from your developing child. Healthline advises having someone else change the litter, or if you absolutely must, wearing gloves and then washing your hands well.
- Learn More: More education is always a benefit, so you will want to pick up some books on the process. These will provide you with more information on all the changes that you can expect your body to go through, as well as provide some overviews as to what you should expect for the entire journey. Additionally, you can always consult your professional for more guidance.
- Plan for that Big Day and Those After: You will want to look into your company’s maternity leave policy in advance. This will allow you to plan for not just the day of birth, but those days after, and give you and your partner the information you will need to do so.
- Use Your Judgment: As with everything, don’t believe everything that you read or hear. There is a lot of information about taking care of yourself during pregnancy, from old wives’ tales to outdated medical knowledge. As always, if you are ever in doubt, err on the side of caution, and consult your medical professional for more information.
Remember, pregnancy isn’t forever. You will only be restricted from some of these foods and activities for the next nine months. After that, you should be able to go back to many of them quickly.
Preparing for a child can be a lot of work and requires deliberate planning during pregnancy, birth and beyond. North Texas Medical Center is here to help with prenatal care, the Labor and Delivery process, and even in the care of your newborn, providing rooms for visitation, rest, and education for moving forward once you go home. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation for your pregnancy, contact us today.