First off, CONGRATULATIONS! If the pregnancy was planned and expected then I’m sure that you are already jumping for joy and planning your nursery scheme. If this pregnancy was not planned and you’re freaking out a little bit, just breathe. Things are definitely going to change, but you have 9 months to plan and prepare. Just remember to breathe.
There are a million ideas about what you should and should not do regarding your pregnancy, and you will quickly learn that everyone, I mean EVERYONE, has an opinion. I have always been a firm believer that you should take any piece of advice, including this, with a grain of salt. You are the mama and you are in charge. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not. If something sounds fishy to you or it gives you a bad feeling, don’t do it. Go with your gut, it won’t steer you wrong.
That being said, here are the 10 things that really helped me get off on the right foot with my pregnancy.
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Start Taking Prenatals
If you haven’t already, start a prenatal. There are a ton of options out there depending on what you’re looking for. The important things are folic acid and Omega-3s. Studies have shown that babies that received Omega-3s and DHA in utero perform better on intelligence testing.
Yes, you could eat more fish, but too much mercury can have the opposite effect. Besides, if it’s already in your daily vitamin then that is 1 less thing for you to have to worry about. Trust me, you want that.
Though it isn’t a requirement, I would totally suggest learning to love Amazon. I was an occasional shopper before, but now I pretty much live off of Amazon. They have an awesome baby registry with some free goodies available, which is always a plus. I am also a HUGE fan of the prime membership. I buy everything I can from them and just have it shipped. Saves me so much time. I even have my diapers and wipes on a subscription so I never have to worry about running out. They just show up at my door. It’s awesome!
Related: How to Save Money on Baby Supplies
Contact your Insurance
Contact your insurance company. Some insurance companies, like mine for instance, require a referral from your primary care doctor to see your OB, even if you’ve been going to that OB for all of your lady visits for years. I didn’t know this about my own insurance until I was 6 months pregnant. I received several bills for lab work and ultrasound scans before I finally figured it out. It was a huge mess, so please just save yourself the hassle and ask them what they need.
Ask About Breast Pumps
While you’re on the phone with your insurance, find out if they cover a breast pump and find out what kind. If you plan on breastfeeding, chances are you will have to use a pump at some point in time and if you can get one paid for it is totally worth it. Those suckers (no pun intended) can get pricey.
Some insurance companies also have restrictions on what kind of pump they will cover: hospital grade, double electric, single electric, etc. It’s worth finding out what they’ll cover ahead of time so that you can do some research and find the kind that works best for you.
If you don’t want to deal with your insurance company (I don’t blame you) Aeroflow can take care of the whole process for you. They’ll contact your insurance company about pumps, they’ll contact your doctor about a prescription, you’ll pick your pump, and they’ll send it to you. And did I mention that it’s completely FREE! Just fill out THIS form and they’ll start the process for you.
Schedule an Appointment
Once you find out which doctor you need to call (primary or OB), make your appointment. Most obstetricians will not bring you in until you’re about 8 weeks along because the fetus is too small to get a heartbeat from. Even if you are planning to use a midwife, I would still suggest making a visit to an OB first to check things out and make sure that everything is as it should be. The first 12 weeks are the most risky and it’s good to have a doctor keeping tabs this early on just in case.
There are so many different books and movies and videos out there about having a baby. The problem is that there are just TOO many options. When I was going through my own pregnancy, all of the options were a bit overwhelming.
Thankfully, my friend Hilary over at Pulling Curls has made it SO much easier. If you don’t know, Hilary is a labor and delivery nurse and she has a great online prenatal course. You should absolutely check it out!
Start drinking more water. Throughout your entire pregnancy, you will have people asking you how much water you’re drinking and they really want to know. Though it might seem like a cruel joke because you’re already running to the bathroom every 10 minutes, it actually is very important. Normal people should drink around 8 glasses of water a day. While pregnant, that number goes up to 10-12 glasses of water a day. That’s between 80-96 ounces a day. I used to strive for a gallon just to be on the safe side.
Water will help your skin stay hydrated, allow your muscles and tendons to stretch easier, and make sure that the baby has enough amniotic fluid to swim around in. The extra water will also help keep bloating and muscle cramps at bay. Yes, you will have to pee more often, but you will ultimately feel much better.
To help me remember to drink enough water, I had to start carrying a water bottle around. I LOVE my Hydroflask water bottle. I take it with me everywhere. That thing is basically
Start using belly butter, or any lotion really on your stomach and your boobs. Some people say it helps with stretch marks. I can’t say for sure because I still have some, but they aren’t bad. It did, however, make the stretching feeling in my skin so much more bearable. I started using one every day once I found out. Having it be a part of my daily routine just made the process so much easier.
Once I started showing, I could always tell the days that I forgot to use it because my skin would just itch so bad! Being pregnant is uncomfortable enough as it is. Anything that helps to lessen that is amazing. I like the Burt’s Bees Belly Butter. I was able to get through my entire pregnancy with just two of these things. I’m all about saving a bit of money.
If you aren’t already doing an exercise regime, then start one. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just an easy walk will be fine. You’re going to be tired, building a baby is tough work, but doing all of that sitting, especially if you have a desk job can causing cramping issues and possibly blood clots.
You want to get up and walk around every hour by the time you’re in your 3rd trimester. If you can get into that habit now it’ll make it so much easier down the road.
Think about the Delivery
Start thinking about what kind of delivery setting you might want. You obviously have plenty of time to decide, but it’s best to start thinking about it early so that you aren’t rushed at the end.
If you’re going through a doctor, then you will be in a hospital. Are you okay with that? If hospitals freak you out, then you may want to consider using a midwife at a birthing center or even getting brave and doing it at home. It is completely up to you, but you want to be comfortable and relaxed with your decision.
I changed my mind a couple of times about my delivery space, so I’m really glad that I started thinking about it early.
Now the last, and by far the most important thing that you should do when you find out that you’re pregnant, is enjoy it. It may seem like it is going to take forever to get to hold your baby, but in reality it really isn’t that long. It will go by much faster than you think.
You’re building a baby. Literally creating another person inside of you. It’s amazing! Take the time to enjoy your pregnancy. Pay attention to the changes that your body is going through. I was constantly in wonder and awe at the amazing things my body could do. Now that it’s over, I wish that I had paid more attention to the changes when they were happening. Make sure that you do.
Until next time!