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10 Things to Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant

You’re pregnant. Once you’ve processed that fact, one question probably jumped straight to the top of your mind: Now what?

First, take a deep breath. You are probably experiencing a flurry of emotions—excitement, joy, stress and fear are all normal responses. You’ll have many plans to make and things to do over the coming months. But what do you need to handle ASAP?

Put these steps at the top of your pregnancy to-do list:

  1. Schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you suspect you’re pregnant. At your first prenatal visit, your physician or midwife will confirm your pregnancy, take your health history, and talk to you about what to do and what to expect. Regular prenatal care visits with your healthcare provider can reduce health risks for both you and your baby.
  2. Check your medications. If you take any prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines or herbal products, discuss them with your provider. Some medications are OK to take during pregnancy but others may be harmful to your unborn baby.
  3. Rethink your diet. You need more protein, iron and calcium now that you’re pregnant. In addition, the CDC recommends taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Most prenatal vitamins contain folic acid.
  4. Focus on food safety. To decrease the risk for foodborne illness, skip raw fish, undercooked meat, cold deli meat and unpasteurized cheese. To reduce mercury exposure, don’t eat swordfish, shark, marlin, orange roughy, tilefish or king mackerel, and limit albacore tuna to no more than 6 ounces per week.
  5. Quit smoking, vaping and tobacco use. If you’re a smoker, there’s no better time to quit. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight and certain birth defects. Talk to your healthcare provider about strategies to help you quit. Stay away from secondhand smoke as well.
  6. Stop drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol during pregnancy puts your child at risk for lifelong learning disabilities, behavioral problems and other health issues. To prevent such problems, it’s crucial not to drink during the entirety of your pregnancy. If that proves to be difficult, talk with your healthcare provider or look for places to get treatment.
  7. Get active. Regular exercise helps get your body into shape for later pregnancy, labor and delivery. Plus, it’s beneficial for your self-esteem and mood. Click here for a video on suitable pregnancy exercises.  
  8. Avoid toxic exposures. Steer clear of pesticides, solvents, lead and radiation. If you have a job that brings you into contact with these things, work with your healthcare provider and employer to protect yourself and your baby.
  9. Keep stress in check. Your life just changed dramatically and your body is going through many changes. If you feel a bit stressed at times, that’s not unusual. Share your feelings with someone you can count on to be supportive. Find healthy ways to relax—going for walks, pursuing a hobby, practicing meditation or spending time with friends.
  10. Sign up for a virtual class. While you’re waiting for that first appointment with your physician or midwife, take advantage of our extensive variety of classes for parents, including our popular Understanding Birth series.

Now that you’re pregnant, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. You’re making healthy decisions for two. Our brand-new Overlake Childbirth Center is here to support and guide you throughout your entire birth experience. Our experienced team looks forward to working in close partnership with you to create a personalized birth plan—tailored to both your medical and personal needs.

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