It was this time one year ago that I found out we were pregnant. I remember that day like it was yesterday. We had just moved to San Diego earlier that week and had finally signed a lease on our new apartment the day before. It had been a really long, stressful first week so finding out I was pregnant while we were still living in a cramped little motel room didn’t make it any less stressful. She had been planned in every way imaginable, but the moment I got that positive pregnancy test, I was immediately terrified. SO excited, but still so terrified.
It took a few hours for it to really settle in and then I instantly felt overwhelmed. We had just moved so I didn’t have a doctor, we didn’t have fiends, family was 3,000 miles away, it was our first baby and I literally had absolutely no idea what to do. I wish I had a whole checklist to tell me what I was supposed to be doing because I was that lost. So I’ve picked out the top 10 things you should do once you find out you’re pregnant:
- Schedule a doctor’s appointment. First and foremost, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Chances are they’ll want to confirm the pregnancy and schedule an ultrasound to see how far along you are. They can also offer insight as to any abnormalities they may see and provide you with a ton of awesome resources so you have an idea of what to do from there. This also gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have or express concerns.
- Announce to friends and family. This is going to vary from person to person so only tell who you feel comfortable telling. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was determined to keep it a secret from everyone until we were through the first trimester. I was having a ton of anxiety and was scared of miscarrying and I just didn’t want everyone in my life involved in it. BUT, we ended up telling all of our family as well as select friends the moment we had it confirmed at the doctor’s office (at about 6 weeks or so). Then we made a larger announcement on Facebook and on my blog once we were through the first trimester and we knew everything was still okay. I was actually almost 16 weeks pregnant when I made the announcement so I waited a little longer than planned. Go with whatever you feel comfortable with! (Related: Our Pregnancy Announcement)
- Sign up for a prenatal yoga class. I say it all the time how amazing prenatal yoga is. Yoga in general is amazing for not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. It keeps you fit and flexible throughout your pregnancy and even prepares you for labor in some ways. I’ve learned so many different breathing techniques that I can use during labor as well as various positions that can be helpful to me while delivering. I leave yoga feeling like I can easily take on labor and delivery. It’s empowering. And not only that, but it’s an awesome way to connect with other moms and it gives you a space to ask those tough questions that you may not feel comfortable asking your doctor. It’s like a support group. So if you’re expecting, then I highly recommend checking out prenatal yoga classes in your area! (Related: Prenatal Yoga Benefits For Expectant Mothers)
- Create a workout plan. I feel super repetitive with this sometimes, but I just can’t stress enough how important it is to work out during pregnancy (as long as it’s approved by your doctor first!). I remember one day when I was at the gym, I was talking to the front desk staff (as I do every day when I’m there), and they were telling me about a woman who came into the gym that morning to cancel her membership. The reason? Because she found out she was pregnant. What?! This was crazy to me. That’s the time to sign up for a membership! Even if it’s just going for a walk after dinner, it’s better than nothing. Get yourself up and moving! I promise it makes pregnancy, labor and delivery, and your postpartum recover so much easier!
- Adjust your diet. I totally did not go on the “pregnancy diet” when I found out I was pregnant. I’m sorry, but the list of foods you “cant” eat while pregnant is insane to me. Even now, postpartum, I’m still coming across random foods that I supposedly wasn’t supposed to be eating that I actually consumed on an almost weekly basis. I wasn’t a horrible eater by any means prior to pregnancy so the only thing I cut out is alcohol. Everything else (just like when you’re not pregnant) is fine in moderation. You have to know when to limit yourself. The big things I kept an eye on were caffeine (although I’ve gotten a ton of rude comments this pregnancy on my coffee intake this pregnancy…), sugar, and my love for sushi (another thing I get rude comments on). Caffeine and sugar are actually two things I keep an eye on anyways regardless of being pregnant so the transition to pregnancy wasn’t too challenging there. But if you find yourself constantly drinking soda or living off coffee or not being able to say no to sweets, then it’s going to be a bit more challenging for you in the first few months as you make the necessary adjustments. I say it constantly: pregnancy is not the time to eat whatever you want. If you’re not a healthy eater, then fix it. (Related: My Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy)
- Start documenting! I had a really rough start to my pregnancy mental health-wise so I took to my blog to document the changes I was going through and how I was feeling along the way. A friend of mine bought me this super cute book (I think it’s called one line a day? or something like that) to document random thoughts and milestones here and there as well. It’s good for five years which is super awesome. So I can document her first few years of life as well. And then you have the bumpdate photos…Everyone wants to see the progression of your baby bump from the time you find out to the time you give birth. While it was tough for me in the beginning to even look at my changing body, I did suck it up and take a weekly photo “just in case”. Now, postpartum, I’m so glad I did that. While they’re still hard to look at sometimes, I do love seeing how much she’s grown over the months. And I know our friends and family back home have loved seeing them as well.
- Find a great lotion. It’s not 100% guaranteed that you can prevent stretch marks with a lotion, but I just wasn’t taking any changes. Stretch marks don’t go away so I took them very seriously throughout my pregnancy. My go-to lotion was Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for pregnancy and stretch marks. First off, it smells super good! And second, it’s really great at moisturizing the areas of my body that I apply it to. I put it on twice a day on my stomach, boobs, and butt (yes, my butt too. Someone mentioned to me that they got stretch marks on their butt during pregnancy and I wasn’t taking any chances there either!). When I went into labor at 40 weeks, I still didn’t have a single stretch mark (but I also stayed very healthy in addition to using the lotion as well!). Whether it works or not, I’d look into finding a good one to start using!
- Download some pregnancy apps. I LOVED having pregnancy apps on my phone throughout my pregnancy. It was so much fun to watch her progress and track her growth and development. Babies grow and change so much from one week to the next. It’s insane. And while I hated pregnancy so much, these apps really did help me feel a bit more excited and connected to her while she was in the womb. So they can be sure beneficial to your mental health as well. The two apps I had on my phone were Glow Nurture, Pregnancy & Baby by What To expect and Pregnancy Tracker & Baby App by BabyCenter. I also use A Baby Story (? I think that’s what it’s called) to track my baby bump. So find some great apps to track your little one’s growth!
- Start gathering items for your registry. It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby registry. We didn’t finalize ours until we found out the gender, but it was nice to have a head start on it. There’s so much to look into and so much research to do as well on various brands and products. So start getting an idea of what items you may want for your baby and determine what you’ll be putting on your registry.
- Gather your resources. Your doctor’s office can be a great source for pregnancy resources. They’ll have everything from checklists to prenatal work out classes to parenting classes to informational brochures on breastfeeding. They’ll have it all. And if not, then the internet is your next best source. I was really big on following pregnancy blogs and websites throughout my pregnancy and even now I continue to follow them for parenting advice and resources as well.
While there are so many things to do once you find out you’re expecting, these were the top 10 things I made sure to do once I had that positive pregnancy test! What did you do first when you found out you were pregnant?