I remember sitting in my bathroom having just peed on a pregnancy test, so full of excitement. When it was finally time to look – lets be honest here that 3-5minute window feels like an eternity – I knocked the pregnancy test over and saw that plus sign as it landed face up on the floor. I was so excited I to find out I was pregnant! Hopefully you are more graceful than I was in that moment, but I just couldn’t hold in my excitement anymore, I was just dying to know!
Once my husband and I finished celebrating, we looked at each other like “now what?” We had SO MANY questions and didn’t know where to start. We both thought it would be so helpful for someone to write out a “what next guide” for newly pregnant parents. So here it is!
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7 steps to take when you find out you are pregnant:
Take Prenatal Vitamins
These are so important to your health and your babies development. Make sure it contains folic acid. They aren’t all created equally so be sure to tell your health care provider what you are taking so they can direct you further on this.
Confirm Your Pregnancy
I know this isn’t something that anyone wants to think about, but it is SO important. You have taken your at home test and are bursting at the seems with excitement, and yes that positive is a true positive. So, you might be thinking “Ashley, why do I need to waste my time confirming the pregnancy then?” Well let me tell you this is important to find out how pregnant you are, and to make sure your hormones are rising as they should be. So pick up that phone now and make an appointment to see your family practitioner – Ill wait while you do this!
Choose where you want to deliver
Location is a big one here. If you only have one hospital within a 4 hour drive this decision suddenly becomes pretty easy. However, if you are living in a bigger city there may be multiple options for you to choose from like home births, birthing centers or hospitals. Talk with your spouse about what environment you are both comfortable with and then explore your options from there. Recommendations from close friends or family can be especially helpful. Don’t be afraid to take a drive to visit the different facilities either!
Find a health Care Provider
Now I know what you are thinking – you already have a doctor right? Well it is important to find an OBGYN or a midwife (read more on my experience with a midwife here) if you don’t already have one. To sum up their roll, they are the pregnancy experts and will be the one delivering your baby, so don’t just pick anyone! Most want to start following pregnancies as between 6-12 weeks. Do your research and think about the following:
- The distance from their clinic to your home or workplace
- Do they have similar views as you? Are they a good fit? (remember pregnancy is ideally 40 weeks long so you will be seeing a lot of them)
- Are they able to deliver in the hospital you want to deliver at?
- Will they be accepting of a home birth if this is what you choose?
- Are they a part of a team of OBGYN’s or Midwives and will you get to meet the others In that practice?
Keep in mind that your pregnancy and or delivery may not go as you intend it to. I had a midwife my entire pregnancy but my baby was delivered by an OBGYN after my labour stalled. Check out my 31 HOUR BIRTH STORY HERE to read all about it!
Call your insurance provider
If you haven’t already done so check out what is and isn’t covered. Also find out if anything needs pre-approval. The last thing you want at the end of this is a surprisingly large bill. Your insurance company should be able to give u all the deets u need!
Maintain an active lifestyle
Pregnancy can be both physically and mentally exhausting; exercise as you feel up to it. But there are very little restrictions in very early pregnancy on physical activity, so it is likely that the activity you were used to before you found out you were pregnant is fine to continue. As you progress through your pregnancy make sure you follow the advice of your health care provider.
The first trimester can be super challenging making it hard to stay active, check out my First Trimester Survival Guide for tips on how to deal with those pesky symptoms!
Discuss how and when you will reveal the pregnancy
It is so important for you and your spouse to be on the same page with this one! Discuss it early on so you know each others expectations.
Congratulations on your little bundle of joy (let’s be honest that’s how you stumbled across my site right)!
What were the first things you did when you found out you were pregnant? Id love to hear from you in the comments.