Nine months seems like plenty of time to do everything you need to do—until you’re pregnant. All of a sudden, nine months seems like nine minutes! The initial shock of finding out you’re pregnant can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. Start with these things! Everything else will follow naturally.
Most doctors will recommend that you start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you know you’re pregnant. These nutrients are essential to your baby’s healthy development, especially in the first four weeks. That seems early, but your body is going through a lot already, and your baby needs all the nutrients they can get. Find a supplement that contains an omega-3 DHA, which will help your baby’s visual and cognitive growth. Make sure it contains at least 400 milligrams of folic acid for your baby’s brain health, too!
Most gynecologists won’t see you until about six to eight weeks after your last period—but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the ball rolling. Go ahead and schedule your appointment. This is also a great time to get some initial recommendations for you during the first six weeks over the phone.
The sooner you find out what’s covered for you by your insurance company and what’s not, the better prepared you’ll be for all the expenses coming your way. Pregnancy is expensive, but knowing what you’ll get help with and what you won’t will help you start budgeting right away. Figure out what portion of your hospital bills they’ll pay for, including prescribed medical tests. Also double check that your OB-GYN is in your network.
It’s time to quit a lot of things you love, although we promise it’ll be worth it. Cut out the cheese, sushi, wine, lunch meats, caffeine, and junk food. Your baby will thank you! And you’ll probably thank yourself, too.
Some makeup contains phthalates, which are chemicals that could be harmful to your baby’s health. Go through your makeup bag and check the ingredient labels—you may have to find some replacements.
Your hormones are going through all kinds of changes right now, even this early on. It’s hard to tell—especially at the beginning—when your blood sugar may suddenly drop. Start carrying water with you everywhere, and keep a few snacks in your bad, like almonds or fruit, just in case you start feeling woozy.
Most women wait until the end of their first trimester to share baby news at work. Making sure everything is working and going smoothly is a perfectly reasonable explanation for waiting! Waiting doesn’t mean you can’t feel out what your company’s maternity leave policy is like. If you don’t have access to an employee handbook or direct access to policies, you can email HR and ask about the policy. Your conversations with HR are confidential, so don’t worry about the news spreading before you’re ready.
Tell Your Family!
Even if you aren’t ready to shout your baby news from the rooftops, telling close friends or family members can actually take a lot of the stress off of you. Having someone to confide in—maybe even someone who’s been pregnant before—other than you doctor can be a great stress reliever.
These next nine months will certainly fly by, so be sure to take time to document the process! Journal about your feelings and your experiences, take pictures of your growing belly and anything else that you think you’d enjoy looking back on.
Newly Pregnant? We’ve Got You
For all the pregnancy advice and support you need, contact Regional Medical Center today!