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12 Things To-Do Once You Become Pregnant

by Katlyn Joy | April 13, 2012 8:09 AM
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So you have taken the test and got a positive result? What happens now?

1. See your doctor. If you haven't already, make an appointment with your health care provider. You can see your regular family practitioner if they handle pregnant patients (and they usually do) an ob-gyn, or a midwife practitioner. Talk to friends and family about their recommendations if you don't have a doctor in mind.

2. Discuss with your partner when to share your news. You may want to hold off and keep this a personal joy for awhile longer. Some decide to wait until the first trimester and the greatest risk of miscarriage has passed, while others keep their loved ones in the loop from day one. There is no one right way, just whatever works best for you.

3. Quit smoking. Smoking leads to lower birth weight babies, prematurity and other health concerns. If you need help, talk to your doctor about options that will work for you.

4. Take your prenatal vitamin. Those giant horse pill looking vitamins are big for a reason; they are packed with nutrients your growing baby needs. If they make you queasy, consider taking them after dinner rather than first thing in the morning.

5. Give up risky activities. If you play contact sports, are an equestrian or a race car driver, you may need to curtail your hobbies for awhile. Any activity that can result in falls, blows to your body or too much jostling about are potential problems. If you are unsure, ask your medical provider.

6. Buy healthy foods and learn to eat right, if you don't already. Being pregnant isn't your excuse to eat double. Pregnant women don't need to eat for two. You need only about 300 extra calories daily, but that's during your second and third trimester.

7. Learn the diet no-nos for pregnant women. Avoid fatty foods, high sugar, nutrient empty foods. Watch out for food hazards you may not of heard of like the dangers of eating cold hot dogs or lunch meat, soft cheeses or mercury laden foods.

8. Don't take any medication, even over the counter medicines without the green light from your physician. Few medications are OK'd for pregnant women, and those typically include simple antacids, acetaminophen and some allergy medications. Watch out for herbal medications or even some supplements or teas. Certain herbs are quite dangerous for pregnant women.

9. Make allowances for morning sickness, fatigue and stress. The first several weeks can be quite a strain due to all the rapid changes taking place in your body and your life. You may experience all day nausea, maybe vomiting and your energy may well plummet. Don't worry, it's unlikely that this difficult phase will last. Most women feel better after the first ten weeks or so. Until then take naps, rest your feet, and say no to extra demands on your time until you feel better.

10. Start thinking long range about work, childcare and budget. The sooner you begin the consideration process, the less stress that will result. Look into your schedule options at work, think about what kind of care you desire for your child; home daycare, nanny, relative or daycare center? Is your budget tight? Think of places you can cut back.

11. Become baby-literate. Learn the new culture of pregnancy, motherhood and baby development. Knowing what to expect can dispel many fears. Read books, keep up with thebabycorner.com, and join online our community geared to your new maternal interests.

12. Buy a baby outfit or toy. No, it's not a necessity or time for all that yet but engaging in that fun type of activity gives you permission to daydream about your very real and looming future with your new baby. Buy a name book or get some paint samples for the nursery. Go ahead and enjoy this special time!


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