13 Steps to Take When You Find Out You’re Pregnant

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what to do when you find out you're pregnant

When you find out you’re pregnant, you’re full of emotion. It can be hard to think straight! But once things settle down, you should start taking some immediate steps to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. Here are 13 steps you should definitely take.

1. Limit certain foods, immediately

You may need to alter your diet and eliminate some things all together. Sadly, those sushi nights with girlfriends may need to wait because alcohol, sushi, and those headache pills (including aspirin) could harm your baby.

While most foods are safe, it’s important to take precautions including: always washing your veggies, making sure food is fully cooked, confirming cheeses are pasteurized, steering clear of shellfish, microwaving cold-cuts (to kill bacteria), and limiting caffeine.

If you opt to eat deli meats, buy organic, no-nitrate meats and warm up to kill any potential bacteria (also make sure to eat within four days of purchase).

Drink lots of water. Shoot for 100 ounces a day. Water not only helps combat against pregnancy constipation and dehydration, but it flushes out toxins from you and the baby.

2. Call your doctor

While your doctor will confirm your pregnancy with the same test you take at home, it’s still good to set up the first conversation. Most initial visits take place between 8-12 weeks. At that time, you may hear a heartbeat, get an ultrasound, and the doctor will give you some advice about what  to eat and stop eating, your exercise regimen, and (most importantly) how your family history will impact your pregnancy.

3. Don’t tell everyone

I know you’re excited to tell everyone on Facebook the good news, but hold off until your second trimester. During the first twelve weeks, the baby is most vulnerable to miscarriage. It’s easier to wait until you’re in the safe zone than take back the good news.

4. Start documenting

Don’t wait until the sixth month to decide you want some baby bump photos! Decide what’s important to you about your pregnancy and make a plan to take regular photos, keep a diary, etc.

5. Start rubbing lotion everywhere

If you don’t regularly apply lotion to your body, now is the time. You are going to gain weight, it’s part of the process and a healthy step for you and your baby. Sometimes these changes can cause unwelcomed stretch marks; pamper yourself with belly balm, cocoa butter, and keep your skill hydrated! Be sure to apply lotion, liberally, to your midsection, thighs, bottom, breasts, and arms.

6. Begin a workout plan

Working out is safe while you’re pregnant if you’ve been doing it all along. You should start exercising at, say, five months. Begin a simple routine of regular cardio, stretching, and light strength training.

7. Research breastfeeding

You can spend some time learning to change a diaper, but it helps to have an understanding of breastfeeding right away. I recommend taking a class and reading up on the topic before your baby arrives. It’s also helpful to research nursing bras, breast pumps, and helpful accessories like LatchPal that can make your nursing journey a bit easier.

8. Start taking prenatal vitamins

These pills are loaded with everything you and your baby needs, like folic acid, iron, calcium and DHA. They use extra high doses that you can’t find it regular pills. This is a simple, but effective way of supporting your pregnancy.

Your body may react to the very high doses of iron in many prenatal vitamins. Continued constipation may mean it’s better to switch to a prenatal that does not have iron like OLLY prenatal vitamins. Talk with your doctor about other ways to get your iron; it’s not worth suffering for 9 months.

9. Start thinking about money

Kids are expensive and reviewing your finances is an essential step when you prepare for your new addition. Great advice is to begin living financially as if the baby is already here. So if you estimate $50 for diapers each month, “spend” that money all nine months and leave it in your savings. This will help you adjust to the budget and have a cushion when the baby arrives. You can also buy newborn necessities (thermometers, diapers, etc.) from the FSA store and benefit from tax-free savings!

10. Read pregnancy books (but not too many)

There are a million of these and they’re all similar, but it’s a good idea to begin familiarizing yourself with the entire process, from conception to pregnancy to delivery to the first weeks of life. One of my favorites is “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

11. Prepare for morning sickness

Some moms-to-be are blessed with no morning sickness while others are hit with weeks of feeling ill and running to the bathroom. The morning sickness part is not fun, but it will pass. There are some tricks to help get through it. Keep peppermints or gingermints on hand (best to get at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods so they are healthy). While pregnant, as soon as I started to feel sick, I popped in a peppermint or gingermint and it subsided the feeling greatly. A savior many times when I was feeling ill during work or in the middle of grocery shopping. Ginger tea and green apples work wonders, too!

12. Research products

You’re going to need a car seat, stroller, breast pump, bassinet, and some other basics for your baby. There a millions of great products out there and that list would be a blog post of its own! Don’t get overwhelmed. Start by making a list of the essentials and finding items that serve more than one purpose! Then assess your needs, space limitations, begin a baby registry and start gathering supplies.

13. Start asking questions

The sooner you ask questions, the sooner you’ll get answers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of every parent you know. Ask about pregnancy, newborn care, bathing, breastfeeding, the best clothes and anything that comes to mind. Don’t be ashamed of what you don’t know. Every first-time mom starts out clueless, don’t worry, you’ll learn along the way!

What steps did you take when you found out you were pregnant?

breastfeeding shirt clipWritten by Melissa LaHann, Founder and CEO of Happy Fig, LLC

Like many moms before her, Melissa cradled her hungry, crying baby as she clumsily adjusted her bra and sat uncomfortably holding up her shirt. Before she knew it, her baby was squirming, her shirt was falling, and the nursing session was interrupted. She needed a better solution, so she created LatchPal, the first nursing clip of its kind.

LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip that holds up a mother’s shirt during breastfeeding. It eliminates shirt re-positioning and feeding disruptions, and helps a mom nurse hands-free in comfort to maximize milk flow. LatchPal was designed with moms in mind. The multi-use solution only requires one hand to latch. It’s a must-have breastfeeding accessory and essential for post-partum moms, pumping moms, and nursing in public.

Interested in writing a guest blog for LatchPal? Send your topic idea to pr@latchpal.com.

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