So, you found out you’re expecting? Now what? For some, pregnancy comes easy and unexpected, but for others, there may have been months of planning and strategizing to get here and now, you’re finally here.
First of all, congratulations! Finding out you’re expecting is one of the most joyous feelings in the world. Your mind may be racing with all sorts of thoughts like,
What will baby look like?
What will we name him/her?
What will it be – a boy or girl?
How will we decorate his/her room?
What school will she/he go to?
Amongst all of the other things parents have to plan for as babies grow older.
One word of advice, RELAX and enjoy this time! Baby isn’t quite here yet and if you use this time wisely, there are so many things you can start to do now to help ease your way into motherhood.
You’ll want to use as much as this time to relax and enjoy as much as you can about your experience before baby gets here. Here are a few things you can do ensure you have a happy and healthy pregnancy:
Find A Prenatal Care Provider
During pregnancy, regular checkups are very important, and you’ll want to make sure you keep track of you and baby’s progress. The earlier, the better.
Consistent prenatal care can help you keep you and your baby healthy, distinguish and prevent problems if they occur.
Share The News With Your Partner
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it had to be listed to remind you that your partner is going to be just as excited as you are throughout this journey. Share every little detail you can with your partner so they know what to expect, when and how exactly they can be of help.
Figure Out Your Finances
There’s a reason why they say babies are cute, but they’re also expensive. Good news though – they don’t have to be! Figure out what’s essential for you and your lifestyle and go from there.
Will baby need to attend daycare while you work? Or is it better for you to stay home?
Will you breastfeed, or use formula?
Do you have a college fund set up?
Which insurance plan will you go with for baby?
These are all expenses that you need to consider before baby arrives and assess your finances. This may mean saving, or learning to save. It may also mean transitioning from working full-time to staying home full-time. Each situation will be different. Here are a few ways to start making money from home.
Here are a few ways to save on groceries every month.
If you’re still worried about how your finances will be affected and need ways to save, here a few expenses you can cut down on.
Write Down A List Of Questions For Your Doctor
Your very first checkup is super important! Not only will you get to confirm your pregnancy, but you also want to know so key information when deciding to move forward.
Regardless of what you read on the internet and in this article, you ALWAYS want to confirm a healthcare professional before making any decisions in regards to you and baby’s care.
Some questions you can ask might include:
What are some things I need to avoid now that I am pregnant?
What are some things I need to make sure I am doing now that I am pregnant?
When is baby due?
What prenatal vitamins would you recommend?
How many visits will I have during my pregnancy?
When will I be able to get an ultrasound to see baby?
How can I tell if my symptoms are normal?
What if they aren’t, what do I do?
What medications can I take?
What will my birth look like?
What can I expect during labor?
Sign Up For Daycare
You may be wondering why you have to think about this now, but there are plenty of benefits to signing up early.
The most sought-after childcare facilities are usually filled to capacity because of their great care. So, getting on a list and becoming familiar with the people who will be caring for your child should start as early as possible. This was something I definitely learned from and would recommend to anybody!
That way when baby gets here and your maternity leave is up, you’ll have a place at your desired daycare. Depending on the area, it is very common for families to be on a waiting list for YEARS! So start your search now.
Write down a list of things of absolute must-haves and go from there.
Load Up On Prenatal Vitamins
A healthy diet is the best way to get the nutrients your body needs, but during pregnancy, you may fall short on key nutrients. Prenatal vitamins contain several vitamins and minerals that you and your growing baby are going to need throughout your pregnancy.
They serve as a great way to fill any gaps in nutrients that your body may be missing during this special time.
Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at nearly any pharmacy. You want to look for vitamins that contain folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D. There are also huge benefits to vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc and iodine.
Be Prepared For Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Early pregnancy symptoms are fairly common. Every woman will vary, but keeping yourself educated ahead of the curve will help!
You may experience nausea and vomiting, fatigue, odd craving, sore breasts, dizziness, odor sensitivity and a host of other symptoms related to pregnancy.
A few tips to help you relieve some of your early pregnancy symptoms include:
- Avoid greasy and spicy foods.
- Take your prenatal vitamins.
- Drink ginger tea to relieve nausea.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids.
- Get plenty of rest!
Try these products below to help relieve some of these symptoms:
Decide When And How You’ll Spread The News
Keeping the news to yourself is probably one of the last things you want to do, but it’s advisable to wait the first twelve weeks. Some women may experience difficulties during this time, so waiting your first trimester to spread the news is best.
Once that’s over, it’s time to shout from the rooftops! Couples tend to have so much fun having a photoshoot or filming a pregnancy announcement.
Now is also a good time to determine if you and your partner want to find out the gender of the baby before, or after delivery.
Consider A Doula
Doulas are more knowledgeable about the pregnancy and birth process. They can help guide you throughout your entire pregnancy, help you make informative and healthy decisions, provide an added layer of personal security and they’re also around to help you throughout your first few weeks after baby arrives.
Decide Where You Want To Give Birth
With home births on the rise, it’s good to know that you have safe options other than the hospital when giving birth.
Hospitals are even offering more holistic ways to birth your baby and offer alternative methods during delivery that may be more relaxing and convenient for you and your family.
Download A Pregnancy App To Track Your Pregnancy
This is a fun way to keep track of baby’s growth week by week. So many small and big changes throughout the entire pregnancy that you’ll be excited to be aware of!
Start Your Baby Registry
As soon as you find out the gender of your baby, start your online baby registry. Baby registries like Amazon allow you to create your registry with just about everything baby AND mom will need. Plus, you can share the link with your friends and family.
You can also allow friends and family from afar to ship items from your wish list directly to your home. Don’t worry, your address won’t be disclosed! I personally used this for my third child, and it was so easy to manage. We even hosted our first virtual baby shower.
Choose A Baby Name
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re still undecided the day you’re giving birth – then you’ll know exactly what I mean.
What are some names that are special to you? What are some names special to your significant other? These are things to consider when choosing a name. Talk it over with your significant other to see what you come up with and start a list. You can narrow it down as time goes on.
Stock Up On Maternity Clothes
In my early twenties, I didn’t need maternity clothes – or so I thought. I lived in skirts and dresses and that’s honestly all I wore before my pregnancies.
However, my third pregnancy in my early thirties was completely different. I gained over forty pounds, and nothing seemed to fit. This is where maternity clothes come in handy! They also give you extra room in your clothes for when baby arrives.
So my advice is to buy the maternity jeans – you will thank me later!
Try Reading About Pregnancy And Sharing Your Findings With Your Significant Other
Is this your first pregnancy? Even if it isn’t, there’s so much we can learn by sitting down and reading a book. From pregnancy guides to books written for first time dads, and cookbooks to help keep our bodies properly nourished during this time – there are several helpful books to help you during pregnancy.
Decide If You’ll Breastfeed Or Bottle Feed
This is important to start thinking about now. That way, you can prepare your baby registry accordingly. A breastfeeding mom and baby may need completely different things than a formula-feeding baby.
Click on any item on the image below to be taken to the product’s page:
Cut Out Unhealthy Foods And Habits
Gone are the days you can order your favorite double cappuccino at your local Starbucks. Stay away from alcohol. tobacco and too much caffeine.
Be mindful of seafoods that contain high levels of mercury like swordfish and shark.
Get Some Rest
It’s essential that you give your body time to rest. Your first trimester will be filled with fatigue and low levels of energy. The solution: get more sleep!
If you have a busy lifestyle, try cutting back on the weekends and save time for after work to get some extra sleep. You’re no longer sleeping for your own sake, but so much growth happens for baby when you choose to rest properly.
Lack of sleep is also associated with high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia in around the third trimester.
Start Decluttering To Make Space
Now is a great time to start planning where baby will sleep, how much space baby will need in your home and if you currently have things in baby’s future space – it’s time to consider decluttering and putting things away.
As you progress through your pregnancy, try putting a few things out of the way at a time. Make sure to get rid of the things you no longer need along the way.
Enjoy The Process
Now that you have a few things out of the way, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your pregnancy. Rest as much as you can. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated throughout your entire pregnancy and spend as much time as you can practicing self-care.
This time passes by so quickly and you’ll be holding your bundle of joy before you know it! Enjoy it mama.
Feel free to download this checklist to help you navigate your new life as an expectant mom, you’re going to do great!