Congratulations, you’re pregnant! If it still hasn’t sunk in yet, it will. The second you see that positive test, or in my case 7 🙂 , your whole world seems to be changed forever. If you’re like me you’re feeling excited, nervous, and possibly a little worried, all of these feelings are normal! When I found out the amazing news, I couldn’t believe it and really it took a few days, at least, for me to finally grasp the fact that I was going to be a mommy, and Shane a daddy.
Being the youngest child, I haven’t been around a lot of pregnant women so I had no idea where to start or what to do next. I’m sharing a few things I did during my first trimester to get checked off of my list of things to do during this first trimester.
Here are 10 steps to take next after learning about your exciting news:
- Tell the Daddy – Find a fun way to tell the dad. This is an experience that you’ll never want to forget so I suggest recording it if you can. I put one of the tests in a small box in a large box then taped it up and put a couple bows on top. Since it was January, I told him it was a late Christmas present. I recorded the whole thing and I’m so happy to have caught his raw reaction on video! He was shocked and excited and I’ll always be able to watch it back, and so will baby one day!
- Call your Doctor – Call your doctor to see if they’d like you to come in for blood work to confirm. My clinic gave me the option to wait until week 8 or I could come in for blood work if I wanted. Being the over-thinker that I am, I knew I couldn’t wait until week 8 until I got a confirmation from the doctor. I went in that same day to get my first blood work done, got the results the next day and they wanted me to come in 48 hours later to ensure my levels were increasing. I’m not sure if this is normal protocol or not but the levels came back almost doubled, which was good! I then set up my First Prenatal appointment between week 7-8 along with my first visit with my doctor as well.
- Take a Prenatal – If you’re not already, make sure to buy some prenatal vitamins and make sure to take them everyday. My doctor said she just took the Target brand one with DHA so that’s what I’ve been using from the beginning. Many women get morning sickness and some think it’s linked to their prenatal vitamin so what works for some many not work for another. Talk with your doctor and see what they suggest.
- Contact your Insurance – As soon as I got the confirmation from my doctor that I was pregnant, I reached out to my health insurance to see what I needed to do with them and what would be covered. I wanted to make sure to utilize as much of my insurance throughout this process as possible. I’m so happy I did because I found out that my breast pump is 100% covered by insurance and they also gave me the information I needed for when I was ready to tell my work. It also helped ease my mind regarding finances and have an idea of how much we’d be looking at out-of-pocket.
- Download Pregnancy Apps – If this is your first pregnancy chances are you’ll have a lot of questions. You might have a lot of changes going on with your body already or wondering if certain things are normal. Downloading a few apps helped me to understand things a little more, get some good information from others who have gone through it, and also experts. We all know the rabbit hole we can get in by Googling symptoms, so download a few apps instead to get more reliable information from the experts. It’s also fun to see what changes the baby is going through throughout each stage. Each day I check the apps to learn new facts and read various new articles. My favorites have been, The Bump, Ovia Pregnancy, Sprout, and Pregnancy +.
- Take a Before Picture – At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the whole pregnancy stage photos but after reading another bloggers perspective about seeing how much your body has changed, not only during this pregnancy but through future ones as well, I decided it couldn’t hurt to take the before picture for sure. After all, you only have the opportunity to take your first before pregnancy photo so I’d rather take it than regret not and wish I had.
- Tell your Closest Loves Ones – There are a lot of opinions on this matter and do what you feel comfortable with. For us, we knew we wanted to tell our closest family members and friends for support. The reason some see this as risky is because of the chance of miscarriage in the first trimester which is much greater until you’ve moved into your second trimester. I understand this, but for us, we would rather have the support through the good/bad since we wouldn’t want to go through this huge life change alone. Like I said, this is a decision between you and your partner so do what you are comfortable with.
- Research/Discuss Prenatal Testing – Later in the first trimester you have the option to have various prenatal tests done (invasive and non-invasive) to test for chromosomal defects in the baby. Some of these tests you can even find out the gender of the baby. Make sure to discuss your options with your partner to decide what’s best for you and your baby. Shane and I discussed our options and decided not to have any prenatal testing done for our baby. We knew that we didn’t want any type of invasive testing done at all which is often the next step for non-invasive test if the test results would’ve come back with defects. Again, this is a decision between you and your partner, don’t feel obligated to do what others suggest, do what is best for your growing family.
- Check Labels – For some this may not be a big deal but for me, I wanted to make sure I was making as many healthy choices as I could for me and our baby during my pregnancy when it came to chemicals in products I was using. In some research, there have been certain chemicals that have been linked to miscarriage or early labor. I check all of the products I’m using during pregnancy to ensure they don’t have these ingredients. This may or may not be true but I figure I’d rather make these small changes that could have a huge impact vs. ignore the research and regret it. Do your own research and do what you feel is best. The ingredients I make sure to avoid are: Retinoids, Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. There are others as well but these are the main ingredients I look out for. I also try to use natural products when possible and get the Paraben and BPA free products when I’m able. You would be amazed at the amount of products you use everyday (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, etc.) that can have harmful chemicals in them. Be safe and check labels and check with your doctor as well.
- Enjoy It! – This has been a hard one for me, not because I’m not excited but because I let my anxiety get the best of me especially in those first few weeks after we found out we were having a baby. The second I found out I was pregnant, I was honestly more worried about a miscarriage than I was excited. Before getting pregnant, I had educated myself on infertility and miscarriage and in the end I think it fed into my anxiety of miscarriage even more. Looking back, I wish I would’ve lived more in the moment and truly enjoyed our exciting news. After all you only get to see your first positive pregnancy test ever once, so enjoy it!
Hopefully you found this first trimester checklist helpful. Once you start telling people that you’re pregnant you’ll start hearing everyone else’s opinions and suggestions on what they did or didn’t do. Remember that this is your pregnancy and that no one else’s opinion truly matters (except for your partner’s). Remember to make decisions based on what is best for you and your family. Of course, you can listen to other people’s opinions and suggestions too but ultimately remember to do what you feel is best and never feel bad for making your own decisions!
Is there anything you would add to this list? I’d love to hear from you!
xoxo – Katie