What to do when you find out you are pregnant

What to do when you find out you are pregnant – Complete Guide to Parenting Part 2

You have been planning, and trying, and hoping. As you start to look out for any changes or early signs of pregnancy, your hopes that this might actually it start to increase even further. Then you miss your period and you are even more hopeful than ever, so you do the pregnancy test and you finally get the confirmation – you are indeed pregnant!

When you find out that you are pregnant, chances are you are overjoyed but very confused too. You are aware that your whole life will be changing within the next few months, and even more so when your child is born.

If this is your first pregnancy you are going to be more overwhelmed with it all for sure. Even if it is not your first pregnancy you will be wondering how your older child or children is going to adapt to having a new brother or sister, and how you will need to make space for the newborn, what newborn essentials you need to buy, how you are going to cope with the additional work, how your partner or spouse is going to take this news; the list of questions and concerns tends to go on and on inside your head.

So, obviously if it is your first time on this wondrous experience, you are bound to feel overcome all the more!

However, you need to stop allowing your mind to wonder and wander. You need to try to take a deep breath, relax a bit, and start planning your life as a pregnant woman.

Just keep in mind that you are not alone, and that every expectant mother is going through all these emotions, thoughts and changes.

Moreover, you need to focus on one thing primarily – you are going to have a special guest living within you for the next nine months, and so you need to make sure that it is going to be well accommodated.

The most important thing about being pregnant is to take good care of yourself so as to make sure that both you and your baby are fine.

So read through the following tips and guidelines that have the main aim of helping you come to terms with the fact that you are pregnant, and what you need to do from now on.

Make an appointment with a doctor

It is a good idea to talk to your doctor, as after all you need some guidance at this point. You are not sick, but you need medical advice from someone who can recommend what you should and should not do from a medical point of view.

Many women worry about cramps that they may be feeling, and there are various other symptoms that they may wish to discuss with a doctor. The doctor will be able to check your vaccination history so as to make sure that you are up to date on all of the important shots.

The doctor will also advise on proper nutrition for a healthy pregnancy, as well as any vitamins you should start taking. You may have already started to take folic acid, but your doctor might recommend a higher intake.

You will also wish to decide on your healthcare provider. Now you are going to start off on an antenatal care routine and so you need to choose a professional gynecologist or obstetrician, to guide you throughout these coming weeks.

Your baby’s due date will also be calculated and any problems or worries you might have regarding your health can be discussed with him or her.

Pregnancy symptoms and dealing with them

Pregnancy comes with various symptoms. Some women suffer from morning sickness, especially during the first three months. Others complain about sore breasts, the need to urinate more frequently, and fatigue.

Although these symptoms make your life harder, try to avoid allowing them to take over the experience of being pregnant.

This could be a once in a lifetime experience, and so you should make the most out of it.

Your doctor might be able to give you tips to handle these symptoms. Just remember this is not going to be something that you will be experiencing forever.

Be patient and try to remain calm and optimistic about the fact that pregnancy symptoms are normal, and you will soon forget all about them as you hold your baby in your arms within the next few weeks!

Stopping certain unhealthy practices

You need to be responsible about what you do and what you consume. It is not just your health, but also your child’s health that is at risk, if you smoke or drink alcohol.

Various problems are linked to such addictive practices, such as a higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects, premature birth, still birth and low weight birth, if you smoke.

Alcohol is very dangerous too and it could lead to mental and physical development problems in your child. You need to avoid these at all costs.

Your lifestyle and diet

Now that you are pregnant you need to consider your way of life and how it might affect your child. A pregnant woman should make it a point to avoid stress, anxiety and strenuous conditions.

So if your job involves strenuous activities or a lot of stress, you may wish to reconsider this at this point.

You also need to make sure that you keep an eye on what you eat. Certain foods are known to bring some risks to pregnant women. You need to avoid the risk of salmonella or listeriosis for your child, and so under-cooked foods, particularly meat, need to be avoided. Soft cheeses, eggs and certain kinds of fish, should be avoided too.

Also, avoid sugary foods so as to limit the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Caffeine should be kept to a bare minimum.

Needless to say, you should try to stick with a healthy diet plan, where you stick to fruits, vegetables and healthy snack, while avoiding processed or junk foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, luncheon meat, sausages, and smoked seafood.

You also need to avoid certain medications while you are pregnant, and so make sure you limit exposure to viruses and infections as much as possible.

Certain medicinal products should not be taken during pregnancy, and so you need to be aware of the ingredients as well as any side effects certain products might have. This does not only include prescription drugs in case you are sick, but also weight loss products which you might have been taking before.

Allocating some time to exercises every day is a good idea as it is important to be fit and healthy while being pregnant. Nothing too strenuous of course, but walking and doing some prenatal exercises like yoga could help you a great deal, both from a physical as well as a psychological point of view. A pregnancy-friendly exercise routine coupled with plenty of rest is important for your health.

Announcing your pregnancy

There is no need to rush about it, but for some expectant mothers the thrill of having a baby is just too much, and very soon they start giving the news to relatives, friends and colleagues.

And nowadays sharing the joyous news has become much easier with social media.

When to make the announcement is ultimately your choice, but generally speaking it is better to wait till your first trimester is over, since it is then that the risk of miscarriage drops substantially.

You do not want it harder just in case anything bad happens down the road.

Planning ahead and shopping

You may wish to start making some plans about what to buy, how to arrange your house, and other considerations that generally involve finances.

Saving up some money and planning your purchases over the months is a good idea so as to avoid spending a huge sum of money by buying everything at one go.

Think about your job, when you will be taking maternity leave, or if you plan to quit altogether.

Brainstorming baby names

Some pregnant women will want to know whether their baby is going to be a boy or a girl.

The decision is yours, but regardless of this, you may wish to start brainstorming some names for your little one.

This can be so much fun but it could turn out to be a bit of a problem if you just cannot make up your mind, so think in advance.

Embarking on an awesome journey!

What to do when you are pregnant

Now that you are pregnant you need to make the most out of this thrilling experience.

It is going to have ups and downs, but all in all it will be totally worth it!

Sign up for pregnancy newsletters, read articles and books about pregnancy and follow your child’s development within you.

Cherish these moments, such as when you feel your baby kicking inside you, or when you hear its heartbeat for the first time! These are going to be memorable experiences which are not going to be repeated anytime soon most probably!

Good luck mummy-to-be!

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  1. Being pregnant is an excellent experience and u could be overwhelming at times

  2. This is a awesome guide for parents…its important to know what to do and how to do it expecting a baby is a huge challange and big responsibility.

  3. Thanks for this wonderful and informative article @lynne.

    I never planned to have kids when I was younger because it wasn’t something that I was ready for and I didn’t picture myself as a parent and a good one at that. Secondly, I wasn’t ready financially for such a big step.
    Having a baby comes with a significant change in your monthly expenses and budget and a tremendous responsibility.

    Looking back, I’m so happy that I decided to have a baby. My life has forever changed for the good.

    Three months after we decided to have a baby, I found out I was pregnant.
    It was overwhelming at first because you have doubts and you don’t know where to start. So many people tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing that they make it ten times worse.

    My tips:
    1. Keep calm. Take care of yourself especially in your first trimester.
    2. Quit those nasty habits and stick to a healthy regime.
    3. Plan ahead but don’t buy any big ticket items until you sure that everything is going well with the pregnancy. You have nine months to prepare and save.
    4. Rest up. Take afternoon naps and read those books because once that little person has arrived, this will be a thing of the past for quite a while.
    5. Enjoy your pregnancy. Savor every moment, those kicks and heartbeats, seeing that peanut grow on the monitor at the doctor’s rooms. Before you know it, it will be over and much too quickly.
    6. Buy the big ticket items first. Don’t buy too many clothes and baby essentials. You get a lot of these things at the baby shower.
    7. Be on the look-out for bulk specials on especially nappies and wipes. Stock up while you can.
    8. Start preparing your home to be child-friendly and read through your baby books, decide on baby names.
    9. Sort out your admin like booking your bed at the Hospital and plan for your UIF payments. I’ve used a great Company that did everything on behalf of myself. I paid them a once of fee of R450 and they did everything for me. I made sure to send off all the paperwork during my last trimester, so that I don’t have any worries when the baby has arrived.

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