- Women's Health»
I’m Pregnant! Now What Do I Do?
It’s one thing to say that you want to get pregnant, to dream of having a baby, and even to go buy baby stuff, but when you get that positive pregnancy test, it’s a whole different ball game.
Is there something that you should be doing? Something you should change? Even if it was well-planned and fully expected? Absolutely!
Having a baby is a big deal and everything is going to change . . . for the better!
But it all must start with you. You now have to take better care of yourself, if you haven’t been already, make sure you have a professional monitoring your pregnancy, and start thinking about the little one inside of you.
With a few simple tips, you will be well on your way to a happy, healthy pregnancy.
You’re pregnant! That is huge and definitely worthy of celebration.
Did you know that even if you do everything right every single month, and follow all of the rules that you’re supposed to in order to get pregnant, you still only have a 25% chance of conceiving?
More couples in the United States are struggling every day with having a baby than you would probably care to know, and you might have been one of those couples up until now.
You have been blessed with an amazing gift! Celebrate and be happy that you are one of the lucky couples that have conceived and have the opportunity to have your own little bundle of love.
How far along are you?
Stop Abusing Your Body
If you haven’t done this already, in preparation for getting pregnant, I highly advise that you immediately stop drinking, smoking, and doing drugs.
I know this sounds obvious, but the damage you could be doing to your infant, even before you know that you are pregnant is unbelievable.
Those first few weeks that you are pregnant, I mean the ones where you aren’t far along enough yet to take a pregnancy test, are some of the most crucial for the development of your baby.
At this critical time in your baby’s life, his spinal cord and brain are developing, his heart is beating already, and his essential central nervous system and circulatory system are being created.
What most people do not realize is that even prescription drugs being taken at this time can seriously hinder the development of any of these key components of your baby’s fragile system.
It’s important when you visit your doctor for your first prenatal visit, you discuss any prescription medications you might be taking, if you haven’t done this already.
Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment
Speaking of seeing your doctor, this is going to be one of the very first things you’ll want to consider after celebrating your new baby!
If you haven’t already been seeing your doctor ahead of time to prepare for this big event, considering your prescriptions, getting on a prenatal vitamin, and discussing your diet, this visit is going to be even more important.
Your doctor needs to make sure you are healthy and that the life of your child isn’t in any danger, and he’ll have tons of great recommendations for where you should be and where you should be doing to make sure that you and your child have the best pregnancy possible from the start.
By cluing your doctor in to your pregnancy, he can monitor you all the way through the process, introduce you to your child at all of the different stages of your pregnancy, and even help you to make decisions about procedures, classes, the delivery, etc.
What’s even more important, is that if something were to go wrong, you would have an Ace in your pocket to call for questions or to be there for you when you need him to help you to save your pregnancy.
Which makes this next point just as important.
Update Your Insurance
Insurance has always been a tricky topic for most, as insurance qualifications, rules, and limits are different for everyone.
You will want to make sure that you have insurance that will cover you through prenatal visits with your doctor, any vitamins or medications you might need, maternity leave if you will need it, and even the delivery of your baby.
Many insurance programs available don’t cover these things, so this is an important one.
As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, and have scheduled your first doctor’s visit, you will want to update your insurance. If you don’t already have a doctor, your insurance might be able to direct you to a great one.
Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin
Whether your doctor has one that he would prefer that you take, that your insurance will cover for you, or not, you should be taking a prenatal vitamin.
If you’ve ever looked through that section, and checked out all of the different options the pharmacy at your local grocery store has to offer, you’ll see how expensive many of them can be. That’s not much motivation to start is it? lol
I really like the gummy vitamins the best. I feel like I’m getting a fruity treat every night before bed, rather than having to suffer taking pills every day.
I take the VitaFusion Prenatal Gummies or the Kroger generic version. Not only are they one of the least expensive vitamins on the rack, but once a month they do a Buy One Get One Free offer on it and I get two for one.
I know everyone has their own feelings about different types of vitamins, but as long as you’re getting the recommended 400mg of folic acid, you’re doing good. (VitaFusion Gummies have 800mg!)
Sit Down and Talk About Finances
So we’ve been discussing this for years, as we’ve been trying to get pregnant. Babies can be expensive, but as long as you educate yourself and prepare for what’s coming, it’s nothing to be afraid of.
The big one is the delivery. On average, U.S. hospital deliveries cost $3,500 per stay, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. (Parents.com)
Then you need to consider diapers and feeding. If you are breastfeeding, you’ll still need to consider a breast pump, breast feeding pads, etc.
Sit down with your significant other, do some research on average baby needs in each of these areas, as well as any other items you’ll need along the way for your little one, and price everything out.
What will your monthly costs be? How are you going to pay for everything? Is there any way you can save money along the way?
Personally, we decided a long time ago, when discussing trying to get pregnant, that I was going to breastfeed (which would save us tons of money on formula) and that we would use cloth diapers (to save on the cost of disposables).
For everything else we needed I either found everything at thrift stores, craigslist, or garage sales, or I have a plan (and a Book that I’m writing) for making the last few items along the way.
For tips on saving money in this area (by the way, I purchased everything we could possibly need through the first year of our child’s life for $600), see my upcoming book “DIY Baby.”
Consider Getting on a Healthy Diet
Finally, although this won’t be the last thing that you’ll be doing, you’ll need to get on a healthy diet.
Developing babies need specific nutrients to grow in different ways. They have so much going on inside your stomach that you can’t see and couldn’t possibly fathom. This is one reason that pregnant women are so tired all the time.
Your body is working overtime, supplying nutrients to create a brain, organs, bones, arms and legs, fingers and toes, a vital circulatory system, lungs and reproductive organs, etc. so that your little one can be healthy and have all of the necessary pieces to be a normal human being.
If your body is not getting what it needs at the right times, which can be achieved by simply filling your diet with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, it may not develop the way it needs to, and this will show after birth in big ways.
Even more importantly, these nutrients are being taken from your normal diet, which means you have to overdo it on the important vitamins and nutrients needed, because you are supporting two human beings.
Having a baby is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It takes a lot to grow a human being inside of you, and it’s going to take a lot out of your body.
Give yourself a leg up on this beautiful process by celebrating, seeing your doctor, updating your insurance, getting started on a prenatal vitamin, figuring out your finances, and eating healthy.
This is going to be amazing! Get started off on the right foot and make sure you are prepared for the future. That way you and your spouse can enjoy this like you are meant to enjoy it!
How do you feel about this pregnancy?
© 2014 Victoria Van Ness