I just found out I am pregnant, what should I do?

Pee on that stick again. I am kidding! Did that at least make you chuckle a bit? I hope so.

Okay, seriously, so you just found out you are pregnant, and your mind is probably racing at 100 miles an hour.

You are probably thinking along the lines of:

  • I just found out I am pregnant, what do I do?
  • I don’t know anything about kids!
  • What is going to happen to my body?

If you are like most women who just found out they are pregnant, you are probably a month or two into your pregnancy that means you still have about 7 or 8 months to plan.

You can take things one day at a time, as long as you are consistently preparing for your baby (do not try to do everything during the final month).

The same thing with your body, it has time to grow. Each day you get a little bigger, and your body prepares itself for birth. Which is why you have to do your part – take care of yourself and educate yourself on pregnancy, labor, delivery, babies, and parenting.

Whether you are excited, scared, nervous or any other emotion – there are certain things you can do to start preparing now.

#1 I am freaking out a bit about being pregnant, what now?

Take control and nip that shock in the butt by stuffing a pillow under your shirt. We all do it, so go for it. Get an idea of how you are going to look in a few months. You will see that it’s not too bad and you can totally rock that belly.

In fact, you actually look cute!

It is an excellent icebreaker for you and your pregnancy. The more you can visualize yourself a few months down the road, the more empowered you become and know you can do this.

That brutal truth is, you can do this!

Another way to get acquainted with your pregnancy is to write down some thoughts. Do so in your journal. If you do not have one, start one or write an email to yourself.

Describe how you felt when you found out you were pregnant, what made you take a test and your expectations.

I had anxiety when I found out I was pregnant, my doctor recommended I write about it. I wrote daily about what I was going through. Its therapeutic and really helps clear your mind.

Plus, you can look back at it and read exactly what you went through, the good and the bad. You also create solid memories that you can share with your child someday.

#2 Get emo (so 2007)

The next months are going to be a whirlwind of emotions and body changes. It really is a lot to handle. You are in the beginning so just let your emotions out. If you are nervous and scared, it’s okay to cry. If you are super excited, yell and dance.

Feel free to express yourself.

After you are done, take a deep breath and prepare for a wild ride. Breathing in and out will calm you down. Meditate a bit, feel your body and invite the journey of changes.

#3 Let future daddy know

This one may not apply to everyone. When I found out I was pregnant, I yelled it out to my husband while still sitting at the toilet – no way I could wait.

If you took the test on your own, come up with a fun way to tell your partner you are pregnant.

Here are a few cute suggestions:

  • Wrap up your pregnancy test and give it to him as a gift
  • Get him a shirt that says mommy with an arrow pointing at you and get yourself a shirt that says daddy with an arrow pointing at him – he will get the message
  • Go to dinner at a restaurant and order your meal and a kids meal, when he gets confused let him know
  • Write him a letter and have him read it out loud while you record it, so you get his expression

How you let your partner know you are pregnant does not have to be viral worthy – make sure it’s done in a way you can appreciate.

If you do not have a relationship with the father of your child and need to figure out what to do, then confide in someone you trust and love. Someone supportive who can keep it a secret and will let you tell everyone else on your timeline.

#4 Talk about it like there is no tomorrow

Whether it is the father of your child, the person you confide in, or another person – make sure you discuss your feelings with someone.

Keeping your feelings inside will not do anyone good – not you or your baby.

You need to discuss early pregnancy things like:

  • How you feel about being a mom (how dad feels too)
  • What your plans are to take care of your child
  • Money and budgeting
  • Health insurance
  • Initial thoughts on being parents
  • What kind of life you want for your child

You do not have to know all the details to these topics, just get them on your radar and start thinking about them. Talk about what you know. You do not have to know every detail yet, that takes time.

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#5 Who are you going to tell?

Even though it’s early, start talking about how and with whom you want to share the news. Some people wait until after the first trimester to tell anyone. Some people tell their immediate family within the first few weeks.

One main concern is the health of the baby – people do not want to share just in case there is a miscarriage or health concerns. There are exceptions though.

I told my mom immediately, even before going to the doctor because if I did have a miscarriage, she would help me get through it.

I told my mom in person the day after I took an at home pregnancy test. I just spilled the beans, there was no time to do anything special, I just wanted her to know.

After going to see my OB/GYN for the first time, I let the rest of my immediate family know, my sister, brother, and father. If there were any health concerns, I would share that with them, and they would be my support.

I told my dad in person. To share the news with my sister and brother I messaged the first sonogram to them and excitedly waited for their reply.

After the first trimester, I let the rest of the family know like aunts, uncles, and cousins. I told them on Christmas Eve when I knew most of my family would be around.

You can learn in great detail how I announced my pregnancy at work and prepared for it here: Announcing Your Pregnancy at Work

So figure out your hierarchy of news sharing.

Here is an example of how you can group people you want to share your pregnancy news with, do what works best for you:

  • Father of the baby – immediately
  • Mother – immediately
  • Immediate family – after first OBGYN appointment
  • Very close friends – after first OBGYN appointment
  • Extended family – after the first trimester
  • Coworkers – during the second trimester
  • Neighbors – during the second trimester
  • Friends and acquaintances – during the second trimester
  • Clients – during the second trimester

Remember once you start showing there is no more hiding it. Even strangers will know. You want to tell people that matter before your belly does.

#6 Celebrate

This list would not be complete without reminding you to celebrate. It is exciting and the start of a new life, whether this is your first or fifth child.

Have a new nice dinner or a lazy day. Treat yourself!

#7 Learn pregnancy lingo

Learn how to talk “pregnancy” and baby lingo; here is a quick lesson with definitions by Merriam-Webster and what I learned during my pregnancy:

  • Prenatal – occurring, existing, performed, or used before birth (like prenatal vitamins, you take them while pregnant before you give birth)
  • Ultrasound – sound or other vibrations having an ultrasonic frequency, particularly as used in medical imaging (the process to you see your baby)
  • Sonogram – the actual image of your baby from an ultrasound
  • Labor – the process of childbirth, especially the period from the start of uterine contractions to delivery
  • Contraction – a shortening of the uterine muscles occurring at intervals before and during childbirth (aka worst pain ever)
  • Epidural – an epidural anesthetic, used especially in childbirth to produce loss of sensation below the waist
  • Postpartum – following childbirth or the birth of young, usually associated with postpartum depression
  • OB/GYN – obstetrician-gynecologist is the doctor who will provide your prenatal care and will deliver the baby (unless you get a midwife)

#8 Learn pregnancy timeframes

  • First Trimester – first 12 weeks or months 1,2, and 3 of your pregnancy; usually consists of early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, exhaustion, and breast tenderness
  • Second Trimester – weeks 13-27 or months 4, 5, and  6 of your pregnancy; according to many women it’s the more enjoyable part of pregnancy (not for my situation), your belly starts showing
  • Third Trimester – weeks 28-40 or months 7, 8, and 9 of your pregnancy; your belly is huge and is usually very uncomfortable and painful
  • Fourth Trimester – after you give birth, your child is 0-3 months adapting to life in the outside world while you are recovering from your pregnancy and childbirth (lots of sleepless nights for many new parents, very exhausting)

#9 Say goodbye to certain foods

Get acquainted with limiting yourself on certain things, including food. These are the foods to avoid immediately according to Web MD’s Foods to Avoid When You’re Pregnant:

  • Raw or uncooked foods
  • Hot dogs and lunch meats
  • Seafood and certain fish
  • Alcohol
  • Unpasteurized foods

There is a lot more to learn on this topic, this is the cliff notes version.

#10 Confirm your pregnancy or schedule an OB/GYN appointment

You do not have to rely on your at home pregnancy test (although they are incredibly accurate).

Make sure you call your healthcare provider or OB/GYN and schedule an appointment, they will definitely be able to confirm your pregnancy. Some give a blood test to confirm.

I was a bit further along when I realized I was expecting, at my first appointment they gave me an ultrasound and easily confirmed a baby was growing in my belly (I was in total denial).

My husband was there with me, it was amazing and daunting to find out that we were expecting. Having my husband there with me at the appointment was worthwhile, in fact, he went to almost every prenatal appointment with me. His support was crucial, have someone go with you and to share this special moment.

#11 Gather questions for your doctor or midwife

Not Dr. Google, your actual health care provider.

Yes, there are tons of resources online, but it helps to have a medical professional answer your questions tailored to you. Especially if this is your first pregnancy and you are not familiar with the processes.

Here are some sample questions:

  • What types of lifestyle changes do you recommend?
  • What can I do about…my morning sickness, my extreme fatigue, my nerves (any other symptoms you may be experiencing)
  • How often will I be seeing you?
  • Do I need to start taking vitamins?
  • Do I have to stop doing certain activities?
  • What can I do this early in my pregnancy to ensure I do what is best for my growing baby?

#12 Go shopping

You do not have to go out and buy a crib (but you can if you want) at this exact moment. However, there are a few initial purchases you can make to help your pregnancy along.

I bought:

  • Lotion to help with stretch marks – Burt’s Bees Mama Belly Butter. I moisturized my stomach often, I was not left with lasting stretch marks after pregnancy. Was it because of this lotion? I do not know, but it was worth the preventative measure.
  • The Leachco Snoogle Original Maternity/Pregnancy Total Body Pillow (Affiliate Link) my best pregnancy purchase ever! You can read more about this pillow in this article: Advice Every Working Pregnant Woman Must Know on How to Survive Work. Bottom line, I LOVE it and still use this pillow daily, and I bought it about two years ago. I am not pregnant nor do I plan on being pregnant again, but I want to buy a new one soon.
  • Anti-nausea drops – they look like cough drops. They did not help me, nothing helped me including other brands, I won’t link them.
  • An ‘Unclesaurus Rex’ shirt for my brother, he loved it. I could not resist buying it for him. He was already a great uncle to my nieces, so it was a well-deserved gift.

That is all I bought initially, as your pregnancy progresses, you will start to realize there are a few things you may need.

#13 Gather some good reads and apps

Reading about how your baby is growing each week is exciting. I recommend you download the BabyCenter app onto your phone immediately. Here is the link to the website: BabyCenter

There are other great sites as well that track the development. Each week I would visit sites one by one to see the different information they had, it was fun. Especially learning the size of your baby, like when she is the size of a grape or pumpkin!

Plus, as you can imagine there are endless websites and blogs on pregnancy. I read tons of articles weekly (maybe even daily). It was nice to get medical professional advice and points of views from real mothers. You can easily get lost in those pregnancy forums!

The book I actually read on pregnancy was, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, (Affiliate Link) it is a great empowering book on breastfeeding. It helped me out so much, my daughter is now 19 months, and I am still breastfeeding. That is the impact it made.

The only other book I read during my pregnancy was, A Life in Parts by Brian Cranston (the actor from Breaking Bad). It is his autobiography. It is not in any way pregnancy related, but I enjoyed reading it to get my mind off of my pregnancy every once in a while.

#14 Get camera ready

Taking a photo as soon as you find out you are pregnant is a must! You have to document your pre-pregnancy body.

So find a spot in your home where you will take a picture at least once a month to track your pregnancy. It can be kind of a pain but believe me, it is worth it. You can look back and see how much you grew every month.

Take a front and profile picture.

Try to take it around the same date each month. I missed a few months and got off track, which I totally regret! But during my pregnancy, I was tired and moody, so I did not want to do much. Just try your best and like I said it will be worth it.

You may be miserable in that moment, but you will get to a point where you can look at the pictures fondly.

#15 Pin it, baby!

This one is super fun! Start making a pregnancy and baby boards on Pinterest. I recommend this because there are so many cute things you can do during your pregnancy.

There are ideas on announcing your pregnancy and different ways to take photos. Since you are early in your pregnancy, you can start making plans to document and do all of those cute things. Plan for it now so when your belly is huge you are ready to take those adorable pictures.

There are also tons of resources and articles on pregnancy that may not be important now, but you will want to go back and read in a few months. This is a great way to keep tabs on all your future reads.

I have a separate board for each topic: pregnancy, labor/birth, newborn, breastfeeding, and toddler.

Final thoughts

Congrats on your future arrival!

It is the most exciting, scary, emotional, journey ever! It’s okay to feel overwhelmed with mixed emotions about being pregnant because pregnancy is hard.

You are doing something AMAZING, but at the same time, it is wreaking havoc on your body and mind. It is beautiful and miserable.

Remember, you do not have to do everything at once. These are just guidelines of things you can start doing initially.

Like I said before, take it one day at a time. As your pregnancy progresses, so will your urge to get things done, this is natural. Follow your instincts.

This is a big deal in your life, so treat it as such. Celebrate, document it, and prepare for it the way you want. You do not have to do things the way other people did or get overwhelmed because you are not doing it right. There is no right.

Best of luck on your journey, that’s right it’s your journey and your pregnancy.

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The First 15 Things to Do When You Are Pregnant & Stunned
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The First 15 Things to Do When You Are Pregnant & Stunned
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Did you just find out you are pregnant? Not sure what to do? These are the first 15 things to do when you find out you are pregnant.
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Not A Power Couple, Stay at Home Dad, Working Mom
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