Firstly – congratulations! Finding out you are pregnant is such an exciting time. A lot of moms-to-be find they are a little overwhelmed at this point. Overwhelmed with excitement, overwhelmed with nerves… and overwhelmed with the need to throw up (thanks morning sickness).
The last thing you need to be doing is stressing over all the practicalities and things to organize.
I’m a mom of three, and I’m here to help. I’ve made a complete, comprehensive list that explains exactly what you need to do when you find out you’re pregnant (including things you should avoid – say goodbye to your wine, mama!)
No need to ask “What now?” It’s all here.
Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from one of the links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you.
Find a creative way to tell your partner
There are a million fun ways to tell your partner when you find out you’re pregnant, the question is – what way will you pick? Scroll Pinterest and head to youtube for some inspiration.
Just have some tissues handy. Some of those pregnancy annoucements are real tear jerkers.
Filming Daddy-to-be’s reaction is also an amazing memory to watch with your child in a few years time!
Make an appointment with a care provider of your choice
Some moms choose to use an OB, while others go with a midwife. Either way, call to schedule an appointment. Some care providers will want to see you straight away, while others will wait until around the 8 to 10 week mark to meet you.
Make sure you consider your insurance, co-pay and where the doctor or midwife delivers. Chat with your family and friends for recommendations and feedback and consider the type of birth experience you’d ideally like to have.
When you find out you’re pregnant, you should start writing down questions as you think of them.
No question is a stupid question, but often moms get into the doctor’s office and can’t remember their questions until they’re halfway home. For some hints, here is a guide to every question a new mom should ask her care provider about.
Consider your diet
Now is the time to be as healthy as you possibly can. Load up on healthy fruits and vegetables, and be aware that while pregnant the average amount of extra calories you will need daily is around 300.
This varies from woman to woman, based on your own unique needs, so have a chat with doctor.
Coffee is okay after your find out you’re pregnant – but it’s recommend you limit to one small cup a day. Know that if you’re experiencing morning sickness and are struggling with healthy food, that’s okay. You’re doing your best!
Know what exercise is good, and what exercise to avoid when you find out you’re pregnant
Exercise is great during in pregnancy (and is actually recommended) but check with your doctor about what is best for you. Most moms are fine to continue doing the activity they were doing before (i.e. jogging) but other sports (such as horse riding) will be off limits.
Not into exercise but want to start? Walking, prenatal yoga or swimming is the best place to start. Swimming is also amazing when your bump is bigger, because it will take the pressure off your back!
Be aware if the things you must avoid
There are things you must avoid when you find out you’re pregnant. Cigarettes and are alcohol can harm your unborn baby – wine is out. There are also other things you should avoid that you may not have heard of!
Deli meats (such as ham, salami), soft cheeses, cantaloupes, uncooked seafood (like sushi), and raw/runny eggs should all be avoided, as you risk contracting nasty bugs like listeria, that can seriously harm your unborn baby.
Some essential oils are no goes, which surprises me, and some make up and skin care products have nasties in them too.
Take the time to read labels. I was shocked to find my deoderant had clary sage in it, which can cause you to go into labor (which is absolutely not something you want to do until you are 9 months pregnant.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin
To help your baby grow (and particularly, to help with brain development), vitamins are a must take, especially if you have got awful morning sickness and are struggling to eat well.
Prenatal Vitamins have ‘Folic Acid’ in them, and can help prevent your baby developing conditions, like spina bifida. Lots of moms swear by these vitamins!
Know how to manage morning sickness
If you are a lucky mom who isn’t experiencing morning sickness, I’m so happy for you! For those of us who aren’t as lucky (especially if you’re working and trying to keep your pregnancy to yourself in the early days!) it’s handy to learn about morning sickness remedies you can try to help keep you going.
There are plenty of natural ways to help ease your morning sickness symptoms, such as eating dry crackers or trying ginger. As a mom of three, I personally swear by acupressure bands! They are so cheap, and you can pick them up here. If you’re after more information on tackling morning sickness, head to this article here, which outlines natural ways to relieve morning sickness.
Will you find out the gender?
Some moms like a surprise. Other moms are busting to know whether their baby will be a boy or a girl from the second they find out they’re pregnant. What will you do?
There are two main ways to find out: If you want to find out early, you can opt for a blood test from 8 weeks pregnant to find out the gender of the baby. Alternately, a morphology ultrasound can determine the gender at around 18 – 20 weeks.
How will you announce to family and friends?
Most women choose to wait until they are 12 weeks pregnant and have had a scan to show that baby is growing happy and healthy. Every pregnancy and couple is different and there are no rules. Think about all the fun creative ways to announce you are pregnant! A photoshoot with your partner is always a lovely way to commemorate this exciting time and provides a great shot to share with the world.
Plan your maternity leave & budget
For American moms, unfortunately, Maternity leave isn’t really ‘a thing’. Many companies offer 12 weeks off, but you’ll need to check based on your own unique circumstances and what your employer says. When you know how long you can take off, you can consider how long you will take off (or if you’re going to go back to work at all) and start budgeting accordingly.
Look for daycares
If you’re going back to work, you need to make hunting for daycare centers a priority. Take the time to tour centers, seek advice from other parents, read reviews and make sure you’re putting your child in daycare you’re truly comfortable. Many daycares have long wait lists – make sure that you get on this list so you don’t have any issues when it is time to return to work.
Download an app to follow your pregnancy
There are so many cool apps that will show you how your baby is developing, week by week, from when you first find out you’re pregnant! Take the time to download one to keep tabs on your pregnancy as it happens. My favorite is The Bump app.
Look up specific Facebook groups i.e. November/December 2020 Babies.
I can honestly say that I have appreciated these groups so much with all my babies, and have made some incredible real life friends too (seriously, I found one mom living around the corner from me!). Type in the month your baby is due in the search bar, and jump on in to a group. Quality of groups can vary, but they are a great place to ask questions, vent and share experiences with moms in the exact same position as you.
Start documenting your pregnancy from the moment you find out you’re pregnant
Take the time to write down how you are feeling, take weekly photos to watch your bump grow – even write letters to your baby from the moment you find out you’re pregnant! I started the habit of writing a weekly letter to my baby every single week… something I continue doing for her even now she is seven.
It is so much fun looking back at years worth of memories. I chose to set up an email account for each of my children, regularly sending them emails and photos. Other family members do the same, so that one day, my children can review all these precious memories and words of love in one spot just by logging into their email.