Finding out that you’re pregnant can be one of the most exciting and whirlwind-filled moments. But then you may start wondering – ok, what do I do now?!
So many of my posts here are about what I wish I knew as a newly pregnant mom, what I wish I knew for when baby arrived — and the questions continue as my kids enter the toddler phase.
So this post is no different! There’s so much I wish I would have thought about or known when I was newly pregnant and in the first trimester, so today we’re covering a pregnancy to-do list, and talking about what to do when you find out you’re pregnant.
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First Things to Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant
Ok, first up are the must-dos right from the start. Here are the items to do within a week or two of finding out:
1. Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin
It’s actually a good idea to start taking prenatals once you start trying to become pregnant, but if you haven’t started already, definitely grab some when you get that positive test.
And why are prenatals so important? Well, among several reasons, they tend to have more iron and folic acid than most normal multi-vitamins, both of which are critical to baby’s development.
There are tons of different brands and options for prenatals. I ended up using these throughout both of my pregnancies. Another great option is Care/Of. I have a subscription with them for all of my vitamins (get all the details on that here), and they can provide a prenatal that will be mailed to you every month. They have a great intro offer as well, so you can also get 50% off your first order with them.
As always, if you’re concerned or unsure about which brand to choose, check in with your doctor!
2. Call Your OB/GYN
This one can actually wait a little bit, surprisingly. Most OBs don’t want to see you until you’re about 6 to 8 weeks pregnant, but it’s still a good idea to call early and set up your first appointment to confirm the pregnancy.
One thing to note: that first appointment may not be covered by your insurance, because it is usually not considered a prenatal appointment. I learned this the hard way! Which brings me to…
3. Check Your Insurance Coverage
We all know that in the U.S., doctors are expensive. Take a look at your insurance coverage paperwork and figure out what is covered and what is not, so that you can start making a plan, and if necessary, start saving to cover your appointments. If you don’t already have an OB/GYN, it’s also super important to take a look at your insurance and make sure you are booking with a doctor who is in-network.
Another benefit to reviewing your insurance: they may also have special perks for pregnant women! These can range from a free breast pump, to incentives and special programs that give you free booklets and other information to help you manage your pregnancy.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to What Newborn Babies Actually Need
4. Start Increasing Your Daily Water Intake
Staying hydrated in general is important for our health, but during pregnancy it’s even more important. The reason? Water helps to form both the placenta – which supplies nutrients to your baby throughout your pregnancy – and the amniotic sac – which protects your baby and maintains its temperature. Pretty important stuff.
Doctors recommend 8-12 glasses of water a day during your pregnancy, which honestly, is a lot! Grab a water bottle (I live by my Hydroflask, but these bottles with markers to help keep you motivated are awesome), do your best, and remember that other liquids – like herbal tea – can also count towards those 8-12 glasses.
5. Say Goodbye to Wine (and a Few Other Things)
It’s pretty well-known that consuming alcohol during pregnancy is not recommended, so if you are a wine lover like me, say your goodbyes for the next ten months (just think about all the calories you’re saving!).
Aside from alcohol though, there are a few other foods and drinks that aren’t recommended. Your OB should give you a full list and chat about any questions you may have, but you can also check out American Pregnancy Association’s list to get a head start!
Related Reading: The Items You Actually Need for Your Hospital Bag
What I Wish I Had Done In the First Trimester
Ok, now onto the fun stuff! We know there are a lot of boxes to check that are related to baby and their development, and your health, but what about for you personally? Your life is going to dramatically change when baby arrives, so this is a good time to get some personal/self-care items done.
1. Plan Your Next Few Trips
Babymoons are definitely a thing and a must-do in my book, but if you have the time and the funds, plan a few other trips! Once your baby arrives, it’s hard to get out of the house – let alone to travel – so enjoy these months where it’s just you and your partner.
Take a babymoon, go on weekend trips, and say yes to that girl’s weekend! I promise your life won’t end once baby arrives, but it will be different. This is a great time to get out and enjoy yourself without hauling a ton of baby stuff around with you, or feeling the inevitable mom guilt for leaving your baby behind.
Related Reading: The Best Products to Babyproof Your Home
2. Start Dating Your Partner Again
This is honestly something that I think you should try to do throughout your marriage or relationship, but dating your partner before baby arrives is especially important.
Those first few weeks of baby life are tough. You are going to need to rely on each other daily for support, encouragement, love, and reassurance that you’re doing ok (because your baby is still alive! Goals.).
Strengthening your relationship before all of these life changes is really important so that you can do all of the above. Also, taking the time to “date” again means spending more quality time together, something that will most likely be much harder once kids are in the picture.
So, start dating again! Go to the movies, go to dinner, go for a hike, put the cellphones away, get creative, and just enjoy being with each other.
3. Rest (But Also Find Safe Ways to Stay Active)
Pregnancy is exhausting, so making the time to rest is definitely important. In addition to that, overexerting yourself during pregnancy can be dangerous to you and baby. Take those naps!
Outside of resting though, it’s a great idea to continue to exercise throughout your pregnancy – though of course you should check-in regularly with your doctor about what you’re doing to make sure it’s safe.
One popular activity I wish I would have tried? Prenatal yoga! Yoga is a great way to combine a relaxing activity with exercise, and it has a ton of health benefits, including decreasing nausea and headaches, and improving sleep.
So in between those naps, consider giving prenatal yoga – or another pregnancy safe exercise – a try.
4. Buy a Pregnancy Journal
I waited a little too long to buy a pregnancy journal, but still managed to track most of my first pregnancy. I really love being able to look back on the notes and sonograms in the book to remember what now seems like a lifetime ago.
The one linked above is my favorite and what I used for both pregnancies. There’s room for sonogram pictures, bump photos, and prompts for journaling about current events and each doctor visit.
Related Reading: How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep
5. Take a Photo
This is one thing I highly recommend doing and keeping up with throughout your pregnancy. Take a photo each week, roughly in the same pose and/or outfit, so that you can see the progress of your baby bump!
Trust me – you’ll love looking back on all of those photos at the end of the 40 weeks.
Not sure what to pack for the hospital? Get a free checklist below!