It was just over a year ago that I found out we were pregnant. I remember that day like it was yesterday. We had just moved to San Diego earlier that week and had finally signed a lease on our new apartment the day before. It had been a really long, stressful first week so finding out I was pregnant while we were still living in a cramped little motel room didn’t make it any less stressful. She had been planned in every way imaginable, but the moment I got that positive pregnancy test, I was immediately terrified. SO excited, but still so terrified.
It took a few hours for it to really settle in and then I instantly felt overwhelmed. We had just moved so I didn’t have a doctor, we didn’t have friends, family was 3,000 miles away, it was our first baby and I literally had absolutely no idea what to do. I wish I had a whole checklist to tell me what I was supposed to be doing because I was that lost. So I’ve picked out the top 10 things you should do once you find out you’re pregnant:
- Schedule a doctor’s appointment. First and foremost, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Chances are they’ll want to confirm the pregnancy and schedule an ultrasound to see how far along you are. They can also offer insight as to any abnormalities they may see and provide you with a ton of awesome resources so you have an idea of what to do from there. This also gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have or express concerns.
- Announce to friends and family. This is going to vary from person to person so only tell who you feel comfortable telling. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was determined to keep it a secret from everyone until we were through the first trimester. BUT, we ended up telling all of our family as well as select friends the moment we had it confirmed at the doctor’s office (at about 6 weeks or so). Then we made a larger announcement on Facebook once we were through the first trimester and we knew everything was still okay. Go with whatever you feel comfortable with!
- Sign up for a prenatal yoga class. Prenatal yoga is AMAZING. Seriously. Yoga in general is amazing for not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. It keeps you fit and flexible throughout your pregnancy and even prepares you for labor in some ways. I learned so many different breathing techniques that I could use during labor as well as various positions that could be helpful to me while delivering. I always left yoga feeling like I could easily take on labor and delivery. It’s empowering. And not only that, but it’s an awesome way to connect with other moms and it gives you a space to ask those tough questions that you may not feel comfortable asking your doctor. It’s like a support group. So if you’re expecting, then I highly recommend checking out prenatal yoga classes in your area!
- Create a workout plan. I just can’t stress enough how important it is to work out during pregnancy (as long as it’s approved by your doctor first!). Even if it’s just going for a walk after dinner, it’s better than nothing. Get yourself up and moving! I promise it makes pregnancy, labor and delivery, and your postpartum recovery so much easier!
- Adjust your diet. It can be so easy to cave into cravings during your pregnancy, but it’s so important to keep your diet in check. You don’t have to go on a diet or anything like that, but be sure that you’re not doubling your calories or caving into every craving. Keep those meals well-rounded and stock up on healthy snacks and meal options in your home.
- Start documenting! I had a really rough start to my pregnancy mental health-wise so I took to my blog to document the changes I was going through and how I was feeling along the way. A friend of mine bought me this super cute book (I think it’s called one line a day?) to document random thoughts and milestones here and there as well. It’s good for five years which is super awesome. So I can document her first few years of life as well. And then you have the bumpdate photos…Everyone wants to see the progression of your baby bump from the time you find out to the time you give birth. While it was tough for me in the beginning to even look at my changing body, I did suck it up and take a weekly photo “just in case”. Now, postpartum, I’m so glad I did that. While they’re still hard to look at sometimes, I did love seeing how much she’s grown over the months. And I know our friends and family back home have loved seeing them as well.
- Download some pregnancy apps. I loved having pregnancy apps on my phone throughout my pregnancy. It was so much fun to watch our daughter’s progress and track her growth and development. Babies grow and change so much from one week to the next. It’s insane. The three apps I had on my phone were Glow Nurture, Pregnancy & Baby by What To expect and Pregnancy Tracker & Baby App by BabyCenter. I also used A Baby Story (? I think that’s what it’s called) to track my baby bump. So find some great apps to track your little one’s growth!
- Start gathering items for your registry. It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby registry. We didn’t finalize ours until we found out the gender, but it was nice to have a head start on it. There’s so much to look into and so much research to do as well on various brands and products. So start getting an idea of what items you may want for your baby and determine what you’ll be putting on your registry. And don’t be afraid to ask around for recommendations!
- Gather your resources. Your doctor’s office can be a great source for pregnancy resources. They’ll have everything from checklists to prenatal work out classes to parenting classes to informational brochures on breastfeeding. They’ll have it all. And if not, then the internet is your next best source. I was really big on following pregnancy blogs and websites throughout my pregnancy and even now I continue to follow them for parenting advice and resources as well.
- Hire a photographer! I know everyone has probably already said it to you, but I’ll say it again: it goes by SO fast. Seriously. Our daughter was born in May 2017 and I can’t even believe how big she’s gotten since then. I feel like I just gave birth to her yesterday and now she’s growing teeth and trying to crawl. These moments are so precious and it’s important to capture these memories.
While there are so many things to do once you find out you’re expecting, these were the top 10 things I made sure to do once I had that positive pregnancy test! What did you do first when you found out you were pregnant?