So the test has come back positive and at this point, the parents-to-be are probably experiencing a whirlwind of emotions ranging from shock, excitement, happiness mixed in with some disbelief. If any missteps are going to occur, it’ll be at this time. The future parents are excited and stressed and probably not thinking straight which is why it’s important to rein it in and control any tendency toward impulsive behavior.
A lot may change over the course of the next 40 weeks and in order to make the next eight to nine months as stress-free and uncomplicated as possible, it’s imperative to curb any sudden or impetuous conduct. Sounds pretty straightforward - but of course easier said than done.
When newly pregnant, there may be a lot of impulsive urges requiring some quelling. Future parents can rest assured they are behaving tactfully by following these simple guidelines: before acting on a whim take a deep breath, have a conversation with their partner and get a good night’s sleep. If after this, it still seems like a good idea, then take it from there.
The good news is that there is plenty the happy couple can do without a second thought such as: let the news soak in, bask in the ensuing glow, enjoy this shared secret with each other, get a medical check-up, celebrate and of course, relax. However, take great pains to avoid these 15 no-nos when newly knocked up.
15 Shout The News From The Rooftop
Especially if a pending pregnancy is a major surprise or a long time in the making, it can be a shocked impulse to blurt the news out to anyone and everyone. It definitely makes sense to take a couple of deep breaths and have a brief discussion together before telling anyone for a variety of reasons.
There is often an unspoken hierarchy of who to share the news with first. Start with close family and friends and consider working downward from there. And if keeping the news contained at work is a priority, then it may be worth not sharing with anyone involved until the time is right for the world to know as well.
There are also many creative and fun ways to make this life-changing announcement on social media. If this is something new parents are considering, keep in mind that it may take a bit of planning beforehand.
And of course there’s always the worry of a miscarriage and having to pass along this bad news to everyone in the know. It may be best to play it safe and keep the exciting news on the DL until given the all-clear from a healthcare provider.
14 Go On A Bender
News of a pregnancy may inspire a celebration, but a night of debauchery including free-flowing alcohol should not be part of the plan. Unfortunately, there is plenty of confusing advice out there when it comes to alcohol consumption and pregnancy. Some doctors claim a glass of wine now and then won’t cause any harm while others beg to differ.
Most research surrounds excessive alcohol consumption and so the risks associated with light to moderate drinking during pregnancy are more murky. This is partly due to the fact that every woman is different in terms of how her body will react to alcohol as well as break it down. Also under debate is at what point in a pregnancy alcohol consumption can have the greatest negative affect.
Suffice it to say that if a pregnant woman consumes alcohol at any time, there is some risk of the baby suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. This disorder is a term used to describe a series of conditions ranging from mild to serious. They can include a host of issues such as: speech and language difficulties, learning disabilities as well as facial abnormalities.
13 Let Paranoia Tendrils Take Hold
Experiencing some level of anxiety and/or depression during pregnancy is normal and can even be expected thanks to the constantly shifting flood of hormones. Life is changing and women may suddenly acquire feelings of insecurity or a sense of losing control. This loss of control can especially be difficult to manage - and in some cases, women will attempt to control everything within their immediate environment in order to compensate.
As a result, paranoia sometimes takes hold and this can manifest in a variety of ways from excessive worry over health concerns regarding the baby to obsessing about their own safety. Some pregnant women even suspect their partners are cheating without any substantial proof.
For any women who feel their paranoia is spiralling out of control, it is important to keep it in check before it transforms into full-on anxiety. Oftentimes, this does not get better once the baby arrives - and can even shift into a form of postpartum depression. Talk to trusted family and friends as well as healthcare providers who can help in dealing with the issue before it escalates.
12 Replace The Current Threads
Most pregnant women experience a love-hate relationship when it comes to their maternity wardrobe. At first, the clothing is exciting to wear in order to show off the newly acquired bump, but as the weeks drag on the attire can take on a different light. Keep this in mind before running out to spend a small fortune on garb that will most likely lose its luster fast.
Pregnancy clothes can get pricey, so if family and friends are offering up their previously worn maternity wear, take them up on it. Also, many second-hand stores have bountiful maternity sections. Take it slowly and start out by investing in a few wise selections such as belly bands which allow women to wear their regular clothing for longer, over-sized tank tops and forgiving yoga pants.
Before breaking the bank, it makes sense for a newly pregnant woman to wait and see how her weight gain will affect her body. She will want clothing that fits properly, can expand as needed and will of course be comfortable.
11 Belly Rub-A-Dub-Dub
There are numerous reasons a pregnant woman will rub her belly - it may be an absent-minded gesture that helps her bond with her unborn baby or acknowledgement to a fluttering or kick from within. As well, it may just as easily be a reaction to gas, indigestion or even itchiness due to overly-stretched skin.
However, it becomes an extremely annoying habit when belly-rubbing is incessant and no baby bump is even yet visible. Some pregnant women will even rub their stomachs like a genie’s about to appear. Awareness is the first step in correcting this problem.
To a happy preggo it may be a loving caress for her unborn baby but to everyone else in the vicinity it’s a pretentious display that screams out: “Look at me! I created a baby!” Do everyone a favor and save the perpetual belly-rubbing for quality connecting time between mom and baby.
10 Book A Holiday
Many couples are embarking on one last vacation before the arrival of their baby - what is commonly known as a babymoon. There are many benefits to the babymoon including the strengthening bond it can create between partners before their lives are turned topsy-turvy with the birth of a baby.
Especially when expecting their first child, it makes sense that a couple may want to cram in one final relaxing vacation. That said, there’s no sense in starting to scour the internet for trip deals the minute the test comes back positive. Instead, err on the side of caution and wait to see how the pregnancy progresses before making any plans.
Once a new mom-to-be has adjusted to pregnancy, she will have a better idea as to her energy and nausea levels as well as bathroom break requirements and other health concerns and can then plan a trip that will work best. Then, as soon as her healthcare professional gives the thumbs up, she can start the bargain hunting.
9 Go Google-Crazy
According to the New York Times, U.S. mothers-to-be are most concerned about what is safe to eat and drink during pregnancy and go crazy googling for answers. What needs to be kept top of mind is that google often offers biased and sometimes incorrect or out-dated information. If on the hunt for answers on a specific issue, be sure not to get drawn into untrustworthy sites.
For pregnant women leaning toward the anxious side, google-mania may not be the way to go. A lot of information uncovered can be considered alarmist and cause paranoia levels to go through the roof. When information is required, consider having discussions with healthcare professionals or trusted family and friends instead.
Moms-to-be should also keep in mind that labor and delivery are now inevitable events in their immediate future. We urge them to consider letting nature take its course and allowing the mystery to unfold accordingly.
8 Become A Motherhood Motor Mouth
An excited soon-to-be mother can easily dig herself into a verbal hole if she doesn’t stay on top of mindless pregnancy-related chatter. They need to tread carefully when discussing controversial topics that can come across as judgmental - especially since they haven’t gone down this particular path just yet and things can change on a dime.
Be cognizant of the reactions of individuals involved in the conversation. Do they appear genuinely interested? Or are they surreptitiously glancing at their watches, stifling yawns or giving other people nearby a “look”. If so, it may be time to dial the motherhood chat down a notch.
That’s not to say that preggos can no longer participate in conversations with non-preggos. Just remember to keep abreast of other topics of interest and keep in mind that not everyone (probably no one!) will be interested in hearing about a pregnant woman’s vaginal discharge.
7 Whip The Nursery Into Shape
Many new parents opt to use a bassinet for their newborn which means that organizing the nursery will not have to be a rushed process. And patience is definitely a virtue where the nursery is concerned as soon-to-be parents can figure out the necessities needed and take time to shop around for the best quality and price.
Uber-planners may want to know the baby’s gender before even thinking about the nursery. In this case, the 20 week mark of pregnancy is a good target to consider. If a baby shower is in the works, then it only makes sense to wait to organize the nursery until after this event. A new mom-to-be will probably receive plenty of gifts meant for the baby’s room such as furniture, decorations and baby gear.
As beneficial as it may be to wait to organize the nursery, it’s important not to leave it too long either. Aiming to have it completed by the eighth month of pregnancy is a realistic guideline because by then a pregnant woman’s energy levels are seriously waning.
6 Double Down On Dinner
Just because a pregnancy is in the works doesn’t mean that a healthy and balanced diet should be tossed out the window. Yes - most likely pregnancy will increase appetite, hunger (after the nausea has passed) and even possibly strange cravings. However, when it comes to eating for two, this is just a myth.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body becomes an efficient and streamlined machine even though it may not seem like it! Her body will absorb all the required vitamins and nutrients for the baby without needing many more calories than usual. To be more precise, a pregnant woman only needs an additional intake of 300 calories per day - that can be found in a single slice of bread topped with some peanut butter.
Too much weight gain increases the risk of developing complications that can be harmful to a pregnant woman and her baby including: gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, backaches and leg cramps as well as the possibility of having to undergo a cesarean section delivery.
5 Let The Kids In On The Secret
Pregnancy can be a joyous and exciting occasion so it’s only natural that happy parents want to share the news with the entire family. However, there are many benefits to waiting before making this announcement to young children.
For starters, there is the possibility that kids may not be as over the moon about welcoming a new baby into the fold as the parents are. Because the news may be upsetting to them, it makes sense to take a more organized and thoughtful approach. For children who do not easily welcome change, take some time to prepare them a bit and get them excited about the idea before letting the cat out of the bag.
Something else to take into account is the fact that if a miscarriage occurs, this would inevitably have to be disclosed to any children in the know. Dealing with the death of an unborn baby may be a lot for a child to handle. As well, it can open up a whole can of worms in terms of understanding death and may merit a conversation revolving around spiritual beliefs.
4 Grouse, Complain or Bellyache
There’s a lot about pregnancy that really sucks: the nausea, backaches, bladder weakness, and sleeplessness. Not to mention being uncomfortable, gassy, overweight and constipated. Despite all the unfavorable side effects of pregnancy, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects.
By focusing on feelings of gratitude throughout the pregnancy, a mom-to-be is setting herself up for an upbeat birth experience. And this will set the tone for parenthood as a confident and positive adventure as well. Keeping an eye on all the good that is happening is the best way for new parents to remind themselves about the privilege they are receiving.
When answering the common yet loaded question “How are you feeling?”, there are ways to respond diplomatically yet honestly by tempering complaints with positive energy. It’s crucial to be aware and sensitive to other individuals before tearing a strip off of pregnancy in general. Remember, there are plenty of would-be parents out there who are suffering through infertility and miscarriages, who would give anything to be on the receiving end of such an incredible gift.
3 Load Up On Baby Gear
Baby gear does not come cheap. For any new parents brave enough to sit down and put together a list of necessities and the cost, they may have second thoughts about this whole baby thing. When it comes to buying baby stuff, savvy parents know that an organized strategy is often the best way to remain both cost-conscious as well as practical.
While riding high on the news of a positive pregnancy test, it’s easy to make quick and impulsive buys. And no one’s saying ‘boo’ to purchasing a couple of trendy onesies or sweet little booties. But it may be for the best to stave off buying some of the higher end gear for a few months.
If a baby shower is planned then it’s best to wait until afterward before making any major purchases. Also, there’s no harm in conducting a bit of research and assembling a list of items deemed critical. Parents-to-be should definitely share this list with other new parents who will most likely have many additions and subtractions of their own.
2 Take This Job and Shove It
To quit or not to quit is a dilemma faced by many new mothers. The uncertainty associated with either decision can be absolutely gut-wrenching. And so what is the right decision? The short answer is that there isn’t one. And in order to determine the best choice, a bit of sleuthing is most likely in order.
Because this decision is extremely monumental for the entire family, it should definitely not be made impulsively. There are many variables to consider such as: finances, career backlash, possible self-esteem changes as well as a weigh-in from mom-to-be’s partner.
When faced with this quandary, it makes sense for a new mother to play things by ear - to dip her toe in the waters of motherhood and test it out before diving right in. Parenthood is one of those foggy mysteries that just can’t be pinned down until a new parent is knee-deep in dirty diapers and laundry. It can be boring, disgusting, tiring and just plain difficult. At the same time, it can be interesting, fun and joyous. However, if a new parent is unhappy or resentful, then there is no benefit to anyone involved.
1 Get Cold Feet
Pregnant and panicked? Keep in mind that once again this is not necessarily unusual. Typically, once the shock and joy of pregnancy wear off, panic mode sets in. It is completely normal for expectant mothers to experience some level of stress and worry - about the baby’s health, the pregnancy, financial concerns as well as the future. It only becomes a serious issue if a woman is unable to cope and it transforms into all-consuming anxiety or panic attacks.
The following symptoms may indicate that a pregnant woman’s regular concerns are headed down an escalated path:
- she has trouble concentrating and functioning in day-to-day life
- she is plagued by constant panic or fear
- she has obsessive thoughts
- she is unable to enjoy things she usually loves
- she is suffering from heart palpitations
If left untreated, symptoms may worsen and lead into a form of postpartum depression which is why it’s important to get help from a professional.