For a woman to find out she is going to be a mother is one of the greatest joys life has to offer. While it can be some of the most exciting news, it can also feel a little overwhelming. Especially in the case of a first pregnancy, it can be nerve-wracking for an expectant mom to have no idea what she is doing or how to go about it.
So you just found out that you are pregnant, congratulations, you are not alone in this at all. In fact, most women out there think that they know all there is to know about being pregnant and then when the time comes, they find themselves just as overwhelmed as the rest of us. There are a plethora of factors to take into consideration when we are pregnant, a lot of things to change, and a lot of things that we have to suddenly stop doing that we used to love doing.
How do we know if we are doing things right or wrong though? Let’s face it, you probably won’t get that first prenatal appointment for a few days until after you find out that you are expecting, so you are going to want to know what kind of stuff you need to do ensure a healthy pregnancy because the first few weeks are so vital. Here is a list of 20 things that you should change the moment that you discover that you are pregnant.
20 Start Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are vital to the health of a pregnant woman because babies tend to draw a lot of vitamins and nutrients from their mothers while in utero and we want to make sure that we are getting more than enough of what we need to sustain the life that we are growing inside of us. It is recommended by doctors that women start taking their prenatal vitamins the moment that they find out that they are pregnant, and that they remain on them for the entirety of their pregnancy.
19 Brush, Rinse, Brush, Rinse
Practicing good dental hygiene is important for everyone, however, there are a lot of people out there who certainly do not brush or floss every day, and some people who don’t even do it at all. If you are one of those people who occasionally miss a few days of brushing, it’s ok. In fact, it happens to the best of is. However, once you discover that you are pregnant, you are going to want to stop forgetting to do it. A lot of times pregnant women report dental health changes in pregnancy, and a large number of women report a decline in their dental health after giving birth, so it is a good idea to keep up with it before it gets worse.
18 Say Goodbye To Plastic
This next one is one that not a lot of people put thought into. Plastic is everywhere; it's used for food packaging, to hold our drinks, and even to eat with. It is literally everywhere and in everything that you do. As a result, not very many people would think twice before drinking out of a plastic bottle because we do it all of the time without any issues, right? Well, apparently most plastic bottles, especially those used for water bottles, contain BPA a chemical that can pose some serious health hazards. This is especially dangerous for women who are pregnant, and so it is important to be more aware of this when pregnant.
17 Stop Eating Lunchmeat
Lunch meat is a little bit of a guilty pleasure, especially when we are so desperately craving a hoagie, but it turns out that it might not be a good choice for pregnant women to eat. In fact, doctors not recommend that women avoid eating lunch meats during pregnancy, unless they are first heated up. This is because of the harmful bacteria that these meats typically carry, which can be pretty dangerous to both mom and her unborn baby. Of course, we are not saying that you should not eat them at all, but that if you are going to eat them to at least heat them up first to destroy whatever bacteria may be lurking.
16 Get Dad To Change The Kitty Litter
This next one is something that your doctor will tell you all about at your first prenatal appointment. If you have a cat, and you have found out that you are expecting, then you should definitely find someone else to change your cat’s litter for you. This is because the litter can contain a toxic bacteria known as toxoplasmosis. In a normal person, this usually has no effect at all, but in a woman carrying a baby, this can lead to eye and brain damage for their unborn baby. If you are the only one there is to change the litter, then it is recommended that you wear a mask and gloves when doing so.
15 Avoid Taking Advil
One of the things that not a lot of women take into consideration when pregnant, is what medications it is ok and not ok to take. Usually your doctor will go over this with you at your first appointment, however, sometimes you do not get that appointment until you are a few weeks along. This is why it is so important for women to know what is okay to take and what is not ok to take before that first appointment arises. In your first trimester, you might be plagued with fatigue, headaches, and nausea, which may, in turn, leave you reaching for a bottle of over the counter medication, but you should definitely hold off on that until you know what is safe and what is not safe.
14 Don't Lift Heavy Objects
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage tends to be pretty high, and we usually want to do everything that we can in order to avoid this heartbreaking thing from taking place. Which is why lifting heavy objects should be something that you save for after the baby arrives. Sure, sometimes there is no getting around it if you need something moved, but if there is someone that you can ask to do it for you then you certainly should. As a rule of thumb, you should never really lift anything over 20 pounds throughout your pregnancy, but if you have to then you should at least ask for help and be sure to use proper lifting techniques.
13 Throw Out Cleaning Products With Harsh Chemicals
Cleaning seems to be a part of our everyday lives, regardless of whether or not we enjoy doing it. However, when it comes to cleaning products there is a lot of stuff out there that can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to pregnant women using them. If you are not wearing a mask while cleaning, and you are using cleaning supplies indoors where there is little ventilation, then you should be sure to use products that are free of harmful chemicals and to steer away from bleach. Breathing these things in is dangerous to anyone, but pregnant women are especially vulnerable to negative side effects from them.
12 The Hot Tub Is Now On Hold
Hot tubs are a wonderful luxury to have, there is no mistaking that, everyone loves to jump into one to relax and unwind. However, the temperatures in a hot tub are usually above 100 degrees and they are not by any means considered safe for pregnant women. This is one thing that there is no getting around no matter what you do, and you will, unfortunately, need to avoid all hot tubs for the entire length of your pregnancy. Try not to be too upset over this though, because it is after all only for nine months and then you can go right back to enjoying them.
11 Stop Taking Birth Control
If your pregnancy was unexpected, and you were on birth control at the time that you conceived, then you will want to stop taking the birth control right away to avoid further complications. Believe it or not, pregnancy while on birth control happens way more than we realize, this is usually due to user error. Of course, pregnancy while on birth control always comes as a shocker and is often times looked at as a mistake, but regardless of how you feel about the pregnancy, birth control should be stopped the moment that you receive that positive test.
10 And Other Types Of Medications
We already talked about the effects of Advil on a pregnant woman, and why they should be avoided, however, there is a lot more women need to look out for when it comes to taking medication while pregnant. If a woman who finds out that she is pregnant is on medication for things like depression, anxiety, or any other number of mental health issues these are all typically medications that women need to weaned off of when they discover that they are pregnant because they usually lead to complications in pregnancies.
9 Stop Strenuous Physical Activity
Staying active is always very important in order to stay as healthy as possible, this is especially true for a pregnant woman. However, when it comes to being active during pregnancy, there is a limit as too how far you can take things. When you are pregnant, you don’t want to put your body under any amount of stress, give yourself high blood pressure, or have a very high heart rate, because these are all things that can have a very negative effect on the baby. This is why doctors recommend that, while you should stay active, that you bring it down a couple of notches and not overexert yourself.
8 Drink More Water
Drinking water is always important, and when you think about it, it’s actually the only drink that we need to survive. Water is a vital part of our lives and most people do not consume nearly enough of it. When you find out that you are pregnant, you are going to want to up your water intake for sure, especially if you are pregnant in the summertime. When a woman is pregnant she tends to become dehydrated more easily, and pregnant women also have a tendency to faint in the summer months when they are not properly hydrating. This can occur at any point in pregnancy, so you should be sure to at least get in 24 ounces a day minimum.
7 Feminine Products No More!
So you just found out that you are pregnant, congratulations! Now go take those tampons and pads off of your shopping list because you won’t be needing them until after the baby comes, which is a long ways away. Of course, if you are buying feminine hygiene products to stock up for after the arrival of your little bundle of joy, then there is nothing wrong with that at all. Some women, however, are ecstatic to learn that they will no longer have to be dishing out money every single month for boxes of feminine products that usually lead to an awkward checkout at the grocery store.
6 Don't Order Fish
Some people just love their seafood, if you are like me though you hate and this next one won’t bother you one bit. Fish can, of course, be a vital part of a very healthy diet, however, it can also be very dangerous to pregnant women and their unborn babies. Certain types of fish can be very high in mercury, which can lead to some very serious complications during pregnancy. This is why it is important to stop eating fish when you find out that you are pregnant. At your first prenatal appointment, your doctor should go over what is safe and what is not safe when it comes to seafood.
5 Ditch The Soda
Soda can be very enjoyable on certain occasions, there is no doubt about that, but there is also no doubt about how terribly bad it is for us. Unfortunately, how bad it if for us usually gets overlooked since the people who drink it tend to become so easily addicted to it. If you are a pretty big soda drinker, and you find out that you are pregnant, then you should probably stop drinking it right away. Not only do these carbonated beverages contain entirely too much sugar, but they are also extremely high in their caffeine content and they are unhealthy not only for you, but your baby as well.
4 Get Your Shots
While there is a large group of people out there today who are very heavily against the idea of vaccinations, there is no denying the science behind it and how many harmful diseases have been kept at bay because of them. Vaccinations are very important, not only for small children but for adults as well. Pregnant women especially need to make sure that they get vaccinated when they find out that they are pregnant. HPV and the Flu shot are very important vaccinations that all pregnant women should get. If you have not had one in five or more years, then your Obgyn will also recommend that you get your tetanus shot while you are there.
3 Take Time To Relax
Some of you might thank us for this next one. There is so much stress in today’s world, especially as an adult. We spend almost all of our lives worrying and stressing out about things that aren't even that important to begin with. As you all know, high-stress levels in pregnancy can not only lead to miscarriages but premature births as well. This is why we are here to tell you to take a few minutes each day to yourself. Lock yourself in a quiet room, turn off the lights, do some yoga, meditate, take a bath, whatever it is that helps you to relax, do it.
2 Quit Indulging
When it comes to things that you should not do when you find out that you are pregnant, drinking alcohol should be an obvious one. However, since we do not always know we are pregnant as soon as it happens, some of us accidentally have some before finding out that we are expecting. This usually happens without consequence, but you should still be sure to stop consuming any and all alcohol at the very moment that you discover that you are pregnant. Drinking while pregnant can lead to a very horrible syndrome known as fetal alcohol syndrome, something that all mothers should want to avoid.
1 And Quit The Bad Habits
Smoking is a gross habit, there is no doubt about it, yet nearly half of the world’s population either does smoke or has smoked at least once in their lifetime. Smoking comes with many health risks, and in pregnant women, it has been known to cause a low birth weight and even premature births among other more serious things. This is why if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, then you should probably try to kick the habit first, however, if you are a smoker and have just found out that you are pregnant then you should try to quit ASAP.
References: Healthline and Babycenter.