Even for experienced moms, "prenatal visits are still important since every pregnancy is different. This initial visit will probably be one of the longest. It will be helpful if [mom arrives] prepared with vital dates and information. This is also a good opportunity to bring a list of questions that [mom and her] partner have about [the] pregnancy, prenatal care and birth options,” states AmericanPregnancy.org.
There’s a lot to think about when planning for the life of a new baby. Cute nurseries, baby names and the dreams of the soon-to-be baby bump can oftentimes take the forefront of expectant mothers thoughts. More importantly though, there are a lot of medical things to plan and be prepared for, including that first OBGYN appointment. TheBump.com explains that the first OB appointment is "generally between 8 and 12 weeks, [and] will include a complete medical history and a thorough physical... This is to check [mom's] overall health and identify any factors that put [her] at risk for pregnancy, birth or fetal complications."
After the first OBGYN appointment, any mother, first time or not, will have a lot going on in their mind. They have 9 months of these appointments to look forward to, and will want to set themselves up for success. Luckily, there are some things that any mother can do first thing after that first OBGYN appointment to ensure their off to a good start.
20 Grab A Snack To Get Your Sugar Levels Back Up
“A sample of your blood will be used to determine blood type and Rh status and check for anemia. Your blood will also be screened for antibody titers (levels) and immunity to certain diseases (like rubella and chicken pox) and possibly for vitamin D deficiency,” explains WhatToExpect.com. After having your blood drawn, you will want to grab a snack right afterwards. You don’t want to be feeling light-headed! Reach for something with iron in it such as a handful of nuts or a peanut butter sandwich. You will also want to be sure and drink plenty of fluids afterwards as well.
19 Write Down Any Information You Don’t Want To Forget
You likely have just absorbed a ton of information and the excitement of the first appointment can leave you forgetting to write down any important information. Most doctors will offer you a print-out of information after your appointment but there is likely a few other things your doctor told you that you will want to jot down. These things might include your blood type, genetic testing counselor recommendations, test results, baby’s heart rate and more. Do yourself a favor and keep a pen handy in your vehicle for scenarios like this. There’s a slim chance you’ll remember these things very long thanks to your pregnancy brain!
18 Write Down A List Of Foods To Avoid And Post It On The Fridge
With the abundance of information your Doctor will have provided, you probably discussed your new diet, yay pregnancy! When you get home, you should jot down a list of foods to avoid and stick it up on your fridge as a reminder. A lot of these things might be obvious, but same are not so obvious, and again, you are now dealing with that pesky pregnancy brain so having a reminder on the fridge is a helpful idea. Healthline.com suggests keeping the following items on the top of that list; high-mercury fish, undercooked or raw fish, undercooked or raw meat, raw eggs, organ meat, caffeine, raw sprouts, unwashed produce, unpasteurized milk or cheese, alcohol and processed junk food.
17 Do The Same For Medicines To Avoid!
In addition to foods to avoid, some medicines are also no longer safe to be taking. You should make another list and stick it up in your bathroom. “The rule about taking medicines during pregnancy is simple: Always ask your doctor first. That includes questions about prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. You should definitely not take some medicines. For others -- the yellow flags -- your doctor may need to weigh the risks and benefits to you and your baby,” suggest WebMD.com. There are a lot of guides and even printables available on the internet to get you started on your list.
16 Text Your Partner
Your baby daddy should be the first to know the details of how your appointment went. Shoot him a text right when you are on your way out of your appointment. Be aware of your partner and his feelings during your pregnancy, he is going through some big changes too! “It's nothing compared to what her body goes through—but men experience hormonal changes when their partners are pregnant, finds a new University of Michigan study. Researchers tested the hormone levels of first-time fathers-to-be and found that their testosterone dropped as the baby grew. Don't panic—we're not talking clinically low T levels, says study author Robin Edelstein, Ph.D. But the changes could be just enough to subtly influence your personality, like making you more nurturing and devoted to your wife and future child,” states MensHealth.com
15 Text Your Friends
Don’t forget to update your besties as well. You will want to be sure and share the updates with your friends who already know your news. If you’re friends don’t yet know the news, it may be a good time to think of a way to share your news with them, and this is the fun part!
But first, be sure you’ve shared the news with any family members! “There’s a hierarchy when it comes to how to announce pregnancy: the in-person tell, the phone call, the email and the social media share. “Your family is the most personal a tell,” Post Senning says—this includes your spouse and the soon-to-be grandmas and grandpas. Your best course of action: delivering the good news in person. “It gives loved ones the chance to really share in your joy,” he says. Here are some of our favorite pregnancy announcement ideas for family that let you do just that,” suggests The Bump.com.
14 Take A Bump Picture
Pop in the bathroom on your way out and grab a bump picture. It’s a good habit to get into! If you plan to do this after each doctor’s appointment you will have a good series of bumpdates that you can cherish forever! I did biweekly bump photos for my pregnancy and made a collage that hangs in my daughter’s nursery. Download an app like the Baby Pics app and you can customize your bump photos with weekly numbers and graphics, including fruit size comparison photos...super cute! This is a great option if you don’t have time to do customized photos with props every week or every other week. A cute graphic on a simple mirror selfie is all you really need to remember this sweet time!
13 Call Your Mom
Don’t forget to update Mom! Chances are, your own pregnancy will you bring you and your mother closer together than ever, and you will want her there for support! “Toronto family therapists and authors of Goodbye Mother, Hello Woman (New Harbinger Publications, 1995), Marilyn Irwin Boynton and Mary Dell, reveal that often having children provides a wonderful opportunity and impetus for children to reevaluate their mother-daughter relationship. A 28-year-old woman called her mother for months after having her first child to praise her endurance, thank her for her love, and apologize for her own adolescent outrages,” writes FamilyEducation.com.
12 Schedule Your Next Appointment
Save yourself the trouble from having to call the Doctor’s office back to set-up your next appointment and just do it while you are still at the office. You will be at the doctor’s office frequently over the next nine months. WebMD.com states that a typical prenatal visit schedule looks like this; one prenatal visit every month from weeks 4 to 28, one prenatal visit every two weeks from weeks 28 to 36 and one visit a week after week 36. So schedule that appointment and jot it down in your Google calendar so you don’t forget. And while you’re at it, just plan on scheduling the next few appointments!
11 And The Next Several Appointments While You’re At It
As just stated above, you will be at your Doctor’s office very frequently over the next nine months. It can be helpful to just go ahead and get all of your appointments booked way ahead of time. Scheduling months in advance ensures you get the time slot that works best for your schedule, and gives you peace of mind. Wondering what to expect from your appointments? “Medical checkups and screening tests help keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy...It also involves education and counseling about how to handle different aspects of your pregnancy. During your visits, your doctor may discuss many issues, such as healthy eating and physical activity, screening tests you might need, and what to expect during labor and delivery,” shares WomensHealth.gov
10 Start Your List Of Questions For Your Next Visit
If you are anything like me, it’s possible you think of things you meant to ask the doctor the second you leave the appointment and are back in your car. I got into the habit of jotting my questions down so I wouldn’t forget them for next time. Downloading an app like the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker, can make organizing your questions even easier, we’ll get into that a little bit more below! Of course, most doctors and/or their nurses are happy to answer questions over the phone, so if you forget to ask an important question don’t hesitate to call your doctor’s office.
“Collecting your thoughts and putting pen to paper is especially rewarding during pregnancy. Not only will you have a personal record of your life during this time, you'll create a special gift for your child years later,” writes BabyCenter.com.This is another good habit to get into after each appointment. Nothing will make you feel more intune with the little peanut growing inside of you like hearing their heartbeat. So take a few of these precious moments and write down how you’re feeling. Browse Etsy for some really cute pregnancy journals to make this even more of a fun activity to do.
8 Reflect & Meditate
While you’re feeling calm and collected after journaling, take even just a few minutes to reflect and meditate on how you are feeling. “While calmness and positivity are more important than ever, during pregnancy it can be hard to find your even keel. Practicing meditation helps you cope with the demands on your body and mind, and benefits your unborn baby in a variety of important ways,” shares DoYouYoga.com. Wondering how to get started on practicing meditation? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that! Check out Mind The Bump for a pregnancy centered meditation app. Other apps include Head Space, Calm and iBirth.
7 Treat Yourself
Treat yourself, girl! You deserve it. Stop at the bakery for your favorite cupcake. Hop on Amazon and buy yourself that too cute for words ‘Don’t Eat Watermelon Seeds’ T-shirt. If it makes you happy, go for it! “There are a variety of ways that you can pamper yourself while you are pregnant. Find some time to relax and schedule a prenatal massage or soak in a warm bath. Feel your best by enrolling yourself in a prenatal yoga class, or by splurging on a few new maternity outfits. Finally, remember to have fun. Don’t be afraid to indulge in your food cravings, and try planning a fun night with your friends or partner,” suggests WikiHow.com.
6 Start Or Update Your Birth Plan
Time to start thinking about that birth plan, it’s never too early! And chances are that you probably started discussing some of your options with your doctor at your first appointment. “A birth plan is a simple, clear, one-page statement of your preferences for the birth of your child. Providing a copy of the plan for everyone directly involved in the birth will help them better understand what is happening and give them the opportunity to resolve issues before the big day. Because there are so many aspects of birth to consider, it is best not to wait until the last minute to put your plan together,” writes AmericanPregnancy.org.
My best advice on this, for whatever it’s worth, is to start your birth plan right away and adjust it as you go. And in the end, just remember that it’s okay if things don’t go exactly how you planned, they hardly ever do!
5 Update Your Boss On Any Work Restrictions
If you haven’t notified your boss of your pregnancy, now is the time. “First, know your rights. Dust off your employee manual and look into company policies regarding pregnancy rights and maternity leave. You'll also want to read up on your rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Another thing to know: Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the company should modify your responsibilities and assignments or provide disability leave if you’re temporarily unable to perform your duties,” suggests TheBump.com. After you do your research, approach your boss in person to discuss your news. Afterwards, you can think of a creative way to tell the rest of your coworkers!
4 Notify Your Insurance Of Your Pregnancy
“After you break the news to your husband, the next in line to hear the story might very well be your health-insurance agent. If you already have a doctor who participates in your insurance plan and who you want to help deliver your baby, you're all set. But for many women this is the time for making careful choices about the person who will give them prenatal care and who will eventually deliver their baby. Before you can begin to look around or interview physicians, you'll first need to find out what doctors and facilities in your area are covered under your plan,” shares FamilyEducation.com. If you’ve seen the doctor already, it’s likely you have this step taken care of, but in case you don’t, now is the time to address it.
3 Schedule A Prenatal Massage
Pregnancy can take a toll on the body, so there’s no better time to treat yourself to a massage. Depending on your budget, you might even choose to do this monthly! Prenatal massage actually has a lot of benefits to it. “Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage.Swedish Massage aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body,” shares AmericanPregnancy.org.
2 Download A Pregnancy Tracker App
Now is a great time to update your phone with a pregnancy tracker app, if you haven’t already! Apps like the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker make marking milestones and tracking pregnancy updates really easy and even fun! The Ovia Pregnancy Tracker app includes the following features; baby size comparisons, due date calculator, comprehensive tracker, baby hand and foot size, weekly videos, safety look-up tools, daily articles and so much more! I loved this app for my pregnancy. There is also a feature that allows you to update the app with your doctors appointments and a spot to jot down questions for your doctor!
1 And Update It!
Jot down those notes from the appointment while you’re at it! There is no time like the present to update the app while all of the relevant information from your appointment is fresh in your mind. Looking for more fun pregnancy apps? Here’s a few named Best Pregnancy Apps of 2017 by Healthline.com; My Pregnancy Today, 50,000 Baby Names, Baby Bump Pregnancy Pro, I’m Expecting, Pregnancy Assistant, My Baby’s Beat, Baby Pool, Pregnancy Due Date Calculator, Pregnancy ++, Sprout Pregnancy, Full Term-Labor Contraction Timer, and Ovia Pregnancy Tracker. The Kinder app is also a fun name choosing app that allows you and your partner to choose names in a fun way, it’s literally Tinder for baby names!
References: www.americanpregnancy.org, www.thebump.com, www.whattoexpect.com, www.healthline.com, www.webmd.com, www.menshealth.com, www.thebump.com, www.familyeducation.com, www.healthline.com, www.womenshealth.gov, www.etsy.com, www.babycenter.com, www.doyouyoga.com, www.wikihow.com,