So you’ve finally got that second pink line that you’ve long been waiting for to confirm that you are pregnant. Irrespective of whether this is your 1st baby or your 4th, the one thing for sure is that you are about to bring a whole new life into this world and the mere thought of it can be extremely exciting. But on top of it all, it can get a tad bit overwhelming as well considering that there’s an entire baby getting developed inside you.
To begin with, the whole 9 months ride seems a bit far-fetched, but as your due date draws near, there are plenty of things that will begin demanding your attention. This particularly holds true for making arrangement for the new addition’s arrival and the changes that you need to make around your house for him/her. For this reason, it is necessary for you to start thinking of things beforehand so that you wouldn’t need to stress yourself out at the last minute. To help you get started with getting ready to have a baby, here’s a list of things that you should start doing right after getting pregnant:
7 #: Figure out the baby products that you truly need
There are certain things that just about every mom and newborn's need, so to ensure that you don’t miss out on any, start making a list right away. The best way to go about things is to start a baby registry on Amazon and then invite your family members and friends on it. This way, they will be able to add items to the list that they believe are a must-gave for you. The best part is that you will receive recommendations from people that you truly trust and by the best brands around. Moreover, you will have a very specific list available for you to choose from. When everyone’s had their say, you can easily narrow down the list to things that you believe you truly want and need.
Honestly speaking, the entire ordeal of working out what you need and don’t need for yourself and the baby can get rather overwhelming – particularly for first time mothers. This makes purchasing a few ‘extras’ a rather easy choice, but eventually, these turn out to be rather useless. If this is what you are going through, here’s a list of things that you SHOULD get for your new born:
- Clothing: To dress up your baby, it is best for you to get a few all-in-one suits, a couple vests, and one or two cardigans. If it is cold, get a coat and a soft cozy hat as well.
- Diapers: In the beginning, you will find yourself changing your baby’s diapers at least 10 times a day, so make sure that you purchase enough to last a few days. Wet wipes/cotton wool and nappy sacks will also be needed.
- Bedding: For bedding, you will need to get a cot, crib or a Moses basket. If you want to put your baby in a cot, you will also need cellular blankets and sheets. For a Moses basket, it is best to purchase several sheets and blankets.
- Feeding equipment: If you plan on breastfeeding, you will need to get breast pads and nursing bras for yourself. However, if you opt for formula, it is necessary for you to get bottles, bottle brushes, and teats.
Apart from these, you will also need bathing and travel products, so make sure that you look into those too.
6 #: Start taking your vitamins
There are countless women out there who swear on the fact that taking their vitamins right after they got a positive pregnancy test actually helped them curb their morning sickness to a great extent. Although it is best for women to get all the vitamins and minerals that their bodies need from the food they eat, pregnancy deems it necessary for them to take a few supplements too.
Although these will typically be prescribed to you by your doctor, you can easily get these yourself from supermarkets and pharmacies. But while you are at it, make sure that you stay away from vitamin A supplements (or retinol) as these have the potential to harm your developing baby if taken in excess.
The thing with prenatal vitamins is that these contain higher amounts of iron and folic acid as compared to regular adult multivitamins. Two major reasons why you should take iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy include:
- Iron is needed for the proper growth and development of your baby. Additionally, iron supplements will prevent you from suffering from anemia and guarantee a smooth pregnancy throughout the said 9 months
- Folic acid plays a significant role in preventing the onset of neural tube defects. Your baby, hence, will be protected against abnormalities that might occur in the spinal cord and brain
Experts have even gone on to suggest that the consumption of prenatal vitamins can help decrease the risk of low birth weight. However, there is a need for you to pay attention to other nutrients as well. For instance, standard prenatal vitamins do not contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to assist is the development of the baby’s brain. Although these can easily be acquired from fish and other food it, but if you don’t feel like consuming fish or other food items that contain omega 3 fatty acids, then your chosen health care provider might recommend a supplement for it along with your other prenatal vitamins.
Apart from these, it is also highly recommended for you to consume an adequate amount of vitamin D and calcium particularly in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
5 #: Work on making a list
Trust me, there will be plenty of things that you will have to get done prior to the arrival of your bundle of joy. However, considering the sheer amount of things that need to be done, it is natural for you to forget or skip out on a few, only to realize later on right at the eleventh hour that XYZ task is yet to be done. Well, the best means of making sure that you are organized and properly prepared all through your pregnancy is that of making a list of things to do.
To get started, when you find out that you are pregnant, your list should contain of the following things that need to be done:
- Arranging an appointment with your health care provider or midwife
- Take your daily prenatal vitamins and supplements
- Cut down on your caffeine intake
- Give up completely on smoking and drinking alcohol
- Learn what you should and should not eat during pregnancy
- Learn about the danger signs that should not be ignored
- Perform gentle exercises
- Figure out when you wish to announce your pregnancy
- Make bookings for your antenatal classes
- Choose a birth partner
- Find out about your antenatal appointments for this trimester
- Have lots of water
- Plan out a last-minute holiday if possible
- Shop for maternity clothes
- Set up the nursery
- Consider your maternity leave
- Spend a bit of time with your partner
- Follow how your baby is developing
- Shop for all the items that you need for your baby
For the third trimester, your to-do list should have activities like:
- Keep track of your baby’s movements
- Eat well
- Work on your third trimester’s antenatal appointments
- Talk to your baby
- Get your bag ready for the hospital
- Come up with a birth plan
- Sleep as much as you can
- Fill up your household supplies
- Prepare for welcoming your baby in to the world
4 #: Make a pregnancy announcement
Quite a few people out there think it is best for expecting mothers to wait till the 14th week mark to announce their pregnancy. If you have someone giving you this particular bit of advice, you don't have to listen to it. Honestly, your family members and close friends totally deserve hearing this good news, and if you have been trying to conceive for a while, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t share your happiness with everyone else if YOU want to.
In case you are confused as to when you should announce your pregnancy, there are advantages and disadvantages to both revealing the news early and later on in your pregnancy. Considering the amount of controversy that surrounds this particular issue, there are plenty of things that you need to take into consideration when deciding when you wish to make a pregnancy announcement. Although this is one of your most personal decisions, it is highly recommended for you to learn about the possible benefits and drawbacks pertaining to the timing of your announcement.
For making a quick announcement, the advantages are:
- You’ll have lots of people sharing your joy
- You are guaranteed to receive lots of support from day one
- You will receive added help in making all sorts of decisions
- Plenty of support in case you have a miscarriage
Its drawbacks, on the other hand, are:
- You will have lots of explaining to do in case you miscarry
- The sheer amount of advice can become a tad bit overwhelming
Now, there are both advantages and disadvantages to making a late pregnancy announcement. Its advantages are:
- You will be able to make your own decisions without others trying to influence you
- No need for you to put up with excessive advice
- No need for you to take back the announcement in case you miscarry
Its disadvantages are:
- You will not receive any help or support from your family members and friends
- You might feel isolated
- Late announcement might offend your loved ones
- You can’t expect anyone to understand your position in case you miscarry and reach out to them for support
3 #: Start eating healthy food – at least TRY to
Yes, there’s a focus on the word ‘try’ here. This is because being able to eat anything at all when you can’t even keep water down is extremely hard to do. However, eating healthy will become a whole lot easier the moment you get out of your sick stage, which will probably be in the second trimester.
In order to make sure that you eat healthy all through your pregnancy, it is highly recommended for you to have already prepared snacks available to you at all times. This is going to make it easier for you to consume them as you won’t have to make a special trip to the kitchen just to prepare a snack when you feel like eating. Also, this in no way implies that you should completely refrain from things like ice cream and burgers – as long as you have these occasionally to curb your craving, there really is no need for you to take yourself off on a guilt trip each time that you have them.
Now when you are pregnant, there are certain foods that you should and should not eat. Let’s cover the ‘don’t’ eat food list first:
- Unpasteurized milk, apple cider and juices
- Soft, unpasteurized cheeses including goat, feta, Camembert, Brie and blue cheese
- Raw or undercooked meats, fish or shellfish
- Raw eggs
- Foods that contain raw eggs
- Processed meats including deli meats and hot dogs
- Fish that contain high mercury levels such as swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel
- Alcoholic beverages
Other than that, there are plenty of things that you should eat to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy. Here’s a bit of information about the nutrients that your body needs during pregnancy and the foods that you should consume to acquire them:
- Iron – Helps prevent anemia and can be found in cereals, iron-fortified whole-grain breads, lean red meat and spinach
- Protein – Assists in production of blood and cell growth and can be acquired from fish, lean meat, egg whites, poultry, peanut butter and beans
- Carbohydrates – These are meant to assist in the production of energy required on a daily basis and can be acquired from cereals, rice, breads, potatoes, fruits, pasta, and vegetables
- Folic acid – Helps produce protein and blood and enhances enzyme function. It can be acquired from dark yellow fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and peas
2 #: Formulate an easy exercise routine
Being pregnant in no way means that you should give up on exercising – you need to continue. However, you need to have set goals to achieve or you just might end up doing nothing particularly if you are struggling with intense nausea and morning sickness. In order to stay more comfortable in the third trimester and during labor, it is necessary for you to at least stretch and remain a tad bit flexible.
Even if you don’t feel like running a marathon, you will be able to reap quite a few benefits by exercising all through your pregnancy. However, it is highly recommended for you to thoroughly discuss your exercise plans with your health care provider so that you don’t overexert yourself. While you are at it, remember that the level of exercise recommended to you will depend greatly on your pre-pregnancy fitness.
To be honest, there are quite a few exercises that you can try out during pregnancy. Women typically enjoy yoga, water aerobics, swimming, dancing, Pilates, walking and even biking. Apart from bouncing, it is highly recommended for you to try a combination of strength, flexibility and cardio (aerobic) exercises all through your pregnancy. Experts particularly suggest walking for expecting moms and the best part is that you can diversify it by adding hills, varying the pace and adding distance to it.
For those who are just getting started, it is best to begin with a moderate brisk pace for about a mile thrice a week. Each week, you will be able to add a couple more minutes to it, increase your pace and then add hills on your route. While you are at it, go slow during the first 5 minutes so that your body can warm up and end your route by cooling down in the last 5 minutes.
No matter what exercises your doctor recommends for you, it is necessary for you to listen to the warnings that your body gives out. If you are dizzy, rest a bit instead of losing your balance and falling. On the whole, if your body wants you to stop; you need to stop right away.
1 #: Take up DIY projects to pass the time
This one is particularly meant for stay at home women who are finding it hard to pass the time. Seriously speaking, when you’re pregnant and have to be home, you will often find yourself complaining that time simply doesn’t pass. With that, just because you are pregnant, it doesn’t mean that you need to stay in bed the whole time (unless you have health concerns and your doctor advises you to do so of course). Even while being pregnant, you are fully capable of taking up DIY projects and work on them rather successfully – and with the countless women out there who do so all through their pregnancies, you wouldn’t be the first of the lot!
The first trimester of your pregnancy is going to be perfect time to work on these projects as it will be easy for you to haul things and climb ladders. But the downside is that you will probably be extremely tired and throwing up every now and then, so you might face a few difficulties. However, don’t let these get you down and indulge in a few easy DIY projects and prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy. To begin with, sign up for a pregnancy app so you can spend time keeping track of your baby’s development on a weekly basis. Seriously, this is so enjoyable that you just might find yourself reading several weeks ahead.
Apart from that, there are quite a few DIY projects that you can take on as well. For instance, you can work on:
- DIY baby tights
- DIY baby mittens
- DIY moby wrap
- Collecting baby food recipes
- Learning songs and lullaby’s to put your baby to sleep
- Making onesies for your little one
- Learn how to make baby rash cream at home etc.
However, as you work on these and several other DIY projects, it is necessary for you to practice ample care so you don’t put yourself or your baby at risk. As you work through these, make sure that you keep a slow pace, only do things that you can easily handle, breathe and avert from stressing yourself out – have fun!