Congratulations mama! If you are reading this because you just found out you are pregnant, we are SO excited for you!
When you see those two pink lines for the first time, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with emotion. All of a sudden you know that you have another life growing inside you. This is huge! It makes sense to feel unsure of what to do next. Here is your checklist of all of the things you need to think about now that you are pregnant!
1. Call the doctor
Because we are a group of therapists and not doctors, we are going to leave all of the medical information to the experts! You should make sure you call your doctor soon after finding out you are pregnant. They will most likely test you again to make sure your pregnancy test was accurate, talk about your medical history, recommend a prenatal vitamin, and send you for bloodwork!
2. Get a mental health check-up
What is this, you might ask? During the pregnancy and postpartum period, your body is changing and so are your hormones. 1 in 5 women will struggle with their mental health during this time. Being proactive about your mental health means that you are reducing your vulnerability to mental health issues. This is especially important if you have struggled with mental illness in the past! Do not ignore this point! Staying on top of your mental health care will help you THRIVE during pregnancy and postpartum.
3. Tell your partner
It is so important to have social support as a newly pregnant woman, especially because your body is about to do some very serious things! Tell your partner as soon as you are able, so that you can have their support throughout the entire process.
4. Call the midwife
If you and your partner agree that you would like a midwife, make sure that you call your local clinic as soon as you get a chance. Usually midwives book up fast, and you may not be able to get in unless you call as soon as possible.
5. Get connected
As a new mama, you are going to need the support of other moms! Find a space (non judgemental and stress free) online where you can ask your questions and connect with other moms!
6. Decide when to share news
Some couples decide to wait until the second trimester to share the good news, whereas other couples tell the world right away! This is completely up to you. Make sure that you and your partner are on the same page with who you want to talk to about your pregnancy, and when.
7. Take care of your body
This is a great time to take control of your physical health. Try to fill your body with healthy food and water, and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day! That being said, if you are feeling so morning sick (aka all day sick) that all you can stomach is mashed potatoes and gingerale, eat that without guilt.
8. Don’t forget to have fun
Start shopping for maternity clothes, go on Pinterest, plan your nursery, watch youtube videos from other pregnant moms, and feel proud of what your body is doing! Embrace this exciting time in your life!
9. Take time to rest
A big mistake so many pregnant women make is that they don’t slow down and allow their bodies to rest. They try to do as much or more as before they found out they were pregnant. Give yourself grace and compassion, and take that nap if you need it!
10. Ask for help when you need it
Throughout life we all have different seasons, sometimes we are in a season of giving, and sometimes a season of receiving. Right now, you are in a season of receiving. Allow others to help you and care for you when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and know that you are not alone.