Hey there, new mama! Congratulations! You are about to embark on one of the craziest journeys yet. When I learned I was pregnant, I had so many questions–number one being, “what do I do now?” I wanted to document the steps that were helpful to me in hopes that it blesses future mamas and I have lists to look back on to remind me for future pregnancies. 😉
What to do now that you’re Expecting
1. Take prenatal vitamins. If you hadn’t already begun to take prenatal vitamins, now’s the time to start! You want to make sure that you also get enough folic acid which sometimes accompanies a prenatal vitamin and sometimes needs to be taken in addition to one. I order mine off of Amazon to get three month supplies at one time and am thrilled to say that your vitamins don’t have to be massive pills that you swallow. This mama might be 28 but gummy prenatals are my jam. 🙂
2. Find an obgyn and book your first appointment. Home pregnancy tests are wonderful but you need to get your pregnancy confirmed by an OB. Normally they’ll want you to go in around week 8, but many doctors have wait lists or weeks before you can get in to see them so don’t delay on doing your research and picking the doctor that’s right for you.
3. Download an app to help you understand baby’s growth and track your progress. The Glow Nurture app has been so helpful for me! You can keep track of your symptoms daily, be reminded of baby’s progress as well as read helpful articles that give you more info on your growing baby! I tried out a few different apps but honestly got overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information. My advice? Find one you like and stick with it.
4. Start to learn what you can. Pregnancy can feel like such an overwhelming time. I’m so glad there are books and classes to help brand new parents learn all the things about pregnancy, labor and parenting. I’ll be writing a post soon about the books and classes that were helpful for us so keep an eye out! Another thing to learn is what your insurance covers–everything from the actual labor to hospital classes to breast pumps. Learn this ahead of time so that you can financially plan ahead!
5. Drink 2 liters of water/day. The amount of water they say to drink now that you’re pregnant is 2 liters/day. I found that it was really helpful to invest in a good 1 liter water bottle, that way you know you just need to crush two a day in order to drink enough water.
6. Get your sleep. Now that I’m in the third trimester, I’m learning that sleep is hard to come by the bigger your bump grows so get your sleep now. Research says that mamas and babies do better in labor when mamas have gotten more sleep, so don’t be afraid to indulge that urge to nap!
7. Do your kegels. Your pelvic wall is seriously important both for labor and postpartum. A strong pelvic wall will give your baby the fetal Heimlich maneuver during labor which naturally helps expel mucous and amniotic fluid out of baby. Not to mention for mama, it protects you against incontinence. I know they seem annoying, but make the time to do them!
8. Up your protein & learn what you can (and can’t) eat. Studies show that women who eat 80-100g of protein per day while pregnant do better in labor, tear less and have babies with higher Apgar scores. In addition to watching your protein, you’ll want to learn what you can and can’t eat. Ask your OB about foods, medicine and drinks to avoid. Pinterest has many helpful graphics to remind you of what’s okay and not okay but be sure to confirm it with your doctor.
9. Plan how you will share the big news with family and friends. Once I hit twelve weeks pregnant, we surprised my family with the news, told some close friends and our students, and then after a few weeks shared on social media with the picture above. D.C. is known for it’s cherry blossoms so I thought it was the perfect backdrop for such a fun announcement.
10. Get some pregnancy supplies. I try to be a minimalist when it comes to supplies as well as cost effective and health conscious, so here is a bare bones list of supplies that have been really helpful throughout my pregnancy: Shea butter and Jason’s oil to prevent stretch marks, this pillow to help mama sleep at night since you can’t sleep on your back after the first trimester, and eventually a few maternity clothes. I’ll also be posting a mama’s style post in the weeks to come, but while you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, I found the old hairband trick so helpful in allowing me to stay in my own pants as long as possible.
So that’s it! Not too bad, right? I hope this list eases your stress and gets you started on your journey to becoming a mama! Enjoy this new and exciting season of motherhood!