Just found out you’re pregnant and wondering, “Now what??”
That positive pregnancy test can sure bring up a whirlwind of emotions. You’re probably excited, nervous, anxious, and filled with joy and uncertainty. But not to panic mama, we’ve created a first trimester checklist to help guide you on what to do and the precautions you should take after that positive result.
In this post, we’ll cover 13 things to do after you find out you’re pregnant for the first time.
13 Things to Do When You Find You're Pregnant
1. Take Another Test
After you’ve gotten one positive result, it’s not a bad idea to take a second test to confirm.
It’s very rare, but false-positives do happen. This means that the test says you’re pregnant, but really you’re not. Blood or protein in your urine and certain drugs can make this happen, as well as taking the test after IVF or a miscarriage.
If you get a positive pregnancy test and then a negative one, it might mean that one of your pregnancy tests is faulty, you have an ectopic pregnancy, you didn’t take one of the tests correctly, or your urine sample was just too dilute the second time around. There’s a few other reasons you could get a positive and then a negative result, but if this does happen, just take a new test again in the morning.
Even if you just have a faint positive line, it’s most likely that you’re pregnant. If you have two, or even three or four positive tests, then you’re most definitely expecting.
2. Decide How to Tell Your Partner
If your significant other wasn’t there when you took the test, then you may want to come up with a clever way to surprise him with the news.
I particularly love the idea of having your hubby open the oven to find a bun sitting on a plate, and saying “Honey, there’s a bun in the oven!” You could also have a shirt embroidered with a cute saying, gift him with some baby shoes or a onesie, or taking him to a photo booth, so you can capture his reaction when you say “I’m pregnant.”
3. Make Your First Prenatal Appointment
After your emotions have calmed down a bit after seeing that positive line, it’s time to start thinking logistics. You’ll want to start preparing for your first prenatal appointment.
Talk to your friends, family, and other local acquaintances and find out which midwife or OB group they used and why the liked (or didn’t like) them. You can even set up interviews with many healthcare providers.
Whoever you decide to make that first prenatal appointment with, you’ll just want to be sure that your insurance covers it. And remember, if something does fit right, know that you can always switch providers at any time throughout your pregnancy.
4. Adjust Your Diet
Now that you’re expecting, it’s important that you’re paying close attention to your diet, eating healthy, and avoiding harmful foods and beverages.
Most know to avoid alcohol, but here’s a few other foods you should avoid or minimize while pregnant:
- Undercooked or raw meat, eggs, and fish
- Cold deli meats (okay if warmed up)
- Fish that is high in mercury, such as king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish, and albacore tuna – limit to 1-2 servings per month
- Unpasteurized milk
- Soft cheeses, like brie, blue cheese, feta, panela, queso blanco, and queso fresco
- Caffeine – No more than 200mg daily. This equates to about 2 cups of coffee a day
5. Check Your Meds
You’ll also want to check all of your prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications that you take and make sure that they’re safe for pregnancy.
You can ask a nurse when you call to make your first prenatal appointment or you can check reputable sources, like MotherToBaby, where you can email and live chat with healthcare experts.
You’ll also probably be given a handout that lists common OTC meds that are safe to be taken during pregnancy at your first OB or midwife visit.
6. Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin
If you’re not taking one already, it’s important that you start taking a prenatal vitamin with folate (or folic acid) in order to support your baby’s brain and spine development and help prevent birth defects, such as spina bifida. A healthy amount of DHA will support your baby’s brain and vision development.
Prenatal vitamins also provide you with plenty of B vitamins for energy, vitamin D to support your mood and immune system, and iron to prevent anemia.
Start researching to find a prenatal vitamin that suites your lifestyle and meets your new nutritional needs.
Continue reading below.
7. Stay Fit
Staying active throughout your pregnancy is incredibly beneficial for both you and your baby.
Regular exercise will help boost your energy levels and self esteem, reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling, prep your body for an easier labor, and lower your risk for certain pregnancy complications, such as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.
Of course, it’s always best to consult with your midwife or OB on what amount of exercise is right for you, but here’s a few basic exercise guidelines you should follow during pregnancy.
8. Reduce Stress Levels
Some stress is completely normal during pregnancy. However, if you’re worrying constantly and have overpowering anxiety, you need to find a way to tackle your stress levels and keep them at a minimum.
Excessive or sustained stress can affect your hormone levels, immune system, and overall health. If not dealt with, it can cause some serious health issues for both you and your baby.
Here’s a few ideas on how you can manage your stress during pregnancy to support a healthier you and a healthy baby:
- Listen to music
- Chat with a friend
- Have a hobby
- Exercise regularly
- Take a warm bath
- Stay off social media
- Don’t fret over the little things
- Let go of things you can’t control
- Think optimistically
9. Avoid Harmful Toxins
Along with steering clear of mentally toxic environments, you’ll also want to avoid radiation and contact with chemical toxins.
If you have a career that requires you to be around x-rays, chemicals, gases, or any type of harmful substance, then you’ll need to tell your emplower that you’re pregnant right away.
And, because they interfere with hormone activity and increase the risk of abnormal fetal development, you’ll also want reduce your exposure to:
- PFCs (Perfluorinated chemicals)
You’ll want to take a look through your home and check all your cleaning products, bath products, dishware, and even cosmetics, and find out if there’s a safer option you could be using. You can even get the scope on pesticide levels over at the EWG by using their Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists.
10. Start Researching
Along with choosing a pregnancy care provider, picking out a prenatal vitamin, and researching what all you should avoid during pregnancy, you’ll also want to start thinking big picture and baby picture.
Start researching on all the major topics:
- Natural birth or medicated birth
- Co-sleeping or crib
- Cloth diapers or disposables
You’ll need to do the work and figure out what fits right for you and your family.
I recommend to start researching early because it may take you and your partner awhile to land on a decision.
You may also want to start researching on how to financially prepare for baby, so you can start saving now.
11. Decide When to Announce Your Pregnancy
After your spouse knows that you’re expecting, you’ll want to decide on when to tell your family and the rest of your tribe.
Some moms prefer to wait until the second trimester when their risk of miscarriage has decreased, while others announce their pregnancy right away.
On one hand, waiting gives you and your partner an intimidate secret and the comfort of hearing baby’s heartbeat before you tell the world. But, on the other hand, you won’t have as much support during the first trimester, and if you do suffer a loss, you won’t have as many shoulders to lean on during that time.
Weigh the pros and cons and land on a decision that’s right for you.
12. Sign Up for Pregnancy Updates
Okay, it’s really just a lot of fun to get updates on your baby’s growth and development. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy seeing which food your baby is the size of this week?
Plus, many pregnancy tracker apps include helpful articles, pregnancy tips, health logs, and an online community to engage with.
Some of the top pregnancy tracker apps include:
Look through a few and download the one that most appeals to you.
13. Start Documenting Your Pregnancy
I know it may seem early, but it’s a good idea to start documenting your pregnancy NOW. You’ll be so thankful 20 years from now.
It’s a fun idea to take a before pic of your belly, so you can compare it to your end-of-pregnancy bump.
Start documenting your pregnancy symptoms, food cravings, and crazy emotions. Write down how you feel about your growing son/daughter inside of you and how you feel about becoming a mother.
There’s even several pregnancy journals that make this easy for you.
A First Trimester Checklist
I know you’re probably experiencing a mayhem of emotions right now, but do try not to panic.
Use this guide to write yourself a first trimester checklist and keep everything in order.
Be sure to call and make that first prenatal appointment. Try to exercise regularly, avoid harmful foods and toxins, and minimize stress. Start documenting your pregnancy in a journal and begin thinking of fun ways to announce your pregnancy to your hubby, friends, and family.
And, most of all, CONGRATS, MAMA!!
Did You Find This Post Helpful?
Did this post help calm your nerves and give you a clear checklist of what to do now that you know you’re pregnant? What were some things that you found most crucial to do in the first trimester? Share your best early pregnancy tips in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other new expecting moms.