Congrats, Its a . . . Plus Sign! 9 Things Every Newly Pregnant Woman Should Do

Happy woman
Hooray! It's a plus sign!

Getting a positive pee stick can be blindingly exciting. You’re pregnant!

Chances are you’re finding out that you’re with child very early on, so it’ll be a while before there’s a good deal of action. Which is why now’s the perfect time to take care of some (figurative) housecleaning — you know, before morning sickness and cankles set in.

Here’s a list of 9 things every newly pregnant woman should do:

  • Calculate Your Due Date 1 of 9
    Calculate Your Due Date
    There are countless online resources that will tell you your due date in seconds. It's not brain surgery, really. It's usually based on the date of your last period or the date of conception (if you know it). Don't be surprised to find that you're actually considered pregnant two weeks before you even conceived, by the way.
  • Choose A Prenatal Caregiver 2 of 9
    Choose A Prenatal Caregiver
    Ask around and see who people who know and trust use. Whether it's an obstetrician, family physician or midwife, you'll be spending a lot of time with them over the next nine months, so it's important you trust and like them.
  • Prime Your Body 3 of 9
    Prime Your Body
    You always want to be in good shape, right? But never more so than when you're pregnant. It's critical to get enough folic acid in your body, which can be accomplished with a good prenatal vitamin. Consider making healthy changes to your diet if necessary, and keep exercising in a pregnancy-friendly kind of way. Oh, and get plenty of sleep now — while you still can.
  • Eliminate the Bad Stuff 4 of 9
    Eliminate the Bad Stuff
    You probably already know this but stop drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and ingesting too much caffeine immediately. Recreational drugs like marijuana are also off limits. If you're not sure about the safety level of medications you're already taking, don't wait until your first prenatal visit to ask — call your provider today and ensure what you're putting into your body isn't harming your baby.
  • Be Prepared 5 of 9
    Be Prepared
    Act like a Boy Scout. Things will happen. Whether it's nausea and vomiting, fatigue, food cravings, sore breasts or an overactive bladder — these could happen to you. There's not much you can do to prevent any of them, but not being surprised can make it all go down (or up) a little easier.
  • Anticipate Body Changes 6 of 9
    Anticipate Body Changes
    Pregnancy changes your body. Shocking, right? Your belly will expand (duh), as will your bra cup size (sweet!). Your hair might get thicker, your skin may darken. At some point you might experience swollen ankles, stretch marks and varicose veins. These are all good things, even if they don't look or feel like it at the time. But they all come with the territory of creating a little life in your belly.
  • Track Your Baby’s Progress 7 of 9
    Track Your Baby's Progress
    This can be one of the most fun parts of pregnancy — reading about what's happening to your baby each week. Find a website you like and sign up for weekly emails that will inform you of what your baby looks like and how it's developing each week of your pregnancy.
  • Get Your Finances Straight 8 of 9
    Get Your Finances Straight
    You can't do this soon enough. Babies cost big bucks. It's never too early to start budgeting for things like insurance deductibles and premiums, out-of-pocket costs like prescription co-pays, and the price of preparing your home for baby with things like a crib and car seat, all of which can be expensive.
  • Brainstorm Baby Names 9 of 9
    Brainstorm Baby Names
    This is the fun part, or at least it should be! Don't be one of those parents who still has a Baby John or Jane Doe a month after leaving the hospital. Ask family if there are any names passed down with special meanings. Think of names you've always loved (and hated). Make a list. Check it twice, three or four times. You might not decide what to name the baby until she or he is born, but at least you'll have some options at the ready.




Images: Creative Commons