Your Pregnancy, Month by Month 1 of 32
1. Congratulations, you're pregnant!
If you cant quite believe it, youre not alone; many women take more than a few pregnancy tests just to be sure! But todays home tests are very reliable — you dont need a visit to the doctor to confirm youre pregnant.
The top 10 home pregnancy tests and how to use them
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2. Stop smoking
If you smoke, this is the moment to quit. If youre having trouble, ask your doctor for help. Smoking increases the risk of serious health problems for you and your baby.
The link between your prenatal health and your kid's future
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3. Don't stress over alcohol yet
Are you worrying about those drinks you had before you found out you were pregnant? If it was around the time of your missed period, dont be. Before implantation, there is little risk.
27 health tips from mom doctors
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4. Contact your insurance company
Now is the time to check with your insurance company to find out about their prenatal and birth coverage so you know your options. You can do this online or with a phone call.
Insurance company tells woman to get sterilized
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5. Avoid the litter box
Are you a cat person? Time to delegate the job of cleaning the litterbox: cat poop can be contaminated with toxoplasmosis so contact should be avoided when youre pregnant. If you cant pawn off the task, wear rubber gloves.
Scooping the cat box while pregnant taboo?
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6. Now it's time to watch your alcohol intake
Although some recent studies say a small amount of alcohol has not been shown to cause problems during pregnancy, the safest course of action is to avoid drinking.
Study says drinking wine while pregnant may actually be good for your baby
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7. Make sure meat is cooked
Meats should be cooked thoroughly to reduce chance of bacterial contamination during pregnancy. Red meats are safe at 160°; poultry should be at least 165°.
Foods to avoid while pregnant
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8. Wait for the right time to see doc
OBs tend to schedule the first appointment with a new patient at around 6-8 weeks of gestation. It can feel like a long time to wait, but before that point, theres a lot less they can tell you about whats going on in there!
Your pregnancy week-by-week
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9. Cut back on caffeine
Too much caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage. Pregnant women should aim for 200 milligrams per day or less- thats about one regular cup of coffee.
A cup of coffee while pregnant? Experts say go for it
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10. Get ready for swelling
Swollen breasts are one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. You may need a new bra right away. Some women prefer to avoid underwire for comfort reasons.
Babble best maternity bras
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11. Drink water earlier
Frequent urination in early pregnancy is the result of hCG and your kidneys working harder. Try to drink more early in the day and cut down on fluids at night to prevent night wakings.
The most common pregnancy signs and symptoms
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12. Things will smell differently
Are you suddenly noticing how much everything stinks? Its not your imagination. Its your hormones, heightening your sense of smell. Essential oils of lemon or mint can help if youre finding yourself grossed out by the scents around you.
Whats that smell? My first trimester is plagued by phantom odors
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Spotting is common in early pregnancy, affecting 20 to 25% of women. Often its not a problem, but if you notice any blood in your underwear, call your healthcare provider so she can check out the situation.
Early signs of pregnancy
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14. Talk to your doc about medication
If you are on any medications when you get pregnant, you will need to talk to both your prescribing doctor and your pregnancy care provider about how to proceed. Dont just stop taking your pills without consulting with a physician. You dont know whats safe during pregnancy or how weaning cold turkey will affect you.
Antidepressants and pregnancy: Is medicating depression safe?
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15. Get the right care for you
Looking for a new OB or midwife? Attitude is as important in a care provider as credentials. Look for someone who makes you feel comfortable about asking questions.
Top questions to ask your OB-GYN or midwife
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16. Write down your questions
For your first prenatal care provider appointment, youll need to be prepared with the date of your last menstrual period. Thats the date theyll use to calculate your babys estimated due date.
How to calculate your due date
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17. Be patient and persistent
It can take some time to find the right caregiver. Dont feel bad about meeting with a few different OBs and/or midwives early on. Its your right to explore your options, so feel confident as you investigate!
Tips for choosing someone to delivery your baby
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18. Your fears are normal
Worrying about miscarriage? Risk goes down substantially after you see a heartbeat (often at your first ultrasound, depending on the timing) and again after 12 weeks. In the meantime, realize your fears are totally normal.
10 most common new parent fears
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19. Know what you're signing up for
You may want to learn about your local hospitals before you settle on a provider. Hospital policies and facilities could affect your birth experience and babys care.
How to choose where to give birth
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20. Take care of your teeth
Stay on top of your dental health during pregnancyhormones can increase the risk of gum problems. Regular hygiene is important, as are visits to the dentist. Schedule one now!
On bleeding gums, rotting teeth, gum disease, and pregnancy
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21. Looking into birthing options
Thinking about birth may feel premature at this early stage, but its important to know what youre looking for in a care provider. A brief look into the different birth options now can help you choose the doctor or midwife that is right for you.
Are American women out of touch with the reality of childbirth facilities?
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22. Talk to your partner
If you and your partner disagree about providers and/or birthing ideas, its better to talk those issues out now than when youre already settled on a plan that makes one of you uncomfortable. Compromise is an important skill for parents!
7 surprising dad-to-be facts
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23. Discharge is common
Increased vaginal discharge in early pregnancy may send you running to the bathroom worrying youre bleeding. Its probably just leukorrhea, normal discharge in higher volume due to estrogen production. Some women like to wear a panty liner.
Your pregnancy week-by-week checklist
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24. Think about location
Something else to think about in choosing a healthcare provider: Location, location, location. Youll be going there at least a dozen times over your pregnancy (probably more). But if you find someone you love, it may be worth the trip!
10 pregnancy facts no one tells you
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25. Find support
Feeling bombarded with information about things that put the developing embryo at risk? Coming to terms with the fact that we cant totally control the world is part of the process of becoming a parent. Bonding with others can help.
Top 50 pregnancy Facebook fan pages
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26. Try to get exercise
A counterintuitive, but effective way to deal with that crushing first trimester exhaustion? Take a walk. Exercise can really help increase your energy.
Top reasons to exercise while pregnant
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27. Eat small meals more frequently
Frequent small snacks of crackers or other foods can help reduce pregnancy nausea, which is usually worse on an empty stomach.
Mom recommended cures for pregnancy nausea
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28. Trust your gut
The best tool for choosing the best care provider for you? Your gut. If someone has great recommendations and credentials but you just dont like them, move on. You dont want to dread your appointments, or dislike the person who delivers your baby!
8 tips for picking the right doctor or midwife
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29. Try keeping a journal
A pregnancy journal is a good way to record your feelings throughout this process. Journaling can also help you deal with any anxieties and think through big decisions.
Why my pregnancy journal is blank
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30. Take your time
Many women feel dizzy or lightheaded in the first trimester as their bodies struggle to keep up with all the work theyre doing. Be mindful of you how get up when sitting, and be sure to get enough protein.
First trimester pregnancy symptoms
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31. Use safe products
The safest personal care products to use during pregnancy? Look for skin and hair products without parabens. These can mimic estrogen in the body and have been linked to health problems.
Safe beauty products for pregnant women
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