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Congratulations on your pregnancy!!! I am so happy for you and only wish you the best in your pregnancy journey.

Finding out you are pregnant can be very nerve-wracking for some and exciting for others. Many things must be running through your mind after getting a positive result on your at-home-pregnancy test or at a doctor’s office. Whether it was a planned pregnancy or unexpected, going through pregnancy is truly a one of a kind experience.

My own personal experience with finding out I was pregnant was completely unexpected. I was a newlywed and in the middle of my career. I just couldn’t fathom on what to do next as soon as I realized and confirmed that I was pregnant. So as a result, I am putting together a small list of things that you should do as soon as you find out you are pregnant. I hope you will find the below list helpful and I also have a printable download with all the below items for you to check off!

So… If you are one of those who found out later in your pregnancy in the middle of your career and not have been eating healthy, nor have been taking prenatal vitamins, have no fear. I was in the exact same boat, and I have a healthy 6-year-old daughter today who is a ball of energy, smart, and just plain awesome!

Here are the Top 11 Things To Do When Pregnant

1. Prenatal Vitamins

As soon as you find out you are pregnant or even are suspicious you are pregnant, you should start taking over the counter prenatal vitamins if you had not been already. Prenatal vitamins consist of a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to nourish your baby for healthy development. Pregnancy often requires women to increase their daily intake requirements for folic acid, calcium, and iron. There are several different options of over the counter prenatal vitamins available and it can be hard to choose. A wise decision is to consult with your doctor as soon as you can and inform them of the prenatal vitamins you are taking. Your health care provider will advise on what’s best for you.

2. Call Your Health Insurance

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, find out your OB/Gyn options from your health insurance company. Ask them what they cover and what they do not cover, and what your co-payments and deductibles might be. If you do not have coverage, seek insurance coverage as soon as possible since having a baby is quite expensive in the United States.

3. Find a Doctor or Midwife for Prenatal Care.

After you find out you are pregnant, you should start looking for a doctor or midwife to see throughout your prenatal care. Prenatal care is very important for your baby’s healthy development even if you feel well.

4. Quit Smoking

If you happen to be a smoker, it will be time to stop once you find out your pregnant or even suspicious that you are pregnant.

Smoking, second-hand smoking, and even third-hand smoke are dangerous for your baby’s health. Toxins from smoking and second/third-hand smoking can enter your bloodstream and can affect the baby’s health. Second-hand smoking is when you inhale smoke when around someone who is smoking.  Sometimes residue of cigarette smoke is left behind by a smoker in your home. Residue can seep into furniture,  rugs, paints and other areas of your home. Third-hand smoke is the residue left behind in your home, your car or public locations that allow smoking indoors. According to the American Pregnancy Association, there was a study performed at the Los Angeles Research Institute which determined that third-hand smoke residue has a detrimental effect on prenatal lung development.

Protect yourself from being exposed to secondhand and third-hand smoke by encouraging your partner to smoke outdoors and does not enter the house with the clothing they have smoked in. Read this article for more details on how to protect yourself and your baby from second-hand smoking and third-hand smoke.

5. Eliminate Alcohol

Once you find out you are pregnant, it is best that you eliminate drinking alcohol throughout your entire pregnancy and if you decide to breast feed. If you consume alcohol during pregnancy, the placenta will not filter out the alcohol, the alcohol will pass freely to be consumed by your unborn child. Consuming alcohol will, therefore, increase your risk that your baby will be born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

If you had drunk alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, it is best to quit to decrease the risk of harm to your unborn child.

If you need help quitting alcohol while you are pregnant, try contacting the below organizations that I’ve got from the American Pregnancy Association

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information (800-729-6686)
National Alcohol & Drug HopeLine 1-800-NCA-CALL (622-2255)

7. Start eating healthy (If you weren’t already)

If you were like me, eating out often and tons of junk food, then stop. It is time to start eating healthier with food rich in folic acid and iron. One thing you can do, if you don’t already, starts cooking meals and delicious recipes from your home! Make sure you get enough fruits, leafy green vegetables, and meat to ensure you get enough iron and folic acid.

8. Learn what foods to Avoid

  • Raw Meat or undercooked meat – During your pregnancy, there are certain meats that should be avoided. Raw and uncooked seafood and meat can be delicious however eating them is risky while you are pregnant. The undercooked meat such as beef or poultry may be contaminated with bacteria toxoplasmosis and salmonella.
  • Deli meats or cold cuts – such meats could be contaminated with listeria which may infect the baby. If it’s something you are craving while you are pregnant, try reheating the meat until it is steaming. If you go to a deli, ask the sandwich artist to toast your sandwich enough so that the meat is steaming. This will ensure your risk of listeria is low.
  • Fish – While fish may be safe, opt for fish that is low in mercury.

There are actually many foods that you should avoid during your pregnancy. I will create a list of what foods you should be avoiding while you are pregnant in a separate post.

8. Check with your Human Resources Department

Check with your human resources department what your options are once you deliver the baby. Some companies provide full paid maternity leave benefits, while others may not offer maternity benefits at all.

9. Butter Up!

I wish I listened! I didn’t start moisturizing my tummy until the mid-second trimester when my pregnancy marks started to appear! It’s actually better to moisturizing as soon as you find out you are pregnant. My roommate at the time also started using my body butter to moisturize her abs and she wasn’t even pregnant!

She loved it too! If you don’t have a nice moisturizer now, go get it! I had used Palmer’s Cocoa Butter which was quite greasy. I had also bought another less greasy one called Collagen Boosting Body Butter from Motherhood Maternity which smelled so good! Since I started late, I do not know the true results for someone who will start early before the bump starts showing. If you are one of them, please feel free to comment below and let me know whether it worked.

10. Determine when you will announce your pregnancy.

Some prefer to wait until they are past the 1st trimester before announcing their pregnancy. The reason is that the risk of miscarriage in 1st trimester is high. It is truly up to you and your partner when you decide to share the happy news. I personally told my close family and later looped in my friends after I entered my 2nd trimester.

11. Enjoy your pregnancy

I hope these tips proved helpful for you and I wish you the best of luck. Enjoy every moment of your pregnancy. If this is your 1st child, enjoy the quietness that you have while you are pregnant. Once your bundle of joy arrives, it will be a beautiful, crazy, hectic journey!

Keep coming back to my website as your pregnancy progress. Oh! And here is a free gift of a printable pregnancy journal! 

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