You’ve tried to conceive for months now, buying pregnancy tests like they were going out of style. You’ve obsessed about your fertility signs, agonized over your basal temperatures, probably driving your mate nuts. You’ve cried over all the negatives while analyzing all the possible early pregnancy symptoms. I know how this feels, I’ve been there! But there will come a day, hopefully, that you will gaze upon a pregnancy test that will shine two lines boldly back at you. You will feel elated, joyful, excited, and possibly even fearful. You finally have that positive pregnancy test! What now?
Ideally, you should have had a preconception visit with your healthcare provider to make sure all is well and you are as healthy as can be for pregnancy. Of course, most do not have these prenatal visits, so it’s all the more important to make an early prenatal appointment to ensure that everything is okay. The first thing you should do once you see that positive pregnancy test is to call your healthcare provider for a confirmation of the pregnancy.
I have found that healthcare providers vary in when they will see a newly pregnant mom. Some will want to do a full check-up immediately, even running an ultrasound, while others will want to wait until 9 or 12 weeks of pregnancy. The latter bothers me because there are conditions that can be taken care of to help prevent early miscarriage if caught early enough, such as low progesterone.
Aside from making an appointment with your healthcare provider (midwife, obstetrician, family doctor) you should continue (or start) taking prenatal vitamins. Make sure that the vitamins have at least 400 mcg of folic acid (folate) to help prevent neural tube defects in the baby. Ideally, it’s very important to already be taking folic acid before conception. Make this supplement a part of your preconception regimen.
Continue to eat right, or if you haven’t started, now is the time! Nutrition is very important for a growing baby and for you. Try to avoid smoking, recreational drugs, and alcohol. Cut back or stop eating or drinking foods with caffeine. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. It would be a good thing to also make an appointment with your dentist for a good cleaning.
Most of all, rest when you can and drink plenty of water. You will need a lot more water now that you are pregnant. If you were on an exercise routine before, it is probably safe to continue in moderation; however, check with your healthcare provider first.
Congratulations for that day when you do see 2 lines. And remember, enjoy the journey to motherhood!