** I just found out I'm pregnant! What do I do first? **
Well, first off, congratulations! So there are a few important things to think about now.
#1: Your health is super important. The healthier you are, the healthier your baby is. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of fluid, and get the rest you need. Get your 8 hours of sleep, but also take a nap if you are feeling like you need it. Listen to your body, and put your health as your top priority.
#2: Call your doctor. If you have an OB/GYN doctor, than that's great! You can call them first. If you don't have an OB/GYN doctor, then call your primary care physician. They will help point you in the right direction.
#3: Subscribe to social media pages and apps to help give you guidance through your pregnancy. There are some great pregnancy apps out there that tell you every week how far along you are, how much the baby weighs, and so much more! They are super fun to see every week, and also can connect you with other new moms out there.
#4: Enjoy your pregnancy! Sometimes this is easy to loose sight of. Being pregnant is tough at times, and your body needs change along with the size of your baby bump. Not to worry though. Being pregnant is a wonderful exciting time! Try to find your daily happiness and celebrate what's yet to come!
#5: Now the fun stuff. Gender Reveal Party! Baby Shower! Decorate the Nursery! All super fun times to celebrate the impending arrival of your little one.
#6: Don't forget to start a wish list for your baby registries. Pick out your colors and themes, and be sure to share it with friends and family. Everyone loves to buy the baby a gift, and they especially love it when you love the gift also!
** When should I buy maternity clothes? **
Buy them whenever you see fit. No matter how far along you are, be sure to be comfortable in your clothes. Wearing clothes that are too restrictive or tight isn't good. Remember- take care of yourself. This includes a proper fitting wardrobe.
** What can I expect at my OB/GYN Doctor appointments? **
You can expect several doctor appoints with your OB/GYN. They will monitor you and your baby throughout the course of the pregnancy. You will most likely have a couple ultrasounds with your doctor. They will also do physical checks of you; such as checking your weight, measuring your baby bump, and taking your blood pressure.
What would I have done differently, if I had known from the beginning:
1- Prenatal Vitamins and Folic Acid:
It's a good idea to start taking these PRIOR to becoming pregnant. They help get your body ready to support a pregnancy.
2- Get in shape. Ok, ok- I know this sounds completely counterintuitive. But hear me out. Your body is about to do the MOST ATHLETIC THING that you have probably ever done in your entire life. It's about to deliver a baby. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have made an effort to be in the gym doing cardio, and strength training. It is not only helpful for the actual delivery, but will put you in better mental and physical health during your pregnancy. And continue to work out, even while pregnant. (Consult your doctor, of course.) You won't be able to bench press 200 pounds, lol, but you can still do some cardio, mild strength training, and stretching. Do LOTS of stretching! Keep all your muscles and ligaments loose and limber. This will help you when you are in active labor, pushing to deliver your baby. Yoga is great for stretching every day! You can do this in your family room, or at a gym. Just stick with it, and try to -at the very least- do mild stretching daily.
3- Stretch Marks: Your skin NEEDS to be able to stretch during pregnancy. As I mentioned previously, use Coca Butter. And use it a lot. Multiple times per day- and use it all over your body. (Your stomach will not be the only part of your body that grows!) By having your skin very soft and supple, it can easily stretch without permanently damaging your skin.
4- Take a nap! Stop feeling guilty about napping. Your body needs rest, and it's telling you to shut down more frequently.
5- Put your feet up. Seriously, elevate them up a bit. Your body will need some help getting the fluid not to settle in your ankles. By elevating your feet, you are helping your whole circulatory system.
6- Baby Registry: Wow, there were SOOOO many items on my registry that I didn't actually need. By the time I had our 3rd baby, I realized I only needed a fraction of the actual items.
7- ok then smarty pants, what do I register for? Well, since you asked, if I were going to have a 4th baby, this is what it would look like for me:
Big items: infant carseat, stroller, baby bathtub, highchair, basinet, case of newborn diapers, case of new born wipes.
Small items: 10 pacifiers with different nipple shapes, (to see which one baby prefers,) 10 burp cloths, 10 onesies, 10 baby socks, 10 baby pajama sleepers in the form of the 'zip up sleeping bag.' (I found those were easiest to change baby in the middle of the night.) A box of nursing pads, (if you are breastfeeding,) or a case of bottles and formula if you are formula feeding.
Of course everyone will want to buy the baby cute clothes, which is wonderful! But most days, especially in the beginning, I feel like we both lived in our pajamas.
I hope this info was helpful to you!
Good question- you may just be experiencing
normal pregnancy symptoms, so sometimes it can be hard to know when you should call your doctor. (I get it- been there myself!)
** What if I am having some bleeding? **
This is a good example of when you should call your doctor. Try not to panic- sometimes a little bit of breakthrough bleeding is normal. However, it is always best to let your doctor know. They may send you to get an ultrasound either in their office, or at a hospital if they aren't open. This type of ultrasound is called a Viability Check. They will look to make sure that baby is ok in there.
** I'm at the end of my pregnancy, and my back is killing me- should I call the doctor? **
Yupper- this could be something known as Back Labor. Some women will have extreme back pain, and it is actually labor pains. Your little baby might be getting ready to make their appearance! This would be a good time to call your doctor to let them know. They might send you to the hospital to be evaluated, to see if you are actually in labor.
My advice- moisturize.
Moisturizing is a HUGE deal. Personally, I used cocoa butter.
Lather it on Multiple times per day. Do it religiously. Do NOT skip a day.
Be sure to lather up your belly, your chest, your thighs, and your butt.
Seriously, do this several times per day.
The more supple you can make your skin, the easier time is has stretching. It is possible to have your skin stretch for your pregnancy, without leaving permanent stretch marks!
** I heard you can tell Baby's Gender if you... **
I've heard them all. Lunar Calendar. Engagement ring on a string test. The Nub Theory. The Ramzi Theory. Baby high in the belly. Baby low in the belly. Mom having acne. Heartburn. Literally I've heard them all.
In my experience:
My first baby: carried High, I didn't have acne, didn't feel super sick:
Baby was a GIRL.
My second baby: carried Low, was sick, developed allergies & asthma:
Baby was another GIRL.
My third baby: carried High, no acne, not sick- very similar to my 1st pregnancy:
Baby was a BOY.
I tell you this to demonstrate that every pregnancy is different, even with the same mother.
My best advice to you is that there are only a few ways to really be sure: See it with ultrasound, or have the blood test done.
** How does the Gender Test work when Mom has a blood test done? **
Good question. The science behind the test is this:
As women, we only carry the X gene. When the blood test is done, they are looking for the Y gene. Since baby's blood is found in mom's bloodstream, if a Y gene is found, then that means that the baby is a Boy! If no Y gene is found, then that means that baby is a Girl. Any questions about this, feel free to message me! I'm always happy to help. :)
Chapstick, snacks, your hairbrush, pony tail holder, bathrobe, slippers, phone charger, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, full bottom underwear, socks, comfy clothes, nursing nightgown, (if you plan to nurse.)
Now on to what you might want for actual labor:
* Early Labor- is a time when you are starting to have some light contractions, and some cramping. It is an exciting time! And also, you want to stay nice and calm. So for this stage of Labor, I found it VERY helpful to have some calming smelling lotions. My favorite lotion smell was warm vanilla sugar. Also, lavender is another calming smell you could use. (I found both of these at Bath and Body Works.) Just put a little bit of lotion on your hands, and rub them together in front of your face. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on your breathing, and staying nice and calm. The warm vanilla sugar lotion truly helped with this stage of Labor for me. (People probably also use things like essential oils, but I do not have any experience with that.)
* Active Labor- well, this is when things are starting to really happen. The contractions are closer together and stronger. I won't lie, this is tiring. You will need your strength soon to deliver the baby. During this Active Labor stage, girl, you need to be invigorated! You need to snap up, and be wide awake! (Think about this- close your eyes, and imagine ripping open an orange, right on front of your nose. That citrus smell is invigorating, right?!) You can reproduce this sensation with some tangerine or orange smelling lotion. Anything citrus should do the trick! (Also from Bath and Body Works.)
I also recommend some breath mints, and various chewing gums. (Think cinnamon gum for the Active Labor phase!) I hope this was helpful for you- it worked wonders for me!
Ok- more advice:
As a general rule of thumb, Google is not your friend.
I know it is very tempting to search til all hours of the night.
And yes- there is a TON of great information out there.
But sometimes there's just too much info, inaccurate info, or
Try to take everything with a grain of salt, as they say.
And try not to drive your anxiety through the roof.
Your mental health is super important. If you have any specific questions or concerns during your pregnancy, the only proper person to consult, is your doctor.
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