If you’ve recently gotten a positive on a home pregnancy test, congratulations on what is to come! Your mind is likely racing with excitement and anticipation over how your life is going to change. It is also very possible that you are overwhelmed – perhaps so overwhelmed that you are not sure what to do next.
Now that you are officially expecting, we’ve listed the following “next steps” to help you get organized and onboard for a happy and healthy pregnancy:
#1 Prenatal vitamins
Now more than ever, your nutritional health is important. In fact, it can determine how healthy your baby is. You’ll need to get started right away on taking a prenatal vitamin. These vitamins have the increased amount of folic acid your pregnant body needs to protect against birth defects. Details of your dietary plan during pregnancy will be discussed at your first prenatal visit, but getting a jumpstart on those vitamins in the meantime is an excellent idea.
#2 Kick those bad habits sooner rather than later
Lifestyle habits such as drug use, cigarettes or alcohol can harm your fetus. It is imperative that you quit these habits immediately so that you reduce your risk for birth defects, mental underdevelopment or even fetal death. While you may miss those nightly glasses of wine, the health of your baby depends on your commitment to engage in a healthy lifestyle for the following nine months. Remember that a fetus cannot process liquor like you can, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a real threat affecting over 40,000 newborns each year.
#3 Investigate your family history
You may be well-aware of the genetic traits and medical conditions that are associated with yourself. However, your baby is a combination of you and your partner. It is important to research your spouse’s medical history as well as genetic conditions that exist in your extended families. Knowing your risk factors for your baby to inherit certain genes can influence your level of prenatal care – starting from the beginning.
#4 Visit Your Obstetrician
Most women feel comfortable with using their gynecologist as their obstetrician, as most physicians in this field handle both. As soon as you get that positive pregnancy test at home, it is a good idea to call your obstetrician and get on the books for your first appointment. This can confirm pregnancy and give you basic information that you’ll need to begin a healthy pregnancy. This appointment can also determine if you need high-risk prenatal care or special monitoring during the next nine months.
#5 Relax - Try not to stress
We know how overwhelmed you must feel when you first find out you are expecting, especially if this is your first pregnancy. However, we encourage women to take a deep breath and try not to stress about the life changes to come. Stress and anxiety can affect your body and we want to keep your body in the best condition possible for growing a baby.
When choosing North Pointe OB/GYN for your prenatal care, you’ll be carefully and compassionately guided through every step of the process. We are here to answer your questions, remind you of healthy habits and monitor your baby’s growth at specific stages of your pregnancy. If you recently saw those double lines on a home pregnancy stick, please give us a call so that we can congratulate you in person and help you take the next steps.