A few days late, having a feeling that you should take a pregnancy test… And now what you expected happened! Congratulations! So what should you do next, besides excitement, joy, reassurance, and maybe an extra dose of panic? Here is your first to do list.
A New Life Has Started…
The first thing to keep in mind is not to celebrate with an alcohol toast! Away from bad habits from now on, if you hadn’t removed them before. Your health is no longer subject to any risks, not even that of your unborn baby. But you can enjoy the moment in a healthy and relaxing way.
Ideally, the mother (and father) should already have a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy, but if not, then this is the right time. Some of the basic rules to follow when you first find out you’re pregnant are as follows:
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced and varied diet
- Exercise regularly and in moderation, if there are no contra-indications.
- Avoid alcohol or other drogues.
- Do not smoke or let anyone smoke near you or getting inside areas that are frequently filled with smoke.
- Never use self-medication, use drugs properly and always under medical guidance.
- Avoid exposing to radiation and toxic chemicals.
Avoid eating raw fish (goodbye sushi..) or raw eggs (homemade chocolate mousse..) because of the involved risks. For fruits and vegetables, be sure to wash them carefully until you have all your test results.
By following these tips, you will avoid many birth defects and other risks to pregnancy and the baby’s health. Of course, these habits must be maintained all along the pregnancy and not only in the early stages.
If you did not know any of these points, your gynecologist will probably recommend them to you during the first visit.
When did I conceive, and When should this happen?
At this moment, many questions come to mind: When Did I Conceive? how many weeks am I? When will my baby be born? since we don’t have the exact answers until we consult the gynecologist, we can make our own calculations.
In a typical pregnancy
In the case of women with regular periods, conception typically occurs at least 10 days after the first day of the mother’s period. The baby did not conceive until ovulation and fertilization of the egg.
It is difficult to know the exact date of conception and when ovulation occurs due to many factors surrounding the conception process. However, the estimated conception date is based on the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period.
- An increase in body temperature
- Cervical mucus may appear thin and clear
- Tender breasts
Estimated due date
Depending on the last menstrual period, the estimated due date is 40 weeks from the first day of a period. If your menstrual cycle is 28 days long, just add 40 weeks to your last period date, and that’s it.
last menstrual period
The estimated date of conception may also be more difficult for women who have irregular periods, or for those who do not remember the first day of their last menstrual period. In such cases, an ultrasound is the most accurate way to estimate gestational age.
Your first Gynecologist appointment
As soon as your pregnancy test is positive, you can make an appointment with your gynecologist or midwife. The doctor will check you, to see if everything is all right.
Your gynecologist will prescribe a blood test to identify blood type and Rh factor, hemoglobin levels, as well as antibodies against specific infections like rubella, hepatitis, toxoplasmosis, or conditions such as AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Blood tests are more accurate than urine tests and usually detect pregnancy as early as 6 to 8 days after ovulation. Quantitative or qualitative hCG tests may also be carried out.
Based on your blood test results, your gynecologist will perform an ultrasound scan or sonogram around 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. This first ultrasound can also be done to check the baby’s development, the presence of a multiple pregnancy, and to help detect any abnormalities.
In order to find out about the couple’s family antecedents, he or she will ask about abortions, major or chronic illnesses, allergies, previous surgeries, lifestyles, and food.
Finally, you will receive advice on nutrition and dietary supplements prescribed during pregnancy (foods to avoid, folic acid, vitamin pills, etc). The doctor will also suggest an iodine supplement to pregnant women unable to reach the recommended amounts of iodine with their diet.
When should you contact your doctor urgently?
You should consult your doctor immediately about your pregnancy if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- High fever
- Heavy Vaginal bleeding
- Severe headaches and nausea
- Itching all over the body
- Sudden swelling in your face, hands or feet
- If you suffer from a chronic illness
Consider pregnancy symptoms
In addition to your missed period, which is the first sign of pregnancy, these are some of the most common pregnancy signs and symptoms you will notice at the beginning:
- Morning illnesses or nausea
- Swollen and painful breasts
- Abdominal cramps
- Frequent urination
- Food cravings
- Mood swings
Symptoms of pregnancy may begin as early as the first week, but they are not specific indicators of pregnancy. Some women never have morning sickness or other symptoms. An absence of any sign does not mean that you are not pregnant.
Sharing your pregnancy news
Of course, the first step is to inform the father as soon as an initial test is done. Just let your hormones guide you to find a brilliant and emotional idea, you can surprise him or even tell him when you get out of the bathroom – choose what is best for you.
Sharing your new pregnancy with your family and friends is also exciting and fun. Some women wait until after 12 weeks, the first ultrasound, or a special date to start telling people. You may have to wait before telling half of the Earth, if a problem arises, it’s not really easy to explain to everyone.
These are therefore the first steps that follow a positive pregnancy test. Later, there will be additional ultrasounds, new tests, purchase of maternity clothes, delivery preparation courses, bedroom preparation and all the necessary needs for the baby, etc.
Get ready for one of the most exciting adventures of your life. It will only take a few months to finally meet your newborn, so enjoy it without neglecting your health or that of your future child.