I'm Pregnant: What Are The Next Steps?
At last, after taking the home pregnancy test and anxiously waiting, it came out positive! Perhaps you had to take another one to confirm and yes, it’s still positive. First of all, if this is the result you were hoping for, congratulations! Secondly, take a deep breath and take it all in. There must be tons of questions and concerns running through your mind but try to relax in order to think clearly. Besides, Grace is here to take you through the following steps. You are in safe hands!
1. Choose a healthcare provider
If you already have one in mind, this would be a great time to give them a call and notify them about the good news. If you don’t know of any, you could consult friends and family for some recommendations. Alternatively, Grace Health recommends that you try a Marie Stopes health facility near you to walk you through your pregnancy journey.
2. Book your prenatal appointment
After getting in touch with a healthcare provider, you’ll need to book your first prenatal appointment to confirm the pregnancy using an ultrasound or blood work and once this is confirmed, they will prescribe prenatal supplements. . The doctor may also calculate your due date and provide information on what to expect during pregnancy. This is also a great time for you to ask any questions you might have about your pregnancy. Feel free to think of and write down questions that pop up in advance. Remember to let the doctor know if you have any other symptoms such as pain, cramping or bleeding.
3. Take your prenatal vitamins
If you were already trying to conceive, chances are, you've already started taking prenatal vitamins. If not, you need to start taking them. Your doctor might have already prescribed some for you based on your medical history and tests. You can learn all about The Importance Of Prenatal Vitamins here. They go a long way in ensuring you are providing the necessary environment for a healthy baby to develop. The best part is that the Grace app can help you track your prenatal vitamin intake on a daily basis!
4. Avoid pregnancy no-nos
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to change your entire life but there are certain things you need to avoid when pregnant. These include alcohol, smoking, excessive amounts of caffeine, certain foods, toxins and some activities. We advise that you consult your doctor to learn what you need to stop or do less off. Remember some of these things are necessary sacrifices that need to be made for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
5. Work on your nutrition
A healthy diet is important but even more important when pregnant, as your baby needs all the right nutrients for development. Again, your doctor might have already mentioned them in your first prenatal visit along with which types of foods to avoid. However, for clarification purposes, you’ll need to stay hydrated and consume more foods with vitamins and minerals, fibre, proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy types of fat.
6. Prepare for early pregnancy symptoms
Your body is unique and so are the symptoms you’re likely to experience during pregnancy. Having said that, it’s better to educate yourself on the most common symptoms and prepare yourself. For most women, morning sickness can be very overwhelming. You are likely to experience mood swings, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, strange food cravings, frequent bathroom visiting and sore breasts. These are only some of the most common ones but other symptoms do exist.
7. Prepare for body changes
Aside from the protruding belly and larger breasts, there are plenty more changes to expect during pregnancy. These may include darkened skin, thicker hair, acne breakouts and later on in the pregnancy stretch marks, swollen ankles and varicose veins. Your body is bound to change but pregnancy affects all women differently. Knowing what to expect will you help you take those changes gracefully and some of these changes can be controlled if you start early. For instance, you can use some anti-stretch mark creams and apply on your belly as early as in the first month of your pregnancy to stop or reduce the possibility of getting excess stretch marks.
8. Be aware of early miscarriage signs
This might not be something you are willing to discuss or even think about but it helps to know the signs and act quickly. Make sure to call your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of bleeding, cramping or abdominal pain.
Now that you are finally pregnant, don’t take the back seat when it comes to your health and particularly your reproductive health. There are lots of things to be mindful, as we have just covered. Remember that Grace is more than happy to walk with you during this journey. For any questions you might have, ask Grace in the app.
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