You peed on a stick and it was positive! Congratulations, you're pregnant! Now what? Of course, there are the typical things many people do after finding out they're pregnant, like telling close family and friends (or waiting until after the first trimester), scheduling a first appointment with their care provider, and reading up on the typical first trimester characteristics. But there are other less-talked-about but just-as-important (if not more) things to know and do in the first trimester.
1. Choose your care provider carefully. It's a common gut reaction to call your existing OB practice when you first learn of your pregnancy and schedule an appointment. But keep in mind that the care provider you have throughout pregnancy and in birth will be responsible for influencing decisions about your care. Do you know if your care provider practices according to best, most current evidence about pregnancy and childbirth? Find out! Go ahead and schedule that first appointment, but go to your appointment with a helpful list of questions.
2. It's not too early to think about childbirth. You might be many weeks away from giving birth, but it's never to early to start preparing yourself for the event. Birth is a natural, normal bodily event, but there are many choices and options for comfort to know about. Go ahead and pick up a good book to get you started. The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving BIrth with Confidence is a great first read.
3. Learn about how you can have a healthy pregnancy. You may not be feeling the greatest in your first trimester, but taking a class or reading up on how to have a healthy pregnancy can benefit you and your baby in many ways. Lamaze is currently offering a free pregnancy preparation online class that covers topics like nutrition, exercise, reducing stress and promoting relaxation, and ways to begin bonding with your baby.
4. It's ok to take it easy, even now. Sleepiness, aches and pains, and general discomfort aren't symptoms reserved solely for later in pregnancy. The first trimester can be rough! It's ok to listen to your body's cues and take a break or rest when you need to. You can survive and even thrive in the first trimester!
5. It's ok to "warm up" to the idea of pregnancy. For some, two faint lines on a stick does not bring immediate joy. In fact, it's common to not feel excited about a new pregnancy. It can take time -- sometimes, an entire pregnancy! -- to warm up to the idea, and if that happens for you, know that it's ok to feel that way. You are not alone, and you are not a "bad parent" for not bonding with your pregnancy or baby right away.