6 Steps To Take After Seeing That Positive Pregnancy Result
From your first missed period to holding your little one in your hands, pregnancy is a complete journey. Obviously it is different for every woman but it does not have to be a constant struggle. One way to ensure you have a positive pregnancy experience is to have accurate information. This article will guide you through the next steps to take after seeing that positive pregnancy result.
1. Set Your Expectations
Your body goes into extensive physiological changes throughout the pregnancy. These changes happen in order to provide a suitable environment for the growth and birth of the baby. Knowing these changes beforehand prepares you to deal with them effectively. Some initial symptoms you may experience are:
- Nausea and vomiting:
The famous “morning sickness” is due to high levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone). It is the same hormone that detects pregnancy on a urine stick test. You should expect nausea to subside by the end of the 16th week of your pregnancy.
- Breast changes:
Your body prepares you for feeding the upcoming baby. Due to high oestrogen and progesterone levels, your breasts swell and become tender. Your areola, the area around your nipples, darkens and increases in size so that your newborn can find it effortlessly after birth.
- Mood swings:
You may feel emotional and experience mood swings due to surges in your hormones.
- Exaggerated senses of smell and taste:
It is normal to have an increased sensitivity to odours and have altered taste sensation due to high hormone levels.
Feeling tired does not mean you are sick. Your body puts energy into sustaining the pregnancy. That’s why you feel drained. This settles with a healthy lifestyle and progression of pregnancy.
2. Tweak Your Lifestyle
Healthy maternal habits have a significant impact on pregnancy and the foetus. Once you get that positive pregnancy result and find out that you are expecting, you need to reassess your lifestyle.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol completely because they affect the growth of the baby.
- Caffeine consumption should be less than 300mg/day. To make it easy for you, one cup of coffee has approximately 94mg of caffeine.
The risk of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester. While it can happen due to a variety of reasons, your work routine can play a role.
According to research, jobs of the following nature can adversely affect the health of your pregnancy:
- Irregular shifts
- Prolonged standing (more than 4 hours a day)
- Weight-lifting (more than 7Kgs)
- Excessive noise (resulting in higher stress levels)
In terms of diet, you need to eat small portions of food every 3 to 4 hours instead of eating in one sitting. This helps you in managing:
- Acid reflux
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating and other digestive problems.
3. Start Taking Folic Acid
Ideally, folic acid is started while planning a pregnancy.
You should take 4microgram/day in three months before and after getting pregnant. It is crucial for the normal development of the brain and nervous system of the baby.
Antenatal vitamins are also popular but should be taken with medical advice. Iron-based supplements irritate your digestive system and aggravate nausea. So, it is better to start antenatal vitamins after the first trimester unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
You can replace them with increased consumption of:
- High-fibre cereals
- Fresh juices
4. Practice Self-care
Being nervous or even excited after seeing that positive pregnancy test is understandable. But you need to remind yourself that you still have nine months to prepare before the baby comes. Accepting it is the first step and practicing self-care can keep you calm.
Stress can increase the risk of high blood pressure, pre-term labour, and Caesarean birth. Some of the techniques you can use to keep your stress levels low are:
- Brisk walking
- Light physical activity
- Meditation and Yoga
- Hot baths
- Massages (pregnancy massages are the best!)
Seek social support and medical care to help you cope with your journey.
5. Find your primary healthcare provider
Pregnancy and childbirth are big aspects of your life. Finding the right care provider will make the difference between feeling empowered and supported, or feeling let down by what could have been a wonderful experience. Check in with friends, family and colleagues when reviewing your healthcare options. Whether you choose to go with a Obstetrician/Gynaecologist or decide to have midwife led care, remember that they are there to serve you. Feeling comfortable with your choice is incredibly important.
6. Start thinking about your antenatal classes
When you are a first time mom it is especially important to attend antenatal classes to better prepare you for birth. You can ask your health care provider during your first consultation with them. Whether you attend your classes at your hospital or birthing centre, or opt for HypnoBirthing, attending an antenatal class will help you better understand what is happening to your body and help you prepare for both birth and your postpartum.
If you have are already pregnant or already have your baby, let us know in the comments what the first thing you did was.