Walking into your local Walgreens, hands shaking and clamming up as you purchase your test. Taking it home and making those agonizing fifteen minutes pass by, wearing a groove into the floorboards from pacing back and forth. Hearing the timer go off and snatching the test up off the side to discover two pink lines staring back at you – all parents remember this time well.
Whether a first-time or a seasoned parent, nothing could have prepared you for the changes in your life thanks to those two pink lines. Regardless of how you’re feeling, having a child will turn life as you know it upside down, from the essential things like always having a car seat in your car to the little things like solo bathroom breaks being a thing of the past.
However, despite your excitement, pregnancy comes with many physical and mental demands that many women feel ill-equipped to handle, no matter the season. Therefore, we’ve put together this early pregnancy checklist outlining several to-dos for your first trimester, from deciding when to make your winter pregnancy announcement to relieving morning sickness – here’s everything you need to know:
Arrange Your First Midwifery Appointment
After you’ve broken the news to your partner and both sets of parents and gotten over your initial shock, the first item on your checklist should be phoning doctor GP, who can arrange your initial midwifery appointment.
Depending on your location, your first antenatal appointment will occur between eight to twelve weeks. It will be a safe place for you and your midwife to assess your and your baby's health, give you information, and answer any pressing questions.
Appointments shouldn’t last longer than an hour and will take place wherever you feel the most comfortable, be it at your house, a hospital, a doctor’s surgery, or a children’s center. Ensure that you prepare well for this appointment, as your midwife will ask you many personal questions about your and your partner's health. So, get ready for what may seem like a round of twenty questions!
Decide How You’re Going To Break The News
Deciding when to make your winter pregnancy announcement can be a big topic in the pregnancy community. Some parents-to-be are so eager to share their good news with loved ones that they tell them in the first trimester. In contrast, others choose not to spill the metaphorical beans until the end of the first trimester (around twelve weeks in) as the risk of miscarriage is higher in the earlier weeks.
Whichever one you’re leaning towards, sharing your pregnancy with others is your choice and only your choice. There is no right or wrong answer. The only time you should feel obligated to reveal your pregnancy sooner is if your job is dangerous or strenuous.
Once you’ve decided, you and your partner can think of a fun way to surprise your loved ones with the news. Whether you tell loved ones in person, via phone, via video call, or by recording their reaction to social media - there are many options at your disposal.
Also, if you have loved ones that live far away, another popular way to announce that you are pregnant is by sending a digital pregnancy announcement card like the ones from Greenvelope. Cheaper, faster, and more eco-friendly than traditional pregnancy announcement cards, you can choose from a range of themes, make it your own by customizing it, then send it to your long-distance friends and family members within minutes. Consider visiting their site or contacting them directly to see how they could make your winter pregnancy announcement memorable today.
Find Relief From Morning Sickness
Despite getting its name from the early morning hours, morning sickness can rear its ugly head anytime. Although it is commonly recognized as one of the most prominent signs of pregnancy, only seven in ten women suffer from it, and it is a more popular symptom in the first trimester.
Morning sickness is often thought to be something parents-to-be must put up with; it can be relieved in various ways. Some of the most popular are as follows:
- Choosing what you eat carefully. Consume foods that are low in fat, high in protein, and easily digestible while actively trying to avoid greasy, fatty, and spicy foods.
- Snack often and throughout the day.
- Hydrate often.
- Pay attention to what causes an onslaught of morning sickness.
- Clean your teeth if you do vomit, and rinse your mouth out.
- Be wary about taking prenatal supplements.
- Don’t be afraid to try alternative methods of treating morning sickness, like acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, acupressure, and ginger-infused products.
Suppose you have tried several of the above remedies and are still experiencing intense symptoms of morning sickness or vomiting uncontrollably. In that case, you should contact your midwife or doctor as soon as possible since these can be symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum, otherwise known as severe morning sickness, which can sometimes require hospital treatment.
Recognize The Dangers
As well as monitoring your morning sickness, it is essential to learn to recognize pregnancy symptoms that can be dangerous and should never be ignored. Throughout your pregnancy (and probably even when you weren’t pregnant), you might hear your own parent talking about a ‘natural radar’ that parents develop to sense when something is wrong with them or their children.
Back then, you may have laughed, but if you are ever to get a feeling that something isn’t right, it is essential that you don’t ignore it, no matter how silly you might feel. If your alarm bells start ringing, you must alert your midwife or doctor as soon as possible, as you could suffer severe outcomes if you ignore them.
We’ve listed some conditions and their symptoms that should be watched out for throughout your entire pregnancy below:
- Miscarriage – Pain in the middle or bottom of your stomach and vaginal bleeding.
- Ectopic Pregnancy – Pain in the middle or lower part of the abdomen.
- Fibroids – Pain in the lower abdomen.
- Pre-Eclampsia – Pain in the middle, top, or bottom of your stomach, blurred vision, flashing lights behind the eyes, swollen hands or feet, and constant headache.
- Gestational Diabetes – Feeling thirsty all of a sudden.
Keep some of the tips and advice mentioned above in mind. Following a checklist can help to reduce stress, as you can revert back to it to check that you have everything you need. Before you know it, the next chapter of your life will have begun with the arrival of your bundle of joy.