I'm Pregnant; Now What? 5 Things to Do When You Find Out You're Pregnant

Maybe you've been trying for years, or maybe it was a complete surprise, but you peed on the stick and found out you're going to have a baby. So now what?

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1. Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins.  You should take prenatal vitamins as soon as you start trying to conceive, but if this pregnancy was a surprise, start taking your prenatals asap.  Prenatals are full of vitamins and minerals, but perhaps the most important is folic acid and iron.  Folic acid significantly reduces the risk of neural tube (what becomes the brain and spine) defects.  These neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, develop in the first month of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant, which is why is is so important to start taking prenatals immediately.  Iron helps the blood carry oxygen, prevents anemia and reduces the risk of pre-term and low birth weight babies.

2. Stop Taking Certain Medications.  If you're on prescription or over-the-counter medications prior to getting pregnant, it might be important to call your doctor and check to make sure that they're safe to continue during pregnancy.  Some you may have to stop immediately, some may have to be weaned off and some might be perfectly safe.

3.  Drop the Bad Habits.  Smoking and drinking are pregnancy no-nos, although some may consider one occasional drink okay.  Excessive drinking could lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.  Smoking during pregnancy lowers the amount of oxygen that both you and baby get, increases baby's heart rate, increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight, respiratory problems, birth defects and sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.  It's also a good idea to pick up some good habits and exercise regularly.  Check out these 4 Exercises for a Healthy Pregnancy.

4. Find Prenatal Care.  When choosing a physician for prenatal care, you will have to decide to see an obstetrician, certified midwife, or even a practice that has both available.  Where you want to give birth will play a roll in this decision, whether you want a home birth, birthing center or hospital birth.  You may also choose to hire a doula, which is a person who will provide physical and emotional support through pregnancy, labor and delivery.  Typically your first prenatal checkup will be scheduled at or around 8 weeks.

5. Go Shopping.  Pretty soon your jeans are going to feel a little too tight.  Head to the local maternity store and pick out some cute new outfits.  Since maternity wear is a short-term use item, it's a great option to find used maternity clothes for a fraction of the price.  While you're at it you can start checking out all the adorable baby items!  Take advantage of these freebies - 8 10 Awesome Freebies for Moms.


Check out our Ultimate Pregnancy To-Do List by month.

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About Coffee and Wine Mom

Maddi Casey is a muscle car driving, hard working mama who is obsessed with football and good beer. She has two beautiful baby girls and loving husband. Writing is a passion, hobby and sometimes career of hers at coffeeandwinemom.com. She is also passionate about animals, nature and entrepreneurship.
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