So, you and your partner have decided to start trying to be parents. A task that you, as a future mum, will include the beautiful and privileged (yet sometimes intimidating) process of being pregnant.
Considering the advances in health, medicine and knowledge about carrying a baby inside you and considering the habits of our modern lives, it is helpful to know what to expect and what to do during this unique process, week by week.
- Let’s consider week 1 as the week where you are starting to try to conceive. Hey! Maybe you already are pregnant in the very first days, but won’t be able to notice yet.
- Write down the day when you had your last period. This will help you determine in some weeks if you are late.
- Ask your doctor about any prescription drugs that you are currently taking and also over-the-counter ones, as this may affect not only your probabilities of getting pregnant, but also the healthy development of your baby. You may also mention about any genetic diseases in your family if you are concerned about it.
- No, no, no. That means: No alcohol, no smoking and no anything else as such. All of these, must stop immediately.
- Take prenatal vitamins from this moment (after consulting with your GP). Even if you think it’s too early, these supplements (such as folic acid) will help your body with having enough nutrients to help you have a healthy conception and pregnancy.
- Keep working out and, if you are a couch potato, start doing some cardio. A low or medium intensity workout is good for your health and it won’t hurt you during pregnancy. As long as you don’t overdo it, you should be fine. Later on, you ought to be careful with the fact that you will get tired quicker, so that will mean to slow down your exercise routine.
- Start having a healthy diet, with lots of fruit, vegetables, lean meat and fish.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Studies have shown that having more than 2 cups of coffee a day can increase up to two times the risks of having a miscarriage.
- Don’t rush, you can’t tell if you are pregnant yet. You have to wait until week 3 to know whether your efforts were successful or not, either by a urine over-the-counter pregnancy test or a blood test.
- Find a doctor that will help you through all this process. It is of upmost importance that you feel comfortable and that you can trust your specialist. But there’s no need to go to the doctor, at least not yet.
- Look at early signs of pregnancy. One of the earliest you may experience, is light spotting. This means lighter than your normal period.
- Watch out for a fairly heavy period or abdominal pain. If this happens, it is wise to call a doctor, since this can mean that a fertilised egg is attached somewhere else that is not the uterine wall.
- Look out for some other pregnancy symptoms. These include breast tenderness (putting on a bra will be an uncomfortable experience) and heightened sensitivity to some smells (avoid strong fragrances, because this can make you fell nauseous).
- Take a urine pregnancy test, particularly if you’ve missed you period.
- If the urine test is positive, go to the doctor and take a blood test to confirm.
- If your doctor confirms that you are pregnant, congratulations! Your doctor will likely give you some initial pointers and make your next appointment in 4 to 8 weeks.
- Don’t forget to share the good news with your partner.
Having reached a confirmation is very exciting and overwhelming. From this point, you may be tempted to go ahead and start planning and buying stuff, like baby clothes, maternity clothes, a pregnancy pillow, a cradle, etc. It’s ok to feel encouraged and wanting to carry out a baby shopping spree, but let’s not lose focus on more immediate things. Month two is just about to start.