You’re Pregnant! Now What
You’re pregnant! Now what? Whether the moment those two lines turned pink was a joyous moment or an unexpected turn of events, there’s a lot of emotional and physical change on deck for the next 35-plus weeks. At Mylicon®, we understand that being a first-time mom involves much more than shopping for baby gear and prepping a nursery. (Although that is undoubtedly one of the perks!) We also believe that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the wonderful world of motherhood. Our first-time pregnancy checklist will give you the information you need to navigate the journey confidently and embrace the joys and challenges that lie ahead.
What are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?
While a missed period is a telltale sign of pregnancy, it’s not always that clear-cut—especially if your cycles are irregular. First time pregnancy symptoms can start as early as a few days after conception but it’s entirely possible for symptoms to lie dormant for weeks after that positive test. In fact, these symptoms can vary between pregnancies.
Beyond a missed or late period, here are other signs to look for:
- Feeling exhausted. High levels of the hormone progesterone cause this early pregnancy sign.
- Breast tenderness. Sore or swollen breasts can signify both an upcoming period and early pregnancy.
- Morning sickness. Despite the time-sensitive name, this pregnancy annoyance can pop up any time of the day or night. Did you know only half of the women who feel nauseous from morning sickness actually vomit?
- Bloating. Another period-like symptom that can pop up post-conception is bloating. While it will be a while before you need maternity pants or really start to show, many moms-to-be jokingly call this early pregnancy symptom their “bloat baby” for how they look. Read about other pregnancy-related GI issues.
- Acne. Those hormonal overdrives are to blame for any teenaged-like acne. Sorry to say pregnancy glow isn’t true for all women.
What to Expect When Pregnant for the First Time?
A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks which is between nine and ten months. Wondering how to calculate your due date? Pregnancy actually begins on the first day of your last menstrual period. Referred to as the gestational age of the pregnancy, your care provider adds 40 weeks to the first day of your last menstrual period to calculate your due date. For many women, this means they're already about four weeks along by the time they know they’re pregnant.
- First Trimester: Weeks 0 to 13 weeks
The first trimester of pregnancy is an exciting and transformative time as your body begins growing a new life (or more, if you’re expecting multiples!). It spans from the start of your last period through conception and to the end of your 12th week. During this time, you may experience a range of physical and emotional changes, including symptoms like nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, and frequent urination.
Read more: Finding the right prenatal vitamin.
- Second trimester: 14 to 26 weeks
As estrogen and progesterone levels even out and there is a decrease in levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), many women find the second trimester to be the most enjoyable time of their pregnancy. For many, this trimester sees morning sickness and breast tenderness subside, and energy levels return! You may begin to feel baby move around 20 weeks (earlier for experienced mothers) and your bump will become more visible.
Read more: Mylicon’s guide to the second trimester.
- Third trimester: 27 to 40 weeks
Almost there, Mom! With the anticipation of labor and the approaching arrival of your baby, you may experience a mix of excitement, anxiety, and mood swings. Hormonal fluctuations and the physical demands of pregnancy can contribute to these emotional changes. That first trimester exhaustion might return, as well as Braxton hicks contractions.
Read more: Making a birth plan.
Which Foods Should I Eat and Avoid During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, it is important to be cautious about your diet to ensure your and your baby's health and well-being. While it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice, here are some general guidelines on foods to avoid during pregnancy:
- Raw or undercooked meats and seafood.
- Deli meats and unpasteurized dairy products.
- Fish with high mercury content.
- Certain soft cheeses.
- Raw or partially cooked eggs.
- Excessive caffeine.
- Drugs and alcohol.
Here is our guide to What You Can & Can’t Eat & Drink While Pregnant.
How Often Should I Get Prenatal Checkups?
Under the guidance of their doctor, women with a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy will typically follow this schedule for prenatal care:
- Weeks 4 to 28 of pregnancy. Go for one checkup every four weeks.
- Weeks 28 to 36 of pregnancy. Go for one checkup every two weeks.
- Weeks 36 to birth. Go for one checkup every week.
If you’re carrying multiples or have complications during pregnancy, your provider may want to see you more often. You should call your OB after a positive at-home pregnancy test.
Preparing for Labor
As you prepare for labor and delivery, there are a few things you can do to help prepare yourself physically and emotionally.
- Trust your instincts. Remember that every birth is unique, and trust your body’s ability to get you and your baby through this experience.
- Educate yourself. Attend childbirth classes and/or read books.
- Create a birth plan. Read how to make a birth plan.
- Pack your hospital bag. We’ve taken the guesswork out of what you’ll need with our helpful hospital bag checklist.
- Familiarize yourself with pain relief options. Explore the various pain management techniques available to you.
- Tour the birthing facility. Virtual and in-person options are available at many hospitals and facilities. Many parents-to-be find this helps them visualize the birth as they mentally prepare for labor.
- Understand breastfeeding techniques. Order a breast pump if you plan to breastfeed or combo feed (most insurance providers cover one). Breastmilk storage dos and don’ts are important, too.
- Have medications on hand. Did you know that Infants’ Mylicon is safe for even the newest of newborns? It works gently to speed up a baby’s natural process of getting rid of gas, relieving pressure and discomfort.