I remember the moment I saw the two pink lines. I was stunned. So happy and so in shock. I walked into the living room and told my husband that I was pregnant, and we sat there elated and surprised. Excited and scared. In that moment, our lives changed forever. It was a feeling of joy that I’ll never forget.
So many things ran through my thoughts in the moments following; my mind turned to mush. I started to think about everything I needed to do to get ready. My mind was going a million miles a minute! When you find out you’re pregnant, the good news is you have about nine months to prepare for baby’s arrival. However, there are some things you’ll want to start doing right away. Check out this helpful list of things to do during the first trimester when you find out you’re pregnant.
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Health and Wellbeing – Mom & Baby
1. Take prenatal vitamins – In order to ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy, a prenatal vitamin is recommended before and during pregnancy. You want to make sure you are taking folic acid daily to help prevent major birth defects. Check out this link for a list of specific recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
2. Schedule an appointment with your doctor – One of the first things you’ll want to do is call your doctor and schedule an appointment to confirm your pregnancy.
3. Change your diet – There are certain foods that pregnant women should avoid to help prevent listeriosis, a type of food-borne illness that affects pregnant women more often than the general population. Some of the common foods to avoid include deli meats, hot dogs, raw and undercooked seafood and eggs, and foods made with unpasteurized milk. Pregnant women should also limit the amount of caffeine they drink. Check out this link for a list of specific nutrition recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
4. Drink more water – Drinking water is so important for pregnant women. Start drinking more water right away to stay hydrated. According to the Institute of Medicine, pregnant women should consume about 10 cups or 2.3 liters of fluids everyday.
5. Stay healthy – This is easier said than done; however, one easy and effective way of avoiding illness is to wash your hands. Another way is to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women get a flu shot. Check with your healthcare provider if you’re interested in getting one during flu season.
6. Pray – If you step back and think about it, having a little life growing inside of you is truly a miracle. I loved praying for our little ones as they grew inside of me and developed. I found prayer to be especially helpful as my due date approached and the nerves intensified. Knowing that God was in control was a comforting feeling.
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The Fun Stuff
7. Track baby’s growth and development – There are many apps and websites that make it easy for parents to track baby’s growth and development. This is a fun way to learn more about your baby and will give you a better understanding of your pregnancy. You can see what size your baby is in comparison with a fruit or vegetable and see what baby is doing inside of you. You can begin tracking your pregnancy at www.babycenter.com.
8. Start reading – There is so much pregnancy information available online, in books, and in apps. One of my favorite books to read throughout my pregnancies was What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I found these websites to be helpful as well: www.babycenter.com and http://www.acog.org/Patients/Patient-Education-FAQs-List
9. Discuss when to announce – Pregnancy is such an exciting time that you may decide you want to make phone calls right away or you may decide to wait until after your first appointment or even after the first trimester. There is no right or wrong time to announce your pregnancy. Whenever you’re ready, go for it.
10. Think about gender reveal – There is an option available for parents to learn their baby’s gender in the first few months of pregnancy instead of waiting until month four or five. If this is something you’re interested in, check with your healthcare provider to see if it may be an option for you. Thanks to social media, parents are coming up with fun ways to reveal the gender of their baby now more than ever. You can throw a party, creatively announce it on social media, or if you’re impatient like us, just record yourselves opening the envelope.
11. Start a baby journal – I love the idea of writing down memories that you can share with your child when she is older. You can get a simple journal and write down how you found out you were pregnant, how you told your husband, and memories about your pregnancy. Before your due date, you can write a letter to your baby about your feelings surrounding her upcoming birth and arrival. You can continue to use the journal to write down memories and letters to your little one as she grows up and then give it to her when she is older.
Also, I recently came across this adorable pregnancy journal, and it’s on my wish list if we have another child. It includes pages where you can document information about each trimester, doctor appointments, and the birth, along with pages to write notes to your baby and keep photos of your growing baby bump. I wish I had this for my first two pregnancies!
12. Make room for baby – Once you find out you’re pregnant, you can begin thinking about your home and where your baby will sleep. You may find that you want to rearrange certain areas to make room for your baby. While you have plenty of time to purchase furniture and decorate, it’s not too early to begin thinking about where your baby will sleep and where you will keep baby’s things.
13. Declutter – As you begin to think about your baby’s space, look around your house for items you can get rid of. As the months go by in your pregnancy, you’ll begin noticing very quickly that your new family member will have stuff… A lot of stuff! Furniture, swing, toys, high chair, and so on. With a toddler and a baby in the house now, I find myself looking for ways to declutter daily!
14. Start brainstorming names – I thought it would be pretty easy to decide the names of our children because we’ve talked about it here and there throughout our marriage. When the time came to actually name our children, we found it to be a challenge! We named our oldest daughter one week before her birthday and our second daughter the night after she was born. It’s never too early to begin thinking about names!
15. Think about your due date and maternity leave – You will have a pretty good idea of when you’re due when you find out you’re pregnant and an even better idea at your first appointment when your healthcare provider lets you know your due date. You can begin thinking about the timing of your due date, maternity leave, and any leave your husband may be able to take as well.
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It’s a great time to start looking for ways to save money on everyday purchases as well as the many purchases you will be making for your baby. I have listed some of my favorite ways to save money on shipping and earn cash back. I have also included information on the little savings account we have set up for our daughters that earns interest.
16. Sign up for Amazon Prime – Amazon Prime is a must-have for new parents. It is worth every penny to have free two-day shipping all year long on diapers, wipes, you name it. Sometimes same-day or one-day shipping is even offered. I don’t know what I would do without it. I love Amazon Prime! You can try Amazon Prime by clicking here for a 30-Day Free Trial.
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17. Sign up for Ebates – Ebates is a FREE cash back website and app. It is so easy to use that you may wonder what the catch is, but there is no catch. You simply start at the Ebates website and choose the store you want to shop at, and it will take you to that store’s website where you can shop like you normally would. The only difference is that you will earn cash back after making your purchase. Some of my favorite places to shop through Ebates are Carter’s, Target, Amazon, Babies R Us, Old Navy, and Etsy. Learn more about Ebates in this post here.
18. Sign up for Ibotta – Ibotta is another FREE way to earn cash back. Once again, I thought there was a catch, but there isn’t. It’s like using coupons without the hassle of clipping coupons! You simply sign up for a free account and then after you shop, scan your products that have coupons in the app, scan your receipt, and watch the cash fall into your Ibotta account. It’s great for parents who have zero time to clip coupons. I use the app when I shop at Target and Kroger, but there are a lot of places you can use the service.
19. Get a Target REDcard – SuperTarget is a great place for parents to shop at because you can do your grocery shopping and then pick up gifts, clothing, accessories, whatever you may need, all in one place. When I was pregnant with our first daughter, I signed up for a FREE Target REDcard because I could already see that I was shopping there much more often to get ready for her arrival. The Target REDcard is great because you save 5 percent at checkout every time you use your REDcard when you shop. I have saved so much money in the last two years with my REDcard; I am so glad I finally signed up for one. Other perks with the REDcard include free shipping at Target.com and 30 extra days for returns. There is a credit card and a debit card option, and you can sign up for a Target REDcard here.
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20. Start a savings account now – It’s no secret that kids are expensive. You’ll want to start saving now. We had a Capital One 360 savings account before I got pregnant the first time, and then we opened a second account for our daughters. I have been happy with our Capital One 360 accounts because there are no fees, no minimum balance requirements, and best of all, they earn interest! You can open an account here.
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