What to do when you find out you're pregnant

If you’re here I’m guessing you’ve peed on a stick and jumped around celebrating the good news that you are pregnant. Now you’re wondering, what on earth am I supposed to do next?

It’s totally natural to feel more than a little overwhelmed at what’s ahead, or maybe you’re just really excited. I remember being a mixture of both with both of my pregnancies. 

If you’re still not sure if you are pregnant, check out this post on how soon can you tell if you’re pregnant for the lowdown on the really early symptoms of pregnancy.

Now that you know you are expecting a baby, you’re probably thinking there must be a ton of stuff you need to do immediately. Don’t panic, you’ve got nine months before the baby comes. The most important thing to do right now is relax and enjoy this time as much as possible, because it does fly by!

But to help you get your head around what’s coming next, I thought I would share a list of things that you need to do now that positive test has been done.

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So, what’s next now that you’ve confirmed the happy news with a pregnancy test? Here are 11 things you’ll need to do now that you’re pregnant!

Don’t forget to read up on these first trimester must-haves.

1. Make your first midwife appointment 

You need to make an appointment to see your community midwife! In the UK, a GP generally won’t need to see you when you’ve taken a positive pregnancy test. You can just call your local GP surgery where you are registered, inform the receptionist and they will make an appointment for you with the community midwife. 

At your very first midwife appointment, they will want to test your wee! Get used to this, as they will be testing it at every single appointment. First of all they will want to confirm you are pregnant and then they will be checking your glucose and protein levels are safe. 

Protein in your urine could mean you have an infection in your bladder or kidneys. It could also be a sign of pre-eclampsia. 

Sugar in your urine could mean you have gestational diabetes. These tests are nothing to worry about, they are done at every appointment and are just intended to monitor you to ensure all is well!

You’ll also want to get started on pregnancy vitamins, if you haven’t already! There are lots of prenatal vitamins on the market. You should be taking one tablet per day.

2. Control pregnancy nausea

If you’re still just a few weeks into your pregnancy then you may not be experiencing that many symptoms. 

However you could be suffering from nausea, which is common in the first trimester. Unfortunately for some mamas it lasts well beyond the first trimester and can involve being sick, as well as feeling nauseous constantly. 

It’s a thoroughly unpleasant experience which I suffered with both of my pregnancies. I have lots of tips for coping with 24/7 pregnancy nausea on this post. 

3. Read up on pregnancy milestones

If you’re interested in keep track of how your baby is developing every week, you can buy a book such as What to Expect When You’re Expecting. There are tons of pregnancy books out there and it’s just a matter of finding one that appeals to you! 

There are also lots of pregnancy diaries out there where you can record your thoughts and plans for your baby. This is a lovely keepsake to pass on to your child one day. 

4. Decide who to tell

A lot of people wait until the 12-week scan until they announce their pregnancy. This is because the risk of miscarriage is sadly at its highest during the first 12 weeks. 

However there is no rule that says you can’t tell people about your pregnancy before you get to 12 weeks. It’s really up to you and if you’ve found out early, it can feel like a long, long wait until that three-month scan until you can share your happy news. 

You may want to tell your boss if you are having any kind of complications that are affecting work. However many people hold fire on telling their employer until a little later. It’s up to you, but giving them plenty of notice is always a good idea as it gives them time to find cover for your maternity leave. 

5. Find out what your company’s maternity policy is

This policy may be available on your company intranet, so you may not have to ask for it! However it’s a good idea to get your hands on it sooner rather than later because it will give you all of the information you need about how much time you are entitled to and what the pay will be. 

Maternity pay varies wildly between companies, so this is definitely something you need to find out about. You will be able to plan ahead much easier. Also remember to find out what your partners leave policy is. 

In the UK, you may be able to use shared parental leave after your baby is born, which many couples find eases the financial burden and help mums return to their career sooner. 

6. Revise your diet

Your midwife will probably give you a comprehensive rundown of the things you definitely shouldn’t be doing, and most of it is just common sense. The obvious ones are no alcohol and no nicotine. 

There’s a full list of foods to avoid in pregnancy over on the NHS website.

7. Think about your finances 

We all know that babies cost money, but it can really cause a lot of strain and stress if cash is already tight. Try not to panic, because you can make this work! The sooner you start planning for your maternity leave, and the expenses of having a baby, the better because you can start to save immediately. 

The best thing to do is to write ALL of your current income and all of your current outgoings, right down to the coffee you buy before work every morning. How much do you put into savings every month, and how much (if anything) is left?

Now look at what your maternity pay will be. Work out the gap between what you will earn during your maternity pay and what your income WOULD be if you weren’t going off to have a baby. 

This is the gap that you will need to deal with during your maternity leave, so think about how you can adjust your spending in order to save more, and whether what you already have in savings might be able to help tide you over while you’re off work. 

There are lots of tips for how to afford a baby over in this article.

8. Take folic acid supplement

Taking a folic acid supplement during pregnancy will help to reduce the risk of your baby being born with spinal problems such as spina bifida.

You can buy multi-vitamins that contain the folic acid dose you need daily along with other vitamins that can help to support a healthy pregnancy.

Many mothers also take a fish oil supplement too as studies have shown that this helps with baby’s brain development.

9. Make a plan

During your first trimester the focus is very much on taking care of any symptoms that are making life hard for you, such as nausea.

But from your second trimester onwards there will be lots of practical things to do.

You can start making a plan now about what you will do. Check out this trimester-by-trimester to-do list with tips on what to do and when during your pregnancy to get ready for baby.

10. Coping with seasons during pregnancy

One of the worst phases for me during pregnancy was during the summer. I felt so much hotter during both of my pregnancies, so the summer heat drove me insane!

If you are heavily pregnancy in the summer, there are some great tips for coping with the heat while pregnant over on this post. 

Winter can also be tricky, as ice and snow makes it potentially hazardous for you, especially as you get further along in your pregnancy.

Try these tips for staying healthy during winter when pregnant.

11. Keep fit with exercise

The first trimester can be absolutely exhausting, so rest is very important.

But gentle exercise is good for not only treating fatigue, and helping you get a good night’s sleep, but also getting your body strong for the rest of your pregnancy.

Try a gentle walk every day, or swimming, to help strengthen your fitness.

What to do after a positive pregnancy test: conclusion

So these are the key things to do in the first trimester right after getting your positive pregnancy test! You don’t need to rush out and buy loads of things just yet, it’s best just to try and relax and take care of yourself during your first trimester.

In the future you will need to do many other practical things to prepare for your baby’s arrival!

As part of this, you will want to think about the things you actually need for your baby. Shopping for a baby can feel exciting, and a bit daunting, as it’s a costly business! I have a post on the stuff you definitely do not need, and the things that will actually be useful!

You’ll also want to look at other rooms in your home and think about what changes you will need to make to prepare for the baby. You can check out my guide on preparing your home for a new baby for more room-by-room tips!

I’ve also got an awesome post about IKEA nursery hacks which you are going to love!

So there you have it, these are the steps to go through after finding out you’re pregnant! I hope this post was useful. 

For lots more information about pregnancy, and life with a newborn baby, check out these posts: 

Baby registry essentials

What you need to know about the first trimester

What you need to know about the second trimester

What you need to know about the third trimester

What to expect in the first week with a baby

18 ways to survive the first 8 weeks with a newborn

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what to do after a positive pregnancy test
what to do after getting a positive pregnancy test