A first time pregnancy can be a scary thing. Even if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time, there are a whirlwind of emotions you are going to go through. Not only that, the hormonal changes going on in your body coupled with the symptoms that go along with pregnancy can leave you feeling very anxious.
If this is your first pregnancy, there are some important things you need to do right away:
- Choose a doctor. You have a number of options here. Most gynecologists are also obstetricians. If yours isn’t, ask for a recommendation. Decide what’s important to you about your labor and delivery, such as natural childbirth, having a doula with you in labor, and more. If you have certain conditions that make your pregnancy high risk, make sure the doctor has some experience with treating women with these conditions. Some of those include epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, and a pregnancy over the age of 35.
- Keep your prenatal visits. Prenatal appointments let your doctor keep tabs on your health as well as your baby’s health. The first visit is going to have a lot more poking and prodding than future visits. That first time you can expect to go over family health history, have blood and urine tests, get a physical exam, and have a pelvic exam. Your doctor will discuss the pregnancy with you at length. Most appointments from there will take place about every three or four weeks, and be much quicker.
- Watch your diet. You need to eat a balanced diet rich in protein, iron, and calcium. You may need a prenatal vitamin, as well. You’re eating for two, but you don’t need to double your calories. You only need about 300 to 500 extra calories per day.
- There are many things to avoid. Many chemicals and medications will cross through your bloodstream to your baby. Don’t take any over-the-counter medication or prescription medications without talking to your doctor first. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and illicit drugs.
You’ll have lots of questions as your pregnancy progresses. Keep checking this website, and keep talking to your doctor if you have concerns.