6 things to do if you’ve just found out you’re pregnant

It’s happened – you’ve done the test (or maybe a fair few!) and the result’s come back positive – you’re pregnant! Whether you’ve been trying for a while or it’s happened quicker than you thought, we reckon there are a million questions running through your head, especially if this is your first time.

The good news is, we’re here to help. While your mind might be racing about what it all means and what’s ahead for you, first things first. There are some basic things you should do once it’s all sunk in…

1. Talk to your doctor

If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably want to get that appointment in the diary just to make your pregnancy news a bit more “official”. If you’re five or six weeks pregnant and unable to get an appointment for a week or so, that’s OK. Many appointments happen around the 8-week mark – though this won’t be the same for everyone. 

At this appointment, your doctor will likely ask a number of questions about any previous pregnancies and will give you a general health check-up as well as offer advice on any medications you’re currently taking. They’ll also hopefully ask you about any concerns or worries you have. Make sure you write down any questions you want to ask when you’re there so you get the most out of the one-to-one time you have.

2. Work out your due date

As well as visiting your doctor, calculating your due date is another surefire way to make the reality of your pregnancy hit home. There are lots of due date calculators online, but you’ll need a few bits of information to use them. There are two main ways to work the date out: one is based on the day you conceived your baby (if you think you know). The other, used more regularly, is based on the first day of your last period (and it’s assumed you conceived halfway between periods). You’ll also need to know the length of your menstrual cycle. If it varies, use the average.

A dating scan, which you’ll likely have at around 7 to 10 weeks, will also help to give you an estimated due date (EDD), based on the size of the foetus. 

It’s worth noting that only around 5% of babies come on their actual due date. Most babies come between 37 and 41 weeks and could arrive a week on either side of this date, so it’s not set in stone! But hopefully it gives you a rough timeline to work to as you prepare for your new family member.

3. Make a few small changes if you need to

Being healthy is important at any age or stage in life, including pregnancy, and there are a few small changes you can make that will help. It’s a good idea to limit your caffeine intake once you know you’re pregnant. Official advice says you should have less than 200 millimetres of caffeine per day (that’s around two small cups of instant coffee) but if you find it easy enough to switch to decaffeinated drinks that could be the best thing to do.

It’s absolutely best to avoid alcohol when pregnant, but if you have had a drink without realising you were expecting, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just try and avoid it from now on.

Ask your doctor about the best supplements to take. They’re bound to mention folic acid which helps to make blood cells as well as vitamin D. If you’re worried about any exercises you currently do, check with your doctor who’ll be able to advise on the best course of action.

4. Know the early pregnancy symptoms

Believe it or not, pregnancy symptoms can start pretty early on. For example, morning sickness can start as soon as 4 weeks, as can feeling tired, breast tenderness and going to the loo more (especially at night).

Knowing these things (and that they’re perfectly normal) will hopefully put you more at ease if / when they happen. Be aware too, that lots of these symptoms subside as you reach your second trimester.

5. Decide who to share your news with

We’re guessing that, while in the very early days of pregnancy at least, you won’t be shouting your news from the mountain tops, there might just be one or two very close people you might want to tell (aside from your partner). While the “usual” wisdom is to wait until you’ve reached the 12-week mark, this is entirely up to you. If, for example, you’re working but struggling with morning sickness, you might want to tell a trusted colleague so they are in the loop about why you might be making more bathroom trips or not being your usual self if you’re a little more fatigued than usual.

6. Get comfy

With all the changes that will be happening to your body over the next few weeks and months, you might just want to invest in a few cosy and comfy clothes to see you through pregnancy, and, of course, we’ve got loads! From laid-back hoodies you can wear throughout pregnancy and once your baby is born, over your baby’s carrier, to stretchy leggings and joggers, why not browse our collection and get some essentials in.

Morning sickness: 9 tips to ease the queasy

Morning sickness is a really common symptom of pregnancy, usually occurring in the first trimester, which can leave you feeling terribly nauseous and generally unwell. Despite its name, morning sickness can happen at any time of day, or at night.

In some instances, this nauseous feeling can become pretty unbearable. In this case, it could be that you’re experiencing extreme morning sickness – hyperemesis gravidarum – and that a trip to the doctor is required for medical intervention. 

If, however, you think you might just be in need of some home remedy-style solutions, there are plenty of things you can try. These work for some, and not others, and a few are based on anecdotal evidence more than anything else. But you may just find they’re exactly what’s needed.

Remember, too, morning sickness usually subsides around the 16 to 18 week mark, so hang in there, it will get better!

Try these to help your morning sickness…

1. Bland foods

Because they’re non-acidic and easy to digest, bland foods (think dry crackers, toast and rice cakes) are pretty good at easing morning sickness. They can fill you up while keeping those nausea blues at bay so it’s well worth having a few packets on hand for when those queasy feelings arise.

2. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most touted morning sickness remedies, and there seems to be plenty anecdotal evidence at least that it helps – though everyone’s different, so there’s no guarantee, but it might just be worth a try if you’re really suffering. You can have it in lots of ways too – suck a ginger lozenge, eat a ginger biscuit or try some ginger ale or a ginger lollipop.

3. Stick to chilled foods

Sometimes it’s the smell of hot food that can make you feel nauseous, so if you’re having a particularly bad day you might want to stick to no-cook foods. We appreciate this is probably easier said than done in the winter rather than summer months, but it could be an option on the odd day even in chillier climes when you really just can’t stomach the stench.

4. Make your meals small and frequent

There are several reasons why it’s better to eat small meals regularly rather than loading up in one sitting if you’re feeling queasy. Trying to take in too much in one go can overwhelm your stomach and bring on feelings of nausea. In addition, eating little and often can help to stabilise your blood sugars. 

5. Mint

Some women find that the aroma of mint helps to relieve their morning sickness. Try sipping mint tea, or chewing mint leaves or a mint sweet if you prefer. Alternatively, you can sprinkle mint oil on a tissue or handkerchief and breathe in the soothing scent. 

6. Sour treats

Yet others have discovered that sour sweets, like lemon or lime candy, can help with their recurring morning sickness. These treats are high in citric acid which can help with digestion and may curb those nauseous feelings. If you love your fresh fruit, you can suck on slices of lime, lemon or orange.

7. Rest up

Tiredness can make nausea worse, so it’s good to try and rest up if your morning sickness is getting the better of you (and if you possibly can). Some doctors even recommend trying to take a holiday in the early stages of your pregnancy, as the first few weeks can be some of the toughest. We get that it’s not an option for everyone, but if it’s something you think you can manage, go for it.

8. Acupressure

Acupressure works in much the same way as acupuncture, except without the needles. As the name suggests, it puts pressure on certain parts of your body, known as acupoints, and can help with improving blood flow, relaxation and lessening nausea. With this in mind, some pregnant women opt to wear wrist acupressure bands. Why not give them a go and see if they work for you?

9. Tell someone at work

As morning sickness can creep up on you pretty early on in your pregnancy, chances are you’re still spending time in the office. You may also have decided not to share your pregnancy news with people yet, but you could consider telling just one or two trusted colleagues. This way, you’ll have an ally who gets your more-frequent-than-usual bathroom trips, quieter days and possible later arrival times. Just knowing that someone understands what you’re going through could make a big difference.

When to see a doctor

Occasionally, morning sickness becomes so severe it needs medical intervention. In this instance, it’s known as hyperemesis gravidarum: you may remember the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, spoke openly about her experience of it. If you’re really struggling, you should see your doctor, especially if:

  •  you’re unable to keep food or water down for 24 hours
  • you feel severely dizzy
  • your urine is very dark/you haven’t passed urine for eight hours
  • you have severe abdominal pains.

They will be able to advise the best course of action and put you on the appropriate medication if needed.

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