Congratulations, kudos, and woo hoo – you’re pregnant! In those rare moments when you’re not dancing on air or completely freaking out, you may be wondering what you need to do next.
Here are the most important things to put on your list:
Calculate your due date.
Don’t bother with a pencil and paper – just use our handy due date calculator. Not only will it tell you the date you’ll be looking forward to all pregnancy long, it’ll give you a personalized calendar that shows when you’ll hear your baby’s heartbeat, find out your baby’s sex, and more.
Choose a prenatal caregiver.
You’ll be seeing a lot of your obstetrician, family physician, or midwife over the coming months, so it’s important to find a good match. Once you’ve made your decision, help get your pregnancy off to a healthy start by scheduling your first prenatal appointment. (Prenatal care providers typically schedule the visit for when you’re at least 8 weeks pregnant.)
Prime your body.
A healthy lifestyle is always important – but when you’re living for two, it’s that much more vital. So make sure you’re getting enough folic acid, start taking a prenatal vitamin (your healthcare provider can recommend one for you), eat a healthy pregnancy diet, consider a pregnancy-friendly exercise routine, and try to get plenty of sleep.
Avoid the pregnancy no-nos.
You don’t have to live in a sterile bubble, but some things are harmful during pregnancy and should be nixed. These include certain foods,alcohol, cigarette smoke, too much caffeine, some medications, recreational drugs like marijuana, and various toxins, as well as certain activities and behaviors. Talk to your caregiver to find out more about what you may personally need to steer clear of.
Be prepared for early pregnancy symptoms.
Not every pregnancy symptom will happen to every woman, but educating yourself ahead of time can prevent you from being blindsided. You might experience nausea and vomiting, jaw-dropping fatigue, odd food cravings, sore breasts, and maddeningly frequent bathroom trips. And those are just the more common complaints. A host of other symptoms could lie ahead, too.
Decide when to announce your pregnancy.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to share your good news. Some women wait until after the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage drops, while others announce it from the get-go. Some wait to tell their co-workers or boss to avoid “separate treatment” at work, while others want their workplace buds to understand why they’re a little green around the gills.
Give some thought to what will work best for you. And while you’re at it, consider how you’ll make the news public – whether in person, by phone, in writing, or by picture or video. Come up with your own unique approach or get creative inspiration from other parents. Of course, this should be a joint decision. After all, you don’t want to opt for secrecy only to discover that your partner’s already announced the news to 400 Facebook friends.
Brace yourself for pregnant body changes.
You’re probably already expecting the amazing expanding belly and va-va-voom breasts, but other body changes are in store that you may not know about. Be on the lookout for things like thicker hair, darkened skin, and breakouts – then, later in pregnancy, swollen ankles, stretch marks, and varicose veins. You might notice other body and beauty changes, too. Pregnancy affects every woman differently, but knowing what might happen can help you take your particular physical changes in stride.
Find out what’s in store throughout pregnancy.
The list you’re reading now gives you a feel for what happens in early pregnancy, but what else should you expect? Get a sneak peek at the months ahead with our quick pregnancy overview.
Follow your baby’s development.
Your baby is growing and changing at an incredible speed. Taking a peek at your baby’s development every week can keep your spirits up in the face of those less-than-pleasant pregnancy symptoms.
Figure out your finances.
They’re worth every penny, of course, but babies cost money. Use ourbaby cost calculator to get a feel for how much your bundle of joy is going to run you in the first year. Then do what you can to get your bucks in a row.
Get your ultimate pregnancy to-do list.
Are you a planner? Do you want details? Look no further than our mega pregnancy checklist for the nitty-gritty on all your pre-baby tasks – from conception until your due date.
Join a Birth Club.
Plenty of other parents-to-be are due in the same month as you – and going through the same things at the same time. Find a bunch of them inyour online Birth Club, where you can get advice and support on all kinds of pregnancy topics.
Get your free pregnancy app.
Want a daily dose of great pregnancy information that you can access on the go? Check out the BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today app. It doesn’t cost a thing.
Pick up a pregnancy book or two.
Even in these high-tech times, many expecting moms find books hugely helpful. Besides, nothing quite beats the feeling of curling up with a book and a highlighter. Here is a title to get you started: BabyCenter Pregnancy: From Preconception to Birth.
Start brainstorming baby names.
Finding the perfect baby name is one of the most exciting parts of the pregnancy journey – though it can be a bit overwhelming at times. You don’t need to decide on a name anytime soon (some people even wait until after their baby is born), but it can be lots of fun to start a list of possibilities.
As a first step, read up on how to pick a name and the pitfalls to avoid. Then browse our baby name inspiration lists and search for names in ourBaby Names Finder.
Where to go next
- Calculate your target pregnancy weight gain.
- Find out when you’ll graduate to the next trimester.
- See an astonishing animated video of your baby in the womb.