If this is your first time being pregnant, chances are you’re not quite sure where to start. There are a few important things to take care of in early pregnancy. From revisiting your diet that directly affects the fetus, to finding the care that’s right for you. Here are some things you should add to your early pregnancy checklist to make the next nine months tolerable and joyous!
FOOD! I think if there is one thing that is on a pregnant woman’s mind all day, it is food. Whether she can’t keep any down or can’t get enough, it’s all.she.is.thinking.of. At least that’s how I was. What you eat is a very personal choice. But keep in mind that it does affect the baby growing inside of you. Try to avoid genetically modified foods, diet soda, and generally nutritionally void foods (donuts, prepackaged store bought desserts, artificially flavored/colored foods, etc). Don’t skimp on good fats that are absolutely essential to the growth of your child (fish oil, avocados, nuts, coconut oil). You should also look into food-based prenatal vitamins, avoid synthetic ones commonly sold at drug stores. Even if you have a healthy diet, trust me, you need all the help your body can get. After two children I can certainly see the toll it has taken on my health.
INSURANCE! No matter what your financial situation, you don’t want to find out your insurance doesn’t cover labor and delivery days before you’re due, that alone can send some women into preterm labor! Call your insurance provider and speak to them specifically about your plan to make sure it covers both prenatal care, and labor and delivery. One phone call can save you a lot of grief in the future. You may also qualify for state health insurance if you have low income. Look around your area, I was surprised to find a small birth center that took my insurance and all the services were covered since they do billing through a regular hospital. That’s the only way I could afford the water birth I really dreamed of!
PREGNANCY CARE. Many women are not aware of the many care options available to them. If you are generally healthy and have no pre-existing medical conditions, you may want to look into midwifery care. If you have health problems, find an OBGYN that you are comfortable with. Many healthy women who have already given birth at least once may even consider a home birth with the assistance of a professional, especially those with short labors.
WORK. Chances are you are working while pregnant, especially if this is your first baby. Around three months you should talk to your boss about maternity leave and job security. Do you want to return to work? Do you want to switch to part time? Perhaps you may want to stay home if your spouse has a job that can provide. It is a decision that varies for each family greatly. What we found worked for us is me staying home despite the fact that we could not afford it. We cut out all luxuries and extras and found that we saved money with me staying home. Moreover I could pursue online work. There are so many options, it is something to think about the moment you find out you’re pregnant. Don’t be scared to make ‘the wrong’ decision, do what works for your family and go with your instincts.
What has been your experience in early pregnancy? What else needs to be taken care of at this stage?