Everything You Need To Know About Your First Pregnancy From Positive Test To Birth & Recovery
I hope this guide can help you navigate the big questions you will have during pregnancy!
As a mom myself, I know how scary, exciting, intimidating, and (insert all.the.emotions. here) it can be. This is why I put this helpful guide together for the new mom.
The First Trimester
A lot of moms-to-be think by making a doctor’s appointment they are all set. That is one of the things you should do ASAP but it is just as important to do these things as well.
Some doctors will not see any patients until they are at least 10 weeks. Hopefully, you are seen sooner to confirm your pregnancy.
While you wait for that first OB appointment make sure you do some of these things.
1. Buy Prenatal Vitamins
It is super important to start on a prenatal care regimen. These vitamins have folic acid and iron which many people do not get in their regular diets.
These important nutrients help your baby be healthy and grow as well as give you energy and nutrients.
These are our favorite prenatal vitamins.
If you are having trouble taking your prenatal vitamins in the morning – try taking them at night before going to bed. If you do not like the taste or cannot swallow the prenatal vitamins – consider taking gummy prenatal vitamins.
Want a more comprehensive guide on the best prenatal vitamins – Check out ConsumersAdvocate.Org where they did over 200 hours of research to find you the best prenatal vitamins.
2. Morning (all day) Sickness
Even if you don’t get morning sickness or don’t feel pregnant when you are certain you are.
You should be prepared with a few essentials during the first trimester if you do have morning sickness.
- Always carry water with you.
- Take a lemon or lime and eat it, smelling the lemon will also help
- Ginger tea also helps with morning sickness and is one of the tea’s that is safe to drink while pregnant
- Eat a mint candy
- Stand up and walk a few minutes
- Eat small meals frequently
Here is a list of 33+ Healthy Pregnancy Snacks (that give you energy)
3. Tell Your Partner
One of the fun sides of being pregnant is getting to tell your partner and friends (when you’re ready to announce your pregnancy).
For all 3 of my pregnancies, I was so excited that I would tell my husband the moment I found out in a text message.
You can do that or you can surprise your partner with a cute little picture or gift.
Here are a few pregnancy announcement ideas to tell your friends and family.
4. Learn The Signs Of Miscarriage
It is always best to learn and know what to expect (& I hope with everything in my heart that you don’t experience this type of pain)
Early signs of miscarriage in the first trimester:
- Spotting or bleeding like menstrual period
- Abdominal Pain
- Lower Back Pain
Never ignore signs that seem severe or persistent. It is better to learn that you need to take it easy than to learn your baby has no heartbeat or you are having a molar pregnancy.
Miscarriage is not something you should feel ashamed about and you should talk openly about it if you happen to experience it. It used to be taboo to even mention and yes it is very emotional.
(I know, I’ve had two back-to-back miscarriages and it still hurts to talk about but I do it to bring awareness).
Being open and realizing that 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage can make you feel less alone.
How To Budget & Save For Baby!
With a new bundle of joy comes a lot of new expenses. Things like insurance, deductibles, new items needed for the home, and OMG do you really need all that baby stuff?
You can get a take free Prenatal Course by a Labor & Delivery Nurse Hilary from Pulling Curls. Just sign up HERE!
Try these simple hacks for a luxurious baby shower on a tight budget!
5. Verify Your Insurance And Doctor
During this first trimester phase, you should give your insurance carrier a call and ask them what you are covered for as well as what you need to pay out of pocket after you give birth.
- Ask how much your deductible is
- Verify how many ultrasounds are covered
- What is covered if you are considered a high risk pregnancy
- What happens if you deliver early
- How to grab a free breast pump from them
You also want to make sure that your doctor is insurance approved to avoid paying any more out-of-pocket expenses.
Second Trimester Problems & Solutions
6. How To Get Better Sleep In The Second Trimester
Once you get to the second trimester one thing becomes very clear. Your bladder is your baby’s bouncing ball. You will need to go pee – the moment you finish going to the restroom. No lie.
Getting a better night’s rest sometimes seems impossible when you have to wake up and go potty CONSTANTLY. The best thing you could do is go potty before you lay down. Like literally the second before laying down.
And the second thing you can do is invest in a pregnancy pillow. Don’t worry I wrote all about my favorite pregnancy pillow that helps increase your sleep right here.
7. When Do I Find Out The Sex Of Baby?
Ahh, the wonderful second trimester, your morning sickness is hopefully letting up (Hopefully), you feel and look pregnant! You told friends and family you are expecting! AWESOME!
You may also start to feel a little like your old self again.
So during your 20-week ultrasound – known as the anatomy scan, you will find out the sex of the baby.
Your ultrasound technician will try their best to get a view. The sex may not be why they do the anatomy scan but it is the fun part about the ultrasound.
Don’t forget to grab your free trimester checklist – we’ve broken down each trimester with what you need to do, what your partner can do, and what to ask your insurance carrier. Grab it at the end of the post.
8. What Happens During The Anatomy Ultrasound Scan?
Your ultrasound technician is looking for any abnormalities and this is when they check for things like spina bifida, down syndrome. They check your baby’s heart, head, and every inch of them to make sure they are growing accordingly.
9. When Should I Create A Baby Registry?
So many companies offer free items for choosing them to host your virtual baby registry.
By far my favorite company to do baby registries with is Amazon! They offer the FREE Baby Welcome Box (a $35 value) after completing their checklist!
Create your Baby Registry now! Go through the checklist & order your Baby Welcome Box! It takes 3 steps and you can do it all from your phone.
10. What Tests Will I Go Through In The Second Trimester?
- Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) – they will draw your blood and check for things like spinal bifida and down syndrome. If positive they will do an ultrasound or amniocentisis to confirm. Normally performed between 15 – 20 weeks
- Ultrasounds – a non invasive way to view your baby and measure/check for any abnormalities. Usually done at the 20 week mark
- The Glucose Test – usually done between 24 – 28 weeks, well go more in detail about this test below.
Besides the normal, everyday test that comes with going to your OB every month of your pregnancy – blood is drawn, pee test, blood pressure check, weight gain tracker.
11. Do I Need To Drink The Glucose Sugar Drink?
The glucose test that your doctor will perform checks for gestational diabetes.
What you can expect from this test:
- Fasting before the exam
- Then you will be given a drinkable solution (usually orange flavored)
- After the drink you will sit for an hour then
- Get some blood drawn.
A few mamas I know have requested to skip the glucose test because it makes them feel sick, and the fasting makes them feel weak. They have let me know that:
- Your Dr. may ask you to take your blood every day for a week, like a diabetic would.
- Some Doctors have access to give you a gummy bear that acts the same way the solution would.
*Always ask your doctor if they have an alternative if you do not feel comfortable taking the glucose solution.
12. Antepartum Depression
They say that pregnancy is one of the happiest times in a women’s life. What happens when that is not the case?
Antepartum depression is just like regular depression but you’re pregnant. So your hormones are raging even more!
It is serious that you talk about your feelings with your partner and Doctor.
Mental illness is not a joke and you should be taking care of your mind just as much as you are your body. If you are feeling suicidal, have thoughts about hurting yourself or your unborn child you should seek medical help immediately.
The Third Trimester Break down
13. I’m Scared About Going Into Labor – What Can I Do?
To remove some of that labor and birth anxiety take a class with your partner to be fully informed!
This is the BEST class on Labor for couples. It is taught by Labor & Delivery Nurse Hilary from Pulling Curls. It is one of the best investments you can make to reduce your common fears and questions about birth.
14. Common Fears About Birth
A very common fear that new and expecting moms have is wondering if they will poop on the table. I shit you not. Pun intended.
Second to that fear is wondering if they will rip or tear downstairs while they are pushing.
A lot of moms do not even realize that they went number two until a partner tells them about it later.
The second scare of tearing while pushing is dependent on many things.
- Like did you know you can reduce your chances of tearing by practicing your pushes.
- Relaxed, longer pushes give your vagina time to stretch and allow for an easier transition.
- Doing a perineal massage during your second stage of labor can also help reduce the risk of tearing.
You can learn so much by taking this course taught by an actual labor and delivery nurse.
15. Third Trimester Tips
- Don’t forget to do these 3 simple tasks by the end of your third trimester
- Learn about the most natural thing that DOES NOT come naturally – Breastfeeding
- Even if you plan on natural birth – learn about cesarean sections – especially emergency cesarean’s
- Don’t waste any time when you have your newborn Get the best Maternity Advice (even if your maternity leave is short this post will help you make the most of it *it’s one of our most sought after posts!)
I know it can be scary to be a first-time mom going through everything pregnancy.
The Fourth Trimester -> Postpartum Recovery
Postpartum recovery is part of the process of becoming a mother. You are going to be more emotional than you are now, your appetite is going to soar and you are going to feel different about your outlook on life.
16. Resources To Help You Recover After Child Birth
I know he is a lot of information and a lot of different things to go through.
Just remember to take each trimester as it comes, and continually come back and go through these resources that are here for you!