Thank you to Preggie for sponsoring this conversation. As always, the thoughts and opinions (and Babies-R-Us meltdowns!) are my own.
And you’re thinking, “Now what?”
You probably already know to start taking pre-natal vitamins (hello, folic acid!) and make your first of many OB appointments. You’ve probably gone ahead and cut out alcohol, massive amounts of caffeine, and your daily tuna salad for lunch.
But there are some other, lesser-known things you should do as soon you find out you’re expecting. Add these to your pregnancy to-do list sooner rather than later!
5 Surprising Things You Should Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant
1. Go to the dentist.
Because it’s your favorite place to go, right?
Hardly. But seeing your dentist while you’re pregnant is really important.
There’s this misconception out there that you can’t have dental work done when there’s a bun in your oven, but that’s only true for certain procedures. And the risks associated with not taking good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant are serious, since the hormonal changes in pregnancy can increase your risk of developing gum disease and can affect the well-being of your baby.
So keep up with your brushing and flossing routine, and make an appointment for a dental exam.
2. Start a savings account for your little one.
I know it seems early to start socking away money for baby, but really, it’s never too early.
Just think, if you put $50 aside each month of your pregnancy, your son or daughter will enter the world with $450 to their name—not bad!
Of course, that number will be even higher if you put the money in an account that earns a decent amount of interest. And when it comes to interest, the sooner you start saving the better.
3. Connect with a supportive group of other moms and moms-to-be.
The media loves to focus on the divisions between moms. It’s how the phrase “mommy wars” came to be.
But in reality, most moms agree that it’s time to forget the battles—the comparisons, the competition, and the negativity—and focus instead on supporting each other.
When you first realize you’re pregnant, you might not realize how important having that support is, even in those first few weeks. (Correction: Especially in those first few weeks, which is often the scariest time!)
Not sure where to turn? Here’s one great option: Preggie is a FREE pregnancy app and engaged community of moms that offers a safe space for sharing your pregnancy joys and concerns. You can ask your burning questions, commiserate over your latest symptoms, and show off pictures of your expanding belly—all with other pregnant women and moms who genuinely want to support each other.
What makes Preggie different from other pregnancy and baby-tracking apps is that it doesn’t spit out cookie-cutter content (there’s enough of that out there!). Instead, it focuses on providing the means for moms and moms-to-be to chat, ask advice, post photos, or just vent (because we all need to sometimes!).
Preggie has been described as Instagram meets Facebook for moms—minus the judgment and shaming you sometimes see on those platforms.
And if you want to take the virtual friendships you make via Preggie beyond your tech devices, there’s a local feature for connecting with others for future playdates or coffee meet ups.
I personally don’t know where I’d be without the friendships I’ve forged with other moms—both virtually and in-person—and it’s so helpful to make those connections and get that support right from the get-go when you first learn you’re expecting.
4. Decide how you want to document your pregnancy.
Do you want to take photos in the same position each week?
Do you want to wear a special outfit in each photo, or hold up a special sign?
Do you want to write in a pregnancy journal each month?
I know lots of moms who thought of really cute ways to document their pregnancy, but not until partway through it! Then they missed out on those special first weeks.
So decide right at the beginning how you want to commemorate these next 9 months.
(By the way, when you download the Preggie app, you get a personalized timeline with a secure journal and photo album—perfect for documenting your pregnancy!)
5. Fill up your stress management toolbox.
Stressful times are ahead, my pregnant friend.
There might be a moment when your out-of-control hormones leave you crying in aisle four of Babies-R-Us because you don’t know which diaper pail to put on your registry. (Yes, I know what that’s like.)
There could come a time when you can barely get anything done at work or at home due to overwhelming exhaustion and debilitating nausea.
Some stress during pregnancy is to be expected, but for some women, the problem becomes unmanageable—which isn’t healthy for you, and could even lead to pre-term labor or other complications for your baby.
So figure out what helps you relax—be it a good book before bed, a Saturday afternoon Netflix marathon, or a weekly walk in the park—and keep it up when stressful times hit.