The day you get a positive pregnancy test may change your life forever. From this article, you’ll get to know what to do after you realize you’re expecting a baby.
When you get a positive pregnancy test, you may be understandably overwhelmed with emotions. You might experience something between exhilaration and panic. You might fail to understand what to do next and how to prepare for childbirth. In this article, you’ll find tips on what to do after your pregnancy test turns out to be positive.
Consider Taking a Second Test
False positives are very uncommon with pregnancy tests — but they might happen in the following situations.
- You used an expired test
- You failed to correctly follow the instructions
- You waited for too long to check the result and misread it (a faint evaporation line might seem like a positive)
- You took fertility drugs or some other medications that might impact the test
- You had a chemical pregnancy
The term “chemical pregnancy” denotes a situation where you were pregnant but miscarried shortly after conception. In these cases, you most likely wouldn’t even notice it. But your period might be a little late and an at-home test might pick up the pregnancy hormone (hCG, human chorionic gonadotropin). But again, that would be a rare case.
Make a Doctor’s Appointment
You should visit the doctor immediately if you meet one of the following criteria:
- Have an existing medical condition
- Had previous miscarriages
- Are experiencing abnormal pain or other atypical symptoms
If none of these are the case, your first prenatal visit should happen around your eighth week of pregnancy. After your first visit, you’ll need to see your doctor once a month for the first two trimesters. After 32 weeks, the visits are twice a month. After 36 weeks, you should see the doctor once per week.
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Decide on the Type of Care Provider
You might seek prenatal care from either an ob-gyn or a midwife. You might opt for the latter if you’re planning to deliver the baby at home and would like to have a low-intervention vaginal delivery. Take note that, sometimes, a nurse-midwife can request the same labs and ultrasounds as an ob-gyn.
You should rely on the assistance of an ob-gyn if you’re set on an epidural. Also, you should choose this care provider if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or other health conditions due to which your pregnancy might be characterized as higher-risk. The ob-gyn will be able to offer you medication and perform surgery if you need it.
However, you don’t necessarily have to choose between these two options. In many hospitals, you can use the services of both a midwife and an ob-gyn (the latter will be backing up the former).
Get Into Healthy Habits
You should quit smoking and drinking and start taking prenatal vitamins. The most common ones are:
- Folic acid to prevent neural tube defects
- Iron to make red blood cells for your baby
- Calcium to build bones
Your doctor will let you know which other nutrients you should focus on.
As for diet, you should consume a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. To minimize nausea in the morning, you should try to eat high-protein foods, like chicken and eggs, before going to bed. It will also keep you satiated longer.
And this is the list of meals and products that you should avoid:
- Cold cuts
- Deli salads
- Unpasteurized cheeses
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
They might house listeria, a bacteria that can cause pregnancy complications.
You should stay away from swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel as well as any type of raw fish (such as sushi, sashimi and so on). They are high in mercury and this heavy metal is toxic to the baby’s nervous system.
Every day, you should drink plenty of liquids. This will help your body to achieve the following goals.
- Produce more blood volume
- Build new tissue
- Carry nutrients through your body
- Flush out your waste
If flat water doesn’t seem too appetizing for you, feel free to replace it with sparkling water, fruit-infused H20, or watermelon smoothies (just blend watermelon with a few frozen berries). If you like coffee, you’ll need to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200 mg a day.
Keep Up With Your Pregnancy-Safe Workouts
If you’re of normal BMI, you should aim to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during your pregnancy. If you’re underweight or overweight, the recommended weight gain should fluctuate by about 5 to 10 pounds, respectively.
You should keep exercising to manage a healthy weight gain and prepare your body for additional strains. You need to be strong to carry and deliver a baby. After the baby is born, you’ll need a lot of stamina.
Pregnant women can focus on the following types of activities:
- Exercises like planks and squats that utilize the core and the pelvic floor
- Moves that engage the glutes and shoulders, work on the proper alignment of the spine and prepare you for carrying your growing frontal load
- Prenatal yoga
And these are the types of activities that you should avoid:
- Horseback riding
- Contact sports
- Spinning, yoga and other exercises in a poorly ventilated space
The fetus is vulnerable and you should never overheat it. Also, you shouldn’t practice sports where you’ll be likely to fall. You need to always stay hydrated and maintain your body temperature at a normal level. If you start exercising and feel pain, you should stop immediately.
Hopefully, this article came in handy and now you understand what to do after you get a positive pregnancy test. Make a second test to make sure that you’re indeed expecting a baby. See your doctor. Decide on the type of care provider. Switch to a healthier diet and continue carrying out pregnancy-safe exercises. As soon as you have any questions about your health condition and optimal lifestyle, consult a medical professional.