Whether you've been waiting months or years, you've finally got the result you've been waiting for! Congratulations! But what do you do now you're pregnant?
Indulge what you’re feeling
Feel like laughing? Crying? Jumping around to One Direction? ‘Give in to whatever you’re feeling, no matter how delirious or silly it may seem,’ says psychologist Mia Scotland. ‘It’s important to give your emotions an outlet.’
Don’t judge yourself
Once you discover a positive pregnancy test result, feeling excited one minute, terrified the next and everything in between is completely normal. ‘This is completely to be expected,’ says Mia. ‘Just take a deep breath and let things calm down for a few days, so you can process everything running through your brain.’
It may feel premature, but there’s no harm in making something of your good news. And there’s something pretty special about this secret you and your partner have. If you feel up for it, head out for dinner, or just order a posh takeaway, curl up on the sofa and chat about what you’ve just discovered.
Contact your Doctor
The first practical step of your pregnancy should be to get in touch with your doctor or midwife. If you're not already registered with a doctor, you can find your nearest here. This will ensure you are in the system and is then followed by a 'booking appointment' which takes place between 8 and 12 weeks. Don't worry, you'll get to see your baby before you know it.
Take folic acid supplements daily
If you weren't taking folic acid supplements before you became pregnant, you should start to take them as soon as you find out you're having a baby. Your recommended daily allowance of folic acid is 400 micrograms a day and you can get these from your local chemist or supermarket. Simply by taking folic acid you can significantly reduce the chance of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Now is the time to consider switching up any lifestyle habits that could harm your baby such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby, meaning their heart must beat harder every time you smoke. On drinking alcohol while pregnant, the NHS say: "When you drink, alcohol passes from your blood through the placenta and to your baby. Your baby cannot process alcohol as well as you can, and too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect their development. Drinking alcohol, especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy, increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and your baby having a low birth weight."
While we're not telling you to completely give up your morning coffee, you should keep a close eye on it as high levels of caffeine in pregnancy can result in babies having a low birthweight. Women who are pregnant should stick to 200 milligrams (mg) a day which is about the same as two mugs of instant coffee. Don't forget that caffeine is in a lot of different products too including tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks such as cola.
if you want to keep schtum about your news until the 12-week scan, you and your partner can still have fun with the we-know-something-you-all-don’t-know excitement. And it could be a really good opportunity for some relationship TLC.
1. Develop a secret code
In-jokes are all part of the fun in Coupledom (we’d feel ill if we weren’t so happy for you), so add more now you’ve got this big secret.
You’re ready to leave that party after half an hour – rub your earlobe. Rub his earlobe! You’re phoning to remind him about your pregnancy appointment – use the code words ‘Ikea trip’. Who doesn’t love flat-packed furniture, after all?
2. Get romantic
Text each other sweet messages, email him with ‘how you’re feeling’ updates and leave cute Post-Its around the house. There’s no harm in being a bit romantic before your baby arrives. After all, it won’t be long before those Post-Its say ‘Do Not Disturb!’
3. Enjoy cooking together
Instead of lamenting the fact you can no longer stomach his Friday night spag bowl or can’t get enough of jelly, indulge your cravings or new aversions by playing Masterchef together and creating new dishes.
4. Watch DVDs and have a duvet day
If there was ever an excuse to bring the duvet into the living room and watch an entire series of Game Of Thrones/Girls/One Born Every Minute, this is it.
You’re tired, may not be feeling great, and just want to rest. Rustle up some homemade popcorn and glue yourselves to the sofa.
5. Count down the weeks to birth
Ticking off the weeks until your 12-week scan isn’t for everyone. But, if you’re keen to count down, make it fun with an email alert you can both get or using alphabet magnets on the fridge.
6. Enjoy pregnancy-friendly dates
Late dinners and pub sessions probably aren’t on your wish list right now, so take the opportunity to try something new together and create a different sort of quality couple time. Any excuse to drag him to that mid-afternoon chick flick marathon…
Get to know your body
You're probably already pretty familiar with your body after trying for a baby but now you're pregnant you can take a look at our pregnancy week by week to work out what your body and your baby is doing at each stage, and the common side effects to look out for.
How did you find out you were pregnant? Let us know on Twitter! And while you're there, follow us on Facebook and Instagram too.
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Having worked for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news and product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith, Fearne Cotton and Alex Jones, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online.
A fondness for travel, chocolate and her sausage dog Luna, in her spare time. Emily also runs the lifestyle blog, Musings & More.
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