Positive pregnancy test – now what?


by Emily Thorpe |

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.’

Celebrate!

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.

Look at your lifestyle

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."

Monitor your caffeine

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.

Enjoy some time as a couple

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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?

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.

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.

Eat a healthy diet

If you're aware your everyday diet could use a little work, it's worth sitting down and taking a closer look at what swaps you could make to ensure you are helping to fuel your body (and your baby!) as well as you possibly can. Discover the best foods to eat during pregnancy and don't forget the food to avoid during pregnancy. Yep. Goodbye Camembert.

Think about taking up exercise

Exercising during pregnancy will ensure you stay fit and healthy, as well as helping you deal with stress (which there is a lot of during pregnancy!). If you're nervous about exercising while pregnant, we'll fill you in on absolutely everything you need to know from the dos and don'ts of how to exercise safelythe best exercises to keep you in shape, where you can find them and even what you should wear.

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