Knowing That You’re Pregnant
When you find out you’re pregnant, you may feel happy and excited, or shocked, confused and upset. Everybody is different.
Some of this may be caused by changes in your hormone levels, which can make you feel more emotional.
If you are feeling anxious or worried it will help to talk to someone, read about mental health in pregnancy.
Symptoms With A Period
It is possible to be pregnant and get your period. This leads some women to hold onto hope that they may still be pregnant, even after Aunt Flo knocks at the door. Odds are, if you got your period, youre not pregnant. Feeling pregnant on your period could happen due to:
- Normal hormonal fluctuations during menstruation
- The flu or another illness
- Fatigue or queasiness for other non-pregnancy reasons
Just like feeling pregnant before your period doesnt mean youre pregnant, feeling pregnant on your period also doesnt indicate youre expecting.
If your period is very different than your usual, then you may want to take a pregnancy test or call your doctor.
For example, you might consider taking a pregnancy test if your period is:
- Abnormally light for you
- More like spotting than a period
- Much shorter than it usually is
There are non-pregnancy reasons to have an off period. Anything from stress to illness can cause one irregular menstrual cycle.
Why Might You Think Youre Pregnant When Youre Not
You havent had access to accurate sex information, so dont know what is and isnt a real pregnancy risk, or how pregnancy actually happens and works.
If we dont know how pregnancy really happens, and what the real risks are and arent, then its going to be easy to panic everytime were near the vicinity of the most general thing sex we understand it to be related to.
Your next steps are: Reread the text above. Look at pieces like this, this or this. Try this one at Planned Parenthood, or this one at Teen Health Source. Check your local library for books like Our Bodies, Ourselves: look up the facts in sound resources. You can talk to an obstetrician/gynecologist and ask them to explain how pregnancy really does and doesnt happen. If you have been given misinformation growing up, or recently, in a way that felt so compelling you believed it, you can take some time to fact-check that with less emotional, more accurate information like Ive suggested above. You can also take some time to figure out why you believed misinformation and learn about how to figure out when information is and isnt likely to be credible, like looking into what someones agenda is who is giving it to you, what their education and other credentials are, and reminding yourself that just because someone says something is true doesnt mean that it is.
You feel guilty, ashamed or scared about some kind of sex you took part in, or being the victim of a sexual abuse or assault.
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Where Can I Go For A Prenatal Care Visit
Make an appointment with a doctor, midwife, or nurse for your care during pregnancy. Some people just go to their regular family doctor or obstetrician. Others choose to see a midwife or nurse practitioner who specializes in prenatal care. You can also get prenatal care at some Planned Parenthood health centers.
Can I Go To Urgent Care For Morning Sickness
Ah, morning sickness. Though some women are lucky enough to avoid it completely, more than 50% of pregnant women will experience nausea and vomiting caused by fluctuating hormones. If youre pregnant and are having morning sickness , you may wonder if you should go to urgent care. The answer depends on how severe your symptoms are. If you experience any of the following, you should head to your local urgent care center:
- Nausea with severe vomiting
- If you cant keep food or liquids down
- If vomiting is accompanied by fever or pain
- If you become dehydrated
These are all symptoms that could be related to hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that can require a hospital stay if left untreated. When you go to urgent care with symptoms of morning sickness, whether mild or severe, your doctor will likely give you an IV to help you rehydrate and restore your electrolytes and nutrients. They can also prescribe medication that helps ease the symptoms of morning sickness.
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Dont Expect To Do Everything Right
Are you a perfectionist? If so, take a chill pill. Mindful Return author Lori Mihalich-Levin told The List, Do not make to do lists of things youd like to accomplish during your maternity leave. As I discovered quickly, the goal of maternity leave is truly survival, not accomplishment. Dont plan to clean the garage, undertake craft projects, or make photo albums.
She suggested, Do not have a fixed idea in mind of how life will look after baby. A child care option you thought was going to work might not work out. You may have thought you wanted to go back to work after 16 weeks, and now you cant bear the thought of it. Or you may have thought you wanted to stay home with baby, but after 12 weeks, you are itching to be back at work.
Elly Taylor, a parenthood expert, agreed: Dont expect to be in control or on top of it all. Babies come with their own needs, time-frame, priorities and way of doing things and this all takes time to figure out. Plan on being a learner and not an expert, you wont want that pressure.
Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
If you havent started already, you should begin taking a prenatal vitamin right away, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . This will help make sure that youre getting all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy pregnancy.
You can purchase prenatal vitamins over the counter at most major pharmacies or grocery stores. Just be sure it has at least 400 mcg of folic acid, per the .
You can also ask your pregnancy care professional for recommendations or a prescription.
Prenatal vitamins are crucial because your babys neural tube which later becomes their brain and spinal cord develops during the first month of pregnancy. Folate helps reduce the chances of neural tube irregularities, such as those that cause spina bifida.
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Plan Ahead Before You Have Your Baby
- Find out what’s in store throughout pregnancy. The list you’re reading now gives you a feel for what happens in early pregnancy, but what else should you expect? Get a sneak peek at the months ahead with our quick pregnancy overview.
- Figure out your finances. They’re worth every penny, of course, but babies cost money. Use our baby cost calculator to get a feel for how expensive your bundle of joy is going to be in the first year. Then do what you can to get your bucks in a row.
- Get your ultimate pregnancy to-do list. Are you a planner? Do you want details? Look no further than our mega pregnancy checklist for the nitty-gritty on all your pre-baby tasks from conception until your due date.
- Brainstorm baby names. Finding the perfect baby name is one of the most exciting parts of the pregnancy journey though it can be a bit overwhelming. You don’t need to choose a name anytime soon , but it can be lots of fun to start a list of possibilities. Read up on how to pick a name and the pitfalls to avoid, and then browse our baby name inspiration lists and search for names in our Baby Names Finder.
You Think You Might Be Pregnant
Pregnancy scares can be intimidating. You might know you had unprotected sex or you might be worried that your contraception didnt work properly. Maybe your period is late, or maybe you just feel a little bit off.
If you have recently had unprotected sex or a contraceptive failure , emergency contraception is available. Although its commonly called the morning after pill, it can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. It is most effective if taken within 24 hours. Its available over the counter, without a doctors prescription, at pharmacies.
If the reason youre worried about pregnancy is because you have been sexually assaulted, there are free, confidential support services who you can talk to about the assault. You can contact these services at any stage, so you dont have to make the decision to seek counselling or support straight away if you have been assaulted. However, it is important to seek medical assistance, including emergency contraception, as soon as possible. You can present to your local hospital, although you should be aware that if the hospital is run by a faith-based organisation they may not provide you with emergency contraception.
How do I know if Im pregnant?
You might be nervous about the result, or worried about what you will do if it comes back positive, but the first step is to take a pregnancy test.
Check the box is in date and doesnt look damaged. If it is out of date or looks damaged, get a new test.
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Can I Go To Urgent Care For Spotting During Pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association, about 20% of pregnant women report spottingduring the first trimester of pregnancy, making it a relatively common experience. Usually, theres nothing to worry about if youre spotting it can be a result of a fertilized egg implanting into your uterus, sexual intercourse, heavy lifting or exercise, and even a gynecological exam.
That said, if you see more than a few drops of blood, its a good idea to be seen by a doctor. Going to urgent care for first-trimester spotting can help ease your mind and give you confidence that everything is ok with you and your baby.
When Will My First Prenatal Visit Take Place
The first prenatal appointment usually takes place in the second month, between week 6 and week 8 of pregnancy.
Be sure to call as soon as you suspect you’re pregnant and have taken a pregnancy test. Some practitioners will be able to fit you in right away, but others may have waits of several weeks . Certain OB/GYN offices also offer an earlier “pre-OB” visit to confirm a pregnancy as soon as you think you’re expecting.
Regardless of when that first appointment is scheduled, start acting pregnant once you get that positive result at home . You may be familiar with the basics, but don’t hesitate to call your practitioner’s office if you need to brush up.
And if the wait is of concern because you feel your pregnancy may be high-risk , check in with the office to see if you can come in earlier.
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So When Should I Go To The Doctor For Pregnancy For My First Appointment
If you believe youre pregnant and have taken a home pregnancy test that gave a positive result, you can call your doctor to schedule your first appointment. At your first visit, you will be administered a pregnancy test to officially confirm your pregnancy. If youre unsure about the reliability of your home pregnancy test, it is a good idea to make an appointment anyway so that you can get proper confirmation.
Typically, you should go to a doctor for pregnancy for your first prenatal exam between 6 and 8 weeks after your last period. However, you should go to the doctor for pregnancy-related appointments or at least call to speak to a physician, at any point if you have any doubts or concerns.
Take A Prenatal Vitamin
There are many good options for over-the-counter prenatal vitamins. Look for one with at least 400mcg of folic acid and make sure it includes DHA, which is a supplement that can help promote brain and eye development. DHA is also found in fish, so adding low-mercury fish to your diet is beneficial for you and your baby.
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Focus On Your Nutrition
Youre eating to feed two. So its important to get adequate nutrition for both your and your developing babys whole health. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Talk to your doctor about what vitamins are best for you. In general, prenatal vitamins with DHA are commonly recommended.
- Eat a balanced diet, avoiding foods that could be harmful to your baby, such as unpasteurized dairy and juices, certain seafood, undercooked meat and too much caffeine. Talk to your doctor about his or her specific recommendations for you.
- Be aware of what over-the-counter medications are considered safe during pregnancy and be cautious about anything not approved by your doctor.
Varicose Veins Hemorrhoids And Constipation
Varicose veins, usually found in the legs and genital area, happen when blood pools in veins enlarged by pregnancy hormones. Varicose veins often go away after pregnancy. To help prevent them:
- avoid standing or sitting for long periods
- wear loose-fitting clothing
- wear support hose
- raise your feet when you sit
Hemorrhoids varicose veins in the rectum are common during pregnancy as well. Your blood volume has increased and your uterus puts pressure on your pelvis. So the veins in your rectum may enlarge into grape-like clusters. Hemorrhoids can be very painful, and can bleed, itch, or sting, especially during or after a bowel movement .
Constipation is another common pregnancy woe. It happens because pregnancy hormones slow the passing of food through the gastrointestinal tract. During the later stages of pregnancy, your uterus may push against your large intestine, making it hard for you to have a BM. And constipation can contribute to hemorrhoids because straining to go may enlarge the veins of the rectum.
The best way to deal with constipation and hemorrhoids is to prevent them. Eating a fiber-rich diet, drinking plenty of liquids daily, and exercising regularly can help keep BMs regular. Stool softeners may also help. If you do have hemorrhoids, talk to your health care provider about a cream or ointment that can shrink them.
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Contact Your Local Midwife Or Gp
You may be able to self-refer to your local maternity unit directly for your antenatal care. Visit your local hospitals website to find out more.
Speak to your GP if you cant self-refer or if you think your pregnancy may be high-risk. For example, if you have a long-term condition, such as diabetes, or you are over 40 years old. They will tell the midwifery team you are pregnant.
It is very important to tell your GP, midwife or specialist about any medication you take. They can make sure youre on the safest medication for you and baby. Do not stop taking any medication without talking to your GP or specialist first.
You will be given a date for your first appointment with a midwife, which is called the booking appointment. This should happen before you are 10 weeks pregnant.
Morning Sickness Nausea And Vomiting During Early Pregnancy
Although its called morning sickness, it can occur anytime during the day or night. Its unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may play a role.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
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Learn Your Family History
Collecting your familys health history can be important for your childs health. You might not realize that your sisters heart defect or your cousins sickle cell disease could affect your child, but sharing this family history information with your doctor can be important.
Other reasons people go for genetic counseling include having had several miscarriages, infant deaths, trouble getting pregnant , or a genetic condition or birth defect that occurred during a previous pregnancy.
General Information For Early Pregnancy
In early pregnancy its best to lead a healthy diet and lifestyle and to avoid anything which may affect the baby in the first few weeks of development. This is discussed in more detail in separate articles, but general guidance includes:
- avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking and e-cigarettes
- drink plenty of water or water-based drinks
- continue to exercise, but avoid excessively long and strenuous exercise
- swimming is good exercise during pregnancy, however you should avoid Jacuzzis, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms because of the risk of overheating, dehydration and fainting. There are also some skin infections which can be picked up in hot tubs and Jacuzzis if the water cleansing process is not adequate
- avoid all medication bought over the counter until discussed with your doctor. If you need a painkiller, paracetamol, taken within the recommended dosage, is accepted as suitable for short term use during pregnancy
- if you are taking long term medication prescribed by your doctor, you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss this and continue until you have spoken to your GP
- try to have a healthy, well-balanced diet. Specific dietary items to avoid is discussed in detail in separate articles, however there are some general foods to avoid
- soft cheese with white or mound rind
- raw or undercooked meat, including salami, uncooked chorizo, pepperoni
- fish: avoid marlin, shark and swordfish limit tuna
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