It’s an exciting and scary experience that starts for most of us by peeing on a stick and anxiously staring at it for thirty seconds to a minute. Then you probably double check the instructions and compare the line colors, unless you’ve opted for the PREGNANT vs NON PREGNANT readout which is super convenient.
What do you do next?
Now it is time to find one or multiple health care providers, if you don’t already have them. This can range from a Obstetrician (Ob-gyn/OB), Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist (High Risk OB) Family Physician (FP), Nurse Midwife, or Midwife. Other options are finding a Doula or Postpartum Doula to help, in a non medical way, during or after labor and delivery. This seems like way too many choices but it’s important to know your options. You can start out one way and then find a practice more fitting to your needs as you learn more information. Always remember this is your body and you have choices and rights.
Hopefully before becoming pregnant you have already been doing regular medical check ins. That would be a good starting point for getting referrals for local birthing providers. If not though you can check out this article from Baby Center that can help you decide between a doctor and midwife and what option might fit you better. You can also join local mom groups online and ask for recommendations and experiences. Prenatal appointments typically start around eight weeks so don’t be surprised if you call for an appointment and find out you have to wait a little while. On that note on to the next exciting To Do!
Calculating Your Due Date
The OB practice I go to uses the first date of your last period to calculate your due date but there is a great calculator from What to Expect which can help give a good idea. Before calling to make an appointment I definitely recommend trying to have your last cycle dates handy. I personally was baffled when I realized that the medical community uses a 10 months/40 weeks cycle, instead of 9 months. Where did that extra month come from? It comes from the two week ovulation period women typically have after their period has started and the pregnancy itself is 38 weeks. Don’t get hung up on the dates and trying to pinpoint exactness though. There is no perfect method but these calculators help you and providers estimate developmental timelines.
Here are some of the websites and apps that I found helpful going through pregnancy and hope they can help you too.
The Baby Center is a great place to read articles and watch videos. They also have an app for apple and android.
Try not to get overwhelmed and give yourself the space and grace to feel all the feelings and rest however you can. I found myself falling into the cycle of feeling like I would never learn enough but over two years into child #1 and 8 weeks into growing child #2 I’ve figured out that there is such a thing as too much information.