What to do When Pregnant for the First Time

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Wow, you are pregnant! Congrats, mama! This is an amazing thing. I am so happy for you and the journey you are about to embark on. Welcome to your first trimester; below are tips on what to do when pregnant for the first time.

I am talking about that first moment after seeing those two pink lines, plus sign, or the word ‘pregnant,’ depending on the test you took.

I remember the first time I saw a positive pregnancy test, and even though I wished with all my heart it would be positive, it was still the biggest shock of my life.

It had taken me over 2 years first to become pregnant (once we officially started trying). We were to the point that we were ready to try IUI or IVF in the coming months.

So when I finally saw those two pink lines, I was ecstatic, overwhelmed, happy, sad, upset, you name it, I felt that emotion. It is the weirdest feeling ever, but so happy, which brings me to the first thing you should do when you find out.

Pregnancy Tips for First-time moms

1. Breathe, Mama!

You are no doubt going through an array of emotions, and that is 100% OK. I did not know what to feel when I found out. The emotions I went through at first were insane. First, I was happy, then guilty for feeling happy because I didn’t know the first thing about raising a baby.

Also, I was confused because I had already accepted getting pregnant wasn’t going to happen so easily, and then it did. I was excited, thinking about decorating a nursery and all the things I would teach this new baby. Yet I was so scared (I did not know the first thing about raising a baby).

So that is why the first tip for new mamas is to breathe! All these emotions are okay and normal, and it is going to be OK! Just let yourself go through all the emotions and process this HUGE news.

2. Tell your spouse.

When you first see a positive pregnancy test, one thing to do in your first trimester is to tell your spouse. Of course, this is a no-brainer. But, how you tell them is a different story.

There are so many cute and fun ways you could tell your spouse you are pregnant, whether this is your first, second, third, or even fourth and above.

For my first, I did not do anything fun to tell my husband. I had taken the test in the morning while my husband was at work. Once he came home, I was still so emotional, I ended up just blurting out to him, ‘I’m Pregnant!’ right before we were going to bed.

We had been trying for so long, and I was so happy and scared; I just felt lost, so I didn’t have time to plan something cool, but I wish I would have.

For our second, I had my daughter, who was about 1 1/2 at the time, give Daddy a new book to read. ‘Hello in there! A big sister’s book of waiting’ was the title. He paused midway through reading the title and looked up at me; it was an extraordinary moment.

big sibling book for pregnancy announcement

My daughter ended up loving this book and would request to read it all the time. It has little flaps that are mommy’s growing belly, and you lift them to see the baby inside. We had to tape some of the pages and flaps back in because she read it so often. It is such a cute book; you can find it here.

No matter the way you tell your spouse, it will be special because it will be something between just the two of you, and it is AMAZING. You have created a life together!

1st Trimester of Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts for your Diet

3. Stop any unhealthy habits.

Again, kind of a no-brainer, but yes; NO alcohol, NO smoking, NO drugs, and LIMITED caffeine. The risks are too great for the baby. It is so not worth it, so take care of your body and the baby growing inside and stop any bad habits you may have that could harm the baby.

Caffeine is okay in moderation. For my first pregnancy,  I did not have any at all.  I completely stopped drinking coffee and only had decaffeinated tea. I loved this lemon ginger tea, and BONUS, it is a great remedy for morning sickness.

For my second, I would indulge in a few sips to a half of a cup of coffee. Because yeah, being pregnant with a toddler in tow is ROUGH; mama needs a little caffeine.

You are allowed about 200mg per day while pregnant, which equals about one 12 oz cup of coffee. Quite a bit, actually. But, if you are an all-day coffee drinker, be sure to cut back. And always consult with your doctor first.

4. Reassess your diet.

pregnancy diet foods. dos and don'ts of pregnancy for your diet

Once you get a positive pregnancy test, one of the things you really need to do is reassess your diet for the first, second, and third trimesters. There will be different needs in each trimester.

So, now that you are pregnant, starting in your first trimester, there are things that you should NOT eat. Some of them are no big deal, but others are like, WHAT!! I can’t have that…. Well, that sucks. But it is the best for the baby, so I suppose 9 months is not a big deal.

The biggest culprits are raw fish, so NO sushi. Some of you are like, no big deal, I don’t like sushi, others are like, NOOOO!!!… I was the latter. I love sushi, so I could not wait to have it; I think that was my first meal out once I braved going out to a restaurant with a newborn.

Another is raw/runny eggs. So no cookie dough, unless it is eggless, and no sunny side up, or over easy for awhile. Sorry, mama. Find some yummy scrambles for the next 9 months.

No cold cuts unless cooked or heated up. Deli meats could contain Listeria, a bacteria that is detrimental to your developing baby. It might be easier to go without. Deli subs with the meat hot are just not the same.

This was the hardest for me. I CRAVED deli subs with my 1st pregnancy—specifically, Jersey Mikes, Original 13. If you have ever had it, you know what I’m talking about. I wanted one every day.

It was the WORST craving ever for a pregnant woman. Yes, I think I did indulge twice during my pregnancy, my husband will probably say more, but I tried my best not to give in.

Other foods to avoid are soft cheeses, sprouts, undercooked meat, unpasteurized juice or milk, and fish that may contain mercury, to name a few.

Then make sure to add superfoods to your diet during your first trimester to get the nutrients you need for your growing baby. These superfoods can also help when morning sickness starts. Wondering what superfoods you should add to your diet?

>>>Get a FREE Printable ultimate Superfood list!

Check out this post with the top 5 superfoods you should include in your pregnancy diet. These foods will keep your energy up and provide your baby with the growing power they need!

5. Schedule 1st prenatal appt.

After a positive pregnancy test, one of the most important first trimester’s must-dos is to call the doctor. Hopefully, you already have an OB/GYN you like; otherwise, find a pregnancy doctor immediately. Then, call to set up your first prenatal appointment.

Things to do when pregnant for first time

The advice nurse on the phone will most likely ask about your last mensuration and early pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing to determine the best time to set up an appt. They may take a blood test during your first appointment to confirm, depending on the timing.

During the first prenatal visit, you may or may not get an ultrasound. For my 1st pregnancy, they did not schedule my 1st appt until around week 8, basing the timing according to my last menstruation to have an ultrasound.

I was still breastfeeding my daughter for my second pregnancy, so I had not had menstruation since before becoming pregnant with her. They ended up scheduling an appointment ASAP to confirm pregnancy and figure out how far along I was. Since it was so early, the first couple of ultrasounds were inconclusive.

Your first appointment is mostly to get a schedule of all your future appointments, confirm your pregnancy, ask any questions you may have for your doctor, and get lots of info regarding the next 9 months of your life.

Related post: Weird Pregnancy Symptoms no one tells you about.

6. Prenatal vitamins.

One of the first things to do in your first trimester is to take prenatal vitamins if you aren’t already.

I loved the gummy variety. I took the Vitafusion Prenatal Multivitamin Gummy. They were easy to take and sometimes helped with nausea (’cause that would be the only thing I could eat that morning), and they were super yummy.

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Tips for your prenatal vitamins: ensure they have Folic Acid, extra Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin D. Ideally, if you were trying to get pregnant, you should already be taking them, but if not, start ASAP. These extra nutrients not found in multivitamins are super helpful for the baby’s brain, bones, and development in general.

7. Look at some pregnancy apps to download.

One of the first things I did when I saw that positive pregnancy test was downloading an app to start tracking my first trimester.

There are many great apps out there today to help track your pregnancy and give some fun info along the way. Some of them also show some 3D animations of your growing baby, which is cool to see.

I loved ‘What to Expect’ and ‘The Bump.’ I was excited to see what type of vegetable or fruit resembled my baby’s size each week.  They also give great info on what the baby is starting to develop at that time and any different symptoms you may or may not be feeling.

8. Start thinking about what you want for your birth plan.

Now, you have 9 months to decide what you truly want, and, to be honest, the whole plan may go out the window depending on the circumstances of labor at the time.

But, my tip for first-time moms is to start thinking about your birth plan during your first trimester. Try figuring out everything you want if you could have things your way during labor and delivery.

writing birth plan

Start researching your expectations and preferences you may have for the birth of your child. Example: epidural, people in the delivery room (if so who), music during, lighting choices, vaccinations for baby right after, circumcision, etc.

There is a lot to think about and research during the next 9 months. Even if the birth doesn’t go exactly how you plan it, at least you will be educated in the decisions you may need to make during labor and delivery.

9. Pregnancy announcement

Depending on how you feel, you may want to wait 12 weeks before publicly announcing your pregnancy. This gives you some time to plan an exciting announcement for friends and family.

For my 1st pregnancy, we ended up telling my immediate family around 6 weeks and then told some friends and other family members personally a few weeks later. Then, we announced over social media for the rest of our friends after 3 months with a cute post.

With our second pregnancy, the timing ended up being around 2 months during Thanksgiving. So, we were able to announce at Thanksgiving to all of our close family in person. If this is your second pregnancy or beyond, check out these adorable pregnancy announcement ideas you can do with siblings.

Our daughter was involved in the pregnancy announcement for everyone else. We included a picture of her reading her big sister book on our Christmas card and sending it to all of our close friends.

Then on New Years’ Eve, I posted an official announcement on social media for all to see. There are so many fun ways to announce your big news.

Tip: Get it on video! These will be memories to cherish forever.

You may not be able to find out the sex of your baby until around 20 weeks unless you happen to do a blood test. But until then, you can predict the sex with Old Wives Tales and then see if it comes true when you know for sure.

First Trimester Checklist for New Moms

Keep track of what you need to do during the first trimester of your pregnancy. This checklist will help you stay organized throughout the beginning of your pregnancy.

>>Free Printable First Trimester Checklist, click on image below<<

First trimester checklist for new moms

Now you know what to do in the first trimester when you are pregnant for the first time. Once you do all these things in your first trimester, you are well on your way to a great pregnancy. Congrats again on your amazing news and good luck.

What were the first things you did when you found out? Did you have a big reveal to your spouse or family? Share below!

Related Post: How to pack the perfect hospital bag!

What to do When Pregnant for the First Time
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15 thoughts on “What to do When Pregnant for the First Time”

  1. This is an awesome list! Very useful information and exceptionally helpful! Although I’m not pregnant or anywhere close, I hope to come back and use this info one day.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      I wish I would have known these for sure my first time getting pregnant, so you are already ahead of the game! Thank you for reading and I hope you get to use this list some day.

  2. I love having kids but my pregnancies are not always pleasant. Throughout the first and half of the second trimesters, I am unable to keep anything down. I mean even water comes right back out as soon it goes down. So I didn’t get to do most of the stuff on your list, but I won’t tread it for anything in the world.

    1. Hi Raina,
      Pregnancy can be extremely difficult at times. I found it so amazing how I seemed to forget all the rough times during my pregnancy, though, when I saw my beautiful baby for the first time. Such an amazing experience.

  3. This is an awesome list! We waited to tell anyone until about 12 weeks with ours because I had had two miscarriages and told when I found out. It’s quite horrible when someone asks about how far along u are now when you had a miscarriage a few months ago because you announced it too early. We lost one right at 12.5 weeks and that was very hard for us but I soon got pregnant with my oldest daughter So it was a blessing in disguise.

    1. Hi Felicia,
      I’m deeply sorry for your losses. Thank you for sharing. My husband wanted to tell people right away for both pregnancies but I was terrified of that very thing happening. It was the longest 3 months ever! I’m so glad you finally got your rainbow baby, what a blessing!

  4. Wonderful list. I like all the points. The most exciting part is telling the spouse yes and family members πŸ™‚

    1. I was so excited to tell my spouse! I’m glad I was able to hold it in though the second time and plan an announcement for him. It was so worth it.

    2. When I found out I was pregnant I called my husband (because I went to a doctor to confirm) and told him over the phone (because I couldn’t wait). I told him I was pregnant and he just said ok and hung up the phone. He was in shock LOL. And then after 10 minutes, he called me back screaming with joy 😁 And we also told our family right away but waited around 3 months to tell everyone else.

  5. This is such a great list Heather! I did almost everything in this order… well my mom had to remind me to breathe LOL.
    The only thing on your list that I didn’t do is download any apps but I didn’t even have a smart phone when I was pregnant. It would have been awesome if I had thought of it though.
    And one thing I did which was very important for me was see my psychiatrist – in fact that was my first appointment since I was on 2 different schedule 5 medications and I was terrified that they would be dangerous for my baby, but I also knew I could not just go off them immediately and on my own without his guidance. It was honestly such a rocky time for me since I was not planning on getting pregnant so it was a huge shock.
    But things have a way of working out and that little surprise is now a beautiful 7 year old girl with a 5 year old brother.

    1. Hi Lynne,
      Yes, I’m starting to see that things always have a way of working out for the best. Even when it doesn’t seem that way at the time.

  6. I’m only planning to have kids about 4-5 years from now and it scares me quite a bit. But this list will definitely makes things less stressful and scary. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      I was scared my entire first pregnancy, but I think everyone is. Once you have the baby though, love trumps all the scary feelings, it’s amazing!

  7. These tips are AWESOME! My pregnancy was completely unexpected and I remember thinking to myself… “okayyy… sooo do I need to go to the hospital orrr” haha! I had no idea what to do or who to call! I wish I had seen some of these tips back then, it would have really calmed me down! πŸ˜€

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Thank you so much! 😊 Yeah your brain definitely goes into overdrive when you first find out your pregnant. It can be so overwhelming!

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