You just took a pregnancy test, and it’s positive. You even took a second test just to be sure. That’s it: you’re pregnant. Strangely, the news scares you as much as it pleases you, but don’t panic. Follow this guide to manage the first month with ease and take all the necessary steps for the next nine months.
You may need a few days where your big news is kept as a secret and where you feel the need to stay a little alone to digest the news. At the same time, you begin to make plans: how are you going to announce it? To whom and in what order? You find yourself creating a schedule with the future dad as to not offend anyone. You fear that you will not be able to keep this secret for yourself; you understandably want to remain cautious for at least two months.
Finally, it’s your spouse, stunned with joy, who slips up and who announces it to all his office. You do not even dare call your best friends for fear of betraying yourself, and you are planning the next night out or the next dinner with apprehension. You will have to find an accomplice who will replace your full glass of wine with their empty glass. You tell your parents. They are even more emotional than you, and your mother is getting back to knitting the next day.
You oscillate between relief and worry. You feel relief because you have succeeded, after a few weeks for the lucky ones or some long months of waiting. It’s good, you know the machine works. You worry because you know that before three months, nothing is definite, and that a miscarriage is often part of the big lottery of maternity. You also fear the uncertainty of the 9 months ahead, as you grow and your body transforms. You feel a small inner joy that does not dare to completely express itself, which you try to contain until the moment where it will finally explode.
Advice from a midwife: Is it okay to rejoice?
The arrival of a baby is a miracle, so yes rejoice and relax, the stress will bring nothing good! Do not listen to other people’s stories—this is your story, and it’s unique. Do not hesitate to share your fears with the person following your pregnancy. Being pregnant is a hormonal upheaval, physical and psychological. Many things can resurface, do not hesitate to see a professional in order to help adapt and to live this period in all serenity.
You will run into just about all the well-known PMS symptoms: breast tenderness, bloating, and mood swings. You see your chest swell and harden visibly, you may feel tugging and intermittent pain in the lower abdomen. Around the 4th week (7th week of amenorrhea) nausea may begin. Every symptom does not affect all pregnant women; good for you if you escape them… For others, the “nausea” ressembles a motion sickness or a big hangover. It’s an unpleasant sensation that makes you want to snack all day.
Advice from a midwife: How to avoid nausea?
Some women will not get it at all and others will have it until the ninth month, even if it remains more frequent in the first trimester … To avoid nausea, the goal is to make sure your stomach is always a little filled in the morning in your bed : Get up a little and eat a cracker or something else dry. Then, throughout the day, split your meals by eating little but often. Drink enough water. Avoid foods that are too rich, too fat, or spicy. It is said that ginger has beneficial effects on nausea… Be careful not to dehydrate yourself, and take advice from your midwife or doctor. There are treatments to help you. You can also see a homeopath or acupuncturist.
Overnight, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed by a lot of new information and words, appointments and things to think about. The most organized women will draw up a to-do list. Here is the one we suggest for this first month:
- Call a midwife, gynecologist or your doctor to have a complete blood test and an early ultrasound to date the pregnancy and know your term as accurately as possible.
- Eliminate alcohol and tobacco and have a healthy and balanced diet. Learn about foods to avoid during pregnancy, depending on your blood test results and whether or not your immunization against toxoplasmosis.
To think about:
Start thinking about the delivery method choice—where you want to give birth and the obstetrician gynecologist you would like to help you.
Thanks to Hortense, midwife, for her helpful advice.
Translation: Ashley Griffin