1) Things to do once your test is positive
- Take a second test. Most testers are accurate but take another for that ‘second opinion’.
- Let your GP know and make an appointment to confirm the pregnancy and start the antenatal ball rolling.
- Join up to internet forums and talk to other mums. Believe us, their advice can be invaluable, especially if you haven’t shared your news in the ‘real’ world yet..
- Start taking your folic acid (if you didn’t while you were trying). Experts recommend 400 micrograms a day in the first three months.
- Start a diary. A daily diary of what’s happening to your body and any pregnancy symptoms you have is a great way to monitor your pregnancy, and will give you something to look back on fondly once your baby arrives.
2) How to estimate your due date
“This date is calculated by adding seven days to the first day of your last period, then subtracting three months,” explains Karen Sullivan, author of Pregnancy and Birth: The Essential Checklists (£8.99, Dorling Kindersley).
“To make it simple, if your last period started on 1 February, your baby will arrive somewhere around 8 November.”
3) Key dates for your diary
You might be offered an early scan around this time if you’ve had any bleeding or problems, to confirm your pregnancy is progressing.
You’ll have had your scan so you can start letting everyone know your exciting news.
4) Ways to disguise your bump at work
Antonia Chitty, author of Family Friendly Working (£9.99, White Ladder Press) lets us in on her three-step guide to hiding your pregnancy at work.
- “Buy similar clothes to usual but in a size or two bigger than you normally wear. You’ll still look much the same, but without telltale bulges. Long tops can also help hide your growing tummy.”
- “If you’re experiencing morning sickness, mention that you think you have a bug. You can also use this as an excuse for staying off alcohol at after-work drinks.”
- “If you have a supportive boss, perhaps take her into your confidence. You’ll find it much easier to cope if someone knows what’s going on.”
5) What your first scan’s like
“For the two days before the scan I was full of dread and very nervous about what would be discovered. Adam, however, was very relaxed about the whole thing! We got to the hospital and signed in, before I was weighed and my height noted down. I went up onto the table and before I knew it, there was Baby Jones on the screen! I could see the heart fluttering away and had to move onto my side a few times, cough and bump myself up and down as the baby kept moving into hard to measure positions.”
“We were in the scan room for about 20 minutes, and had plenty of time to look at the screen and see Baby Jones sucking his/her thumb and waving. This scan was a lovely experience that had me crying with happiness. Roll on the 20-week one!”
6) NHS freebies
As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, you’re entitled to free prescriptions and dental care on the NHS. You just need to flash your handy maternity exemption certificate (which your midwife will issue) to get yourself sorted for free. Visit www.nhs.uk for more information.
7) Pregnancy changes your hair
You might well start to feel like a L’Oreal girl as your pregnancy kicks in. Your hair may go on a growth spurt due to all the new hormones in your system, so expect fuller, thicker locks from the first trimester onwards.
8) Munch your way through morning sickness
If the dreaded morning sickness is taking hold about now, make sure you keep your blood sugar levels up by keeping hunger at bay.
Go for plain biscuits, bananas and toast for easy-on-your-tum snacks, while a hit of ginger has been proven in clinical trials to help stomach upsets, removing gas and relaxing the intestinal tract helping improve your digestion.
“Cut out fatty foods too,” suggests Emma Day, a midwife at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, London, and reflexologist (www.peace-of-mind.me.uk). “The body takes longer to digest these so they are sitting in your stomach that much longer, adding to your nausea.”