I'm pregnant. Now what?

Finding out you are pregnant can bring on many different emotions, and some may feel overwhelming. It is important to take the appropriate steps to start on the right track for your pregnancy.

Here are a few steps we recommend: 

  1. Contact your provider to schedule an appointment at 6-8 weeks gestation. You can calculate this date by adding 6 weeks to the start of your last menstrual period. 
  2. If you are not already taking a folic acid supplement, start taking one. You need between 800-1000 micrograms per day.  DHA (omega-3 fatty acid) is also recommended, with a dosage of 200-300 milligrams per day. Many over-the-counter prenatal vitamins also contain folic acid supplements. 
  3. Make necessary lifestyle changes. 
    1. Stop smoking. Smoking can increase complications with pregnancy and delivery, including stillbirth, premature birth, and low birth weight. 
    2. Stop drinking alcohol. The safest approach is to avoid any drinking as alcohol can affect the growth and development of your baby and increase miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight. Heavy drinking can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which is associated with mental disability and physical deformity. 
    3. Stop using cannabis.  Cannabis is transferred into the placenta and breast milk.  There is an increased risk of preterm birth, small infants, and an autism spectrum disorder.
  4. Start eating a healthy diet. Incorporate a balance of fruits, vegetables, and protein in your diet. Cut back on foods that are high in fat and sugar, such as processed and pre-packaged foods. Avoid certain foods such as swordfish, tuna, raw fish, raw eggs, undercooked or processed meat, and unpasteurized milk and cheese as these can be harmful during pregnancy. 
  5. Discuss your current medications with your prescribing provider on the phone prior to your first appointment. Some medications can be harmful to pregnancy and the baby. Speak with your provider before discontinuing any medication. 
  6. Check-in with your insurance to determine what parts of prenatal care, the hospital stay and postpartum care are covered. It is important to plan accordingly for copays and out-of-pocket expenses.  
  7. Share your news with family and friends when it feels appropriate for you. It is important to have a strong support system both during pregnancy and afterward with a newborn.