Finding out you are Pregnant – a Woman’s Guide

It doesn?t matter if you have been praying for those two little lines having tried for years or if news that you are pregnant has come as a complete shock ? everyone feels a stab of nervous anticipation when they first find out they are expecting. So whatever your first feeling, whether it is elation or terror, be prepared for these feelings to change fairly soon.

This is the beginning of a journey, and as such, there are bound to be mixed feelings. So, stay calm, start taking folic acid if you haven?t been talking it while you try to conceive and start to ?think pregnant?; cutting out alcohol and smoking.

What Next?

The first step is to see your doctor. If you don?t have one, it is essential to register with one right away. The doctor will talk to you about the pregnancy to establish how far along you are. They will work this out from the date of your last menstrual period but give them as much info as you can; some women have bleeding during pregnancy and mistake it for their period. The doctor will talk you through the need to take folic acid and if you are a smoker they can offer you help to quit at this important time.

Your doctor will also arrange your care during your pregnancy, setting up scans, hospital appointments and any specialist care you might need.

This is the time to discuss any questions, worries or concerns you have about your pregnancy. The important thing to remember whenever you might be wondering about bringing up an issue with your doctor is that if it matters to you, it matters to them. If you are concerned about something, then however trivial it is, it is worth mentioning. Your doctor, midwife or consultant is likely to have heard every worry before and they will have all the information and help that you could possibly need.

Telling Him

Whether the father of your child is likely to be over the moon or less than happy about the news, telling him might feel daunting. There is no right or wrong way to do it, it will be best when you feel ready. Remember, just as your own feelings will probably have been somewhat mixed, so will those of the father ? however he reacts, again, those feelings may change. It’s all part of the pregnancy rollercoaster.

Taking Care of Yourself

Your doctor will answer any healthcare questions, but it is important you eat healthily and take good care of yourself. Most pregnant women will be able to continue with their exercise regime ? if you enjoy a form of exercise that you feel may not be safe then check it out with your doctor. Take care when choosing your food as well ? it is best to check up on any foods that pregnant women should avoid such as unpasteurised cheeses, rare meats etc. Again if there is a food you are unsure of, check with your doctor.

Finding out you are expecting a baby can be a difficult time, it can be a time of joy, and most often there are elements of both involved! Be kind to yourself at this time ? even if you have no pregnancy symptoms yet, make sure you get enough rest and enjoy!

The HSE has some further information