CONGRATULATIONS on your recent pregnancy!
The emotions that go along with the news that you are pregnant can be excitement, joyous, cautious, nervous and or anxious. Regardless of how you have gotten to this point, there is a sense of being overwhelmed with choices and decisions that need to be made.
First things first, find a doctor that will deliver or midwife right away. You will probably want confirmation that your at home pregnancy test is accurate, and hearing it from some else makes it more real. There is a panel blood work that is required in the first few weeks of a pregnancy. Both doctors and midwives can send you for this work up, so if you choice to use a midwife it is not necessary to see a doctor. Often women are under the care of a GP, but not all doctors delivery babies. It is not unusual for GP to refer you to another GP that delivers or Ob, but they usually refer you at 16 - 25 weeks. It is my opinion that you should and have the right to ask to be referred as soon as possible. It is a special relationship that you develop with your care provider and trust is very important which grows over the course of your pregnancy. Trust is an essential part of childbirth.
The first signs of pregnancy vary from women to women. It is common to experience breast tenderness and fullness, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Your hormones start surging at about week six of your pregnancy. This is the point at which morning sickness or all day sickness may kick in. In addition to surging hormones, nausea during pregnancy can be caused by or exacerbated by emotions ( excitement, anxiety), vitamin B6 deficiency, and low blood sugar. It is important to eat small frequent meals or snacks to prevent your blood sugar levels from dipping. If your morning sickness is unbearable, there is a medication called Dicleton that is often prescribed. This medication is composed of B6 and antihistamines, that can sometimes may you foggy headed without much relief of the nausea. Acupuncture is a safe and effective option to treat many of the discomforts associated with pregnancy, especially if you are uncomfortable taking western medications.
You will undoubtedly come across lists of things to avoid during pregnancy. Much information is based on research, and other ideas are cautious opinions, such as hair dye and nail polish. It is important to avoid raw meats, unpasteurized cheeses, alcohol, and deli meats. However, the decision is yours and is based on your comfort level, at the end of the day you need to be OK with your decisions.
Genetic screening is another personal decision. For some they need to know the genetic status in order to prepare or make decisions, for others it doesn't matter what the outcome maybe and do not need any genetic information. The fist genetic test is performed between 11- 13 weeks of your pregnancy, it is call the Nucheal Translucency Test. It is a non invasive ultrasound that examines the space around the neck and the development of the bridge of the nose. It is preformed by a trained OB, and is offer to women over 35 with no cost at BC Womens if space is available or at PCRM or Genesis Fertility clinic at a cost of 600.00. Although this test is not 100% accurate, it does provide a fairly good indication if there are genetic problems with little to no risk to your baby.
Most people these days have heard of a doula, a women who supports women and their partners during the birth process. It may be too soon for you to book a doula, but it is important to at least think about if you would like to use one, as the popular doulas are booked well in advanced.