Whether you’ve been trying for ages or you’re faced with a surprise, finding out that you’re pregnant is a momentous occasion. In the most literal sense, your life—and that of your partner or existing children, if applicable—will never be the same. From the excitement of imagining your future child and baby name meanings to more serious considerations, a woman who’s newly pregnant has a lot to think about.
One of the first things a newly-pregnant woman will have to consider, especially when the pregnancy is unplanned, is whether you’re prepared to be a parent. Some women, particularly in an unsafe situation or with health concerns, may consider abortion while others will look into adoption as an alternative to raising a child. Whatever path is the best choice for you, there’s plenty to be considered. Legal considerations, financial restrictions, and medical conditions all come into play from the moment the pregnancy test shows positive.
Do you want your baby to be a junior or other iteration of the family line? Is a particular name common in your ancestry? Paging through a book of names or browsing your family tree, there are plenty of sources of name inspiration available. If you want a name with a particular meaning, research the etymology behind your favorite names. More spiritual mothers-to-be might consider name numerology in making this decision. Be sure to calculate not just the baby’s potential destiny number (the total of their full name), but their active number (using their first name), hereditary number (last name), and soul urge and personality numbers (vowels and consonants) to discover what you’ll be passing on in naming your baby. Coupled with the possible life path number based on your due date, you can learn about who your baby might become.
Beyond picking out popular names in your family tree, looking to your ancestry brings other benefits to the process of bringing home a baby. For example, family medical history has important implications through pregnancy and your child’s entire life. Consider whether your parents, their parents or other relations have any conditions that could be passed on to your baby. On a lighter note, a family brings about fun questions, like whether Grandma wants to become Nanny or Memaw.
You know to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and raw meats. But a newly pregnant woman should consult her doctor or other reputable sources for a list of foods to avoid and those that she should add to her diet. Alongside prenatal vitamins and supplements, foods can add a boost of nutrients to your body through your pregnancy and, by extension, to your baby. If your existing diet isn’t very healthy, professional recommendations can give you a great starting point; if you already eat healthfully, you’ll need to ensure that your go-to nutrition is pregnancy-friendly. Even your inevitable cravings can be a vitamin boost, depending on the urge!
Changes to Your Body
Adjusting your diet to accommodate your baby will likely bring about some changes to your body. But, of course, pregnancy makes for even more. Weight gain and stretch marks are to be expected but you might find yourself surprised by other side effects of pregnancy, especially if this is the first child you’ll give birth to. The itch of your belly as it swells, spider veins crawling up your legs, and nosebleeds are just a few of the unexpected symptoms that can pop up throughout pregnancy. Alongside changes in your sex drive, fatigue, and even vivid dreams, you might even struggle to recognize your body as it caters to your growing baby. Even post-partum, your body won’t instantly return to its previous state.
Simply put, babies are expensive—and so are the eighteen years you’ll spend raising them! From diapers and onesies to cribs and monitors, the costs of bringing home your baby are extensive. Add in medical expenses through your pregnancy and labor, formula and baby food, childcare, and the many other costs of raising a baby, the financial considerations can seem endless. Do some research to find checklists of baby must-haves and ask your friends who have children what they couldn’t be without. Set a budget for what you can spend on the essentials and be sure to shop around for the best deals on everything you’ll need, whether that’s checking your insurance coverage or hitting up a great sale on highchairs.
Stocking Up On Supplies
Finding the right must-have baby products can be a team effort, decreasing your shopping stress and the strain on your wallet. Your friends and family will be excited to spoil your little one with presents, even while you’re still pregnant. Plan a baby shower and register for gifts so that your loved ones will know exactly what it is you’re looking for. Whether they surprise you with a custom gift or check something off your list, you’re sure to receive something special. And, if you don’t get everything you’re looking for at your shower or through your own shopping excursions, don’t fret. Religious parents can look forward to baptism gifts, where gift-givers often look for especially meaningful gifts to commemorate your baby being baptized. A set of matching engraved necklaces for Mom and baby (as she grows) or a personalized frame showcasing your child’s very first photo will demonstrate how very loved your little one is from the start.
Medical Professionals & Products
From a highly-rated OB-GYN or midwife to the best prenatal and maternity wear available, you want the best medical team and supplies on standby throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Spend some time studying your insurance policy to verify that everything you’ll need is covered and find the best local health care providers to care for you through the pregnancy process. Make sure they’re the best possible fit, from copay costs to bedside manner. Then, once you’ve found your medical match, ask them for recommendations for the best products to make your pregnancy a smooth one. Between their suggestions and those promoted by your most trusted friends, you and your baby will thrive over the next nine months and beyond.
Your Child Through the Years
One of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy, at least on a mental level, will be imagining your child as he or she grows. Will they be a prima ballerina or tap dance extraordinaire and attend the best dance studio in Hillsboro, OR? Maybe they won’t be a dancer—perhaps sports academies will be a better fit. Teach your kiddo teamwork and agility alongside softball, lacrosse, baseball, or general fitness. Will they grow up to be sports stars, musicians, or doctors like the one who delivered them? It will be a long time before they’re visiting the local fitness center, gym, or dance studio, but the possibility is there. While they’re still tucked safely in your tummy, the options are truly endless.
Being a Good Parent
Ultimately, one of the most common concerns of every pregnant woman is whether she’ll be a good mom. While you’re pregnant, you’ll worry about doing everything right and, once you’re holding your bundle of joy, you’ll maintain the same. Rest assured, while you’re putting in the effort to love your child and support them as they grow, you’ll be exactly the parent they need. Long before you’ve held your baby in your arms, you’ll feel that connection—and it will only increase as they become a person of their own. You’re their mom and, even in the terrible teenage years, you’ll be the best Mommy they could ask for.
Once you’ve confirmed you’re pregnant, there’s a lot to think about. From baby names, numerology, baptism gifts, and registries to dance studios and softball teams, you’ll be concerned about everything and anything for the next nine months—and for the rest of your lives. Do your research to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and prepare for a lifelong adventure with your brand-new mini-me.