I remember the first time I saw the 2 pink lines on a pregnancy test. Let’s just say, it was far from your traditional moment.
First of all, I was in a public bathroom. There was a group of pre-teen girls in there laughing and being silly. Suddenly it hit me-- this was for real. I was no longer 12 and carefree. I was pregnant, but it was very early. No one tells you what you are supposed to do in those initial days, in the very early weeks.
Until now-- As an ObGyn and mom on pregnancy #2 I am here to give you the step-by-step to navigating those early days of pregnancy.
Figure out how far along you are using the first day of your last menstrual period. If your cycles are irregular and you aren’t sure how pregnant you are, it is time to call your ObGyn. Most ObGyns want to see their patients around 8 weeks. If you aren’t sure of your last menstrual period, you have other medical problems, or a history of pregnancy complications your ObGyn may want to see you earlier. Call her!
1. Stop drinking alcohol
2. Take a prenatal vitamin: I have a guide to choosing the perfect prenatal in my Preparing for Pregnancy Workbook
3. Take a look at the ingredients in your skin and beauty products: Unfortunately, many of our beauty and skin care products contain ingredients that are not safe in pregnancy. Don’t despair! I have put together a list of my favorite pregnancy-safe skin care products
4. Get enough sleep: The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. Your body is working double time, and needs adequate rest. For an evaluation of your sleep habits, and the step-by-step instructions to creating your very own luxurious bedtime routine, check out my Self-Care Workbook for Early Pregnancy
For many of us, early pregnancy is a challenging time, especially if you’ve had a loss before. To keep myself centered in this time of unknowns, I practice the 3Cs of Cultivating Calm. Try it right now, I promise you will feel better!
Calm BODY: Take 3 deep cleansing breaths. Relax your jaw. Relax your shoulder
Center MIND: Bring yourself into the present moment. So often when we are feeling overwhelmed our mind is either in the future or in the past. Be here now. Look around you. Find something in your surroundings to be grateful for- a beautiful flower, the smell of coffee, the color blue, whatever makes you happy to be alive.
Connect HEART: Reach out to someone you love. Either tell them how you are feeling or, if you aren’t ready, just tell them you love them. Taking your challenges and turning them into human connection is always a good idea.
In addition to practicing the 3Cs, I also have a simple prayer that I practice in early pregnancy that keeps my mind tranquil and my heart full. You can find this prayer in my Self-Care Workbook for Early Pregnancy
Your relationships, your heart, are so important to a healthy pregnancy. For many years, women were told to keep their pregnancies a secret until they were “out of the danger zone.” This does not make any sense. For one, while the risk of miscarriage decreases the further along you are, a magical safe zone doesn’t exist. This secrecy around early pregnancy also leaves many who experience a loss isolated. The decision regarding when and who to tell is a very personal decision. For my first pregnancy, there were people I told right away, and there were others who didn’t find out until I was 5 months along. This time around, I’ve publicly shared my pregnancy from the very beginning. All this is to say- do what is right for you.
You don’t have to navigate this pregnancy alone! Connect your heart to other women and pregnant mommas. Join The Sterling Life Community, a place to ask questions and connect around an empowered pregnancy and motherhood. Let’s share our pregnancy experiences together!
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