When you find out you are pregnant, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the medical and self-care you will need in the coming months. Your mom friends may start telling you about the creams they use for stretch marks. Your partner might start getting nervous at every meal, pointing out foods you shouldn't be eating. Does this all sound a little too familiar? Then it's time to take a deep breath, relax, and get back to basics. If you do just these four things during the prenatal period, you'll be off to a good start. The rest is just extra.
1. Keep regular doctor's appointments.
If you do not already have an obstetrician, now is the time to find one. Make a first prenatal appointment, and then stick to the regular appointments your doctor schedules with you. Your doctor will give you advice and guidance at every appointment, and as long as you're following that advice, you can feel free to ignore any comments or warnings tossed your way by less-qualified individuals. Your doctor is the expert; listen to them.
2. Take a prenatal multivitamin.
Your doctor will recommend you do this, but you can get started even before that first appointment. Buy an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin supplement. These supplements make sure you get enough folate, iron, calcium, and other nutrients that can otherwise become depleted during pregnancy. If you're taking a good multivitamin, you don't have to be as worried on those occasional days when all you feel like eating is donuts.
3. Get your flu shot.
If you have not had this year's flu shot yet, head down to your local pharmacy and get it. The flu can be quite dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies, so the flu shot is an important part of prenatal care. The earlier in pregnancy you get it, the better.
4. Get plenty of rest.
Yes, your to-do list might feel like it is growing by the day, but rather than run yourself ragged, it is important that you take time to relax and get enough sleep. If you're still tired after 8 hours of sleep, you might need 10 right now. That's not abnormal for pregnant women, and getting enough sleep will help with everything, from morning sickness to mood swings.
For more prenatal care advice, reach out to your doctor. They should be your number one resource throughout this essential period.