Early Pregnancy Checklist: The Test is Positive -- What's Next?

by Carles Cavazos Brito

Pregnant ChecklistCongratulations on your pregnancy! You're starting an exciting and miraculous journey.

Even though you're in early pregnancy, your calendar will get filled up soon with monthly doctor visits, planning the nursery and making birth decisions.

Let's not forget all the amazing firsts! First ultrasounds, hearing the first heartbeat, feeling the first flutters and of course, the first kicks.

Want to get started right away? Great! You can use our pregnancy checklist to guide you from the moment of your big news!

There isn't one right way to keep track of everything, so do what works best for you!

Where Do I Start?

✔ Calculate Your Due Date!

Find out when your baby should make an appearance. Just put your last menstrual period into our pregnancy calendar and your due date will appear, like magic. To customize the calendar, you can become a member of pregnancy.org if you're not already, and the calendar will show your specific time period. Then you can follow along with your pregnancy, day by day!

✔ Tell Your Partner the News!

Your partner might have been there watching the test turn or might have already suspected and insisted you take it test. If it's going to be a surprise, we'd love to hear how you shared the news in the comments below!

✔ Choose Your Midwife or Doctor

Would you rather have a midwife or a doctor provide your prenatal care? Read through the pros of each and then find the provider that best meets your needs.

✔ Schedule Your First Prenatal Appointment

You'll probably have your first appointment somewhere around 8 to 12 weeks. Schedule it now. You can always call in with any concerns or questions that pop up before that date.

✔ Prescription Medications

If you're taking prescription medications, talk with your healthcare provider to make sure yours are safe to take during pregnancy.

✔ Start Taking Prenatals

If you've been planning a pregnancy, you've probably been taking a prenatal vitamin. If not, start them now. At the very least, add a folic acid supplement to your daily routine. This helps the baby develop in those critical first few weeks.

✔ Learn About Early Pregnancy Symptoms

With all the hormonal and physical changes happening during early pregnancy, you're almost certain to notice symptoms. Find out what you could experience and how you can prepare.

✔ Take a Look at Your Lifestyle

Do you smoke? This is a perfect time to quit. Do you drink? Read about the effects of alcohol on pregnancy. Some moms-to-be find making changes is easier when you're doing it for yourself and the well-being of your baby.

✔ Strive for a Healthy Diet

Mom and baby (or babies!) benefit from a diet that's loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats and good sources of calcium.

✔ Keep Your Fitness Routine

You can usually continue with your exercise routine, but check in with your midwife or doctor in case they have any special concerns. If you haven't been exercising regularly, ask your doctor if you can start, and then head out the door for a daily walk, a swim or other approved activity.

✔ Think About Food Safety

During pregnancy, you are your baby are more vulnerable to food borne illness. Six simple steps can help keep you safe:

1. Wash your hands well before preparing and eating food.

2. Wash cutting boards, utensils and counter tops with soap and water.

3. Rinse raw fruits and vegetables under running water.

4. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood away from ready-to-eat foods.

5. Cook food thoroughly.

6. Chill and store foods properly.

✔ Relax and Rejuvenate

Stress and pregnancy make poor partners. The combination can result in unwanted and unpleasant aches, pains and complications. Find a way to keep stress at bay.

✔ Spreading the Good News!

You might have shared a picture of your positive test or called everyone in your phone with squeals of delight right away. If you opted to wait a few days, or weeks, now's the time to plan how you'll share the news.

✔ Watch Baby Grow

Every day your tiny baby changes. Follow along with the changes in our fetal development section. You can watch amazing videos, too!

✔ Try on Maternity Clothes

For now, it's just for fun. Soon you'll be ready to not only try the different options out, but add them to your wardrobe!

What will you do first? Share your thoughts with us below!