Did you just find out you are pregnant? Finding out you are pregnant can arouse a lot of emotions including joy, anxiety, relief, and worry. This is all normal. There is a lot to plan and figure out. You may be wondering what to do when you find out you are pregnant. Where do you start? In this article, I discuss different things to think about so you can start planning for your little bundle of joy on the way.
What To Do When You Find Out You Are Pregnant
*There are affiliate links throughout this post. For more information on affiliate links, click here.
Schedule a doctor’s appointment
When deciding what to do when you find out you are pregnant, be sure to schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN. It’s important you start getting prenatal care as soon as possible. In the first few months, your doctor will discuss with you the best ways to care for you and your baby. Your doctor will also perform any tests and screenings to assess for your current health situation.
If you are currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, you want to contact your doctor ASAP to find out which medications you are able to continue taking, since some medications may not be safe for your baby.
It’s important you choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with and trust to guide you during your pregnancy. If you don’t have an OBGYN or are thinking of changing to a different doctor, here are a couple of good questions to ask:
- How long have you been practicing as an OB/GYN?
- Do you have any specialized training?
- How many babies have you delivered?
- What are your office hours and how do you handle emergencies?
If you and/or your spouse work currently, you want to discuss maternity/paternity leave benefits with the Human Resources Department. How much time will you have off and is this unpaid, partially paid, or fully paid? Do you have additional paid time off or vacation days you can take after the baby is born? Do you plan on going back to work full-time or part-time? There are even some companies that have extra benefits for expecting parents. A friend of mine works for a tech giant and they provide food deliveries for new moms and cash gifts for the new baby. These are all important questions to ask.
What is the childcare plan in the first 1-2 years after the baby is born? For many parents, finances and parenting philosophies are the determining factors behind childcare decisions. There is no right or wrong answer, but it’s important to sit down with your spouse/significant other to have a childcare plan in place. If both parents plan on returning to work, there are several options for childcare:
- 1-1 nanny
- Shared nanny
- Home-based day care
- Daycare facility
- Family (paid or non-paid)
There are some parts of the country where good childcare is scarce, so I advise coming up with a plan as soon as possible, especially if you plan on enrolling your baby in a daycare facility. In the part of California I live in, most daycare facilities have long waitlists for infants. If you are not comfortable having your baby stay in a daycare facility, but would feel more comfortable having a family member watch the baby, start asking family members now about their availability. You will want to discuss any pay, schedules, and expectations of care.
Another to-do item once you find out you are pregnant is to create a new budget with your spouse/significant other. I would start with calculating any new or loss of income once the baby arrives. For example, will your new household have two full-time incomes, one full-time income and one part-time income, or one full-time income? Once you determine your household take-home income amount, look at all your current expenses and new expenses once the baby is born. Childcare and housing are usually the largest expenses for new parents. Other new expenses will include baby formula (if you don’t breastfeed), diapers, clothing, and health insurance premiums.
Some parents also look at long term financial planning, such as starting a college savings plan and/or looking into life insurance policies.
If you are interested in starting a college savings plan, there are various financial companies that offer the 529 savings plans. Fidelity and Vanguard are two options.
A lot of companies offer life insurance policies for their employees, so you want to make sure you check with your Human Resources department to see if they offer life insurance as a benefit. If not, you can check out life insurance options through companies such as New York Life, State Farm, and Geico.
Create a list of baby essentials
When I was pregnant, I really enjoyed creating my list of baby essentials and started my baby registry shortly afterward. When you create a list, it would also be a good idea to divide it up among categories such as essentials and non-essentials. Once you have your list ready, you can sign up for a baby registry through a few places like Amazon and Target.
Deciding when you want to announce your pregnancy is a personal decision.
When I first got pregnant, I found out at week 4. At that time, I ended up announcing to everyone that I was pregnant. However, I miscarried a few weeks later and found it painful to have to explain to everyone that I miscarried. Therefore, in my next pregnancy, I chose to wait 3 months before announcing it to everyone. I only disclosed my pregnancy to my significant other and best friend before the 3 month mark.
For other pregnant women, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Many women may want to disclose their pregnancy right away to everyone and this is okay. There are also a lot of fun and creative ways to announce pregnancies. The following articles have a lot of creative ideas on how to announce your pregnancy.
Deciding what to do when you find out you are pregnant can seem overwhelming, because there is a lot to do. However, with proper planning, guidance, and support, you will be ready before you know it.
You may also like: