What To Do If You Find Out You're Pregnant
Congratulations, you’re pregnant!
At this stage, you may not actually feel pregnant, or you could have the beginnings of pregnancy symptoms, including sensitive and large breasts, nausea, and you are probably beginning to feel fatigued.
Early pregnancy can feel like a bit of a secret time. It’s not quite official yet, and might feel a little bit anxious or isolated or overwhelmed or excited and you might not have many people you can talk to about it all just yet. However, you feel it’s probably A LOT as those baby brain hormones start heightening your emotions!
Some people find that they don’t have any professional support in early pregnancy. It’s possible if you’ve had IVF or any previous pregnancy complications, you might have some doctors and midwives supporting you very early on. But if you’re having a normal, healthy pregnancy, you might feel like you don’t know what to do or where to go next. So this is just to help you get through those first few weeks of limbo.
Pregnancy can feel a bit like space in between your old world your new world as a mother. And this can be a particularly strong feeling if it’s your first baby. So if you are feeling LOTS of big feelings and not sure if you should start talking about it all just yet, this blog post is for you.
Your Big Pregnancy Feelings
Those first few weeks of pregnancy can be a little crazy-making, particularly if you’ve experienced any previous pregnancy loss or conception difficulties. I’m going to share some suggestions for staying calm and relaxed.
If you are overly worried about losing your baby or wondering if you aren’t actually pregnant anymore it may just be a sign that you are indeed very pregnant because your hormones are doing their job. Maybe your body and your brain is telling your body,
‘Yep, I’ve got some hormones flying around here and I’m feeling a lot, and that is actually a pretty good sign that I’m pregnant.’
But if you’re having difficulty managing those big emotions, it’s a good time to check in with your mental health. Anxiety during pregnancy is common, and there really should be no shame or guilt about getting the help you need. Stress can have a big impact on your unborn child, so if you really feel like you can’t get control of that anxiety, worry or fear, go and get professional help.
If your feelings are overwhelming you and you aren’t sure what is normal check in with your mental health here.
But if it’s just the usual baby brain here are some other suggestions.
Some people find affirmations really helpful. You might also try meditation or breathing. Some of the mums I came across said they had affirmations that really worked for them including:
I am ready to be a mother.
My baby is safe and healthy.
I am strong and my body was designed to do this.
There’s a really awesome TEDTalk by Kelly McGonigal on how to use stress to your advantage. Isn’t in the worst when people tell you to stop stressing out? In fact, it can just make you more stressed. Every time the stress comes up then you feel even more stressed just because you know you shouldn’t be stressed, and you know how much the stress is damaging the baby. It’s a vicious cycle!
This TEDTalk called How to Make Stress your Friend is a really great one for using stress to your advantage. You may be stressed about money or relationships or anything related to early pregnancy, and this could make a big difference for you. So go ahead and watch it here.
To Tell Or Not To Tell
Many people think that they have to wait until 12 weeks pregnant before they can feel like the pregnancy is safer, and it’s true that after that the risk of miscarriage is generally down to 0.5% for young, healthy women. But, what many people don’t realise is that if you have an early pregnancy scan (a dating scan) at say, nine weeks, and the heartbeat is detected, your chance of miscarriage is down to 0.5% already, you’re already in the safe zone. If you didn’t find the heartbeat, it’s no cause for concern. It may simply mean the baby was in an unusual position.
During these early weeks, some people choose to wait before announcing their pregnancy, and others are happy to tell the world straight away. It’s a very personal decision and there is no correct answer, only what feels right for you.
If you do choose to wait, it may be worthwhile telling a couple of people at least like your best friend, or your mum, someone in your family, your sister; who you can turn to for emotional support. If anything does go wrong with the pregnancy, or if you just have a scare, or if you just need to celebrate, or if you’re having a bad day with some symptoms and side effects of pregnancy, it’s really good to have just a few key people who you can turn to.
If you have really bad morning sickness, then you may want to tell a few people. Nausea and vomiting can really disrupt your day and your ability to get stuff done. You might need some extra support and understanding.
Knowing when to tell your employer can be a little bit challenging and depends on your health, any risks or complications in your pregnancy, and also the nature of your work. Maybe you do some work that could potentially be unsafe for your pregnancy, in which case you’re going to need to tell your boss earlier. One in two women is discriminated against during their pregnancy, maternity leave, or upon their return to work. It’s the most common form of workplace discrimination in Australia. So know your rights. Go ahead and look it up in your country and find out what your rights are before you tell.
In Australia, there’s no deadline for when you have to tell your employer. The only thing you need to do is check your employer’s leave policy to find out how much notice you have to give them before requesting leave. And that may impact when you have to actually tell them that you’re pregnant. In other countries, there is actually a deadline, a date, a week, by which you have to have told your boss. Check it out for your own country.
If you decide to announce your pregnancy early it means you don’t need to fake it anymore, you don’t have to pretend that you’re not pregnant. It also means that you have more people to celebrate with. Maybe you’re just bursting with excitement, you can’t wait to tell the world, so go ahead and tell them.
Or you may prefer to celebrate privately with your loved ones.
The choice is yours!