Mr. Stork is On His Way: What’s Next?

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Congratulations on your upcoming arrival. There are several things you can do in preparation of the big day. It starts by finding prenatal care. If you don’t already have an OB/GYN, you will have to research pregnancy care in your area.

Fortunately, the internet makes this the easiest part of the process. Head to Google and type, “pregnancy center near me.” This will pull up a list of the closest pregnancy centers to your current location. Google will also show you reviews, hours, and other information. You’ll then have to determine which provider is the right one for you, but more on that later.

Before you contact your chosen pregnancy care provider, try to determine your due date -- they will ask, and it is a good starting point to determine the type of service you receive on your first visit. To do this, make a note of your last period. Add two weeks to that and you should have an approximate date of conception. The add 38 weeks to this day. That’s your due date.

Now that you know how pregnant you are, you can pick a provider. When you enter “pregnancy center near me,” you’ll be given several choices. Take a look at the reviews. The majority of providers on the list will have a star rating, which can give you a glimpse of how others view the doctors, nurses, and facilities. Once you decide on a pregnancy care provider, schedule an appointment. It will likely take a week or two before you can get on their schedule as a new patient. In the meantime, here are some tips on caring for yourself and your unborn baby:

  • Break bad habits. Smoking, drinking, and neglecting nutrition are all hazardous to your baby’s health. Now that you are nurturing a life within you, it is not just your body that you damage through making unhealthy choices. Make a point to eliminate cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs, and prioritize healthy eating and exercise.

  • Call your pharmacist. If you take any prescription or OTC medications, contact your pharmacist to make sure they are safe to continue while you are pregnant.

  • Cope with the symptoms. You will likely begin to experience fatigue, sore breasts, moodiness, morning sickness, and other pregnancy symptoms. Most of what you will feel is a normal part of the process. However, contact your doctor or visit the emergency room if you notice vaginal bleeding, severe stomach cramps, dizziness, high fever, or changes in your vision.

You are no doubt nervous and excited about confirming the pregnancy, but your appointment will come sooner than you think, and your son or daughter will be in your arms before you know it. However, between the time you search “pregnancy center near me,” until you begin official prenatal care, you can start taking care of your baby by taking care of yourself.