Just pregnant - the essentials
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I'm pregnant! What now?

Essential dos and don'ts to start your pregnancy on the right track

Posted: 30 September 2009
by ThinkBaby

Congratulations on your new pregnancy! There's an endless amount for your to consider over the next few months, but here are our essential pointers to get your pregnancy off to a healthy start.


  • Take a pregnancy vitamin supplement every day. Most important is folic acid which is crucial for your baby’s development. Calcium and iron are also very important
  • Make a first appointment with your doctor to: confirm your pregnancy, start your antenatal care and discuss any medication or herbal remedies you have been taking
  • Make sure you get a well-balanced diet incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and cutting back on empty calories
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You should be getting at least eight 250ml glasses of fluids a day, or two litres (but limit your intake of caffeinated, sugary and carbonated drinks)
  • If you haven’t already, then start a moderate exercise programme which will help give you energy and lessen pregnancy aches and pains - but consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise programme
  • If you smoke or use recreational drugs then you should stop or cut back drastically. If you have trouble quitting then seek professional help and make sure your doctor is aware of any substance addition
  • If you drink alcohol then you need to either stop or cut back to very light drinking
  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Make sure you’re aware of what foods you should avoid during pregnancy as some foods such as raw fish, raw meat and blue cheeses can harbour dangerous bacteria
  • Make sure you maintain very high standards of food hygiene
  • Be particularly careful when handling pets and leave changing the litter to someone else for the duration of the pregnancy
  • Pay special attention to dental hygiene: It’s common for pregnant women to suffer from gum infections


  • Don’t start eating for two: The baby growing inside you doesn’t need the same number of calories as a fully grown human, so you only need to eat slightly more than usual, and most important is that you eat better foods
  • But even more importantly, don’t diet. Pregnancy isn’t the time to try to lose weight: If you’re not getting the energy, vitamins and minerals you need then neither is your baby and she won’t be able to grow healthily. Don’t worry about losing the weight after birth now, just eat sensibly and well
  • Don’t take vitamin A supplements during your pregnancy and avoid vitamin A–rich foods, like liver and liver products
  • Don’t take over-the-counter, homeopathic or herbal remedies, even aspirin, for any condition without getting the ok from your doctor
  • Don’t use essential oils without consulting an aromatherapy expert on which are safe for use during preganancy
  • Don’t undertake strenuous exercise and particularly not in hot weather
  • Don’t agree to an x-ray when pregnant unless it’s necessary and your health provider is aware that you are pregnant and taking precautionary measures to protect the fetus

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Discuss this story

Hi there,

Can't believe I'm pregnant! I think I'm 6 weeks, but not exactly sure.. It seems to have taken longer than a year!

I went to see the doctor today, who did absolutely nothing! I thought she would have asked me heaps of questions and examined me and all sorts - just like the book says! But no, just congratulations and book in with the midwife!

So, my appointment with the midwife is at the end of January - got to wait another week and a bit, really nervous, as I don't feel pregnant.. No sickness whatsoever, just cramps every now and then. Is it normal to just see the midwife? I thought the doctor would confirm my pregnancy or something.. Now I feel out of sorts, because I just don't feel pregnant and anxious because I've got to wait another week. Will the midwife confirm I'm pregnant? Oh god, I'm so new at this!!

I'll be 7+4 when I see the midwife, that's too early for a scan is it? Does your midwife send you to the hospital for your scans? Do you just turn up or are you given an appointment?

So many questions!! Sorry.
I don't want to get too excited just yet, not for a few weeks.

Posted: 20/01/2006 at 17:09

HI Noosha, welcome to the pregnancy pages!

I think doctors tend to be a bit understated about it at first because of the possibility of early miscarriage, so they seem to tend not to get into all the details of it until a few weeks later. That's not meant to worry you! I think that many just adopt a slightly cautious approach.

Also, it's possible that they may assume that if you know so early that you're well-prepared and have done a lot of reading around the subject and already have an idea of the dos and don'ts of pregnancy eating etc.

They don't always do a second test, because the home tests are so accurate these days. That may leave you feeling 'unconfirmed' but really, unless you do a blood tests and wait for the results, the doctor won't be able to do much more than agree that you get a positive result.

You'll get appointments for your scans and the midwife will probably lay out some of the options for birth for you but most importantly will take a uring sample, your clood pressure and weight and will explain to you how the pre-natal care works. There's so much to know that it might be an idea to prepare questions you have, as she won't be able to tell you everything!

Posted: 20/01/2006 at 17:19

Hi Noosha
It seems very strange when you realise you're pregnant and then nothing happens until your first scan (11 to 13 weeks). Your booking-in with a midwife happens after this usually, when they will talk to you about your health, any early concerns or questions and get you to have some blood tests.
It is all rather quiet at first, but after your 20 week scan things start to get more busy and by the end you're seeing someone every week.
In the meantime, you can always call your doctor or assigned midwife team if you have any worries. Otherwise, feel free to roam ThinkBaby or raise your voice in the forums!

Posted: 20/01/2006 at 17:51

Hi Noosha
Check out the article we have attached to the top of this thread and hopefully that will answer some questions for you!
Best, Laura

Posted: 20/01/2006 at 17:54

Oh boy - thanks Laura and Scribbler - you've put my mind at ease! Right, so I sit back and just wait? Ok, I can do that!

It seems like we've been trying for a lifetime, and I think I was waiting for something "bigger" if you know what I mean! More action for sure!

Anyway, thanks for that - really appreciated...

Noosha xx

Posted: 22/01/2006 at 19:58

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