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So you’ve just taken a home pregnancy test, and it’s positive? Don’t panic! For some, it’s time to celebrate. Others might be taken by surprise. Whether it’s your first or fourth, finding out you’re pregnant is a life-changing and pivotal moment. Feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next is normal! Here are your next steps:
Booking an appointment with your local GP is one of the first things you need to do after getting a positive home pregnancy test. This will allow the doctor to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test, estimate your due date, refer you for an ultrasound if applicable, discuss any changes to medications you’re currently taking and order your antenatal blood tests. These will include:
This is a great time to see a clinical nutritionist if you’re not already for a nutritional assessment and supplement advice. There are many ways a clinical nutritionist (like Court) can support you through your pregnancy and into postpartum. Meeting your nutritional requirements during this period has been shown to:
The nutritional requirements of pregnancy are significantly higher than when you’re not pregnant. Taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin will assist you in meeting these nutritional requirements. Fertility supplements are a minefield; it can be hard to know what to take and what will just be a waste of money! During pregnancy, a high-quality prenatal supplement will help prevent complications for you and your baby, reduce the risk of miscarriage and help you meet your nutritional requirements. When choosing a prenatal vitamin, it is important to consider:
However, prenatal vitamins are not enough to meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy. You also need to be getting a range of nutrients from your diet. Seeing a clinical nutritionist ensures you’re meeting your nutritional requirements for your and your child’s health, now and into the future.
A range of foods are considered unsafe to consume during pregnancy. Foods to eat or avoid when pregnant from NSW Food Authority is a wonderful resource to refer to when considering what is safe during pregnancy. It is important to be aware of your caffeine intake. The recommended caffeine intake in Australia during pregnancy is a maximum of 200mg of caffeine per day. This is equivalent to:
You probably already know that drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy aren’t safe. If you enjoy either of these, it’s time to stop! It is important to remember there is support to help you in reducing your alcohol intake and smoking, so please speak to your health care practitioner about this if you are concerned. It’s also important to establish healthy stress management techniques. Pregnancy can throw a lot of curve balls your way, and having strategies in place can help manage these.
In Australia we have many different models of care available beyond deciding if you’ll be going private or public. Things to consider:
If you’re unsure about the model of care you’d prefer, Australian Birth Stories has many podcast episodes and articles discussing different models of care and birth options. In some areas you will need a referral to your preferred model of care early in your pregnancy, so thinking about this early will help you to make an informed decision.
If you’re interested in taking any supplements, please discuss this with your practitioner to ensure you’re taking the correct dose and form for you. This article is not intended to be medical advice and is purely for education purposes.