There might be a million different emotions flooding through you right now – happiness, stress, terror. The truth is that that is a normal reaction to being pregnant. You’re allowed to have mixed feelings! And even if it was planned, apprehension is normal.

Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment

First things first: you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will have all of the tools, learning, and experience necessary to properly check up on your health and the health of the fetus. If you have any other medical conditions that could affect the pregnancy, the doctor is going to be able to adapt their instructions for you according to your needs. They will also be able to catch signs of complications in the pregnancy early on, thus avoiding serious potential danger to the baby or yourself. See the doctor regularly during your pregnancy for this same reason.

Manage Your Stress

Pregnancy is stressful! You’re trying to figure out your future, after all, and this is a hugely important step! There are lots of ways you can go about managing stress, but the very best will be those that connect your physical and mental state. Your body is undergoing some serious changes, after all, and you need to compensate. Make sure you find pregnancy-safe pastimes that you enjoy that will put you in a healthy headspace. Prenatal yoga or some other spiritual practice of mindfulness is a wonderful idea. Also, some light exercise can be beneficial during pregnancy. It keeps your circulatory system pumping energetically and helps maintain your cardiovascular health.

Make a Plan

This one is very important, even though it might be scary. Almost before you do anything else, you need to sit down with the loved ones in your life who will be relevant in the potential raising of a child – your parents, your partner, the other parent of the child, etc. – and you need to decide exactly how you want to proceed. Consider financial and logistical obstacles. Think about raising a child in the context of your current work life. Understand what your options and resources are when it comes to parenting. Make sure you know who you could depend on to help with your child when you have to be away.

Pregnancy is transformative. It’s an entirely new stage of life. You’re going to need to plan and take lots of precautions to ensure a healthy outcome. And if you do act carefully – although you can’t guarantee any certain outcome – you can make the most of your situation.

Check out this article on how to nurture your own mental health!