Its a good few years since I was in this position so I was offered this post from a guest writer, and thought it might be helpful to remind you of the basics!

Women who suspect that they may be pregnant but are unsure should try to find out as quickly as possible. If you are pregnant you will need to make certain lifestyle changes, and it is best to make them as early in the pregnancy as possible. Follow the steps below if you think you could be pregnant.

1. First Steps

When your period is a day or two late, there is always a possibility that you could be expecting if you are sexually active. Even if you use contraceptives, there is no guarantee that they will prevent you from getting pregnant. The first step you should take if you think you may be pregnant is to take an over-the-counter pregnancy test (or two). In the case that you cannot afford a pregnancy test, try seeking free pregnancy tests in Illinois.

After you have gotten the same result from multiple pregnancy tests, you can be relatively sure that the results are accurate. For negative results, wait a few more days to see if your period comes. If it does, feel confident that you are not expecting a baby. If your period does not come, contact your physician to determine what could be causing you to miss your period other than pregnancy. For positive pregnancy test results, also call your physician to have the pregnancy confirmed.

2. Pregnancy Confirmation

Once you have had your pregnancy confirmed by your doctor (most often by a blood test), you will likely schedule your first ultrasound. This is a very exciting time and you will want to include your partner in the process. Although your baby will be incredibly small at this point, you will still be able to hear the heartbeat.

3. Additional Information

Your doctor will provide you with additional information on pregnancy at your first appointment. This will include information on diet and exercise, dangerous medications and helpful tips for morning sickness. You can ask your physician any questions you have at this appointment. For example, you may be wondering if a certain symptom you have experienced is normal. Your doctor will happily answer these types of questions. Further, if you know the exact date of your last period, you will be given a due date for your bundle of joy. If you are unsure of that date, you may get a loose due date that can be confirmed or changed at your first ultrasound.

4. Medical Care During Pregnancy

You will need to adhere to a prenatal care plan specific to you and your baby’s health needs throughout your pregnancy. This will include at least three ultrasounds and prenatal appointments that go from monthly in the early stage to weekly as you progress closer to your due date. Additionally, for women with higher risk factors, you may need to undergo frequent stress tests in your last months or weeks of pregnancy.

Women suspecting that they are pregnant should take a pregnancy test, see a doctor, understand the information provided by the doctor and adhere to the medical care plan prescribed to them.

Editors Note

In addition I’d add, look really closely at your nutrition at this time, pregnancy is not a time to be dieting, but not is it advantageous to ‘eat for 2 – or 22 as I think did with my first!)  Look to include really good nutrient dense food in your diet, and don’t forget supplementation. Pregnancy can be supported wonderfully with herbs too, and I highly recommend the pregnancy tea from Neuners,  This organic herbal blend has been created especially for mum-to-be, using knowledge of 5 generations of herbalism. Traditional herbs such as ginger and peppermint along with soothing herbs such as chamomile, lemon balm and lavender, result is a great tasting, naturally caffeine free blend which can be enjoyed throughout the entire term of pregnancy. Up to 4 cups a day can be enjoyed. Organically grown herbs, 100% natural, sugar free, caffeine free, GMO free, and no added flavouring. Just like all Neuner’s teas this blend uses only strictly tested premium organic quality herbs.   Read more about the brand, who just won one of our Platinum Awards