Your due date is approximately 9 months + 7 days after your last period. There are free due-date calculators available online to help you with the calculation if need be.
You'll be interacting with your obstetrician-gynaecologist/midwife/hospital for nine months. You'll be putting the well being of your baby and yourself into the hands of these healthcare providers, and you will need to be happy and satisfied with them. So, if you haven't already done it, you will need to do some research, and make an informed choice about them. Though you can always change your decision later if something doesn't suit you, it's nice to stick to the same doctor/healthcare provider for the duration of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy is not easy on your body. You need to take steps to ensure that your body stands up to the challenge, so that at the end of your pregnancy, not only is your baby healthy, but your body is back to being as fit as it was before.
•Consult your doctor or dietitian and eat healthy.
•Start walking/exercise on the advice of your doctor.
•Join a yoga-for-pregnancy class. Yoga helps keep your body supple and flexible, and prevents many of the problems like back-ache that comes with pregnancy. It also helps with an easy delivery.
•If you haven't been taking folic acid already, do so immediately. Your doctor can prescribe the dosage. Folic acid helps prevent a lot of birth defects.
Many hospitals and organizations offer prenatal class that have trained professionals who teach you, among other things, yoga, stretching exercises and meditation pertinent to helping with your pregnancy. They also hold informative sessions on nutrition and awareness. Signing up for such a class can guide you through the phase of your pregnancy, and put you in touch with other parent-to-be, which is always helpful!
Take a good, hard look at your surroundings and the things you use. If you are using harsh chemicals in your cosmetics, or in cleaning agents, it is time to change them. If your surroundings or workplace exposes you to toxic chemicals or fumes, make arrangements to avoid them. Watch your food too; make sure you eat fresh, healthy, homemade food as far as possible.
There are several things you'll need once you are pregnant, things you never thought you'll need!
• Books on pregnancy. Keep a book on pregnancy handy, one which you and your partner can read during your pregnancy, and know what is happening with your baby, with your body, and how to handle things.
• Boiled sweets. Remember those hard-boiled confectionery sweets? The lemon and orange pops you loved as a child? Time to buy them again! Those are great for combating morning sickness. Sucking on one before getting out of bed in the morning helps! Keep some in your handbag too, to ensure your shot of sugar when you suddenly find yourself very tired during the day.
• Body pillow. As your pregnancy progresses and your stomach grows, you will find it increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep at night. A good pillow, over which you can wrap your legs, or against which you can support your tummy goes a long way in getting you that much needed shut-eye.
• Comfortable bra. You might have already noticed that your breasts are growing and are tender. Buy a comfortable, cotton bra without underwire, preferably one size larger, to keep you comfortable. These bras will last you through your breastfeeding days too.
• Shoes. You will need comfortable, soft, flat shoes during pregnancy to keep you comfortable. Uncomfortable shoes might aggravate your backache, and put strain on your legs that are already under stress because of your growing weight. Ensure that the shoes are not slippery. Remember that your feet might swell later into your pregnancy, so get something that is roomy.
• Loose clothes. Go in for loose, cotton clothes that you will grow into as your pregnancy progresses. There are a lot of maternity fashions available now, but buy sensibly. It is not worth spending thousands to buy something that you can wear only for a couple of months!
• Lotion for your tummy. A growing stomach stretches the skin, and can be really itchy. A good low-in-chemicals moisturising lotion or plain coconut oil will relieve the itch, and keep you comfortable.
A pregnancy journal is a great way to not only keep a track of changes in your body, and note down physical or emotional feelings, but will be a great repository of memories to look back on later!
As your pregnancy progresses, you'll know what else to buy that is particular to your needs! Meanwhile, this list should give you a good start.