When the test is positive and you have the confirmation that you are pregnant, many doubts may arise. Surely we need someone to guide us on what to do. But then we schedule an appointment with the health service, either the midwife or obstetrician, and it turns out that we are given an appointment within 2, 3 or more weeks. What do we do during this time? Let’s take it step by step.
If the pregnancy test is positive, does it mean that I am pregnant?
Yes, when two lines appear on the pregnancy test you are considered pregnant. There is no need for further testing.
When do the first pregnancy tests have to be performed?
During pregnancy, there are a number of tests that are recommended. You will see that they are also recommended to be done in specific weeks, as this is the time when they will give us more information.
There is a certain consensus that the first test to be performed is a blood test, usually between week 9 and week 11. In this analysis it is usually assessed if there is anemia or any altered coagulation factor, if there is any ongoing infection and also the glucose values. If you wish, you can also look for certain pregnancy proteins which, together with the first trimester ultrasound, can provide information on the risk of the baby having Down syndrome or Edwards’ syndrome. Some centers also offer the possibility of calculating the risk of early preeclampsia.
The first ultrasound is usually performed between 12 and 14 weeks gestation. If there are no other risk factors, the scientific evidence indicates that doing it earlier could give false alarms and is of no benefit to either the mother or the baby. In this ultrasound the pregnancy is dated, that is to say, how many days the baby has. It is important to keep in mind that the margin of error in the measurements can be one week too many or too few. If you have decided to have the risk of Down syndrome or Edwards’ syndrome calculated, certain measurements are also taken during the ultrasound for this purpose.
Is it better to advance these tests?
If you are a healthy person, with no medical history that poses a risk for pregnancy, you do not need to undergo any of the tests mentioned above. In fact, sometimes, when we advance them, we can have erroneous results that can lead to false diagnoses.
Do I have to start taking any supplements while waiting for the first visit with the midwife or obstetrician?
If there is no other disease or condition that contraindicates it, it is recommended that during the first trimester you take 400 micrograms of folic acid. Depending on the geographical area where you live and the type of diet, iodine supplementation (200 micrograms) may also be recommended. Remember that if you are vegetarian or vegan, vitamin B12 supplementation is also recommended. You can discuss the need for these supplements with your midwife, obstetrician or dietician-nutritionist.
Can I eat everything?
During pregnancy it is recommended to avoid large fish because of their high heavy metal content: halibut, bluefin tuna and shark, for example, as well as crustacean and crab heads.
It is also important to avoid drinking raw milk. Remember that there are many cheeses that are made with this type of milk and it is not recommended to eat them during pregnancy.
Raw fish is not recommended either. If you like it, you can freeze it for at least 48 hours so that the anisakis is inactivated.
Raw foods should be washed well with water and meats should also be cooked well. Remember that pickled sausages, which are not cooked, are also considered raw. This recommendation is aimed at avoiding toxoplasmosis infection. If you want to continue consuming raw meat or pickled sausage, you can freeze it. The freezing time will vary depending on how thick the piece is. The thicker it is, the longer the freezing time will be necessary.
Avoid taking medications that have not been prescribed by a doctor who knows you are pregnant. Remember that during pregnancy it is recommended to avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. If you regularly take other medications, do not hesitate to contact your doctor to ensure that they are compatible with pregnancy. In the same way, it is not usually recommended to suddenly stop treatments already prescribed.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. During pregnancy, alcohol can cause serious health problems for the baby. There is no safe amount of alcohol. Remember that the so-called 0.0 drinks also contain a certain amount of alcohol.
During pregnancy, it is also not recommended to eat liver or pâté in large quantities because of the amount of vitamin A they contain.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Continuing with toxoplasmosis, it is important that if you have cats at home you know that they could be transmitters of the disease if they have eaten meat contaminated with toxoplasmosis. Transmission is through their feces. During pregnancy, it is important that if you are in charge of washing the cat’s bowl or the place where it defecates, be careful and wash your hands thoroughly after doing so. Living with a cat is totally compatible and safe during pregnancy.
If you have other children or are in contact with small children, it is recommended that you wash your hands frequently, especially after changing the diaper or wiping the baby’s boogers. These measures are aimed at preventing the transmission of cytomegalovirus.
Can I still do sports?
You can do whatever activity you wish. It is usually recommended not to do exercises that raise your heart rate significantly for a prolonged period of time. Something to consider during pregnancy is how this sport can affect your pelvic floor.
Can I ride a bike or motorcycle?
Like anyone else, if you feel like cycling or motorcycling, it is important to be careful and protect yourself. Being pregnant does not contraindicate the use of these transports. When your belly grows, remember that the point of gravity will have changed and therefore your balance may suffer.
I have discomfort in my lower abdomen, feeling as if I am about to get my period. Is this normal?
During the first weeks of pregnancy there will be many changes in the pelvis. The uterus changes its position, it grows. This makes it very common to have uncomfortable sensations in this area.
What are the warning signs and when should I consult?
- If you have severe pain in the lower abdomen.
- If you have vaginal bleeding.
- If you have fever and you do not have any focus.
- If you have vomiting that does not allow you to eat anything.
It is very common to have a thousand doubts. Having information about what is going to happen or which tests are the most recommended can give you a little more peace of mind. If you still feel uneasy, do not hesitate to contact the team that will accompany you during your pregnancy.
We wish you all the best in this new stage!