So you finally get the positive test result you've been waiting for - congratulations you're going to have a baby! But what happens next?
Nobody ever explains what you should do after you get the BFP so, to help ease you into your journey towards parenthood we share our top tips for getting through those first nerve wracking few weeks of your pregnancy....
How did you react when you first found out you were pregnant? Did you make any big changes to your day to day life? When did you let friends and family in on your special secret? Share your stories with us on the AskBaby forums.
- Test again - Provided you've followed the instructions home pregnancy tests are highly accurate so if you've got a positive result the chances are that you are pregnant. However, many women like to test again just to be sure. While this isn't strictly necessary it can give you the reassurance you need that the result was correct and that it's time to get excited!
- Be prepared to be surprised - Finding out that you're pregnant is always overwhelming, even if it's something you've wanted for a long time and your initial reaction might not be what you expect. Don't be surprised if you feel scared or nervous as well as happy, having a baby is a life changing event and it can take a while to get used to the idea that you're going to be a parent. The same applies to your partner, try not to get upset if they don't react to the news in the same way as you, we all deal with things differently.
- See your GP - Soon after getting a positive pregnancy test result you should book in to see your GP. While they may not be quite as excited as you'd hope them to be they will be able to arrange antenatal care for you and answer any questions you may have about what you should/shouldn't do during pregnancy. If you are currently on medication your doctor will also review its suitability for use in pregnancy.
- Stop drinking - Current government recommendations suggest that you should give up alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy so while it's tempting to get a bottle of bubbly to celebrate you should just make do with orange juice! You should also try to cut down on the amount of caffeine you consume in teas, coffees and fizzy drinks.
- Say goodbye to the cigs - Difficult as it can be giving up smoking will be best for you and your baby but don't try to go it alone. Your GP should be able to offer practical support and advice as how you can beat those cravings once and for all.
- Get healthy - Your body needs to be as healthy as possible to grow a baby so you need to make sure that you're eating a nutritious, balanced diet. Try to give junk food a miss, start getting your 5 a day and include plenty of lean protein and wholegrains in your diet. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated and start to take some gentle exercise too.
- Boost your folic acid intake - If you're not already doing so, you will need to boost your folic acid intake so that you're getting the recommended 400 micrograms a day. Folic acid supplements are the best way to do this as it can be hard to get enough from your diet alone. It's important to take these supplements until at least the 12th week of your pregnancy as folic acid plays an essential role in the development of your baby's brain and spinal cord and can help to prevent neural tube defects.
- Decide when to share the news - While some parents-to-be like to shout their exciting news from the roof tops right away, others like to keep it to themselves until they get to the end of the first trimester. There is no right or wrong time to tell family and friends, it's entirely up to you to decide. However, it is important to discuss this with your partner so one of you doesn't spill the news before the other. If you decide not to tell, you'll need to start thinking of excuses for explaining to friends and colleagues why you've stopped drinking/ given up coffee/ started eating healthily/ feel constantly nauseous etc!
- Take it easy - Growing a baby is incredibly tiring and you'll have so many hormones dashing around your body that you might feel like sleeping 24/7. Remember things will get easier as you move towards the end of the first trimester and it will all seem worthwhile when you finally have your baby in your arms. In the meantime, make sure you look after yourself, eat well, get plenty of rest and pamper yourself as much as possible - after all you deserve it!