(There are lots of places online to read about how big your baby is, whether he can hear yet, or how long her fingernails are. We thought we would provide you with a list of to-dos, for each month of pregnancy. Our culture’s convention is that pregnancy is 40 weeks long – which is 10 lunar months or 9 calendar months. Because most women seem to count their pregnancies in weeks, we will count in lunar – 28-day – months.)
Eight Weeks (the First Two Months)
The most confusing thing about being eight weeks pregnant is that you are only SIX weeks pregnant! Your pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period, which can be confusing since that was probably two weeks before your egg and sperm met! But your doctor or midwife will count from there, so you might as well too.
How you might feel before Eight Weeks Pregnant:
You might think “Wow! It worked!” or “Oh no! What now?” or both. You might have some early symptoms of pregnancy – sore breasts, moodiness, cramping, a little spotting (implantation spotting around day 21-22 of your cycle is normal and nothing to worry about) – or you may have none of these.
Things you may do before Eight Weeks:
- Tell people you’re pregnant – your partner? Your parents? Your friends? When do you tell them? How? It’s all up to you. There is no right way or right time to do it. Some women wait until the end of the First Trimester because of the small risk of miscarriage during this time.
- Decide what kind of care-provider you would like – do you want a doctor or a midwife?
- Find out about the family physicians in Victoria who provide maternity care with the Victoria Medical Society.
- Find out about the midwives providing care in Victoria from the Midwives in Victoria, or from the BC Midwives Association.
- See your chosen care provider. If you can interview a couple or care-providers and decide who you like best, that is ideal. But often, given the demand in Victoria for midwives and maternity care doctors, there is not much choice.
- If you live on Vancouver Island, you can register with Public Health online.
Before Eight Weeks of Pregnancy, your care-provider will probably:
- ask about your medical history and get to know you a little
- examine you and weigh you and measure your height
- check your blood pressure
- check your urine for protein and infection
- provide useful information about your health and safety (and those of your baby) during pregnancy
- order blood tests to determine your blood type and to screen for a variety of diseases which can harm the baby (STI’s, HIV, rubella, Hepatitis B)
- offer prenatal screening for genetic abnormalities You can read about this at Perinatal Services BC.
- Ask your care-provider about getting a Pregnancy Passport to keep track of appointments, tests and results.
Things you can do for your health and your baby’s health: (Note that all the tasks below are just as important for the non-childbearing parent (the father or other-mother) to undertake. The health of a child is affected by the health of the whole family, not just the mother’s.)
- Start taking a pregnancy vitamin tablet with folic acid – ask your pharmacist for a recommendation.
- See your dentist for a cleaning and a check-up. Make sure your teeth are healthy, it affects you own general health.
- Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking recreational drugs – if you do.
- Evaluate your exposure to environmental toxins in your workplace or your home and reduce it as much as possible
- Improve your nutrition. Eat nutrient-dense foods, emphasizing whole grains, vegetable and fruit, lean protein and high-quality fats
- Limit your intake of salt and caffeine
- Be physically active on a regular basis
- Start or continue a physical activity you can pursue during your pregnancy (yoga, swimming, hiking)
- Subscribe to the Lamaze International Weekly Pregnancy email for information on healthy birth practices, from nutrition during pregnancy to measures that will help you feel more comfortable during labour.
- Baby’s Best Chance
- Healthy Pregnancy BC
- Motherisk Women and their healthcare practitioners wanting to learn more about the risk or safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, chemicals, x-rays, chronic disease and infections during pregnancy and while nursing can contact the Motherisk program at SickKids. Motherisk is a clinical, research and teaching program affiliated with the University of Toronto.
- Ready to quit smoking? Quit Now!
- Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy