Finding out that you're pregnant can be exciting, shocking, scary, and emotional all at the same time.
Once reality sinks in, it's hard to know what you need to do, or where to start.
I know for me when I found out, I felt blessed and so much joy, but immediately after, I was concerned and wanted to make sure that my pregnancy was healthy, and normal. My mind started going crazy of when I should share the news, what people's reactions would be. I also remember feeling extremely sensitive and overprotective. I think my Mama Senses and hormones kicked in right away and I was still making sense of all of the feelings I had and what was on the journey ahead for me.
Here are some helpful tips that can make you feel reassured during your first trimester:
1. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Scheduling an appointment or visiting a clinic is key! Home pregnancy tests are very accurate but they still are not as accurate as being seen by a doctor. Here are some things you should know, there is an interesting object that your doctor will insert in your vagina to examine you. It will be lubricated first and they will let you know before they go in. It doesn't hurt but just know it looks a lot scarier than it really is. This allows them to take an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. They may also take your blood and advise you to start taking prenatals as soon as possible.
2. Choose your official healthcare provider.
When you go and see your doctor for the first time, most likely you aren't seeing an obstetrician who specializes in caring for pregnant women. You are probably seeing your regular primary care physician or even your regular gynecologist. At this appointment, ask your doctor to recommend some good obstetricians. Do research and choose wisely. Feel these doctors out, as you will be spending the next 9-10 months with them. You want to make sure it feels right and that this is a person you can build a relationship with.
3. Determine what prenatals work best for you.
Your first trimester is the best time to figure out what prenatals work best for you. My OBGYN gave me a huge bag of samples. Each week, I tried a different brand and kept a small journal of how I felt with each one and if it made me feel sick ot not. There are so many options that it can sometimes be overwhelming. The sizes of the pills also vary as well. Some are literally the size of horse pills while others are super tiny. If you aren't into taking pills, explore taking gummy prenatals. If you have any other questions about this, ask your nurse or doctor.
4. Consult with your doctor about your diet. Research foods you can and can't eat.
There are many things that you can't eat while you're pregnant. I know it seems restricting but it is important to know. If this is your first child, don't beat yourself up if you make a mistake or eat something by accident. You can find helpful lists online that show you what a balanced diet should look like while you're pregnant. While being healthy is key, make sure you allow yourself to indulge as well. Pregnancy cravings get super real. Most of your cravings will be random, bizarre, and probably far from healthy. It's totally okay, give baby what baby wants as long as it's in moderation. I'm pretty sure my cravings take the lead with how crazy they were. I craved ramen noodles with Nathan hot dogs, pizza, icees from 7Eleven and more. So don't feel bad, the random cravings eventually somewhat cool down. They will always be there though.
5. Stock up on breaded or carb snacks that don't make you feel nauseous.
Morning sickness is REAL. I was lucky and didn't experience running to the toilet every morning, but I definitely had my moments where I felt weak and sick. Try your best to eat often and figure out what gives you the most relief. Keep water by your bedside, and crackers. Dry foods, eating smaller, and eating more meals help with nausea. No matter how hard it gets, remember you have to take care of you now more than ever because it affects your baby. Even if you don't feel hungry, try your best.
6. Purchase new bras and comfortable panties.
You may experience sore/swollen breasts and bloating. I know it's hard but you may want to think about shedding some of those bodycon dresses and tight jeans. I literally live in leggings and have bought some items a size or two up. At first, I felt bad about it but I think it's better than conforming to maternity clothes. I also had to remind myself that my body is going to change no matter what. I've learned that it is okay to be vulnerable and feel indifferent about the changes. At the end of the day, motherhood is beautiful and you will get the most beautiful gift in the end. It won't seem as bad if you put your comfort first.
7. Download baby apps on your phone to help you monitor your baby's growth.
Having baby apps is a great way to keep up with your baby's growth. It is nice to educate yourself along the way. This gave me something to look forward to every week. I shared new updates with my family and friends. Watching videos was my favorite thing to do and always gave me excitement. It also makes the time go by faster, but in a nice way. Think about downloading a few. The ones I use are: What To Expect, Baby Center, Ovia Pregnancy, BabyBump and Flo.
8. Purchase books that will support both you and your partner.
A lot of the time, we don't think about how pregnancy affects not only us but those around us, especially our significant others. They are just as excited and sometimes as scared and as nervous as we are too. Books are a great way to help with this. You can make it an outing and go to your local bookstore and buy pregnancy books. This will make your partner feel involved, and good reading material can provide you with the tools you need to help you get through the journey. There is no better feeling than knowing you are prepared and educated about the process.
9. Determine when you want to make your pregnancy announcement and how.
Do what makes sense to you! Your privacy is your right. I know this is a time where pregnancy announcements are huge and people really take it to the next level. However, don't let that make you make any premature decisions. Pregnancy is very sensitive, especially in the first trimester. A lot of testing has to happen and you want to make sure you pass the stage of being at risk of miscarrying. I waited until I was six months pregnant before I made our announcement. It was the best decision I could have ever made. Of course, people who are very close to me knew before then, but it was very important to me to keep things private. By this time, I felt comfortable and I knew my pregnancy was healthy. I suggest doing something fun but still intimate when sharing the news with family and friends.
Get as much sleep as you can. Trust me, as your bump starts to grow, it will get harder and harder to sleep comfortably. This is one thing I wish I did more of in the beginning. I am naturally a busybody and don't know how to stay still. I am always on the go! One of the most common symptoms in your first trimester is fatigue. Listen to your body and rest. Take a nap if you need to, also when you are feeling sick, it helps to lay down as well to take the edge off. As you get bigger, sleep can get harder. Invest in a maternity pillow so you can be comfortable.
Featured image by Getty Images
- 10 things I learned in my first trimester of pregnancy - Kidspot ›
- 6 Things You Should Know About Early Pregnancy - EverydayFamily ›
- 10 First Trimester To-Dos ›
- 20 Important Things To Know When You Are Pregnant For The First ... ›
- First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect, Baby Development ›
- First Trimester Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know - YouTube ›
- First trimester: weeks 1 to 12 | Tommy's ›
- All About the First Trimester | Fit Pregnancy and Baby ›
- Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the First Trimester | What to ... ›
- The ultimate pregnancy to-do list: First trimester | BabyCenter ›
Bianca Simone was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She currently resides in California where she is pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She hopes to move and inspire people every day through creating, and by working diligently, remaining humble, and relatable always.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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