Joy, excitement, nervousness, fear—a positive pregnancy test can cause you to feel a lot of emotions, especially if it’s your first. Whether the positive test result came as a shock or a pleasant surprise, there’s a few changes you’ll need to make right now to keep your baby healthy and prepare yourself for the next nine months.
How do pregnancy tests work?
During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone starts to appear as early as 1 week after conception and steadily increases over the course of your pregnancy. A pregnancy test looks for the presence of this hormone in either your blood or urine, depending on the type of pregnancy test you take, and will return a positive result if hCG is detected. Blood-based pregnancy tests are only performed by your doctor, but you can purchase a urine test at your local grocery store or pharmacy.
What does a positive pregnancy test look like?
This will all depend on the brand of your test, so be sure you read the directions carefully. Most common pregnancy tests will show your test results using a two-line system (one line for negative and two lines for positive), a color-coding system, or a digital screen that says “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant.”
Can a positive pregnancy test be wrong?
Though it is very rare, a false positive can happen as a result of certain medical conditions. This is why many pregnancy tests recommend taking a few different tests to confirm your results.
What causes a false pregnancy test will vary depending on your current health circumstances. Some potential causes of a false positive test result include: Blood or excess protein in the urine; ectopic pregnancy or a recent miscarriage; certain types of medications; or transfusion of red blood cells or plasma with hCG in it.
My pregnancy test is positive. Now what?
The very first thing you should do is take a deep breath. After you’ve taken a minute to process your emotions, you’ll want to call your doctor or midwife to schedule your first appointment.
Other action items on the “what to do after a positive pregnancy test” list include:
Start taking a prenatal vitamin. This will help your body have the nutrients it needs to support a healthy baby.
Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein and fiber. Avoid raw fish, unpasteurized milk, and deli meats.
Stay well-hydrated. Your body will need extra fluids to support you and your baby during the next 9 months.
Exercise regularly. Try to avoid high-impact exercise and consult your doctor about what type of exercises are best to do while pregnant.
Avoid alcohol, smoking cigarettes, vaping, and illegal drugs. These can seriously harm you and your baby.
Start planning! Now that you know a baby is on the way, you can start decorating the nursery, searching for cute baby clothes online, and brainstorming names. Don’t forget to also put some thought into planning for your own self-care. Pregnancy is not a walk in the park and your body may need some help. Some of our favorite pregnancy products include:
B.D.A.™ Maternity Leggings - these are the perfect everyday leggings for all stages of pregnancy.
S.O.S. Side Sleeper Pillow - start getting used to sleeping on your side with these uniquely designed pillows.
The Upsie Belly® Pregnancy Support Band - a must-have for trimesters two and three, this pregnancy band gently lifts your belly to give your back muscles a much-needed break.
When should you go to the doctor after a positive pregnancy test?
This depends on your doctor’s preferences. Many doctors will want to see first-time moms right away so they can confirm the results of your test and educate you on lifestyle changes and what to expect moving forward.
If this is not your first pregnancy, it’s more likely that your doctor will wait to see you until you’re about eight weeks along.
Will I feel pregnant right away?
Most women don’t start to experience any pregnancy symptoms until weeks four to six of pregnancy. It all depends on how quickly your body starts adapting to the pregnancy.
What can I expect during the first four weeks of pregnancy?
Some of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy are:
Fatigue. Your body is making huge changes during these first few weeks. Most of these changes are happening on a cellular level and require a lot of energy, so it’s normal to feel tired and sleep more.
Sore, tender breasts. An influx of hormones often causes your breasts to tingle or feel a little achy. For most women, this symptom fades after a few weeks.
Morning sickness. Hormone changes don’t just affect your breasts, they can also mess with your digestive system. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time during the day. This symptom also generally fades during the second trimester, though some women experience morning sickness their entire pregnancy.
Is it normal to bleed during the first few weeks of pregnancy?
Some bleeding and cramping is very common during early pregnancy. This is known as “implantation bleeding” and is caused by the fertilized egg implanting itself onto your uterine wall. Implantation bleeding is very light compared to your normal period and the cramps are often not as strong as menstrual cramps. It shouldn’t last longer than three days and it does not require any treatment.
If you think you are experiencing implantation bleeding, you should not use a tampon as this can increase your risk of infection. Instead, use pads or wear leak-proof panties to help manage the flow. We recommend the Proof. Maternity Leak-Resistant Everyday Undie for early pregnancy. It can easily hold up to half a teaspoon of liquid and helps with odor control, making it the perfect panty liner replacement.
Belly Bandit is here to help
A positive pregnancy test signals the start of your pregnancy journey, but you don’t have to do it all alone. From pregnancy test to postpartum recovery, Belly Bandit is ready to give you the support you need at every step!