5 things to do when you find out you're pregnant

There’s a lot to take in when you first find out you’re pregnant. Here are 5 things to help get your pregnancy off to the best start.

1. Calculate your due date

Working out your due date can be a little complicated, but our simple due date calculator just takes seconds! 

This calculator gives you a good estimate of when your baby may arrive. But you will get a more accurate idea at your first midwife appointment and after having your first scan at 12 weeks. This is called the dating scan. 

Due Date Calculator

Pregnancy due date calculator

2. Contact your local midwife or GP 

You may be able to self-refer to your local maternity unit directly for your antenatal care. Visit your local hospital’s website to find out more.

Speak to your GP if you can’t self-refer or if you think your pregnancy may be high-risk. For example, if you have a long-term condition, such as diabetes, or you are over 40 years old. They will tell the midwifery team you are pregnant.

It is very important to tell your GP, midwife or specialist about any medication you take. They can make sure you’re on the safest medication for you and baby. Do not stop taking any medication without talking to your GP or specialist first.

You will be given a date for your first appointment with a midwife, which is called the booking appointment. This should happen before you are 10 weeks pregnant. 

3. Give yourself a quick health check with our tools and calculators

There may be some lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your health and the health of your growing baby. For example, it is important to limit caffeine as much as possible during pregnancy. Use our caffeine calculator to find out your daily caffeine intake.

Your BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is in a healthy range. Your BMI calculation will be based on your weight before pregnancy.

If you have a high BMI, there may be some extra things you can do to help support your health during pregnancy. Find out your BMI using our calculator

Or to find out everything at once use our Healthy Pregnancy Tool. It gives you personalised evidence-based advice on everything, from exercise to diet.

4. Make a healthy pregnancy plan 

There are some things you can do during your pregnancy to help make sure that you and your baby stay happy and healthy. There are also some things to avoid. Making a healthy pregnancy plan will include things like:

  • Get your vitamins: You don’t need pregnancy multivitamins, but vitamin D and folic acid supplements are essential in pregnancy. Some people may need a higher dose of folic acid (for example, if you have diabetes).
  • Watch out for certain foods: It’s important to try to eat well during pregnancy, including foods from a variety of food groups. But there are also some foods you should avoid because they can put your baby at risk.
  • Keep moving: Exercise in pregnancy is great for you and your baby but it doesn’t mean you have to join the gym. A daily walk or a swim can be a great way to stay active in pregnancy. 
  • Stop drinking alcohol: Drinking alcohol can harm your baby’s development. There is no known ‘safe’ amount of alcohol to drink, so the best thing to do is avoid alcohol completely during your pregnancy.
  • Stop smoking: Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your baby’s health. There is lots of support available to help you quit smoking
  • Know what medicines are safe: Talk to a health professional before taking any drugs or medicines. Find out which medicines to avoid.

Let us help you! We can give you a personalised plan with everything you need to know for your pregnancy. Try our Healthy Pregnancy tool

5. Be aware of pregnancy symptoms and how to manage them

Pregnancy can be tough. Tiredness, sore breasts and morning (pregnancy) sickness are all common in the first few weeks of pregnancy. But there are things you can do to manage these symptoms. 

There are some symptoms that could be a sign of something more serious. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these using our symptom checker so you know when to ask to help. 

NHS. Ultrasound scans. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/your-pregnancy-care/ultrasound-scans/ (Page last reviewed: 9 December 2020 Next review due: 9 December 2023)

NHS. Your first midwife appointment. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/finding-out/your-first-midwife-appointment/ (Page last reviewed: 10 October 2018 Next review due: 10 October 2021)

NHS. Foods to avoid in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/ (Page last reviewed: 16 April 2020 Next review due: 16 April 2023)

NICE (2019). Antenatal care: NICE clinical guideline 62. National Institute for health and care excellence www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg62/resources/guidance-antenatal-care-pdf
NICE (2010) Smoking: stopping in pregnancy and after childbirth. Public health guideline [PH26]. National Institute for health and care excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph26

Review dates
Reviewed: 25 April 2022
Next review: 25 April 2025