Weeks 1 to 6
Congratulations, you're in for a life-changing ride! By the time you find out you're pregnant after a missed period and an at-home testing kit, you're actually probably already around 4-6 weeks along, as most doctors time your pregnancy from the date of your last period. But when is the best time to head to the doctor?
Dr Aisha Alzouebi, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai advises: "Around six weeks from the first day of your last period." At that initial appointment, your blood will be taken and hormone levels checked to confirm the pregnancy, while some doctors may scan you to look for a gestational sac inside the uterus. Blood test results usually take a few days, and can then confirm that the pregnancy is progressing. It's worth noting that in the UK, this scan usually isn't offered until around eight to 10 weeks, so don't worry if you head to the doctor closer to this time.
Read more: Giving birth at... Al Zahra, Dubai
Next up, it's important to take care of yourself and baby. "When pregnancy is confirmed it is a time of excitement as well as anxiety," says Dr Arva Dhanaliwala, Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Mediclinic Al Qusais and Mediclinic Welcare Hospital.
"The first thing to do is to start taking folic acid tablets if you have not been already. The dose is 400 micrograms daily. If you smoke or drink alcohol then stop both these activities. Be conscious of your nutrition and eat a balanced healthy diet.
Read more about what you should eat when you're pregnant
"There are only a few food items that you need to avoid in pregnancy due to the risk of infection, which can be transmitted to the baby. Avoid mould-ripened soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert. Stay away from raw or partially cooked eggs due to the risk of salmonella, and avoid raw or partially cooked meats. You can eat most types of fish in pregnancy, but cut out raw or undercooked shellfish like oysters, clams, mussels. Caffeine is allowed, but should be limited to less than 200mg per day."
Read next: Your guide to weeks 6 to 10 of pregnancy
Cut down your caffeine intake to 200,g a day, which is about two cups of coffee
READ ALL ESSENTIAL PREGNANCY GUIDE IN THE UAE SERIES
- Your 1st trimester in the UAE: The essential pregnancy guide for weeks 6 to 13
- Your 2nd trimester in the UAE: The essential pregnancy guide for weeks 13 to 20
- Your 2nd trimester in the UAE: The essential pregnancy guide for weeks 20 to 27
- Your 3rd trimester in the UAE: The essential pregnancy guide for weeks 28 to 32
- Your 3rd trimester in the UAE: The essential pregnancy guide for weeks 34 to birth