Disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.
…Just a pregnant lady. And I’ll give you some recommendations below but in general, don’t freak out. There are plenty of young women who don’t realize they are pregnant until they’ve been preggers for a good month and within that time they haven’t been living as model citizens–and they go on to have perfeclty healthy babies. So it’s great that you want to be in optimal health, but it’s not worth stressing yourself out over.
1. Make an appointment with your doctor/ob-gyn. THey probably will not do much (mine has me pee on a stick again and then said, Oh, here’s your due date. Get some prenatals.)
2. Start taking prenatal vitamins (I got the fancy ones that include extra DHA pills (I have Rite Aid generic for Women’s One-A-Day), but if you choose to buy prenatals and DHA separately, read the labels and make sure the dosage of the DHA is the same).
3. There really isn’t a need to substantially change your diet–yes, you shouldn’t drink, smoke, or do hard drugs, but being a vegetarian is usually not a big deal (I’d say there’s a little more effort you’d have to make if vegan). I mean, there’s a list of foods to avoid–I don’t subscribe to it very much and if you want my reasoning as to why I choose to ignore most of it (*), I’ll tell you, but in the US, they recommend the following:
-Less than 300 mg. of caffeine per day (which is 2 cups or less, or 1 grande Starbucks/day)
-Avoid raw meats, poultry, eggs, and seafood (like sushi*)
-Avoid luncheon meats, hot dogs, and smoked fish* (unless you heat them until they are steaming)
-Avoid raw/unpasturized cheeses (brie, blue…there are others, I forget)
-Avoid high-mercury fish (swordfish, shark, king mackerel…)
-Lower mercury fish/seafood (which includes canned tuna and shrimp) can be consumed 2x per week
-Reduce junkfood, sugar, white flour*
If you want to be extra good to baby, you can increase your folic acid and folate intake (hel-lo kale!).
Now, just so you know, the reason why I say take all that food stuff with a grain of salt is because I–like many ohter women–had really terrible morning sickness the first three months, and while I really would have liked to have been the spinach queen, the only thing I could stomach was a diet of popsicles, lemonheads, and flat ginger ale. I kid you not. And it went from that to a cheese-and-crackers diet for a while before I felt good enough to eat something that actually grew out of the ground. When I asked my doc about this, he just said as long as I was taking my prenatal and it was staying down and as long as I wasn’t showing signs of being dehydrated/malnourished (fainting, that sort of thing), it was okay.
One other thing–if you get tired, it’s best to allow yourself to sleep, if you can. And you will get fatigued pretty early on.