Being pregnant is a fascinating and sometimes overwhelming time. There are so many things to consider while preparing for the arrival of your little one, from researching baby gear to creating a birth plan. But before you even reach those milestones in your pregnancy journey, there are the day-to-day health and wellness concerns to think about, as well as critical components related to fetal development that are paramount. To help make sure you don't miss anything during this particular time, we've compiled a week-by-week checklist of tips on what to do and expect during each trimester of pregnancy!
What to Expect in Each Trimester
Pregnancy is an exciting journey that requires preparation and planning. As your baby grows week by week, it's important to know what to expect and how to take care of yourself and your little one. During the first trimester, you may experience morning sickness and fatigue as your baby's organs begin to develop. In the second trimester, you may feel your baby move and begin to show as they grow rapidly. The third trimester brings the final stretch as you prepare for labor and delivery. Each week brings new changes and developments, so staying educated on how your baby is growing and what they need from you is crucial. With the right knowledge and support, you can make the most of your pregnancy and ensure the health of your little one.
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Add a prenatal vitamin to your daily regimen if you have not been doing so already. Folic acid is said to help prevent birth defects, so choose a supplement with 600 mcg.
Before your first prenatal appointment, if you have health insurance, you should investigate how your plan covers pregnancy and delivery.
Schedule your first prenatal visit between 8 and 9 weeks. If you are unhappy with your current OB or midwife, ask your acquaintances for a recommendation.
Create a list of your most pressing pregnancy-related concerns to ask your doctor at your first appointment, such as what tests you may need, nutrition advice, and how to deal with stress. They are there to assist.
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Make a trip to the drugstore to stock up on essentials to combat morning sickness, such as ginger, saltine crackers, lemonade, mint, or Gatorade. Keep a supply by your bed, in your bag, and at your workplace.
Odors making you queasy? Switch to unscented soaps and launder your clothing frequently (with unscented detergent, of course).
Schedule your CVS test (between 10 and 13 weeks) and/or nuchal translucency scan (between 11 and 14 weeks), if applicable.
Acquire a pregnancy book to begin preparing for what lies ahead, from pregnancy health to labor and delivery to postpartum.
This may seem extremely early, but if you're contemplating daycare, call a few facilities to inquire about waitlists. This will help you determine when you should begin your search.
Determine how and when you will tell your coworkers, friends, and family about your excellent news.
Start preparing for your leave from work by summarizing your responsibilities so that you can delegate them.
If your clothes are getting snug, it is time to start shopping for maternity wear. (Psst, leggings are your ally!) Consider renting maternity items as well.
Baby shower time is approaching rapidly. First, determine who and where will conduct the event. Choose a date and assist with the visitor list.
Schedule your 20-week ultrasound and determine if you will learn the gender of your child.
Try sleeping on your side, or better yet, slumber on your left side. This can increase the quantity of blood and nutrients reaching the placenta and the baby.
Register for childbirth classes at your local hospital or parent resource center.
As you prepare to welcome your new bundle of joy into the world, one essential step in your journey is creating a baby registry. A baby registry is a curated list of items a baby will need in their first few months of life, including diapers, clothing, strollers, car seats, and more.
You've made it to the halfway point! Celebrate by doing something extra special for yourself, like treating yourself to a great meal, buying a new shirt, or watching a movie that you really enjoy.
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Schedule your lab appointment to test for gestational diabetes for between 24 and 28 weeks into your pregnancy (remember that you will have to wait at the lab, so bring some reading materials with you or download some podcasts!).
Do some research on the top baby cradles, strollers, car seats, and carriers, and then add the ones you like best to your registry.
Everyone is curious about how they can be of assistance once the baby is born. You should make a to-do list and share it with your family and close friends so that they are aware of exactly what it is that you require (you are free to modify the list after the baby is delivered!).
If you intend to pump breast milk, it is in your best interest to investigate whether or not you are eligible for a free breast pump through your insurance plan and whether or not you have insurance at all.
Determine what you would like to include in your birth plan, then make a few copies of it to go through with the medical professional who will be delivering your baby.
Counting your baby's kicks at roughly the same time every day will help you identify trends in your child's movement.
Do some decorating in the baby room! The urge to nest is quite real, and it can be a lot of pleasure to put together things like carpets, artwork, and cute little toys.
Anxious? Consider establishing a consistent meditation program in order to quiet your mind. There are even certain apps that are designed exclusively for expectant mothers.
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Your primary care physician will want to see you once every two weeks beginning this week, so be sure to arrange those appointments in advance.
Prepare your bag for the hospital. Include a few items for the baby in your luggage, and be sure to remind your spouse or support person that they may also want to prepare a bag for themselves.
Obtain a tour of your maternity center or hospital's labor and delivery unit if one is available. While you're there, determine where you can park!
Plan your Group B Strep test between 35 and 37 weeks.
Intent on breastfeeding? Register for a breastfeeding class and/or read Breastfeeding Made Simple before your infant arrives.
If you have insurance, contact your provider to determine how to add your newborn child.
Your doctor will want to see you every week beginning this week, so you will be extremely occupied. Plan appropriately!
Pick a pediatrician. Request recommendations from peers, colleagues, and neighbors. Your own physician or midwife might also have some suggestions.
Ensure that everything is in order at work so that your leave can be a genuine one.
Create a "Baby Watch List" of everyone who must be notified once the infant is born. Assign this list to your BFF, sister, mother, or another trusted individual so they can inform everyone of the good news.
Someone should install that car seat! You cannot transport an infant in a car without a car seat.
The hospital will provide you with a variety of infant care necessities, such as diapers and a nasal aspirator. However, they also offer postpartum care products, such as cold packs for the perineum and a Velcro waist band for abdominal muscles if you have a C-section.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting
Pregnancy can be quite a journey. Taking care of your health should be your first priority, and this pregnancy week-by-week checklist can help you do just that. There are so many experiences along the way, from different symptoms arising to finding out the gender of your baby to welcoming them into the world with endless love and joy. After all, it is a miraculous time in any mother's life — so savor every moment and rejoice in the curiosity, beauty and uniqueness of pregnancy week by week! Be sure to contact your doctor if you have any concerns or questions throughout your journey and take the time to rest when needed. Above all else, keep taking good care of yourself — for you and for the baby!