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Pregnancy To-Do Checklist: The First Trimester

by Katlyn Joy | September 2, 2011 4:17 PM
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You're pregnant. Your family is growing. Life is never going to be the same and you're sure you should be doing something. But what? Actually, there's a lot to do but you shouldn't feel overwhelmed. You have nine months to prepare, after all.

Make an appointment with your obstetrician. Or if you don't have one yet, start with the search. Prenatal care is vital to both your and your baby's health so don't delay.

Don't take any medications, supplements or herbs without a doctor's OK. If you haven't seen your ob-gyn yet, then consult a pharmacist. Sometimes the most benign sounding medications can be harmful to a growing fetus so assume nothing.

Stop smoking and no more cocktails. Cigarettes and alcohol are harmful, perhaps even fatal to pregnancies. If you are having trouble kicking the habit, consult your doctor. Babies born to smokers are at risk for respiratory problems and low birth weight. Alcohol can cause FAS which can cause serious birth defects in the baby.

Eat healthy. Find out what your BMI is and learn how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. You will want to eat plenty of veggies and fruits, lean means and whole grains in particular. Limit or cut out sugary drinks and empty fatty calories .

Find out what foods are off-limits for pregnant women. Of course, raw meat is trouble, but even lunchmeat can cause listeria if unheated. Shellfish, fish high in mercury, raw eggs and soft cheeses are likewise no-nos for an expectant mother.

Exercise. If you were active before you may need to slow your pace at bit and definitely take care not to overheat or become dehydrated. Certain activities however are not wise for a pregnant woman, such as impact sports or activities where you might fall like horseback riding or skiing.

Take a prenatal vitamin. This isn't the same as a regular vitamin. Pregnant women have unique nutritional needs and certain nutrients such as folic acid can prevent birth defects such as neural tube disorders like spine bifida.

Get plenty of rest. You may notice the major symptom of pregnancy in the first several weeks is fatigue - an abnormal gravity near beds and couches. Don't fight it as it will not last forever. Your body is going through major shifts right now and needs plenty of sleep.

Learn how to combat your morning sickness. Never letting your tummy get too empty and keeping saltines by your bed are just a couple of the strategies veteran moms share.

Research your insurance policy for pregnancy and childbirth. You need to know the ins and outs of your policy and make sure you do everything required of you.

Begin researching the big picture issues like childcare and your work options during pregnancy and after the baby's arrival. While you may change your mind before the baby's birth, perhaps many times, you need to start thinking about the inevitable and how you want to handle it all.

Get a pregnancy book or three and start reading. You'll find it informative and frequently comforting. For instance, that certain pain you get isn't ominous after all and yes that weird thing happens to most pregnant women.

Go ahead and pick up a name book while you're at it. You know you want to.

Start working with your partner on a budget for after baby. It's not likely to be fun like the baby name book, but it's necessary.

Learn some relaxation techniques. They will come in handy during labor and again if you're baby has colic, for instance. Pregnancy while exciting can be stressful.

Prepare for the first sonogram. Most physicians schedule one in the early weeks to confirm or set a due date. This special moment is one you'll probably want to share with your partner.

Take those first belly pics. Document your pregnancy through monthly photos of your expanding tummy.

Decide when and how to share the good news. Some couples choose to wait until the first trimester has passed and the risk of miscarriage has diminished while others simply cannot wait. Decide together what is best for your family.

Find a support person to share this pregnancy with, whether it's a friend or family member or even an online pal. Ideally it will be someone who has been through it all before and can show you the path ahead.


Related Articles

Pregnancy To-Do Checklist: The Third Trimester

Pregnancy To-Do Checklist: The Second Trimester

Second Trimester To-Do Checklist

First Trimester To-Do Checklist

Third Trimester To-Do Checklist

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