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A Comprehensive Monthly Pregnancy Checklist for the Expectant Mom

Whether you are actively trying to conceive, or had an unexpected pregnancy, the following months will surely be both exciting and challenging! Congratulations, you’ve been entrusted with a new life. There is so much to be responsible for, and all this, for that beautiful baby that you will soon see. This can be overwhelming, but don’t fret! We got your back. This comprehensive month-by-month checklist for pregnant women has been lovingly thought of, especially for you. We cover all of the essentials from the first month, until the last few days of your pregnancy.

FIRST TRIMESTER

If this is your first pregnancy, you might be very clueless and quite astounded with excitement. The first trimester can be the most perplexing for you. For those who have been pregnant before, this checklist can be your refresher’s course on pregnancy. Here’s what you should expect and do for the first 3 months:

MONTH ONE

  • As soon as your pregnancy test kit gives you a reassuring sign that you are pregnant, don’t delay in booking your first appointment with an ob-gyne you’re comfortable with.   On your first visit, you have to let your doctor know when you had your last period. Then, your checkups will be scheduled.
  • Ask your partner’s personal and family health history. Make a comprehensive list and inform your ob-gyne about you and your partner’s medical history. Also inform the doctor about any pre-existing medical condition such as asthma or chromosomal disorders. This vital information will be quite helpful for the entire pregnancy.
  • Now is the best time for you to focus on a healthier lifestyle. This means that if you drink or smoke on a regular basis, time to quit. There is nothing more important right now than your baby’s health. The first trimester is when the vital organs’ cells develop rapidly. This is also when pregnant women are more susceptible to miscarriages.
  • If you exercise regularly, please consult your doctor about your exercise routine. There are some instances when you have to slow down, especially if your womb is delicate.

MONTH TWO

  • Your pregnancy might be a little uncomfortable, your breasts might feel a little swollen. You’ll experience morning sickness, vomiting, and constant headaches. Before taking any medicine, give your doctor a call, or better yet, a visit. Even over-the-counter medicine can potentially harm your unborn baby. It is also a good idea to ask the licensed pharmacist in the drugstore on which medicine is safe for pregnant women.
  • Here are home remedies for morning sickness: ginger ale and saltines. Stock up on those. For those who experience vomiting, drinking a small bottle of Gatorade after you vomit will surely help you deal with the lightheadedness from losing some electrolytes. Rest as much as you can. This might be a good time for you to have a break from the more strenuous house chores.
  • A good understanding on what to eat and what not to eat is truly beneficial for you at this stage. Many people think that you should eat for two the moment you find out you’re pregnant. On the first trimester, however, you really shouldn’t. You can begin consuming more calories by the end of the 5th month though. The foods that have to be avoided because of possible toxin and parasite infestation are the following: unpasteurized dairy products, raw shellfish, sushi, and undercooked meat.

 

MONTH THREE

  • At this point, you’d be surprised how important dental health is. Even if you think that you have good oral hygiene, it is beneficial for you to visit your dentist for either a checkup or cleaning. Pregnant women mostly suffer from gingivitis or inflamed gums. These conditions can lead to severe headaches.
  • It is never too early to shop around for new bras, or even new maternity clothes. Soon enough, you’ll be surprised with the changes of your body, especially the additional pounds you’ll gain. Knowing what you’re comfortable wearing as early as now is splendid.
  • It is best to have yourself scheduled for a First Trimester Screening for any chromosomal abnormalities to be detected. It is recommended to have it on the 13th or 14th
  • Physical inactivity, despite the discomfort that you may have, is a huge no-no. Regular exercise is still the best for pregnant women. It is best to work with a licensed physical therapist for exercise routines that are safe for pregnant women.

SECOND TRIMESTER

Welcome to the “honeymoon” stage of your pregnancy, where you can bid farewell to morning sickness. Expect your energy levels to be back to normal. You’ll also have better appetite, and a greater enthusiasm for your regular activities. Your baby will also begin to flutter, and eventually will move slowly in the second trimester.

MONTH FOUR

  • It’s wise to check the calendar and begin planning for your maternity leave. You can also begin to talk to your direct supervisor about it. Early and efficient planning will prove to be quite beneficial, as you will be busier preparing tons of things for your little one in the coming months.
  • Childbirth classes such as The Bradley Method, Lamaze Birthing Technique and the Hypno Birthing Techniques should be scheduled early since they fill up quickly. Many mothers have attested that they make labor easier and less painful.
  • Up your moisturizing regimen right now. Don’t let any ugly stretch marks ruin your tummy, thighs and upper arms. Stretch mark prevention should begin in the 4th month of pregnancy since most pregnant women feel a certain degree of itch all over their tummies at this stage of pregnancy.
  • Buying maternity clothes is highly recommended for working pregnant ladies because of the comfort that it will give you. You need to be on top of the game when you work, so you need to feel comfortable and relaxed from head to toe.

MONTH FIVE

  • Aside from maternity clothes, it would be great to be more acquainted on the various feeding options available for you.   Check out nursing bras, feeding bottles, manual and electronic breast pumps, and of course, flat shoes. You may also research on a newborn baby’s feeding schedule. Be better informed because time does fly fast!
  • This is when you can literally eat for two! However, please take note that you only need to feed your body with healthy food. It will be wise to prepare fruit snacks such as apples, berries, bananas, and whole wheat bread before you sleep. Then you can easily grab them before you leave the house for work. At this point, you only need an extra 300 – 400 calories a day for you and your baby.
  • When you visit your ob-gyne, discuss about having an ultrasound exam and an anomaly scan. These are essential prenatal procedures that will ensure the health of your little one.
  • The second trimester is when you have more energy, since your morning sickness has become a thing of the past, and your tummy is not heavy yet. So, begin planning and implementing your home’s baby-proofing ideas.

MONTH SIX

  • If you will need childcare after your little one makes his or her grand debut to our world, now is the right time to begin looking into the different options that you have. Again, as I have mentioned, it is never too early to begin preparing, especially if you have other kids to care for.
  • If you haven’t gone to the dentist on the first trimester, it is never too late to go for a dental checkup. Having a toothache is one of the worst nightmares a pregnant woman can ever have. Make sure to be on top of your oral health care.
  • Learn, understand and have a comprehensive research about vaccinations. It is best for you to know what vaccines will be beneficial for newborn babies, and how many times they have to be vaccinated before they turn a year old.
  • As for the house chores, please be cautious about the bleach and other cleaning products that might have very strong chemicals that could possibly cause discomfort to you. Aside from wearing hand gloves, it will be best to consult your physician about the cleaning products that you are using. Better safe than sorry.

THIRD TRIMESTER

So now, your baby bump is more obvious, and your lower legs and feet might feel a little swollen too. Hey, this is the final stretch, so hang on there, pretty momma! Your baby’s body is mostly developed, and he or she might be kicking you harder and more frequently. The little one though, still has quite a bit of growing in the last three months of his or her stay inside of you. This is the busiest time of your pregnancy, and be sure to follow the checklist below.

MONTH SEVEN

  • On the onset of your third trimester, it would be best to be thoroughly prepared by having a discussion on how often you have to visit your ob-gyne. Sometimes, you have to visit your doctor twice a month on the eighth month. A full understanding of your schedule will make you more prepared for the many tasks that lie ahead.
  • Take meticulous notes on how often and how hard your baby kicks and moves. Keeping track of your precious one’s movements is a good idea for you and your doctor to monitor his or her health. When your baby has a decreased movement for at least 7 to 10 days, it is time to go for an emergency consultation to have your baby checked.
  • If you haven’t signed up for any classes on how to take care of your newborn child, it is never too late to do so. Reading up on baby care is nice, but it is much better to attend childcare classes for you to meet more pregnant women and more experienced moms. That way, you’ll have more tips and will feel more self-assured.
  • Talk with your doctor about labor and delivery. Premature delivery is definitely a possibility that you’ll have to valiantly face. When your doctor gives you a briefing about what you will go through in the delivery room, and the possibilities of choosing between a painless delivery or a caesarean-section delivery will be of great help on the big day.

MONTH EIGHT

  • Enrolling in a childbirth class that you perceive to be the most appropriate to you will help boost your confidence, especially if you’re a first time mom. The childbirth classes often include infant CPR and infant feeding sessions.
  • Talk more often to your baby. At this month, your baby can hear you clearly, even if you whisper. Your precious little unborn child has a very sharp sense of hearing. You’ll be surprised at how they’ll react to you when you talk and touch them. Listening to soothing music before sleeping will be great for both you and your baby.
  • Make a list of pediatricians available near you. This will help you narrow down to the best one for your child. It would be great if you spend time locating and checking the schedules of the pediatricians in your list. You may also ask a recommendation from your ob-gyne.
  • For those who will surely need extra helping hands after childbirth, make a comprehensive list of family, friends, or childcare professionals who can partially or fully assist you in preparing for the arrival of your treasured angel soon. If you are done childproofing the house, great job! Give yourself a treat, you deserve it! If you aren’t done childproofing the task, now is the best time to have it all done.
  • Have all of your baby’s clothes, pillow cases and sheets thoroughly washed, bleached and please, don’t ever make it too fragrant. You’ll never know if your baby’s nose will be too sensitive to fragrances, it might trigger some allergies. Just keep it smelling fresh.

MONTH NINE

Get all of the essentials prepared for your baby. By now, the house is safe enough for your little one, all of the clothes and sheets are ready, and there are enough toys and accessories. But, what about the strollers and car seats for the baby’s day out? Double check everything. Remember, you only have 4 weeks or less before the big day comes

  • Choose a name for your baby. Agree on a name, and possibly a nickname for your baby. You may also want to start calling out your baby’s name when you talk to him or her.
  • Pack your hospital bag. Again, it is always best to double check, and have extras rather than asking your partner or any other family or friends to go out to buy extra toiletries.
  • Discuss your maternity leave to your direct supervisor at work. Create a maternity leave plan for your subordinates if you have any. That way, your team at work will still be at their best even if you’ll be away from them for a few months.
  • Read up about breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The best choice without any doubt is breastfeeding. However, there are some cases when the baby takes time to get accustomed to your nipple size when you breast feed him or her. You may need to do a mix of breastfeeding and bottle feeding. It would be great to buy at least 4 nursing bras, nursing pads, storage containers for breast milk, and a good quality breast pump.
  • The big day is coming up, so wait, take deep breaths, and RELAX! This is by far, the most important thing for a heavily pregnant woman right now. You’ve made it this far. Soon enough, you’ll be cuddling your little angel.

Are you still overwhelmed? That’s quite normal. If you are struggling through morning sickness right now, hang on. It will go away soon. Remember, this is going to be temporary. Your doctor, partner, family and good friends will always be there for you. You are strong enough to carry a child inside of you. Hopefully, this monthly checklist will give you a better idea on what your life will be from the first to the ninth month. Be brave, pretty momma!