* This article was originally published on Simply Laura Leigh *
Finding out you’re pregnant is one of the most exciting times in your life. For most people, the journey to motherhood can be a bumpy road and when it finally happens it’s completely thrilling. But it’s also common for that joy to quickly turn into feelings of overwhelm and panic. Which is completely normal, especially during your first pregnancy when you’re not sure what to do next and what to expect.
So what should you be doing after you get that positive pregnancy test? This First Trimester checklist will help walk you through everything you should be doing during those early months of pregnancy.
Your first trimester is weeks 1-13. And although there is a ton of stuff happening with your baby during this time there are only a few things you really need to focus on doing during this trimester. Which you’ll appreciate when you’re too busy dealing with morning sickness to worry about much else.
But don’t let the fact that this list is short fool you. Most of the things listed are important to do in order to keep yourself and your baby healthy and to help you start prepping for what’s to come over the next few months.
First Trimester To-Dos
1. Tell your spouse
Besides getting that positive pregnancy test, this is probably the second most exciting thing about the first trimester!! Take some time to really enjoy the moment as a couple and have fun with it.
2. Start taking prenatal vitamins
If you haven’t already been taking prenatal vitamins then stop what you’re doing and go get some right now! There is a lot of growth and development that’s happening during your first trimester and getting the proper vitamins is vital to supporting that growth and preventing possible birth defects.
You need vitamins that are specifically formulated for pregnancy. They’ll contain more folic acid, iron, calcium and, vitamin D than typical vitamins. Also considering taking a fish oil supplement to help support your baby’s brain growth.
*One problem that a lot of women run into with prenatal vitamins during their first trimester, its that taking vitamins can cause nausea to become worse. If you find this happening to you make sure you have a full stomach before you take them or take them at night right before you go to sleep.
3. Call your insurance
It’s important to take some time to understand what your insurance policy covers and what costs you’re going to be responsible for. You’re also going to want to find out what hospitals and doctors are in your insurance network. Ask all these questions now to avoid a big headache and possibly a big bill later on.
4. Find an OB and book an appointment
Once your insurance is sorted out book your first OB appointment. If you don’t already have an OB then start asking around and doing some research to find the best one for you. Usually, you’ll have that first appointment at around week 8 of pregnancy.
5. Download a pregnancy tracking app
The first trimester is a time of rapid growth and development for your baby. Download a pregnancy tracking app on your phone so you can keep up with it all! It’s so much fun to learn about what’s going on with your baby and it really helps you start to form a bond. This was honestly one of my favorite things to do.
6. Clean up your diet
Everything you put into your body will affect your baby in one way or another. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant cut out unhealthy or potentially unsafe food and avoid all forms of alcohol.
Then make sure you’re eating a diet that’s full of healthy and naturally rich food. Not only is your diet going to affect your baby, but its also going to greatly affect how you feel and it will play a huge part in how much weight you gain.
*If you’re vegan, gluten-free, or follow a strict/restrictive diet make sure you’re working closely with your doctor or nutritionist to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients to keep both your baby and yourself healthy during your pregnancy*
7. Start drinking more water
During pregnancy, the amount of water you need to drink during the day increases to around 2.3 liters a day in order to avoid dehydration which can cause some major pregnancy complications.
2.3 liters a day can seem like a lot but there are few tricks to help make it a little easier;
- Carry around a large water bottle like this Nalgene 32-Ounce BPA-Free Water Bottle with you at all times
- Replace coffee, soda, and juices with water
- Infuse your water with lemons, strawberries or other fruits
- Fruits are actually full of water and adding things like watermelon, cucumbers, and berries to your diet will help with your hydration
- Sip on bone broth or watery soups
8. Keep ( or get Get) Moving
Exercising is not only important to your health during pregnancy, but it can also help to make your labor easier and help you recover faster after you give birth. I continued to work out through my first and second pregnancy (being in the Army at the time I really didn’t have a choice) but was pretty sedentary during my third pregnancy. Not only was my recovery harder the third time around the pregnancy weight also stuck around for longer and was much harder to lose.
If your fitness routine is super intense talk with your doctor about how best to modify your routine to keep both you and your baby safe. If you aren’t working out you really should start a simple routine that includes walking or taking a spin class, light weight lifting, pregnancy-safe ab exercises, and stretching.
9. Stockpile snacks and other things to help beat morning sickness
Morning sickness can be an absolute monster during your first trimester (and possibly throughout your pregnancy). It can range from just constantly feeling nauseous to being unable to keep food or water down. Each person and each pregnancy is different so with each pregnancy your experience with morning sickness can be completely different.
One of the best ways to reduce morning sickness is to keep yourself from getting hungry. Keeping saltine crackers, fruit, and nuts handy at all times and continuously snacking will go a long way to help keep nausea at bay. Keep a sleeve of saltine crackers on your bedside table and eat a few as soon as you wake up. stock up your desk or work area with snacks and do not skip meals.
If you’re throwing up often make sure you are drinking plenty of water or drinking Pedialyte to keep from becoming dehydrated. And if morning sickness is something that becomes unbearable or your unable able to keep food or water down talk with your doctor about getting prescribed anti-nausea medication.
10. Start a pregnancy journal
Although it may feel like your pregnancy is lasting forever it’s going to be over before you know it. And when you look back it’s all going to feel like one big blur. Take some time to sit down during your pregnancy and write about what’s happening both physically and emotionally. Not only is journaling a great stress reliever it also gives you something to look back on years from now when your little one is all grown up.
11. Check your workplace for pregnancy hazards
If your job requires you to be around potentially hazardous chemicals or is physically demanding, speak with both your doctor and your boss to make sure that you are not exposing yourself and your baby anything harmful or dangerous. And if you are, find a way to reduce those hazards for the duration of your pregnancy.
12. Start building up an emergency fund if you don’t already have one
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to having a baby. There could be unexpected medical expenses, you may end up having to use formula for your baby (which can get expensive pretty quickly if you need a specialty formula), your work may not pay for all of your maternity leave. Or you may decide that you don’t want to go back to work after your maternity leave is over.
If you don’t already have an emergency fund now is the time to start putting money away fo all those future unknowns. Having that money in the bank will provide peace of mind and a financial cushion if needed.
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