Congratulations! You have made the pregnancy announcement and have seen your doctor. Now what? The list can be overwhelming of all the things you need to do from here on out. This list of must-dos we highly recommend during your pregnancy journey (in addition to the fun & non-so-fun stuff).
1. Create a Pregnancy Journal
Writing down, typing or blogging your pregnancy journey helps you connect with your child from the very beginning. It is a place to express your thoughts, joys, frustrations and concerns. This can be private or public (such as a blog) or a journal book but always great to read in the future to remember that what you may have forgotten. Also, you can share with your child later on.
Regular exercise throughout your pregnancy can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy. The benefits of exercise can help minimize the aches and pains that are common during pregnancy. Exercise is also known for relieving stress and help during labor. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend being active for 30 minutes.
3. Eating Healthy
Prenatal vitamin is a must and part of pregnancy nutrition to help make sure you are getting vitamins and minerals you need in addition to your diet. And yes, you are eating for two, but you should not be eating an extra 1000 calories a day. You should be probably be eating 300 to 500 calories depending on how active you are (and you should be active). Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns regarding your weight gain. You should also look to add these superfoods to your grocery list. Check out the article on why avoiding certain foods are necessary during pregnancy as well.
Life can be busy. But there is no better time to slow down and rest than during pregnancy. Your body is changing to accommodate for the baby growing inside you and that takes a lot of energy. There are especially going to be times during your pregnancy that you will need more rest than normal. Take one or two 15 min. naps during the day, which may help if you have trouble falling asleep at night. You may have to avoid certain foods or buy a body pillow to ensure a good night or at least a decent night of sleep.
5.Create a Birth Plan
Birth plans are a good! They help communicate on paper what you want your birth experience to be. In the moment of labor, things can seem out of control, but with a birth plan it helps maintain the control of what you want (with flexibility) in the labor & delivery room and helps avoid mistakes and misunderstandings. You can create a birth plan by following the template on this resource page and click on free birth plan.
6. Communicate with Partner
Pregnancy brings joy & excitement, but it can also bring anxiety and challenges. Your partner may not be sure where to help when your pregnant and help too much or not at all. Get them involved early on in the pregnancy. Plan to attend classes together. Ask each other questions regarding roles and adjustments when your baby comes, your sexual relationship during pregnancy (this is a big one), role models, etc. Attend a pregnancy support group if needed.
7. Take Classes
Going through pregnancy and labor is not a process that comes naturally. Know what to do when and what your body is going through. Look to sign up for childbirth education classes and know what methods are available to you. Childbirth classes are not the only classes you should be taking; look for CPR classes for babies and prenatal breastfeeding class as well. If you have your parents involved, classes for grandparents are a great resources and newborn basic classes.
8. Prepare Your Finances
During your last month of pregnancy (or soon after your baby is born) your financial situation needs to be considered if it hasn’t been already. Things such as wills and trusts need to updated or made if you don’t have one. Purchasing a life insurance policy should added to that list. If anything should happen to you or your partner, you want to make sure that your child is taken care of.
These 9 months do pass quickly, but you won’t notice til the 9 months have come & gone. Do your best to relax and rejoice in the new life that you are bringing into your world.
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Wife and mother of twins. Founder of Pride & Joy Baby Planners and The Expecting Mamas Network.