I’m guessing you just found out you’re pregnant? Congratulations you magical being! Now, you’re wondering, what are the things you MUST DO in the first trimester. I’ve got you covered with the ultimate pregnancy first trimester to do (check) list with a FREE PRINTABLE PDF!
These aren’t your first trimester must haves, I’ve got you covered for those in another post.
This is all the important tasks you need to get done in the first trimester of pregnancy delivered to you in a convenient first trimester checklist. As a first time mom, I really didn’t know all the things I needed to do.
I know this journey can be quite the roller coaster ride with those mood swings, cravings, and the onset of mom brain (yes, that’s a thing!).
So hopefully if you’re a new mom, this list will help you get organized and give you a semblance of control in the crazy that’s about to ensue.
First Trimester To-Do List Breakdown
Buy Prenatal Vitamins ASAP
The first thing you should do when you find out you’re pregnant is pick up a good quality prenatal vitamin. It’s essential for baby’s development and you!
They have all the vitamins and minerals you’re body’s going to need to run this marathon. Plus, it has folic acid which can help prevent neural tube defects in baby’s development! It’s a no brainier.
The trickier part is probably picking which one you want. You can certainly ask your pharmacist for their recommendation or wait to ask your doctor.
I personally got a prescription from my doctor for Pregvit which was covered by my insurance company.
Before I grabbed that one, I just bought an over-the-counter gummie prenatal vitamin.
I actually loved this one better because it tasted good and was easier to ingest than the regular giant prenatals.
Plus, the Pregvit had to be taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, which almost always gave me nausea and morning sickness. I eventually just had to start taking it with food because it just wouldn’t stay down otherwise.
Get Familiar With Your Insurance Provider and Coverage
Okay, now on to the not so fun but oh so important part. It’s still early but you should definitely start looking into what your insurance provider provides, what’s covered, what’s not covered and any deductibles you’ll have to pay.
It’s better to get on top of this now so you can start to figure out your upcoming expenses. If this was an unexpected surprise, you may not have started saving just yet so figuring out insurance is mission critical.
I really should’ve done more of this ahead of time but didn’t think too much about it because I live in Canada. I just assumed we would be covered for everything.
For the most part, we were. However, I didn’t realize that a private room wasn’t covered. I wish I had anticipated this and saved in advance.
It would have been nice to have some privacy after the birth. We were sharing a room with a little one who was having a hard time latching so she was up crying almost throughout the night because she was hungry.
Which of course, meant my little guy would wake up at every cry as well. It was an endless cycle of crying for all of us! I couldn’t wait to get home.
Start Looking For Your Perfect OBGYN or Health Care Provider
Another super important step in your first trimester checklist is figuring out who will have the honor of taking care of you during your pregnancy and delivering your baby.
Definitely do your research here. You have to feel confident and comfortable with this person. Their views should line up with your own and your voice should be heard. If you feel at all uncomfortable or uneasy, that’s a warning sign-MOVE ON!
I suggest doing your own research but also checking with trusted friends and family.
You can usually make initial reach out calls to ask some questions before meeting. I suggest checking if you’re preferred doctor works on a team or on their own.
If they’re part of a rotating team, you may see multiple different doctors and you may not know ahead of time who will actually be delivering the baby.
Also, find out if they accept you’re insurance provider. Some insurance providers have their own list of preferred doctors so look into that too.
Once you figure out all the logistics, make your first prenatal appointment! Make sure to ask what they need you to do or bring to the first appointment.
You’ll probably have to pee in a cup (this happens a lot) so don’t empty that bladder completely before the appointment. Since I called ahead, they gave me that little tip.
Make A List Of Any Questions You Have For Your Health Care Provider
Once you make that first prenatal appointment, start jotting down any questions that come to mind. Focus on figuring out if this person is a right fit for you. Some things to consider or ask about:
- How often will you be seen throughout your pregnancy?
- Does the healthcare provider work on a team?
- Who will be delivering your baby?
- Thoughts or recommendations on prenatal testing?
- What tests to expect in the first trimester?
- Where can you call when you have emergencies or non emergency pregnancy related questions
- Is there any protocol in the office for patients who are sick? Separate waiting areas etc?
- Their thoughts on delivery options? drug interventions? cesarean rates?
- Any health and lifestyle related changes they recommend making?
- Any foods that should be avoided?
- Morning sickness or other symptoms and remedies
- Any common household items (ex. cleaning products) to avoid
When you visit your healthcare provider in the early months of your pregnancy it’s usually only once a month or so, it’s helpful to brainstorm your questions ahead of time. If you’re like me, you’ll totally blank when you get in the room.
Figure Out Your Medical History ( And Your Spouse)
You’ll likely be asked a bunch of questions related to your medical health as well as your partners’. Its helpful if you can get this information organized ahead of time so you’re not just thinking off the top of your head like I did.
Our doctor also wanted to know our parents medical history which I didn’t know all the details offhand. I suggest also checking with your family and jotting down any medical issues or conditions they may have.
You may be able to get a print out or fax from your general practitioner but some GPs charge for this service.
Are you currently taking any medications?
You’re doctor will definitely want to know all about these. You’ll need all the specific details so I suggest running into your local pharmacy and asking them for a medical list profile.
If you use more than one pharmacy, you’ll have to get in touch with each one separately.
Your doctor can then accurately assess whether its safe to continue that medication during your pregnancy or if you’ll require something else.
Assess Any Health Or Lifestyle Habits You Need To Change
It’s not just us anymore! It’s time to start thinking about that little bean growing inside us. We may have to start making some lifestyle and habit changes to make sure baby is developing well.
If you’ve got any unhealthy habits, there’s no better time to make the commitment to change them (or at least put them off for the next 9 months).
Here are some things you’ll need to work on during pregnancy:
- Smoking– if you’re a smoker, it’s time to stop! Cigarette smoking can have detrimental effects on baby’s development
- Alcohol- there’s a lot of mixed information here. Some people say a glass of wine here and there is okay. Other’s say NOTHING at all. I would see what you’re doctor advises but personally I opted for no alcohol at all. I’m from the better safe than sorry camp. The risk just wasn’t worth it. If there’s even a 1% chance that my drinking results in a lifetime of difficulty for baby, that’s way too high a risk for me.
- Coffee– if you’re an avid coffee drinker, this one can be a toughie. Again, I recommend checking with your doctor. They may recommend cutting down to 1 cup max. I went cold turkey just to be on the safe side (can you tell I’m a worrier?)
- Healthy Diet– it’s time to start choosing the healthy healthy. I know those cravings can get BAD and sometimes you gotta give in but whenever possible choose those fruits, veggies and proteins.
- Exercise– It’s not the time to start training for a marathon if you’re not a regular runner. However, staying active is still very important. I would suggest at least taking some daily walks or getting into prenatal yoga
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Pregnancy Foods: Dos and Don’ts
Familiarize yourself with foods that are good for you during pregnancy and those foods that you should avoid. Not all foods are safe during pregnancy so it’s important to educate yourself.
On that note, it’s often said that you’re eating for 2 now. In some sense, yes, but that doesn’t mean chowing down on everything and anything.
In the early stages of pregnancy you really don’t need more than an extra 100 calories a day. That’s like an extra glass of milk or an apple. That’s it!
Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
It’s extremely important to avoid foods that could be potential bacteria or parasite powerhouses. You’re baby doesn’t have the defenses they need to fight these yet so make sure to avoid:
- uncooked or under-cooked meats/fish/shellfish- bummer but that means no sushi made with raw fish or oysters!
- When eating fish make sure to choose those that are low in mercury- avoid: shark, mackerel and swordfish as these have higher levels
- Avoid unpasteurized soft cheeses
- no foods that may contain raw eggs
- avoid deli meats, luncheon meats, hot dogs
Stock Up On Healthy Super Foods To Snack On During Pregnancy
It can be easy to get caught up in cravings and give in to the junk food. The best way to avoid this is to stock up on pregnancy super foods that you can snack on throughout the day to curb cravings and nausea.
Some awesome foods with tons of health benefits for you and baby during pregnancy include:
- carrot and celery sticks with hummus dip
- broccoli and dark green leafy veggies
- sweet potato
- dried fruit
- Greek yogurt
- beans and legumes
- whole grains
- lean meats like beef, chicken or pork
Combat Nausea and Morning Sickness Or Other Pregnancy Symptoms
The first trimester can be tough because you can’t tell anybody you’re pregnant and you feel awful (not always the case but true for most women).
If you’re experiencing morning sickness and nausea, stock up on some natural remedies to help combat them.
Ginger is a great natural remedy for nausea. I would often make myself tea steeped with fresh ginger whenever an episode hit (when I was at home).
But, if you get hit when you’re out and about you can’t really stop to make tea. Grab some Preggie Pop Drops.
Some other tips that helped with my nausea include:
- eating smaller meals/snacks frequently (I always felt sick if I had an empty stomach- like first thing in the morning)
- Taking my prenatal vitamin after my breakfast
The other pregnancy symptom I got hit with in the first trimester was intense fatigue! I had this pretty much throughout my pregnancy.
If you’re the same, try to rest as much as possible whenever you can. I needed to nap ALOT!
Don’t try to do ALL THE THINGS. This is your body telling you to slow down. Listen. Try to delegate whatever tasks you can and take it easy.
Decide On Your Pregnancy Announcement
Another exciting part about your pregnancy is deciding when and how to tell everyone about this happy miracle. Who will you tell first? Will you tell them in some special way?
Personally, the very first person I would think to tell is my partner. You probably want to make it special and unique because it’s the first step on this new adventure.
Check out these adorable ways to tell your husband you’re pregnant!
How about telling the family?
This is totally up to you but most people these days choose to wait until the end of the first trimester. That’s because the first trimester is considered the most high-risk time for miscarriage. When the time is right, plan a creative way to tell your parents you’re pregnant.
During my first pregnancy, I was so so excited I couldn’t keep it in. I told EVERYONE and ANYONE that would listen that I was pregnant.
Unfortunately, I lost that little baby.
For me, having to tell everyone about the loss just made it even harder. It felt like I was disappointing so many people and I felt like I was reliving the experience each time. I would burst into tears every single time.
To make matters worse, my culture is very hush-hush when it comes to miscarriage and there’s some kind of unsaid assumption that it’s somehow the mother’s fault.
This was just all too much during my first pregnancy.
If this is your first pregnancy, I would highly suggest waiting.
Check out these adorable pregnancy announcement ideas for your social media for some inspo while you wait!
Make An Appointment With Human Resources or Your Boss To Discuss Mat Leave
You’ll also have to let your workplace know that you’re pregnant. Make sure to go over your employer’s maternity leave policy and jot down any questions you have or clarification you may need regarding their policy.
If you’re in the US, make sure to read up on The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and understand your rights.
Document Your Pregnancy
Now, for some of the fun stuff! It’s time to start documenting your pregnancy. This amazing time in your life is going to whiz right by and you’ll likely forgot a lot of it. Start doing small things to document this time in your life.
Start with a before shot sans baby bump and continue to take pictures throughout every week of your pregnancy.
You can grab some super cute bump stickers or even a letter board which you can still use afterwards.
Another super cute way to document your pregnancy is with a pregnancy journal. I REALLY wish I had done this during my pregnancy. I didn’t even know this was a thing!
It would have been so nice to be able to look back and see how I was feeling then or what crazy symptom I was dealing with that week.
I will most definitely be doing this if I’m lucky enough to get pregnant again. I’ve been eyeing this pregnancy journal!
Download A Pregnancy Tracker App
You should definitely download a pregnancy tracker app. It’s a fun way to learn how you’re baby is growing and what size they are each week.
You can also sign up for BabyCenter online. They also have a lot of great info and personalized baby tracking info sent straight to your email.
Plus, they have a huge community of other moms. The forums are a great place to ask questions and connect with other mamas.
I did a lot of that while I was pregnant. Looking up every little symptom (don’t do that). You’ll drive yourself crazy. If something feels off, check with your healthcare provider.
Educate Yourself On The Warning Signs You Should NEVER Ignore When Pregnant
I sincerely hope that your entire pregnancy is stress and worry free. However, sometimes things don’t always go the way we want them to. It’s so so important to know what things to look out for that may be a warning sign that something isn’t right.
Never ignore these warning signs:
- Severe or sharp pains or cramps
- intense vaginal bleeding
- leaking fluid
If you’re experiencing any of these speak with your healthcare provider ASAP!
Get Free Baby Stuff!
There are tons of companies that offer free baby products, free baby samples and other cool freebies for new and expectant moms as well as baby.
It doesn’t hurt to start taking a look around to see if you find any of these useful! Babies are expensive after all!
I’ve done most of the hard work for you! I’ve rounded up all the best baby freebies in this one post. Have a look and see what you like!
The Ultimate MUST Dos During Your First Trimester
I hope you found this first trimester to-do list helpful in organizing the most important things you need to accomplish in the first trimester of pregnancy. Print out your free first trimester checklist so you don’t forget anything! Is there anything I missed that you thought of?
It’s been a while since I was pregnant so that could be likely. If you have a suggestion, leave me a comment and I’ll update our list!
Have a wonderful pregnancy! Hopefully, I’ll see you back here for your second trimester checklist.
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