This post may contain affiliate links. Read more on my disclaimers that is listed at the bottom of this page.
Yay! Congratulations on your pregnancy! It’s such an exciting time and preparing for baby is filled with so much anticipation. If you are anything like me,It is also a time that feels a bit surreal. You aren’t showing any physical signs of growth from your pregnancy for the first several weeks and that can make it hard to accept the reality that you are growing a tiny little person. But, it is still time to prepare for baby because he or she is gonna rock your world in a short 9 months!
For now, preparing for baby looks a lot like taking care of yourself. The way you treat your body and mind over the next year (I’m including the fourth trimester!) will have a dramatic impact on your baby. There are some things you can start doing right away to take care of and prepare for baby.
If you are reading this because you think you are pregnant, read this article first! It explains 25 pregnancy symptoms to help women figure out if they are actually pregnant!
If you have already missed a period, you can obviously grab an at home test and confirm your delicate condition.
Get rid of morning sickness
Morning sickness is NO FUN! And some women experience it all day and beyond the first trimester. Here are some good, natural options. If they don’t work, make sure to talk to your doctor if you are really miserable. They will have options for your.
Click on the image to see the item on Amazon.
Ginger tea or chews
Peppermint essential oil
A note about essential oils: it is important to do your research and only use what you understand to be high quality oils. I personally trust this brand from the research I have done. It is affordable and high quality.
Choose where and how you want to give birth
Home birth is a growing trend right now so it may be something you are considering as you prepare for baby. I have had many friends who deliver in a hospital and a few who choose to stay at home with a midwife. Many who choose home deliveries are passionate about this option. But not everyone feels comfortable or is a good candidate. So, be sure to do your research, speak with other moms who have done what you are leaning towards and go with what you feel most comfortable with.
Choose A Doctor or Midwife
The person who helps you deliver your baby will have a significant impact on your experience, obviously. So, as you prepare, do your research on doctors or midwives who come highly recommended, take the time to ask around and then schedule an appointment. If you don’t absolutely love the doctor or midwife you have originally selected, I would encourage you not to hesitate in seeking someone else.
It is in your and your baby’s best interest to be in the care of someone you trust and have a good rapport with. I have been there, done that….I have had experiences with doctors that I haven’t enjoyed. Alternatively I found a doctor that came highly recommended and who came to feel like a part of our family. He delivered three of our four babies…but because we lived overseas, we always started a pregnancy in a different country and with various doctors. After our first delivery experience overseas that was really traumatic and upon finding a doctor in our home town that we loved, we chose to come home for the last half of each pregnancy and the deliveries.
We still stay in touch with our doctor even though he is retired! It made a big difference for us once we were in this doctor’s care because we trusted him fully. I’m so thankful for our doctor because I have heard way too many moms talk about how unkind, unwilling to listen and rude an obstetrician has been. It’s not worth it! There are great ones out there so be sure to find one!
Schedule your first prenatal appointment
After choosing your doctor, don’t wait to schedule your first appointment, even if you are only a month along. Some doctors can take several weeks to get an appointment with (especially if you have heard they are awesome by word of mouth). You also won’t be seen, mostly likely, until you are 8 weeks pregnant or so. But, as soon as you know you are pregnant, call the office of the doctor you want to see and get an appointment for around that time.
Other articles you may enjoy:
Hospital Bag Essentials Checklist
If you take any prescription medications, you should immediately find out if they are safe during pregnancy. You can find a lot of info on line, but it’s best to call your doctor’s office and tell them what the meds are. Even if you haven’t been seen yet, they should be able to help make sure you are only thing something that is safe for baby.
Take a prenatal vitamin
It’s a good idea to start taking a prenatal as soon as you start trying to conceive. So, if you haven’t already, start taking a prenatal vitamin.
Make sure to look into the actual ingredients of the vitamin you choose. Many push folic acid as a vital component to your baby’s health and it is! Folate helps baby avoid an array of birth defects! However, due to my experience with tongue tied babies, I would look for a prenatal that includes a non synthetic form. This would be in the form of methylfolate or even better, 5-MTHF.
Read my post that goes over the top prenatal vitamins you may want to consider choosing from.
Start learning about baby sleep
Mama, do yourself a favor and make this a serious part of preparing for baby. Baby sleep is not a total unknown and you don’t have to be a zombie the first few months of baby’s life. Instead, you can read my newest eBook, Every Mom’s Guide To Nap Time-The Ultimate Handbook For Getting GREAT Naps Everyday. This book will walk you through how to start out on the right food with your baby’s sleep right out of the womb to set up healthy sleep habits. It will also explain how I used my daytime nap schedule with my infants to get them sleeping through the night.
Quite drinking alcohol and smoking
This is usually well known this day in age, but I’ll never forget seeing a woman in her third trimester puffing away. There are so many reasons you need to avoid alcohol and smoking in pregnancy. If you are having a hard time, ask your doctor for help and he/she will have resources for you.
Lower your caffeine intake
Something else you need to give up, to some degree, is caffeine. I gave up all caffeine during my first pregnancy. Then I let myself have a little during my second. My third baby got a bit more caffeine. And my fourth baby got it almost daily. So, I’m not one to tell you to give it up totally.
Due to the fact that high caffeine consumption has been linked to miscarriage and other pregnancy problems by studies, it is wise to cut down on your caffeine. It is recommended that you have no more than 200 mg per day, which is one 11 oz cup of coffee. (source)
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
At this point, you are not really eating for two. You only need a few hundred extra calories each day to account for growing your little person right now. So, stick with a healthy and balanced diet so as not to gain unnecessary weight early in pregnancy.
Do try to get some extra healthy choices in, including lots of greens and power foods.
There is a list of foods you want to avoid during pregnancy:
- undercooked meat
- unpasteurized soft cheeses
- raw eggs
- sushi with raw fish
- raw oysters and other raw shellfish
- fish high in mercury
- raw sprouts
- deli style meats
While there are certain activities you should avoid, there is a growing consensus that exercise isn’t one of them. You may not be going for your five mile run anymore, but there is plenty you can do to stay healthy and fit during pregnancy. This will benefit you and baby as well as make delivery easier for your body.
Get a lot of rest
Growing a human is potentially one of the most exhausting things you’ll ever experience. So, take naps when you can and head to bed early. You’ll get some energy back when your second trimester rolls around.
Consider a birth class
Online birth classes are growing in popularity. People want the info but don’t always have time to schedule a multiple week class. Check out this list of options from Romper.
Take an online breastfeeding course from Milkology
I wish someone would have told me a bit more about what to expect when it came to breastfeeding. Alas, I floundered quite a bit and really struggled. With that said, there are so many awesome resources out there that I wish I had known about. Some awesome online classes I have found come from a gal named Stacey and I wanted to share what she has to offer with you! Here are her classes, which range in price from $14-19, making them super affordable! Click on any of the classes to check them out!
Sooner rather than later, it’s a good idea to understand what coverage you have for your pregnancy and delivery. Make sure you have the coverage you need early on so you can make changes if needed.
When the time is right and you share your pregnancy with your workplace, make sure to learn about maternity leave. You have many rights when it comes to maternity leave so make sure you are getting what you need here.
Some mamas to be like to share the news right away while some prefer to get through the first trimester before the share the news. There is no wrong choice and you just have to go with what sounds comfortable to you.
Along with deciding when you’ll announce your pregnancy, it’s good to begin mulling over if you want to find out the gender of your baby. If so, will you reveal the gender to others or keep it as your little secret? We knew the sex of three out of our four babies. I have to say, the surprise reveal at birth was so incredibly fun! I highly recommend it if you think you can hold out for it.
During these early months, you may have your mind wrapped up in the logistics of birth and adding a child to your family. However, it’s not at all too soon to chat with your spouse or partner about parenting. The more you can be on the same page about, the easier and more enjoyable starting your new family together will be.
Make a baby budget
The logistics of adding a baby to the family is definitely something to talk about too, though! Having a baby can cost a pretty penny. So, start making plans to avoid the stress early on!
You can read these helpful articles to help you make decisions about what to buy.
Start making a baby name list
This is one of the funnest things about preparing for your baby, in my opinion. I have always absolutely loved thinking about and coming up with the names of our children. With our first, we knew her name the moment we found out she was a girl. With our second, we found a name we loved so much just a couple weeks before her birth. Our son didn’t get his name until he was three days old, on the other hand. We just couldn’t agree on boy names! Thankfully we left the hospital with a name written down for him. And for our last baby, we had our boy name and our girl name ready.
Have fun, keep a list and the right name will become clear at some point.
Again, congratulations, mama! This is an exciting time. Your life is about to change in one of the biggest and most amazing ways because of the smallest person. I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly. I also hope this list of helped you with the practical things you need to get done as well as different ideas you need to think through as your pregnancy progresses.