If you are reading this post, you probably just found out that you are pregnant! So, let me start off with a big CONGRATULATIONS! This post is all about the first trimester checklist that will help you both celebrate and also begin planning for the little bundle of joy forming inside you!
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Appointments: First Trimester CHecklist
Schedule a Dental Cleaning
Pregnancy affects just about every aspect of your body and your teeth are no exception. The hormones that come with pregnancy can wreak havoc on your teeth and put you at an increased risk for gingivitis. Getting a dental cleaning early on will help you get started on the right foot. Just make sure to let your dentist or hygienist know that you can’t receive any x-rays during your visit.
Schedule Out as Far as You Can
Once your doctor has confirmed your pregnancy, you are ready to start scheduling appointments! I highly suggest that you schedule out your prenatal appointments as far as you can. This is especially important if you want a specific doctor who may be in high demand. Plus, life gets busy and it gets tedious to constantly call and schedule every month. Set as many as you can and put them all in your phone calendar. You’ll thank me later!
Logistics: First Trimester Checklist
Start Planning Your Pregnancy Announcement
Everyone decides to announce their pregnancy at different points. Regardless of whenever you decide the time is right for you, why not start planning now! When the first trimester nausea has you down and out, perusing Pinterest for baby announcement ideas can be a fun way to lift your spirits. If you need a place to start, check out my Pinterest Baby Announcement Board!
Call Childcare Centers
If you plan on going back to work after maternity leave, you may want to start your childcare search now. There can be insanely long waiting lists at the good child care centers. You may need to get on the waitlist now if you want to get into your top pick.
Consider Where You Will Deliver
While you do have plenty of time to make this decision, it’s smart to start researching hospitals in your area now. Check out this article from CentraState Medical for seven things consider when choosing a maternity hospital.
Check Into Your Health Insurance
Health insurance is finicky and it’s hard to know what your specific health insurance will cover when it comes to all your prenatal appointments, ultrasounds, and even the delivery. Check with your insurance and with your hospital to find out exactly what your insurance will and won’t cover and what hospitals are within the network of your insurance. This is smart to do in the first trimester so you can plan your finances accordingly.
Download a Baby App on Your Phone
Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, it is amazing to watch your baby grow! I personally love using the What to Expect app that tells me the size of my baby each week, what body systems are developing, and what symptoms and body changes I can expect to see in my own body. Whenever I felt nauseous during the first trimester, I’d check my app to help me get excited again about the hard work that my body was doing and the amazing person it was forming.
Health Choices: First Trimester Checklist
Find a Good Prenatal Vitamin
Once you know you’re pregnant, it’s best to start taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as possible. Once you know where you will be going for your prenatal appointments, you can easily call and ask for their best recommendations. I personally take the NatureMade Prenatal with Folic Acid and DHA and have found it much more tolerable than my previous prenatal when I’m nauseous. However, this can be different for everyone. If one doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor and try a new one.
Get This Pregnancy Water Bottle
Many people are unknowingly perpetually dehydrated and it causes a whole host of issues that could be solved with a little water. Hydration becomes even more important when you become pregnant. The usual recommendation of 64 oz a day is increased to 96 oz a day when you become pregnant. It can be tricky to get all that down, especially amidst the first trimester nausea. Taking small sips throughout the day will help you stay on track to get the water you need. This 32 ounce pregnancy water bottle tracker has time markers to keep you on track throughout the day. Plus, it also comes with special stickers to add on with each week of your pregnancy! What a fun keepsake for later on!
Stay Active (or Get Active)
If you were exercising before pregnancy, keep doing it. If you weren’t, now is the time to start. Start with walking just 10-15 minutes a day and slowly increase this amount until you are walking 30 minutes a day. If you are looking for pregnancy safe strength workouts or workouts that you can do in your home, I personally have loved using prenatal workouts from Nourish Move Love. They even have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester workout plans!
Reduce Caffeine to Under 200 MG
The first trimester is filled with a constant battle between fatigue, caffeine, and nausea. For me and many other pregnant women, the sound of your favorite coffee is absolutely disgusting. If that’s the case for you, you may not have to worry too much about tracking your caffeine intake. If coffee or tea does happen to be a craving of yours though, make sure you cautiously watch your intake.This will stand for the rest of pregnancy too so it’s good to get into the mindset of less caffeine regardless of how you are feeling right now.
Give Yourself a Bed Time
I know it’s hard to force yourself to bed early as an adult. It’s especially hard if you’ve got other kids already and want to spend time by yourself after they go to bed. But the first trimester is going to wipe you out and you’ll need all the sleep you can get. If you’ve got other kids running around, night time is probably the only shot you’ll have at sleep. Doctors recommend that pregnant women get 8-10 hours of sleep each night, so plan your bedtime accordingly.
Ditch the Alcohol
One of the first things you need to do when you find out you’re pregnant is cut out all alcohol. Alcohol is extremely dangerous to a developing fetus and it’s not worth the risk playing with the amount you drink. Plus, it’s only going to worsen any first trimester nausea you may have so it’s best to steer clear. If you want to have a little fun, there are tons of amazing mocktail recipes! If you need some inspiration, check out this book full of tons of recipes. I like to keep this one on hand in my kitchen!
Find Nausea Remedies that Work for You
I went through every nausea remedy in the book this pregnancy. I found plenty that did nothing, but I found a few that kept me sane and functional. I’ve linked and explained them all in my article, “ 7 First Trimester Nausea Remedies that Actually Work.” Even still, always have grace with yourself and accept that some days you will have to take it easy. And that’s okay.
Check Your Medications
When you find out that you’re pregnant, make sure to get a list of safe and unsafe medications for pregnancy from your Obstetrician. Whether you regularly take a prescription or not, there are also tons of over the counter medications that actually aren’t safe for pregnancy. I got a list from my doctor and I was amazed at what things were on the unsafe list. Keep this list on your fridge for when you get colds, the flu, or even a bad headache.
Start a List of Reasons You Like Being Pregnant
I put this one on the list for the sake of your mental health (which is equally as important by the way). While it may sound a little crazy to make a list of reasons you love pregnancy when you are exhausted and feeling awful, I can attest that it makes all the difference. Try to write down just one thing each day. Having that list on hand will help you get through the days hunched over the toilet.
Comfort: First Trimester CHecklist
Find a Comfortable Bra
Once you become pregnant, you will quickly notice your bras getting too small. You’ll also quickly notice your breasts getting sore. So, invest in that new bra that actually fits. You’ll be far more comfortable and I promise it will be worth it.
Consider Nipple Covers
Some days in the first trimester you will want the most supportive bra possible and other days you may be too sore for a bra at all. However that being said, your nipples will be insanely sensitive and no bra can also get uncomfortable. I personally recommend investing in reusable silicone nipple covers. It’s the best of both worlds.
Thrift for Clothes a Size Up
While you probably aren’t ready for full on maternity clothes, your favorite jeans might be starting to get a little tight. If you’re nauseous already, tight clothing may only make it worse. All you really need at this point are clothes a size or two up from your normal size. Since you will only be wearing these clothes for a few weeks, I recommend finding yourself a few pieces at a thrift store. It’s a cheap way to buy comfort when you are exhausted and nauseous.
Create a Snack Stash in Your Car
Hunger often makes nausea worse, so snacks are a crucial part of controlling first trimester nausea. You probably can’t eat much at once right now and will need to eat lots of little snacks and meals throughout your day. But you may not be able to predict when a wave of hunger nausea will hit. It often hit me totally out of the blue. To combat this while you are out of the house, make sure that you keep a stash of your favorite snacks in your car.
To make your life easier amidst the first trimester exhaustion, I’ve compiled all of these into my free printable First Trimester Nausea Checklist. I hope this leaves you feeling less stressed and more excited! Also, don’t forget to check out my page of free printables for things like baby registry checklists, baby proofing checklists and more!