Congrats on your pregnancy, mama! You probably feel many emotions when you’re in the first trimester of your pregnancy. This first trimester checklist will ensure that stress isn’t one of those emotions.
When you’re prepared with a first trimester to-do list, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted, especially if this is your first pregnancy.
Having a clear list of things to do during your pregnancy will let you know what to expect and prepare you for this profound change in your life!
Let’s get started!
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When is the first trimester of pregnancy?
The first trimester of your pregnancy is weeks 1-12. Typically, you won’t even find out you are pregnant until around weeks 4-6, and that’s because your pregnancy starts on the first day of your last period. (It’s weird, I know.)
If you haven’t already, check out this post on what to do when you first find out you’re pregnant. These items are crucial to take care of once you see that positive pregnancy test.
Plus, you’ll want to ensure you haven’t forgotten to do anything important!
First Trimester Checklist: Things To Do
1. Have Your First Prenatal Checkup
In the post above, I mention how one of the first things you should do once you find out you’re pregnant is to decide on your doctor and call to make your first prenatal appointment.
So, after waiting a couple of long weeks, the appointment date has come, and it’s time to talk with your doctor!
Now, what should you expect at this appointment?
Your doctor will talk to you about your medical history. Your medical history will include previous surgeries and any medical conditions you may have.
Also, your doctor will ask you about your family medical history. They will want to know anything that runs in your family, like high blood pressure, for example.
Keep in mind that it’s likely that the doctor will ask about your partner’s family medical history. So, if you don’t want your partner to come to the appointment with you, ask them before your appointment and write down what they say.
Often, your doctor will do a physical exam at your first prenatal checkup. They will check your weight and blood pressure, and they might also do a PAP test unless you have already had one in the current year.
Also, you will need to do a urine test. The doctor might confirm your pregnancy through this test, and they will also check for bladder or kidney infections, amongst other things.
You will have a blood test to check for things like anemia and to determine your blood type. Your doctor may also talk to you about genetic testing and set up future blood draws for those as well.
There will also be time for you to ask the doctor any questions that you may have. Check out this article to find out the best questions to ask at your first prenatal checkup. Plus, download the free printable to take with you!
After this initial prenatal appointment is finished, you will most likely continue to see your doctor every four weeks throughout your first and second trimesters.
2. Get Morning Sickness Under Control
Morning sickness is not fun. But, some lucky people don’t experience it! (Let’s hope that’s you!) If you aren’t that lucky, you will want to find out what works for you to get nausea under control.
One thing to look for is a pattern. If you see a specific time of day when you are always getting sick, try to take it easy around that time.
For example, in my first pregnancy, I noticed that I was always getting sick on weekday mornings as I was rushing around getting ready for work. Giving myself a little extra time to take things slowly helped quite a bit.
As for getting nauseous throughout the day, here are some tried and true ways to help you out:
- Drink ginger ale.
- Have hard candy, mints, or chewing gum for when your mouth gets dry.
- Eat smaller meals and have snacks more often.
- Keep saltine crackers available.
- Check out Sea Bands!
- Drink your water in smaller amounts, don’t down it!
- Try taking your prenatal vitamin at night instead of in the morning.
For more ways to help control morning sickness, check out this post where I share every helpful tip to help you!
3. Rest As Much As Possible
It’s very likely that you are already pretty tired every day. Making sure you get as much rest as possible is an essential thing to do on this first trimester checklist!
Now, resting doesn’t just mean sleeping. Do things that you enjoy that are also relaxing! Focus on doing some fun hobbies LINK like reading, crafty activities, or whatever you’re into!
4. Lower Your Stress
Lowering your stress is also crucial for a happy and healthy pregnancy. What better time to start looking at your stressors than the beginning of the first trimester?
If your stress comes from work, look for ways to reduce the stress. If you can’t remove your work stress, find things you can do outside of work to help you feel calm.
5. Try To (Lightly) Exercise
Even though you want to try to rest as much as possible, you also want to start a regular exercise routine if you don’t have one. Exercising is key in helping reduce any stress you might have and can also help you sleep better.
You will want to make sure that the exercises you choose are safe to do while pregnant. I recommend doing things like prenatal yoga or going on walks.
Both of these exercises are great during pregnancy to keep you active. Prenatal yoga will help to keep you flexible and strong; walking will help ease some of the pregnancy discomforts that occur, like in your lower back and legs.
6. Take a First Look at Your Budget
Having a baby can be expensive, which is why it’s so beneficial to learn how to have a baby on a budget.
An important task on your first trimester checklist is to sit down with your partner and take a first look at your current monthly expenses.
I say ‘first look’ because it’s also crucial to revisit your budget, whether to see if you’re still on track or to make some changes because something isn’t working for you.
When you first look at your budget, think about things you will want for your baby. Now, I’m not only talking about physical things like the dream nursery theme you found on Pinterest.
You’ll want to consider other things, like do you want to send your baby to daycare, or do you want to make the switch to being a stay-at-home mom?
After looking at your current expenses, add in the costs that will be coming soon. Add an estimate for daycare, or if you will be staying at home, take away your income and see if you need to add a part-time job instead.
Other expenses include diapers and baby wipes, and if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, you’ll need to add in the cost of formula.
I know this part can be stressful. Trust me, I stressed about this subject throughout my whole first pregnancy. But remember that as long as you are mindful of your budget, everything will be ok!
- When To Start Buying Baby Stuff
- The Best Reasons To Have No Visitors After Birth
- Meaningful Gifts for Your Labor and Delivery Nurses
7. Start Preventing Stretch Marks
Using a body cream or lotion daily starting in your first trimester can help prevent stretch marks. I used this brand during my whole pregnancy, and not only did it smell fantastic, but it also worked well!
When working to prevent some stretch marks, don’t only focus on your belly! You’ll want to apply the cream/lotion to other areas that can grow and stretch during pregnancy.
For example, you’ll want to use stretch mark cream on places like your breasts, hips, thighs, and even your upper arms.
8. Adjust Your Diet
While pregnant, there are certain things that you need to avoid eating and doing. For example, you shouldn’t eat fish with high mercury like tuna or sushi with raw fish. Also, no deli meat, raw milk, soft cheese, or raw eggs because of the risk of getting listeria or salmonella.
You will also want to be mindful of your caffeine intake. This is because your baby’s metabolism isn’t mature enough to process it, and too much caffeine can possibly lead to low birth weight.
If you don’t want to cut caffeine out of your diet completely, be sure to limit yourself to no more than 200 milligrams a day.
Also, make sure to try to start eating healthier. It can be beneficial to limit fast food (but don’t feel guilty when you do indulge) and add more fruits and veggies to your diet. Snacking on healthier foods like fruits and veggies will also help you keep that pesky pregnancy-related constipation away.
And the last, most obvious thing to avoid; stop smoking and drinking if you are.
9. Drink Plenty of Water
Like eating a healthier diet, ensuring that you drink plenty of water is an essential part of your first trimester checklist! Staying properly hydrated will also help to prevent constipation and can help keep you from feeling as sluggish.
10. Start Educating Yourself
When you are a first-time mom, there is so much to learn! Now is a great time to start preparing yourself for motherhood.
A must-read book, even if you aren’t big into reading, is What To Expect When You’re Expecting. There is so much information about anything you can think of in this book. It also breaks down your pregnancy month by month and goes into detail about things you might be experiencing.
What should you avoid during your pregnancy?
Another part of educating yourself is to make sure you know what activities to avoid doing while pregnant. This is an essential part of your first trimester checklist, so you aren’t doing anything harmful. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- No hot tubs – Warm (not hot!) baths can be ok during pregnancy, but skip out on hot tub soaks for the next nine months.
- No cat litter box cleaning – If you have cats, you will want to have someone else clean the cat litter box while you are pregnant. Cat poo can carry a disease called Toxoplasmosis that is harmful to your baby if contracted.
- No heavy lifting – You will want to check with your doctor about how much you should be lifting. While I was pregnant, my doctor told me to lift no more than 25 pounds.
- Be cautious about certain fumes – Steer clear of things like paint fumes, second-hand smoke, and certain household cleaners.
11. Start Decluttering Your Home
As I mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that you’re probably super tired. When you get those bouts of productiveness, start organizing your house! Babies tend to accumulate quite a bit of stuff, so you will want plenty of room.
Organizing your house is a process you will be glad you got done at the beginning of your pregnancy rather than when you are in your third trimester trying to make space for all the new baby things.
I recommend choosing one room at a time and starting with the room that will be your baby’s nursery.
You’ll also love: The Ultimate Checklist Of Nursery Must-Haves
12. Announce Your Pregnancy
Now is a great time to announce your pregnancy if you’re ready. The general rule is to wait until around week 12 before publicly announcing your pregnancy. But feel free to announce your special news whenever you think it is right!
There are many ways to let those around you know the big news. You can do a big reveal or keep it low-key and just say it!
13. Start Buying Some Maternity Clothing
Every mom’s baby bump grows at a different speed, but it’s nice to be prepared with some clothing in a larger size. So, toward the end of the first trimester is a great time to start getting some maternity clothes.
It’s a good idea to look at your needs before going shopping. For example, if you work full time, you might want to get more work-appropriate clothing than casual weekend clothes.
Do invest in some nursing bras and comfortable tee shirts regardless. These tee shirts were my favorite! You will also want to ensure you have safe shoes to minimize the risk of falling. It’s a good idea to find some super comfortable flats like these ones to wear.
14. Make Date Night a Regular Occasion
With your little addition coming soon, it’s vital to prioritize date nights with your partner. Adding a new baby to your family is a massive change, so connecting as much as possible is crucial.
There certainly is a lot going on in the first trimester, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed! Following this first trimester checklist will make you a lot more prepared for the coming months.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- What NOT To Put On Your Baby Registry
- Pregnancy Essentials That’ll Help You Stay Comfortable
- The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist
- The Best Things To Stock Up On Before Baby Arrives
- The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding vs. Formula
What is your favorite thing to do on this first trimester checklist? I would love to know in the comments below!