Calculate your due date. You will want to know how far along you are before you can start planning. Click here for some of the best due date calculators online.
Gather your support network. Many people wait 12 weeks before announcing their pregnancy, and that is fine, but you will be glad to have some support during your first trimester. Find a fun way of telling your partner or sharing the news with close family or friends. (Remember this memorable pregnancy announcement?) These moments are special – and you should celebrate such a life changing moment.
Find a Dr. if you don’t already have one. Ask around and speak to people who have experience with pre-natal care. You will want someone you are comfortable with and can trust.
Get rid of the bad stuff. It’s common sense, but you will want to cut down on sugar, eliminate any recreational drugs and cigarettes. Get informed. Yes, limited caffeine and wine is believed to be ok during pregnancy (get more info here) – but how much is too much? What about any medication you are already taking? Don’t wait until your first official visit – get on the phone and find out what is safe.
Get healthy. Priming your body and eating right will benefit you tremendously in pregnancy. Have a look at your diet and make sure you are getting enough good fats and folic acid. There are plenty of reasons to get active (read more here). Click here to read about pre-natal yoga and here for some exercise tips. And don’t forget to get plenty of rest!!
Be prepared! There is a lot of information out there and it may seem like too much to get your mind around, but skimming through some magazines, or our pregnancy section here will get you ready for the first trimester. Anticipate your body changes. Reduce surprises. Ease your way in by knowing what to expect. Click here for the top survival tips during your first trimester and here for the pregnancy symptoms no one told you about.
Head to the library or book store. Being informed will keep you calm and having knowledge will make decision making easier.(Click here for the top 5 pregnancy books to get you started.)
Track your baby’s progress..and your bump. Learn about what goes on from week to week – it’s pretty amazing (and memorable) to watch your baby develop and grow inside of you and to really witness changes in your body. This will keep you positive on days that may challenge you. Have fun with it! There are some really creative ways of doing this. I loved this 40 seconds in 40 weeks vid (click here) and the 9 months in 5 minutes compilation here. You can also read more about belly casting here or maternity photograph tips here.
Get your finances together. A growing family is an expense and being organised is absolutely critical. If you are not already budgeting, sit down and figure something realistic out. Get some advice. Create a savings plan. Look at the options for any debt or expenses you already have. Budget for things like insurance deductibles, premiums, prescriptions and the cost of preparing your home for baby (A crib will be one of your expenses so click here for a crib buying guide for new parents).
Start researching baby names. While this is fun, it’s a big decision – and you have limited time. This gives you a chance to think about names, consider traditions and think about some options. Check out some of the year’s most popular and unusual baby names here.
Enjoy it! You might be ecstatic, surprised, stressed – or all three. The changes, the preparation and the uncertainty can be scary. But it can also be beautiful and life changing. It’s such a great opportunity for self-improvement, a chance to surround yourself with people you love and a wonderful journey of trials – and growth. You might as well enjoy the ride.