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I’m sure you had a million thoughts run through your head when you saw those two blue lines on the pregnancy test. If you search “What to do in your first Trimester”, about 50,000 checklists will come up. These lists are full of items that will quickly have you overwhelmed. I’m here to give you the barebones, no-stress, low-key list of what to do in your first trimester.
What you need to do in your first trimester
1. First checkup
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a doctor, midwife, doula, hospital, or homebirth. You’ll need to have your first check-up to get your blood work done. This blood work is preliminary to check your blood type, Rh factor, iron levels, and any diseases that may be harmful for your baby.
2. Find a doctor or midwife
You probably have already made your decision on whether you’ll have a traditional doctor or a midwife. Now is a good time to do any research you might want to do, talk to moms who have done both, and come to a decision with your spouse.
3. Decide on hospital birth, home birth, or birthing center
This goes in hand with choosing a doctor or midwife. Sometimes this decision is based on finances, but there are ways to save money when having a baby no matter your decision in this area. Make sure you check out my post on how we saved on having our baby!
4. Start taking prenatal vitamins
It’s important to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need when you’re pregnant. Your baby is literally draining your body of all the good stuff. Skipping your prenatals will probably not hurt your baby, but it WILL deprive YOU of the nutrients you need to stay going. It’s hard work growing humans!
Talk to your health care professional about what prenatal vitamins are right for you. I liked Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code RAW Prenatals because they contain plant–based ingredients AND folate rather than folic acid. After your first blood work, your doctor might recommend additional supplements. Remember, these are to keep mama healthy!
5. Begin budgeting
Whether you have health insurance or are paying out of pocket, you’ll need a basic plan for handling the bills. Don’t let this part stress you out! Doctor’s bills are expensive, but there are so many options out there! If you’re having a hard time keeping up with bills, talk to the financial department at your doctor’s office or hospital. You can check out posts like this one that will help you to stay on top of bills and stay stress free. Keeping things low stress is in your best interest in the first trimester!
6. Decide on maternity leave, cutting back on work hours, or staying at home
This is a huge decision, so make sure you talk about it, pray about it, and do a lot of soul-searching. Having a baby is the most important job you’ll ever have. You will be the whole world of your baby. Lining up time for maternity leave, deciding to cut back on work hours post–partum, or choosing to stay at home with your baby will help you ease into the transition to motherhood. The choice isn’t always easy, but know that you are the best parent for your baby no matter what the circumstances.
7. Begin treating your stretch marks
Stretch marks never go away once you get them. Pinterest images will tell you they can, products will advertise that they disappear, but I’m speaking from experience. There are ways to avoid getting stretch marks, but a lot of the time they are simply hereditary. Even in this first trimester, make sure you’re using body butter or lotion on your tummy, thighs, booty, and boobs. These are the places that you usually see pregnancy stretch marks. Other ways to fight stretch marks are to hydrate, maintain a nutritious diet (I mean duh, doesn’t everybody always say to eat healthy?), and after pregnancy don’t try to lose the baby weight too fast. It sounds crazy, but losing too much weight at once can cause stretch marks just as much as gaining weight quickly can.
8. Change your diet
Everyone knows you’re not supposed to have alcohol when pregnant, but did you know it is suggested to avoid unpasteurized milk products (like soft cheeses), deli meat, undercooked or raw meat, swordfish, shellfish, raw fish, and raw or undercooked eggs? Other things to avoid are caffeine-heavy drinks, unwashed vegetables and fruits, and pâté.
What you can do if you want to
- Decide on type of birth – Do you want to try for all natural or do you for sure want the meds?It might take you all the way to your due date to decide, and even then you might change your mind. Sometimes circumstances will decide for you as well (in the event of a C-section or inducement). However, it’s good to know what you’ll want so you can start communicating these things to your doctor or midwife.
- Begin baby registry – This is one of the fun parts! Start designing the nursery in your head and begin marking items you want in your registry.
- Start researching all things baby! – Even if you’re used to being around and caring for babies, there is a lot you may not know. I learned more about babies in two weeks as a new mom than I had in my entire life! Learn about umbilical cord clamping, breastfeeding tips, and how smelling your baby helps you to bond.
- Choose baby names – Some women have their baby names chosen when they’re 8 years old. If you don’t already have baby names picked out, now is a good time to start looking up etymologies and family names!
What is the first thing you did after finding out you were pregnant? Share with me by commenting below!
Love, Emily XOXO