Anyone who knows me knows that I am such a planner. When I was pregnant the first time, I wanted to be PREPARED. I did ALL KINDS of research (ok, googling). I read a lot of blogs and health-related websites. The end result was the most exhaustive list. I was so prepared that I was asked many times in the hospital how many kids I already had at home!
Of the lists out there, I did not love the focus on the medical aspect. Pregnancy is one of those times when you are seeing your doctor so regularly! They will tell you all that stuff. They will have even more up to date information than what you read on the internet. To me, it was not really helpful to focus so much of my planning there. What I really wanted to see was a list of the fun tasks, or the tasks that your doctor won’t necessarily tell you to do. Since I am now in my second pregnancy in two years, I figured I could probably put this list together for anyone else who might benefit from it.
Weeks 1 – 6: Start taking a prenatal vitamin
If you haven’t been taking one yet, now is the time to start. I can make myself take pills, but it turns out I am much more reliable at taking gummies. I never forget to take my daily candy.
Week 7: Purchase ginger beer (NA), ginger candy, & ginger tea, to calm nausea
I am very lucky in that I did not have extreme morning sickness like many people do. That said, I still dealt with my fair share of nausea. Ginger helps to calm that. I discovered Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Ginger Beer in the cocktail mixers aisle when I had a stomach ulcer years ago. It has been incredibly helpful during both pregnancies as well. It both settles the stomach and gives you something to sip on while everyone else is having cocktails. I really like that it does not contain artificial sweeteners, flavorings, or preservatives.
Pre-pandemic, I traveled quite a bit for work. I always packed this candy and this tea to feel better after a flight, and they have been lifesavers during both pregnancies.
Week 8: Procure a pair of soft black pregnancy pajama pants
It is definitely a little early for maternity clothes, but both times I was incredibly uncomfortable with anything touching my entire midsection in early pregnancy. I am not just talking tight jeans – I even mean regular loose sweatpants with an elastic band. I recommend black pants (I have these and love them) because they are somewhat passable as outdoor clothing if you’d like to get a little bit more use out of them.
Week 9: Buy a Pregnancy C-pillow & Pepcid for better sleep
The first symptom I experienced this pregnancy (and what prompted me to take a pregnancy test) was insomnia. I am normally an incredible sleeper, so this is very noticeable for me. I also remember early in my other pregnancy this was a huge issue for me. Curling up in a C-shaped body pillow and wrapping it tightly around me has been the only way I get any sleep. Additionaly, there are many recommendations to avoid sleeping on your back during pregnancy. Having a pillow propping me up on my side is the only way I can really keep myself off of my back.
Prior to my first pregnancy, I had never had heartburn in my life. I had no idea what it was at first, but it was BAD. Once my doctor advised I start taking a Pepcid before bed, I was able to get a lot more comfortable laying down. I also ended up needing it daily towards the end of my last pregnancy.
Week 10: Create your shower registry & Start walking daily
Since there are so many baby products out there, it’s a good idea to start making a baby shower registry early if you will have one. They can usually be kept private until you are ready to share them. It can also be a good way to save ideas and discuss options with your partner. We used Babylist which worked great!
Exercise got very difficult for me early on with both pregnancies. I was so winded just from very minor activities that I do every day! It’s basically the opposite of what happens when you start working out – normally it gets easier! But during pregnancy it just gets harder. Exercise is always recommended to keep up energy levels. Walking daily is a nice goal that will keep most people safe from overdoing it.
Week 11: Plan Nursery Layout
Depending on the space you have available, the first consideration for the nursery is usually going to be how the furniture will fit. Since this will usually impact what you register for, it’s a good idea to start thinking about it and measuring spaces early on. In our last house, our little guy’s room was on the smaller side. I wanted to make sure everything would fit well and be comfortable, which dictated a lot of our choices.
Since we were converting our guest room, we opted to not register for a changing table, but left space for a full-sized bed in addition to the crib. We just kept our diaper basket and changing pad on top of the bed which worked out really well!
Week 12: Buy a few more Maternity Clothes (if you will want or need them)
It’s really shocking how quickly “I have nothing to wear” can happen during pregnancy. Hopefully you already have some black PJ pants. This might actually be enough to get by if you don’t typically wear tight clothes or live with someone you can borrow bigger clothes from.
I was very excited to buy maternity clothes the first time around. Slightly less so this time, because so many clothes that are maternity-specific are either very expensive or truly terrible. That said, having a few cute tops or dresses that emphasize the bump can be nice to have. When I wear loose clothes during pregnancy, I feel like I just look huge with no indication of being pregnant. I have also had success with non-maternity clothes of pregnancy-flattering styles.
Week 13: Research pregnancy & baby items to register for, buy, or borrow
I wrote a little bit about this recently. There is so much on the market! It can be hard to know what to actually buy or register for. You don’t want to get too much stuff. Then you have to organize it all and find places for it to live. Plenty of baby items are only used for a short time as well. Sometimes it’s not worth it to buy new or spend too much money. Local mom’s groups on Facebook, Buy Nothing groups, and secondhand sales like Just Between Friends are all good places to look for baby items.