Pregnancy Checklist – What to Do When Pregnant


First Trimester

Week 1: If you haven’t started already, you should be taking a prenatal multivitamin with folic acid daily (bump it up to 600 micrograms folic acid once you know for sure you’re pregnant).

Week 2: You should be eating the healthiest diet possible for the next nine months. For some simple guidelines, check out “Tell Me What to Eat”

Week 3: If you’re at risk for having a baby with an inherited disorder, you may want to schedule a visit with a genetic counselor.

Week 4: Positive test: You’re pregnant! Invest in an extra supportive bra, especially if your breasts are expanding. Many women grow a full cup size within the first few weeks.

Week 5: Call your doctor for an appointment as soon as you believe you are pregnant. Some will want to see you right away, others not until you are eight weeks pregnant.

Week 6: While some women wait to tell people about their pregnancy until the risk of miscarriage drops markedly (at 14 weeks), others spill the beans right away. You may want to wait to tell your boss or coworkers you’re pregnant until you’ve researched your maternity leave options.

Week 7: Before the first trimester is over, visit your company’s human resources department to find out how much maternity leave you’ll have and whether it will be paid, unpaid or a combination of both.

Week 8: Most obstetricians will perform an ultrasound at your first prenatal visit to confirm your pregnancy and to date it if you don’t know when you conceived.

Week 9: Women generally start taking childbirth-prep courses, such as Bradley or Lamaze, during the second trimester, but classes fill up quickly. Research the options in your area (your doctor or midwife and local hospitals probably have lists), and sign up early.

Week 10: Look into breastfeeding and newborn-care classes, hospital tours and, if needed, big-sibling classes.

Week 11: Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), the diagnostic test for chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome, is usually performed between weeks 10 and 12.

Week 12: A nuchal translucency exam may be done from weeks 11-13 to screen for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.

Week 13: Now that you’re entering your second trimester, you’ll want to make the most of your renewed energy, mobility and good mood to prepare for giving birth and to get your home ready for your newborn.

Second Trimester

Week 14: Sign up for a prenatal-yoga class. Yoga can build strength for labor and help improve your flexibility, agility, balance and posture. You’re probably also ready to start shopping for maternity clothes.

Week 15: Ask your doctor about the multiple marker test, which screens for chromosomal abnormalities, neural-tube and other defects; it’s normally done between 15 and 20 weeks.


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