Do you feel overwhelmed by all the things to do during pregnancy? This is the Ultimate Pregnancy To Do List- the 27 most important tasks.
While I was pregnant for the first time, I knew I had a lot to do, but I wasn’t entirely sure of everything I should be doing. (And some things I didn’t realize I should’ve done until after I had my baby..whoops.)
So based on my experience with my pregnancies, below I’ve compiled a pregnancy to do list of the most important tasks you should do.
If you don’t have time to read through all of these now, click here to get this printable master list of pregnancy tasks sent to your email.
Whether this is your spouse/baby’s dad or someone else you can rely on, you definitely want someone by your side to support you during labor, delivery, and even throughout pregnancy.
This can save you a lot of money with pregnancy/baby expenses and food items if you qualify for either of these things. If you live outside of the US, check if there are programs in your region that assist pregnant women.
This is something you can usually start setting up during pregnancy, and then once your baby is born, you will just need to contact the appropriate carrier/agency to let them know.
By having a doula who is experienced and kind, you will maximize the support you have during labor and delivery. If you decide to use a doula, be sure to ask around, and find someone reliable that’s available for your birth.
While you may have to pay out of pocket for this, some insurance plans have starting covering doula services, so be sure to check what your personal insurance covers.
Even if having a doula isn’t covered, this can definitely be a worthwhile investment.
I had a doula for my second delivery which ended up being a 40 hour labor, and I often said half-joking and half-serious that she saved my life. But honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without her.
You want to know when your maternity leave can start, how much you’ll get paid, the length of time you can take off, and so on.
This is something to start thinking about during pregnancy, as not all jobs are conducive to having a baby. So seriously consider how your current job, (if you’re employed) will impact your new duty as a mom- childcare you’d need, the time of day you’d be home with your baby, etc.
If you feel like a change in employment is needed or you want to become a stay-at-home mom, before you make the change, you have a chance now to plan out adjustments in advance so you can have a smoother transition.
You’ll want to estimate the amount you’ll need to spend on baby expenses, and take into account any ways your income may suffer a loss- such as if you’ll get paid less during maternity leave, if you are going to decrease your hours, or stay at home for a while after.
Then see how this affects the rest of your budget, and consider if you can cut costs in other financial areas, if needed.
There’s no right or wrong choice, but this is a decision you’ll have to make. And if you do want to know the gender in advance, you then have to decide if, how, and when you want to tell others in your life.
There are many ways to announce a pregnancy, so decide how and when you want to do so. Pinterest is full of creative pregnancy announcement ideas, such as this pin that leads to a great post from Smart Mom Ideas.
It’s important to know what you need to register for that so you don’t end up forgetting some of the most important things you need.
You can either register in person at a store that sells baby supplies, and/or you can set up a FREE AMAZON BABY REGISTRY here.
However you choose to register, you can always update the registries as you start to get things on your baby items list, (either as gifts or if you purchase them yourself.)
The level of involvement you have in your baby shower will depend on how your family/friends normally handle these occasions and your personal circumstances. Generally speaking, though, you’ll likely want to do things like make an invite list, get people’s addresses, decide if you have any specifications for a theme, and so on.
This is one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself- and your birth partner- for labor and delivery. I personally took a natural birth class during my first pregnancy, and it was one of the best investments we ever made.
As someone who read a ton of free information online, I can tell you that there was so much valuable info in the paid natural birth class I took, which I never found elsewhere.
You need to both get everything you need for your baby and have it clean and ready to use. Some moms have gotten all the items they needed, but couldn’t find some of these when they were ready to use them. Don’t make that mistake!
Having a written birth plan makes it much more likely that you’ll have the type of birth experience you want, at least in the areas and decisions where it’s possible.
Wherever you choose to deliver is going to have a big influence on your birth experience. You’ll want to take into consideration which location(s) your health care provider delivers at and discuss this with them.
This is helpful in giving you a realistic idea of what to expect, where to go, and can help you feel a little more comfortable and familiar when you have to go there during labor.
After you’ve written a draft of your birth plan or at least thought about what’s important to you during labor, delivery, and postpartum, talk it over with your doctor and birth partner.
This way your OB/GYN knows what you want, and they can express any concerns or advice they have. Your birth partner will better understand how to support you with the birth experience you’re planning when they know about it as well.
This will make things much smoother when you arrive during labor if you’ve already done all the paperwork and they have your personal, medical, and insurance information.
This is important, because once you go into labor, the only thing you’ll need to worry about are last-minute items, because you’ll already have everything else ready to go out the door.
This is important so that you make sure it fits in your vehicle, so you know how to do it, and also so that you have it ready to use for after delivery.
Be sure to read the instructions; even though car seats are relatively easy to install, there are specific ways they need to be adjusted to be safe for your baby.
I personally love this brand/style for newborn car seats because they’ve fit well in multiple vehicles we’ve used, without sliding around. They are also really easy to install and remove- both the base and the car seat itself.
This #1-rated car seat also comes with a removable newborn insert which is an absolute must to keep your baby’s head from moving around while they’re in the car the first several weeks of their life.
(For my first baby the car seat we had used was another well-known brand, but it didn’t fit well in our car- it’d slide around even on the tightest setting- not cool.)
Make sure you have pads and other postpartum items & comforts ready.
Although for my regular periods I normally prefer thinner pads, I actually appreciated the thicker maxi pads postpartum, because I was very sore after delivery, and it was nice to have the extra cushion down there. (I also used HurriCaine topical gel, which my hospital gave me for numbing, and this helped a lot since I had torn.)
One of the best tools I used postpartum was a sitz bath. The hospital gave me one with my second delivery, so you could ask your doctor about this, and find out if it’s covered under your insurance.
As a new mom, it is really challenging to prepare meals the first several weeks following delivery- both due to you having to recover, as well as the time involved in caring for a newborn.
So I highly recommend that during your third trimester you begin stocking up on food items for quick meal options that will keep until you need them. You’ll want to also start planning out simple and/or fast meals, and prepping freezer-friendly meals in advance, if possible.
If you haven’t meal planned before, this is a post I wrote on how to meal plan, which I actually started doing in my first pregnancy.
You can also grab our Free Printable Flavorful Meal Plan Guide here.
It is usually recommended to get your baby in for their first doctor’s visit within the first few days after leaving the hospital. So I recommend selecting a pediatrician ahead of time.
Just be sure to check they are taking on new patients and that they participate with your baby’s insurance plan.
I suggest marking down any questions or decisions you have thought about between prenatal appointments, so you can discuss them at your next visit.
For example, you may want to discuss any difficult symptoms you’re dealing with such as nausea or pregnancy food aversions.
You can either make a note in your phone or in your planner or notebook if you prefer to write them on paper.
I suggest waiting until you start to need maternity clothing to get it, simply because not every woman has the same shape during pregnancy- just like we are all shaped differently before pregnancy.
Then try to get clothes that fit, but give you more room as your baby continues to grow, and then repeat this each time you start to outgrow what you have.
Try to schedule your appointments as soon as you know you need them and are able to. Certain testing appointments like Ultrasounds may be more limited with availability. And even your OB/GYN may get booked up quickly for your regular prenatal visits.
If you don’t already use a daily/weekly/monthly planner or schedule, I highly recommend the Living Well Planner, (which you can get $5 off for by going through my referral link in the Living Well Shop here.)
I personally use this and love it because it has a daily/hourly, weekly, and monthly schedule, as well as budgeting pages, room for meal plans, notes pages, places to write down your monthly & yearly goals, and more.
I have use many paper planners and this one is by far my favorite and definitely worth the price with everything it comes with. (But if you don’t like scheduling things hourly or using paper planners, then this isn’t for you. 🙂 )
Regardless of what method you use for scheduling and keeping track of what you’ve scheduled, it’s definitely vital to stay organized during pregnancy!
So that was the ultimate pregnancy checklist of the 27 most important tasks you need to do before you have your baby.
Are there going to be other smaller, more specific things you need to do? Yes, but the things listed here are definitely a good place to start!
Before you leave, you can get a full copy of our printable master list of pregnancy tasks here.