If you’re planning a honeymoon baby, or perhaps you, or someone you know is already pregnant, this quick and easy new baby checklist for each trimester will help you know what to expect and when.
Your nine month pregnancy is broken up into three monthly trimesters. In each trimester, you will experience different changes and it’s good to be planning ahead at each stage until the baby is born. Here’s what you need to know:
Nutrition: The first thing you should start thinking about, ideally even before you are pregnant, is ensuring you have a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, folic acid and iron to ensure good nutrition for mother and baby. Meal planning, a quality multivitamin and a fresh food every day diet will all help, as will cutting down on empty calories from junk food.
Sickness: Not every pregnant woman experiences ‘morning sickness’ and actually for those who do, it doesn’t occur only in the mornings. Ginger is known to be a natural remedy for nausea so nibbling on a ginger biscuit or drinking ginger infused herbal teas can help you feel a lot better.
Food: Not every expectant mother experiences food cravings but many do and some are quite unusual. Try to keep to a sensible healthy diet as this will help to alleviate both morning sickness and stretchmarks.
Reading: Books on what to expect, such as the aptly named What to Expect When You Are Expecting, will help guide you through the inevitable physical changes your body will go through.
Comfort: An extra pillow between your knees will help to support your hips when you lie down during the months of gradual weight gain and should help to alleviate aching joints.
Clothes: The good news is you get to buy new clothes! Once you get toward the second trimester you will start to see changes and new underwear and maternity clothes will become necessary. Invest in a good maternity bra (and bear in mind you may need to go up another size again within just a matter of weeks,) and some maternity jeans with a soft, stretchy waistband. You’ll want to wear these even after you have given birth.
Skin: Your body will grow quickly during this trimester, especially if you take ‘eating for two’ to the extreme! You can help minimise or even avoid stretch marks altogether by rubbing cream or oil into your tummy every day.
Temperature: If you’re pregnant during hot summer months your body temperature can feel much higher than usual as you’re carrying more weight so do invest in some loose summer maternity wear and remember to drink enough water to avoid feeling dehydrated.
Constipation: Avoiding constipation is another good reason to drink enough water. You may be given iron tablets to keep your iron levels up but these can cause constipation so do try to ensure you eat enough fibre and drink enough water every day.
Furniture: Towards the end of this trimester you should start thinking about nursery furniture and whether you intend to have a small Moses basket or put baby straight into a cot bed. You will also need a changing table and chest of drawers and/or wardrobe and a lamp. A nursing chair and mobile will make the nursery look complete.
Hospital: If you’re planning to have your baby in hospital then you’ll need to pack an overnight bag for you and your baby. It should include anything you may need during labour such as your birthing plan, long socks and birthing ball to sit on, plus maternity pads for after you have given birth (and delightful plastic pants for the first day or so after childbirth are recommended!) For baby you should pack newborn sized nappies, babygroes, a hat, socks and scratch mitts plus a changing bag, cotton wool/gentle wipes and cream to prevent nappy rash.
Travel: If you own a car then you will need to buy a baby car seat. Other travel options include a sling to enable you to wear your baby on your person as you walk, a pram to push a newborn in and a push chair, which is likely to last you years. You might choose to invest in them all.
Home: There are more items to buy for the home for your baby during this trimester, including a small sized baby bath, bouncer chair, play mat, and feeding accessories such as muslin clothes and/or bottles, a steriliser and formula milk.
Clothes: You might find you need larger maternity clothes during this trimester. If you are planning to breastfeed then invest in some nursing bras before the end of the trimester, you might also already need nursing pads if you are starting to leak milk.
When Baby is Born
Nursery: When baby finally arrives there are a few more items you might find you need – such as a baby monitor, and as baby starts to crawl, a home safety kit with plug point covers.
Health: It is worth investing in a health kit with thermometer for your baby and in just a few months you will be needing teething toys and soothing mouth gels.
Play: Your baby will love toys to hold and play with, just make sure they are suitable for newborns as not all toys are. A baby gym will keep your newborn entertained between naps and feeds, leaving you able to eat and rest.
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.