Congratulations! After finding out you’re pregnant and letting the news sink in, you might find yourself scrambling to get your pregnancy checklist in order.
No matter where you are in your pregnancy, whether you’ve just found out or you’re well into your third trimester, it can be handy having a pregnancy checklist, so you’ve got everything covered.
So, alongside counting your pregnancy by weeks, a monthly checklist can also provide some support.
Instead of leaving you wondering ‘well, what’s next?’, we’ve compiled a handy pregnancy to-do list by month to help you, every step of the way.
In this article: 📝
- Preparing for pregnancy checklist
- First-trimester checklist
- Second-trimester checklist
- Third-trimester checklist
- Postpartum checklist
- More things to know for your pregnancy checklist
Preparing for pregnancy checklist
If you’re looking to start actively trying to conceive (TTC), there are some things you can add to your pre-pregnancy checklist to help set you and baby up for a healthy, happy pregnancy (and beyond!).
- Learn your fertile window and your ovulation cycle, and time when is best to have sex.
- Visit your doctor to discuss what you should do to safely get pregnant, tailored to your medical history and your circumstances.
- Start a fertility diet.
- Start taking fertility supplements and vitamins (or get your vitamins from certain foods). Probiotics are also a good idea.
- Stop smoking.
- Stop drinking alcohol (or cut down).
- Limit your caffeine.
- Exercise regularly.
- Answer our questions to ask before having a baby.
- Learn the fertility lingo (TTC will be your new favorite acronym).
- Join Peanut to share your fertility experiences with other women going through the same.
- Manage your stress levels with meditation, journaling, or yoga.
You’ve just found out you’re pregnant ‒ whoop!
So, what are the first things to do when you find out you’re pregnant in the first trimester?
Well, let’s break down your pregnancy checklist by month, starting with…
Month one of pregnancy checklist
Welcome to the very first month of your pregnancy!
There are a few vital things to add to your pregnancy to-do list, along with some other not-so-necessary things that we recommend to set you in good stead during and post-pregnancy.
Check in with your doctor
Pop this one at the top of your pregnancy to-do list.
After your positive test, you’ll want to call your doctor and schedule a prenatal appointment to confirm your pregnancy and discuss what’s next.
It’s a must-do as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, especially if you’re already taking medication or have been TTC for a while.
🔎 Dig deeper: How Far Along am I? How to Work it Out
Pick your prenatals
Getting your daily nutrients has never been more important.
There are plenty of prenatal vitamins and supplements on the market and everyone’s needs differ, so it’s best to check in with your doctor for recommendations.
However, folic acid is always a safe bet.
Mourn all the foods you can no longer eat (and the things you can no longer do)
But the good thing is there’s a world of delicious pregnancy foods you can eat, so pick your favorites!
Start a pregnancy journal
Okay, so this isn’t a “must-do” on your pregnancy checklist, but it’s such a beautiful keepsake.
Plan your healthy pregnancy diet
Another suggestion that’s top of our pregnancy checklist for the first trimester.
Once you find out you’re pregnant, try to keep to a healthy pregnancy diet plan.
Not sure where to start? Check out our 7-day pregnancy meal chart with 81 meal ideas.
Exercise those Kegels!
The sooner you start, the better.
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles will make your postpartum recovery so much quicker.
Not sure how to do Kegel exercises? It’s the same muscles that you can use to stop peeing mid-stream (although doing Kegels while peeing isn’t recommended).
Hold for a few seconds, release for a few seconds, and repeat.
Month two of pregnancy checklist
Now we’re into month two of your pregnancy checklist, there are a few other things to get done during your first trimester ‒ things are starting to get pretty real.
Find your Bump Buddy
When you add your pregnancy to your Peanut profile, you’ll be automatically added to a Bump Buddy group.
These groups connect women with similar due dates, making it easy to make friends and share advice with other moms-to-be.
Discuss your announcement plans
When you share your news is completely up to you and your partner.
Whether you spill the beans at 4 weeks or wait until you’re about to pop, there’s no right or wrong decision.
As long as you feel comfortable and supported throughout your pregnancy!
Need some inspo? Check out our pregnancy announcement ideas.
🔎 Dig deeper: When to Announce Pregnancy? The Right Time for You
Get clued up on maternity policies
Even if you don’t want to share your news just yet, see if you can have a snoop around your employee handbook and figure out your company’s maternity leave policies.
It’ll be good to have a heads up on how long you can take, and what your financial situation could look like, so this is a must to add to your pregnancy to-do list.
Organize your baby budget
Discussing finances can be a sensitive subject sometimes, but having a baby is pretty expensive, so setting a budget during and after pregnancy can help.
If you think you might need financial support, it’s better to know earlier in your pregnancy so you can apply and get the information you need.
🔎 Dig deeper: Tips on Planning for a Baby Financially
Check your skincare
If you’re an avid make-up wearer or skincare savant, you should check your cosmetics for any of the following ingredients, and check in with your doctor about whether you can still use them:
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
- Retinol and retinoids
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Parabens and phthalates
🔎 Dig deeper: Your Quick Guide to Pregnancy Safe Skin Care
Morning sickness relief
But there can be some relief to your pregnancy nausea.
As part of your month two pregnancy checklist, we recommend trying out other mamas’ morning sickness relief tips to see what works for you.
Schedule prenatal appointments
Make sure you’re prepared for this prenatal visit ‒ the doctor will probably have a few questions to ask.
Month three of pregnancy checklist
We’re nearly at the end of the first trimester!
There’s not much else to add to your first-trimester checklist, so you can take it easy for now.
It’s something that some mamas-to-be may not even think about, but your dental health is so important.
Book a check-up and a clean earlier in your pregnancy so you can ensure you won’t be uncomfortable later on.
Go bra shopping!
Your boobs are going to go through a lot over the coming months, so this is fundamental to add to your pregnancy to-do list.
Mama, motherhood is amazing, but it’s a big life adjustment!
Throughout your pregnancy, make sure you take time to relax.
Whether that’s binge-watching a Netflix series or treating yourself to a massage, you deserve it.
You are growing a tiny human, after all!
Expect to see your baby bump making its proper appearance ‒ here’s your second trimester to-do list:
Month four of pregnancy checklist
Wow ‒ month four already! Let’s kick things up a notch with your pregnancy to-do list.
Increase your calorie intake
Now you’re in your second trimester, you’ll want to increase your daily calories.
Baby’s doing a lot of growing in this phase of pregnancy, so by increasing your calorie intake by about 300 calories per day, they’ll be sure to get the nutrients they need.
Go maternity clothes shopping
From about month 4 of your pregnancy, you may notice your baby bump growing.
While you probably won’t need any maternity clothes just yet, it’s a good idea to add maternity clothes shopping to your pregnancy checklist now, so you’ll have something to wear when bump’s just too big for your jeans.
If your bump is starting to get uncomfortably big, a pregnancy support band can also help, along with well-fitting clothes ‒ we love the Core Relief Pregnancy Support Belt by Lola&Lykke ‒ goodbye, back pain and round ligament pain!
Make sure you have your necessary vaccines
If you’re not sure what vaccines you need, have a chat with your doctor.
Start your baby registry
One of the most exciting additions to your pregnancy checklist: starting your baby registry!
You can send out your baby registry information to baby shower guests and well-wishers ‒ they’ll be grateful for it, as they won’t have to think of baby shower gifts!
Not sure where to start? Babylist is the top pick for baby registries according to our moms-to-be of Peanut.
Add whatever you want, from any store, get a free baby box (with treats for you, too), and get 15% discount from the Babylist store on completion!
Plan your baby shower
Once you’ve set up your baby registry, the next thing on your pregnancy to-do list is planning your baby shower.
Have a think about what baby shower theme you want, when you want to throw it, what you want the invites to say, what cake you want, what food to serve, whether you want favors, what games to play, if you want to have prizes, or whether you want to opt for a virtual baby shower.
🔎 Dig deeper: Baby Shower Etiquette: 16 Rules for Success
Month five of pregnancy checklist
Woah, we’re (over) halfway there! Month five of pregnancy can bring about a few more aches and pains, so let’s keep the pregnancy checklist to a minimum.
Get your thinking cap on
But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
On Peanut, you can chat to other mamas-to-be, ask for advice, and join groups for all things pregnancy.
Start planning baby’s nursery
Another fun addition to your pregnancy to-do list!
Picking a nursery theme is a must, so baby’s room can be perfect for their arrival.
Mid-pregnancy anatomy scan
At about 20 weeks, you’ll have your mid-pregnancy ultrasound.
Here, you can find out baby’s sex if you want to, and you can get a head-start on any potential birth differences.
Moisturize your belly bump
This is a popular suggestion from our mamas on Peanut ‒ moisturize your bump!
As baby grows, so will your bump, and that stretching of your skin can be a little itchy and irritated.
So moisturizing regularly can keep your bump in tip-top condition.
Month six of pregnancy checklist
We’re nearly into the third trimester!
Also, in month six, if baby’s born prematurely (although it’s not likely), there’s a pretty decent chance they will survive, so it’s worth starting to get your postpartum life sorted.
Here’s your pregnancy to-do list for month six of your pregnancy:
Plan your birth preferences
While you don’t have to write a birth plan (or birth preference), we’ve included it in our pregnancy checklist, because it can help you to feel in control at a time where you otherwise might not.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got a handy birth plan template just for you.
Look into birth classes and breathing techniques
If you’re a keen planner and you want to know what you’re getting into with labor and delivery, attending a birthing class is something you should add to your pregnancy to-do list around month 6 of your pregnancy.
It’s also worth looking into and practicing breathing techniques, because focused breathing can help you through labor.
Baby’s nearly here! In less than three months, you’ll be holding your beautiful baby in your arms.
So let’s get to preparing with your third-trimester pregnancy to-do list.
Month seven of pregnancy checklist
At month seven, you might have experienced some Braxton Hicks contractions that are starting to put this whole baby’s-nearly-here thing into perspective.
There’s not much left to do in your pregnancy checklist, so let’s break it down:
Plan for parental leave
If you’re working, now’s the time you should start planning to leave ‒ creating a handover document or session with your colleagues can prevent any panicked calls while you’re in labor or getting to know baby.
After all, no one likes the “Where is this document?” calls, especially if you’ve just managed to put baby down for a nap.
Plan for labor
If you have any pets or other children, this is a definite addition to your pregnancy checklist.
When you go into labor, you’ll want to have someone who can jump in to look after your other babies so you have nothing to worry about.
Planning in advance and making sure they know to be flexible or contactable at odd hours is fundamental.
Pack your bags
Well, at least start writing some notes!
Our top tip? Bring pillows from home for extra comfort!
Month eight of pregnancy checklist
You’re so close to the finish line, mama, and the next chapter of your life (how many analogies can we fit in?).
There are just a few more things to do in your pregnancy checklist ‒ one of them is going to be one you’ve been looking forward to for months!
Have your baby shower
Don’t forget, you can always tailor your baby shower to however you’re feeling ‒ if you decide at month 8 that you don’t want a big baby shower, that’s okay.
You do what works for you.
Practice installing your baby car seat
Just in case baby decides to make an early appearance, it can be a good idea to practice installing their car seat for when you go into labor.
Our tip for this pregnancy checklist? Leave the car seat in the car, ready to go.
Wash baby’s clothes and bedding
Some baby clothes and bedding can have some things in them that can irritate delicate newborn baby skin.
It’s advised to wash all baby clothing and bedding before you put it on baby, so they’re not irritated ‒ after all, they won’t be able to tell you for a good year or so!
Month nine of pregnancy checklist
We’re here! From this point, baby could make their grand appearance at any time, so there are a few more things to add to your pregnancy checklist.
We know, you’ve already done so much, mama. All while growing a human!
We know you can’t wait to meet them.
Learn basic baby care
Babies don’t come with a manual. Believe us, we wish they did.
So it can help to do a little ‘basic training’ when it comes to baby care, as part of your pregnancy to-do list.
Some things it can help to learn are:
- Burping baby
- Changing a diaper
- Sponge bathing
- Calming a crying baby
- Sterilizing baby bottles
- Dealing with baby hiccups
- Dressing baby for sleep
- Formula feeding
- Putting baby down to sleep
We’ve got lots of useful articles to answer any query you have about motherhood, or you can ask our veteran mothers of Peanut.
Write thank-you notes
Since your baby shower has been and gone, it’s worth taking a little time to write some thank you notes for your baby registry gifts.
If you’re limited on time (or you just can’t be bothered), just a quick text message will be so gratefully appreciated.
Prepare a list of who to tell when you go into labor
This isn’t totally necessary to add to your pregnancy checklist, but if you have a birth partner, write a list of who you want them to tell when you go into labor and when baby arrives.
It’ll save you the hassle when you’re busy birthing or recovering.
Prepare some freezer meals and snacks
The first couple of months postpartum can be a challenge, so take this last month of pregnancy to prepare yourself and make things a little easier.
Doing some meal prep and freezing dinners for you to have once baby is here can make all the difference between you eating well or having another low-nutrient quick snack.
Plus, sometimes, all you want is a delicious home-cooked meal.
Download some TV programs and movies to watch during labor
Labor can be a lengthy process.
The average, among our mamas on Peanut, is between 10-20 hours. Which is a pretty big ballpark.
That being said, all of labor doesn’t necessarily take place in the place you want to have your baby (like the hospital).
But once you do arrive, you may get bored between contractions, or while waiting to meet baby, so downloading some episodes of the latest Netflix program or a sappy rom-com is a great addition to your pregnancy checklist.
Prepare for postpartum
During pregnancy, you’ll be doing all that you can to prepare for your new arrival, but make sure you plan for yourself, too!
Your body is going to need some postpartum TLC, so it’s important you gather pads, peri bottles, and other comforts to help speed up your recovery.
Things might be pretty hectic for you in the fourth trimester, so it helps to plan ahead for this amazing (but exhausting) time in your life.
So here’s your postpartum to-do list, with some obvious and other not-so-obvious things you might not have thought of:
- Drink lots of water ‒ especially if you choose to breastfeed, since liquids are vital to keep both you and baby healthy.
- Invest in postpartum pads ‒ for postpartum bleeding and the little bit of pee every now and then.
- Avoid exercise for now ‒ until about 6 weeks postpartum, but check in with your doctor first.
- Start baby’s tummy time as soon as possible ‒ just 3-5 minutes of tummy time a few times a day can be fantastic for baby’s development.
- Make sure you have lots of comfy, loose clothing to wear ‒ that bodycon dress may not be the comfiest thing for you right now, even if you do look amazing in it.
- Sort out baby’s birth certificate ‒ you can ask your midwife about this after birth.
- Have a support group ‒ whether that’s family, friends, or your new Peanut bestie. You don’t have to do this alone.
- Try to get out of the house ‒ even if you’re just sitting in your garden or by an open window, the vitamin D from the sun can work wonders.
- Keep your feet raised ‒ this can help with swelling in your legs, which is common postpartum.
- Add baby to any legal documents ‒ like your will and insurance plan.
- Try to eat healthily ‒ not just for baby, but also for you.
- Don’t feel the need to lose your baby weight straight away ‒ if you want to lose weight after birth, take your time.
- If you have questions, ask ‒ there’s no such thing as a stupid question. But if you’re a little scared of asking, you can always post an anonymous question to our community of veteran mamas on Peanut.
- Remember: you don’t have to have it all together.
More things to know for your pregnancy checklist
Got a few more pregnancy checklist questions? Let’s see if we can get them answered for you.
What do I need to buy for pregnancy checklist?
A lot of pregnancy items aren’t fundamental, but they can make things a little easier.
Here are some of our suggestions for pregnancy must-haves:
- Nausea relief tablets ‒ Preggie Pop Drops are one of the most popular treatments for morning sickness.
- Stretch mark cream ‒ not only to help keep stretch marks at bay (although they are beautiful, in our opinion), but to keep your skin moisturized.
- Heating pad ‒ you’d be surprised at how much a heating pad can help with pregnancy back pain.
- Heartbeat monitor ‒ one of the cutest additions to our pregnancy checklist, the Roo Prenatal Heartbeat Monitor means you can hear baby’s heartbeat wherever you are.
- Pregnancy pillow ‒ sleep while pregnant can be tough, but this pregnancy pillow is top-rated for a reason!
- Maternity leggings ‒ comfortable clothing is a must, and these stretchy leggings don’t compromise on style.
- Nursing and maternity bra ‒ for your growing breasts and to make nursing easier once baby’s made their appearance.
- Belly band ‒ if your baby bump is making things a little uncomfortable, the Lola&Lykke Core Relief Pregnancy Support Band can provide some much-needed support.
- Compression socks ‒ swollen legs are a known phenomenon in pregnancy, but a decent pair of compression socks can work wonders.
- Prenatal supplements ‒ to help make sure you and baby get the nutrients needed during pregnancy. Our Peanut mamas recommend the Vitabiotics Pregnacare Max, with folic acid and other important vitamins and minerals. It includes Omega 3 DHA. Maternal intake of DHA contributes to the normal eye and brain development of the fetus.
What is the first thing you need when pregnant?
Well, it depends on you and your pregnancy journey, but we recommend a decent prenatal vitamin as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.
Making sure you’re getting the nutrients you and baby need early in your pregnancy can mean you’re both as healthy as can be!
When to start buying baby stuff
We know what you’re thinking. When should I start buying baby stuff?
Well, there’s a lot you’ll need for baby, so let’s ask when to start buying baby stuff during pregnancy.
You can start buying at any point during pregnancy, but most people wait until they’ve found out baby’s sex, at about 20 weeks.
We recommend adding things to your baby registry, so friends and family can celebrate your new addition with some baby shower gifts you know you’ll need.
What should I do in the first month of pregnancy?
When you find out you’re pregnant, in the first month, there are some things you should add to your pregnancy checklist, for yours and baby’s health and wellbeing:
- Book your first prenatal appointment with your doctor.
- Research and start taking prenatal vitamins (check with your doctor which ones are best for you).
- Check which foods to avoid while pregnant.
- Start a pregnancy journal (optional, but great for memories).
- Plan your pregnancy diet, eating foods that are beneficial for you and baby.
- Start Kegel exercises.
What should I do to prepare for 6 months pregnant?
In month six of your pregnancy, it can help to take things a bit easier, but if you’re feeling a rush of energy and you want to tick off lots from your pregnancy checklist, here are some suggestions:
- Plan your birth preferences.
- Look into birth classes and breathing techniques.
- Plan for parental leave.
- Pack your hospital bag.
- Wash baby’s clothes and bedding.
- Learn basic baby care (feeding, washing, sleeping, dressing, changing diapers…).
- Pick your favorite baby names.
- Start planning baby’s nursery.
- Moisturize your baby bump.
Don’t Google, Peanut instead
Ok, we’re biased, but finding a community of women who understand can really help (pregnancy can be overwhelming at times!).
Peanut provides you with a safe space to build friendships, ask questions, and get support from other moms-to-be.
We know, this pregnancy checklist is pretty long, but it’s not all fundamental.
In the end, you do what feels right for you.
After all, it’s your pregnancy.
For more pregnancy checklists, support, and advice, join Peanut!