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25 Essential Tasks for Your First Trimester To Do List You Can’t Forget

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What do I add to my first trimester to do list?

Whether you just got a positive pregnancy test or you’re trying to conceive, congratulations on starting the next chapter of your life!

I’m sure you’re as nervous as you are excited, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You can ease those nerves a little by starting a first trimester to do list.

I will try to comfort you a little by telling you women have been doing this for centuries, and many women will be more than happy to give you advice (sometimes even when you don’t want it).

But if you’re looking for some help and you’re not ready to let friends and family know what’s going on just yet, we have a first trimester to-do list ready and waiting for you.

Get it now before you forget!

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What should I be doing during my first trimester?

The one thing that should be at the top of your first trimester to do list is to take care of your health.

Start eating healthy, drink plenty of water, make healthy snacks, take a prenatal vitamin, and don’t miss your prenatal visits. And if you’re experiencing any morning sickness or nausea during the day, eat smaller meals or snacks when you can.

Your body is going to be your baby’s home for the next nine months, so you want to keep yourself as healthy as possible. You also have years of chasing that little one around, so getting healthy now is the best way to keep your body working properly for years to come.

What should you not do in your first trimester?

You shouldn’t be doing anything that goes against the number one thing on your first trimester to do list.

Smoking, drinking alcohol or too much caffeine, eating unsafe foods, using toxic cleaners are all things that are harmful to an unborn baby, and you included. Do your best to give that little person his greatest shot at life by giving up or cutting back on these harmful things.

You should also avoid hot tubs and saunas, since it can raise your body temperature and is unsafe for your baby.

What should I be careful of in my first trimester?

Your first trimester to do list should include getting enough exercise, but watch out that you don’t overdo it.

Always discuss what exercises are safe during pregnancy with your doctor. At this time in your life, you’re not trying to lose weight, just work on keeping your body strong.

Also, watch out for foods. You should avoid unpasteurized cheeses and milks, raw fish and raw eggs, among other things.

While you’re not likely to pick up some and just start munching away, you may be unaware what kind of cheese your friend used to make that delicious side dish at last week’s dinner party. Just be careful about what goes into your body.

First Trimester To Do List: Take Care of Your Health

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1. Start taking prenatal vitamins

You’ll want to start your first trimester of pregnancy off on the right foot, so start taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as you find out you are pregnant.

If you’re still trying to get pregnant, you can even start taking a prenatal before conception. It won’t improve your odds of conceiving, but you can be sure you’re giving your baby the best start right from the beginning.

If you’re unsure which prenatal vitamin is right for you, talk to your doctor. It should be a good source of folic acid and DHA, among other things.

2. Find an OB and make an appointment

Selecting an OB is a big decision. This person will take be in charge of all of your prenatal care needs and deliver your baby, and it will determine where you will give birth (hospital, birthing center, home birth).

If you’re unsure of how to find the right doctor, talk with your regular doctor or gynecologist for a referral, or ask your close friends or family members where they went.

Be aware that some doctors work in a practice on rotation, so you may not get to choose who delivers your baby. In that situation, make sure you meet each of the doctors before the big day comes, so you are comfortable with each of them.

And be sure to have a list of questions ready for that first meeting. (Write them down; mom brain kicks in sooner than you would expect.)

You also want to consider contacting your health insurance company to be certain that the healthcare provider and hospital you select is covered. Otherwise, we will have a hefty bill after the baby comes.

3. Quit drinking and smoking

Probably easier said than done, but it will give your little one the best chance of healthy fetal development. I’m not here to lecture you on your personal choices, but the data speaks for itself, so now is really the best time to quit drinking, smoking or taking recreational drugs (if you haven’t already).

4. Say no to the litter box and unsafe cleaners

You can contract an infection from cat feces, which can affect your unborn baby. If you must be the one to change the litter box, wear rubber gloves and be sure to wash your hands after. Harsh, toxic substances should also be avoided. Now is the perfect time to switch to all natural cleaners.

5. Start eating healthy food

If you’re not already eating a healthy diet, what a good time to start eating a more balanced diet now that you’re nurturing a new little person?

And while eating for two is a popular concept, you don’t need to up your calorie intake until the second trimester. Again, something important to discuss with your doctor.

6. Drink plenty of water

Your body is working extra hard these days making another human being, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay hydrated.

Eventually, you’ll be making plenty of extra trips to the bathroom, but don’t cut out your water intake. It keeps your body running smoothly.

Get yourself a new water bottle to make sure you’re getting enough water.

7. Take regular breaks throughout the day

You won’t believe how tired you can be when it looks like you’re not doing anything. In reality, your body is using your energy during the day to make a tiny person, with functioning organs. That’s a lot of work! Take breaks, put your feet up, get a nap in if you can.

Don’t forget to go to the bathroom often. I know I try to put it off when I’m super busy with something. You’re more at risk of contracting a UTI now that you’re pregnant, so don’t skip those regular bathroom breaks. Set an alarm if you need.

8. Go for a walk

It’s important that you get up and stretch those legs. Walking is a great exercise during pregnancy. You don’t need any equipment, you can do it anywhere, and you don’t have to be athletic to be good at it.

It’s going to help throughout your pregnancy and during delivery if you stay active. And it can also reduce leg cramps, which can get worse later in your pregnancy.

9. Start Kegel exercises

Start strengthening those pelvic floor muscles early on to get ready for labor. Kegels are also a great way to recuperate after giving birth. Practice them early and often.

10. Store up on healthy snacks

Toward the end of your first trimester, you’re going to be getting hungry throughout the day, and hopefully any nausea you’ve been experiencing is starting to let up. Pack healthy snacks to munch on when those cravings hit.

first trimester to do list: woman holding pregnancy test

First Trimester To Do List: See a Doctor

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11. Get ready for your first prenatal appointment

Bring your ID and insurance card.

Be prepared for an ultrasound. Depending on when your first prenatal visit is determines if you have an external ultrasound vs. an internal ultrasound. At the six-week mark, you should be able to hear baby’s heartbeat. (So exciting!) They will also be able to determine the due date.

Finally, bring a list of questions to your first doctor’s appointment. They can include any worries you have about the pregnancy; any pain, discomfort, or bleeding; what to expect over the next nine months of appointments; what to expect during labor. You’ll have more questions as your pregnancy progresses, but there’s a few to get you started.

12. Discuss prenatal tests

This is something to include with your list of questions. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, so I don’t want to tell you which tests you should have.

Here’s a list of common tests to determine the health of you and the baby. There are tests to determine birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities. Be sure to discuss each of them with your doctor and see which tests they recommend.

13. Discuss safe over the counter medications

I was sick for 9 weeks of my pregnancy, first with a bacterial chest infection, then with a sinus infection. You’re immune system is weaker while you’re pregnant, so you’ll want to know what medications are safe for you and the baby.

14. Research foods to avoid while you’re pregnant

You certainly don’t want to contract food poisoning while pregnant, but some everyday foods can be harmful to an unborn baby. Do some research and ask your doctor if you have any other questions.

15. Research pregnancy safe makeup options

Ingredients like parabens and phthalates (products that contain fragrances), among others, should be avoided during pregnancy. Find an all-natural makeup alternative, while pregnant and breastfeeding, to avoid any concern.

16. Start exercising after discussing with your doctor

If you exercise regularly, keep it up. As long as your doctor gives you the go ahead, exercise supports a healthy pregnancy.

If you’re looking to just stay healthy and gain a reasonable amount of weight during your pregnancy, a low impact exercise, such as walking, is enough to keep you fit during your pregnancy.

First Trimester To Do List: Share the News

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17. Tell your partner

Come up with a unique idea that fits his personality or hobbies, use a pet to share the news, or simply just tell him. However you decide to tell him, make sure your partner is the first to know, and you can share the joy together.

Related: Get Your Husband Excited About Your Pregnancy

18. Decide how and when to share the news

Many pregnant women wait until the end of the first trimester to share the news outside of the immediate family, when the risk of miscarriage is lower.

Honestly, though it’s entirely up to you how and when you share the news. Just keep in mind anyone in the family who may take offense at not being told via phone call rather than social media. But don’t let them ruin your plans either; it’s your news, not theirs.

19. Tell your boss

This is something you don’t want to put off until you start showing off that baby bump. However, if you’re waiting to tell people until the end of your first trimester, make sure you add your boss to the top of your list.

You don’t want your boss finding out through co-workers or social media. So, make sure you have a plan and communicate with your boss.

It’s also a good time to discuss your maternity leave or at the very least review your company handbook to be certain what is offered.

First Trimester To Do List: Plan for Baby

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20. Start a pregnancy journal

If you want a fun way to remember everything about this wonderful journey, start a pregnancy journal.

Start as soon as you take your home pregnancy test and write it all down: how you told your husband, all the weird cravings, your list of baby names, your birth plan and eventually your birth story. It will make a great memento to share with your new baby someday.

21. Start saving for the baby

Babies are expensive. Diapers can cost nearly $600, in the first year alone! (I suggest requesting diapers at your baby shower.)

Find out what you’ll need in the first year and if your hospital stay is covered under your health insurance and start saving as much as you can as early as you can. Now is also a great time to consider setting up a savings plan for your child’s future.

22. Start your registry

If you’re planning on setting up a baby registry, the earlier you start doing research, the better. You can’t decide on specific colors yet, since you don’t know the sex of the baby, unless you choose a gender neutral nursery.

However, large items such as a crib, dressers, a rocking chair, strollers, and car seats can be researched early on. There are a lot of options out there, and it takes time to go through all of the reviews and determine the safest and most affordable option for you. Also, it’s fun to pick out those essential baby items, so get started early!

23. Plan for childcare or decide to become a stay-at-home mom

Start the conversation with your husband about childcare or if you will become a stay-at-home mom. Many women decide to become stay-at-home moms after they find out how much childcare will cost.

Maybe you’re not one who wants to give up her career, and that is okay. But weigh your options and make the best decision for your family.

Related: Real Benefits of Being a SAHM

First Trimester To Do List: Treat Yourself

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24. Start looking for maternity clothes

Your current wardrobe should last throughout your first trimester, but nearing the second trimester, you may feel those pants tightening, your shirts don’t fit quite right, your bras become more snug, even your shoes have a little less room.

While you may not want to go crazy this early on, it’s a good idea to have a few more comfortable items in your closet. You’ll need to reevaluate your wardrobe again before the beginning of your third trimester.

25. Plan a babymoon

People will give you all sorts of advice when you’re pregnant. One of my least favorites being: sleep now before the baby comes because there’ll be no time after he is here. Well one, that’s not how sleep works, and two, who can sleep when they are as excited/stressed as a pregnant momma?

So, my favorite piece of advice is to take a babymoon. This is the last time that you will have with just you and your husband. Take full advantage of it. Go somewhere you two can be alone and be pampered. Or spend some time at home, getting ready for your little one, and rekindle some romance.


There you have it: the 25 tasks for your first trimester to do list. Take care of your health, see your doctors regularly, share the news in your own way, start planning for baby, and remember to treat yourself.

It’s not as scary as it sounds. And we even have a first trimester checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything (cause you know, baby brain). Congratulations again. And enjoy this exciting time!

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