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After I found out I was expecting, I read ALL the pregnancy checklists I could get my hands on.
I’m sure you can relate. 😅 Especially if this is your first pregnancy or it’s been a while since you’ve been pregnant (shoutout to the moms with larger age gaps).
It can feel a bit overwhelming when you start thinking about everything you need to do before the baby arrives.
So, instead of giving you one massive pregnancy to-do list, I’ve separated this pregnancy checklist by trimester.
Hopefully, that makes it all seem much less intimidating!
Pregnancy to-do list (at a glance)
Short on time? Here’s a quick to-do list for each trimester. You can find the longer and more detailed versions below.
First trimester checklist
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin
- Gear up for morning sickness
- Start using a good moisturizer
- Start making healthy choices
- Stay hydrated
- Start a baby registry
- Get comfy
- Schedule your first prenatal appointment
- Stress less
- Rest more
- Avoid off-limit foods
- Take your first belly pic
- Start saving for baby
- Check your medications and supplements
- Download a pregnancy tracker
- Start a pelvic floor exercise routine
Second trimester to-do list
- Announce your pregnancy
- Wrap up your baby registry
- Get yourself a good pregnancy pillow
- Start shopping for maternity clothes
- Keep your bump moisturized
- Stay on top of your prenatal appointments
- Eat healthy and stay hydrated
- Start thinking about your gender reveal
- Start planning the nursery
- Include your other children
- Start brainstorming baby names
- Take weekly bump pics
Third trimester checklist
- Sign up for a free childbirth class
- Prepare for breastfeeding
- Pack your hospital bag
- Make a shopping list
- Stock up on household items
- Wash baby’s clothes and linens
- Sterilize baby bottles/breast pump
- Prepare for postpartum recovery
- Declutter, clean, and organize
- Prep meals for later
- Install baby’s car seat
- Get serious about baby names (narrow down your favorites)
- Download a contraction tracker
- Wrap up maternity leave plans
- Make plans for your other children and/or pets
- Choose a pediatrician
Free pregnancy checklist printables
Top things to do in your 1st trimester of pregnancy
The first trimester refers to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and a lot happens during those few short weeks.
Your hormones are soaring. You may feel unusually tired. And if you’re around 6-7 weeks pregnant? You may already be experiencing the dreaded morning sickness.
Here’s a list of the main things you need to focus on during these first few weeks!
Start taking a prenatal vitamin
Prenatal vitamins with DHA and folic acid are a definite first trimester must-have.
This March of Dimes article recommends that pregnant women get 200 mg of DHA per day to help your baby with healthy brain and eye development.
It’s worth noting that some of the prenatal vitamins on the market, especially the gummy versions, don’t have anywhere near close to this amount.
These prenatal softgels, however, DO contain the recommended 200 mg along with the other key vitamins and minerals.
Quick tip from one mom to another: If taking your prenatal in the morning tends to make you sick, try taking it in the evenings instead.
Gear up for morning sickness
I had morning sickness with both of my boys. It’s no joke!
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help you prepare for and ease morning sickness.
Morning sickness tea
I’m a huge fan of morning sickness tea instead of the typically recommended ginger ale.
Most ginger ale contains high fructose corn syrup and isn’t made with real ginger at all.
Instead, try a morning sickness tea like this Pink Stork tea for nausea.
Morning Sickness Candy With Vitamin B6
Always check with your doctor first, but another remedy you can try for morning sickness relief is vitamin B6 (source).
Lots of moms swear by these Pink Stork Morning Sickness Candies. They contain vitamin B6 + ginger and they’re organic.
When I was pregnant with my first son, I kept saltine crackers by my bed at all times. Sometimes I would even snack on a couple of them before getting out of bed to help settle my stomach.
With my second son, I snacked on salted pistachios.
Pistachios are lower in calories compared to some nuts and contain roughly 37% of the recommended intake of vitamin B6 (source).
Start using a good moisturizer
Even though you won’t have a bump yet in your first trimester, it’s never too early to get started with a good moisturizer.
Your skin will be doing lots of stretching in the coming weeks to accommodate your growing baby. The sooner you start prepping, the better!
I love the Earth Mama Belly Butter because it’s rated zero for toxins– No synthetic fragrances, phthalates, parabens, etc.!
If you’re looking for a moisturizer you can make yourself, try this natural DIY remedy!
Start making healthy choices
Or at least… try to!
If you’re experiencing morning sickness, it’s definitely easier said than done when the only thing you feel like eating is starchy french fries.
When I was in the morning sickness phase, I tried to make healthier choices later in the day when my stomach wasn’t feeling as weak.
Thankfully, nausea usually gets much better during the second trimester.
H2O is your new best friend. But, how many oz. of water should a pregnant woman drink?
On average, pregnant women need to drink about 10 cups of liquid per day according to this article. But it’s always best to ask your doctor if you have questions or concerns.
I love the water bottles like the Bellybottle pregnancy water bottles because they have hourly drinking lines printed right on the bottle to help you stay on track throughout the day.
Create a baby registry
From here onward, you’ll probably read tons of baby registry checklists.
Why not go ahead and start your baby registry now so that you have somewhere to direct family and friends when they ask?
Not sure where to create your registry? I always recommend Amazon because of its massive selection and 90-day returns!
When you’re not feeling your best, it really helps to dress as comfy as possible.
For me personally, that meant ditching bras with underwires for a while.
These are perfect if you’re looking for a comfy + supportive maternity bra that you can also wear when you start nursing.
Schedule your first prenatal appointment
Go ahead and call and schedule your first prenatal appointment.
They may not be able to get you in right away, but that’s one less thing you have to worry about for now.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in your first trimester if you start overthinking everything.
I’ve seen lots of other first trimester checklists that tell you to start thinking of baby names, your birth plan, etc. right away.
Honestly, you have plenty of time for that!
Right now, you should be focusing on taking care of yourself and stressing as little as possible during these first crucial weeks.
It’s not uncommon to feel more tired than usual during the first trimester of pregnancy. If you have the chance to rest or take naps, do it!
Your body is going through a lot of changes right now. Don’t feel guilty about getting extra rest right now.
Avoid certain foods
When I found out I was pregnant with my first son, I researched like crazy.
I was surprised to find out that some foods should be avoided during pregnancy.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top foods to avoid, but as always, ask your doctor if you have questions or concerns.
- Unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice
- Cold deli/lunch meats – Because of the risk of listeria
- High-mercury fish – Tuna, king mackerel, swordfish, shark, etc.
- Undercooked meat or fish
- Raw eggs
- All alcohol
Additionally, it’s best to limit your consumption of caffeine.
With my first baby, I avoided it entirely. With my second, I limited myself to one cup of coffee per day. I urge you to do your own research.
Take your first belly pic
Yes! Even though you don’t have a bump yet, take your first belly pic. You’ll love comparing your pictures as your bump grows.
This app has really cute pregnancy milestone stamps you can add to your pics.
Start saving for baby
Starting a budget now will help you prepare financially for having a baby.
It’s so nice to have a nest egg set aside so you’ll be completely prepared for anything the baby might need in the future.
Check your medications and supplements
Are you currently taking any medications or supplements– including natural/herbal supplements?
You’ll definitely want to double-check and make sure they are safe for baby.
I was surprised to find out that some of my herbal supplements were not recommended during pregnancy.
Download a pregnancy tracker
One of the most exciting things about being pregnant is checking to see how big baby has gotten each week.
There are probably dozens of pregnancy trackers and related apps out there, but here are some of the most popular ones:
- BabyCenter Pregnancy Tracker
- What to Expect Pregnancy & Baby Tracker
- Pregnancy +
- The Bump Pregnancy Countdown
- Ovia Pregnancy Tracker
Start a pelvic floor exercise routine
It’s no secret that childbirth and pregnancy in general (due to weight gain) weakens your pelvic floor muscles.
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you can start doing exercises that help strengthen your pelvic floor. This may help reduce incontinence after having your baby.
Top things to do in your 2nd trimester of pregnancy
Say goodbye to morning sickness and hello to your new growing bump.
Hopefully, by the time you begin your second trimester, you are feeling MUCH better as far as nausea goes.
Still feeling off? I felt like a new person around week 15 with both of my boys, so if you’re not quite there– hang tight.
These are some of the most enjoyable weeks of your pregnancy!
Announce your pregnancy
If you haven’t announced your pregnancy to friends and family, now is the perfect time to do so!
If you aren’t a stay-at-home mom, make sure to also tell your employer so that everyone will be on the same page when it’s time for your maternity leave, etc.
Wrap up your baby registry
If you have not created your baby registry yet, again, I recommend creating an Amazon baby registry because you’ll have a HUGE selection of baby items and easy 90-day returns.
Not sure which baby items to add to your baby registry? Refer to this list to get started!
Invest in a good pregnancy pillow
As your bump grows, one of the hardest places to get comfy is your bed.
Getting a good pregnancy pillow should definitely be on your second trimester to-do list.
It will support your growing bump and help you get some relief from the common aches and pains that come with growing a tiny human (or humans!).
Start buying maternity clothes
If you’re at the beginning of the second trimester, it may be several weeks before you’re sporting that beach ball bump you’ve been dreaming about.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too early to start buying maternity clothes.
They’re comfy and stretchy in all the right places! And sometimes that bump seems to appear overnight, so you’ll be prepared.
And moisturize some more.
Yes, baby bumps are cute– Very cute. But they can also be itchy!
Continuing to keep your skin moisturized will help with that.
Again, we recommend the Earth Mama Belly Butter if you’re looking for an option you can purchase– It’s rated zero for toxins!
And if you’re looking for a natural DIY option, give this recipe a try.
Stay on top of your prenatal appointments
Next, be sure to stay on top of your prenatal appointments.
If you tend to struggle with appointment dates, consider getting a planner to stay organized.
Continue to eat healthy and stay hydrated
When the morning sickness finally fizzles out and your appetite comes back– You’ll be hungry! Okay, hangry is really the word.
Will you have a gender reveal?
Pink or blue? If you haven’t found out already, you will have that option at your 20-week anatomy scan that’s right around the corner.
Do you plan to have a gender reveal party? Host a Facebook live? Keep it simple? Something to think about.
Not sure? You may want to check out these 10 reasons to keep baby’s gender a secret.
Start planning the nursery
Next, the second trimester is the perfect time to start thinking about and planning the nursery.
If you’ve started receiving gifts from family and friends (or bought some baby items yourself), you can also start thinking about how you plan to store and organize everything!
Include your other children
If you have other children, be sure to include them!
- Get them a big brother or big sister shirt they can proudly wear
- Talk about how helpful they’re going to be when baby gets here
- How much their little sibling will look up to them, etc.
My oldest was already 6 years old when we found out he was going to have a sibling, so I really tried to emphasize how important his role was as a big brother and help him feel included.
Start brainstorming baby names
The second trimester is the perfect time to start your list of possible baby names.
Remember– It’s okay if the perfect name doesn’t jump out at you right away! It will.
If you need a starting place, this book has over 100,000 baby names you can browse through.
Take weekly bump pics
Finally, keep up the weekly bump pics.
You’ll love looking back at these and comparing your bump size as the weeks go by– especially when the BIG bump gets here during the third trimester!
Top things to do in your 3rd trimester of pregnancy
With baby’s arrival right around the corner, this final stage is all about wrapping things up and preparing to meet your adorable new baby.
Sign up for a childbirth class
The first task to check off your third trimester to-do list? Consider taking a prenatal/childbirth class.
If the thought of finding a class to attend in your area stressed you out, I have some great news for you.
Taking a prenatal class has never been easier. You can now take a full prenatal class without ever leaving your home.
(And, no, I’m not talking about an awkward Zoom-type meeting either!)
The virtual class we recommend is called The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. It was created by a labor and delivery nurse (and mom of 3) and it’s jam-packed with information to answer all your questions so that you feel prepared when your big day arrives.
You’ll learn everything from pain management to newborn care and more.
Prepare for breastfeeding
Next, if you plan to breastfeed, you’ll need a few breastfeeding must-haves.
For more breastfeeding essentials, be sure to read this post.
It’s also a good idea to set aside some time to read up on the best breastfeeding tips for getting a good latch, etc.
This can be tricky to figure out when you’re a new mom.
I think most veteran moms would agree that breastfeeding can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first.
If you want to save yourself some time (a lot of time if we’re being honest), consider taking a breastfeeding class as well.
The class we recommend is called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. This virtual class will teach you everything you need to know about breastfeeding in under 90 minutes!
And, of course, we have several breastfeeding-related posts you can binge for free:
- The #1 Key to Successful Breastfeeding
- The Best Nipple Creams for Breastfeeding Moms
- Electric vs Manual Breast Pump: The Pros and Cons
- Breastfeeding vs Pumping (And the Benefits of Each)
- 8 Foods to Limit or Avoid While Breastfeeding
Pack your hospital bag
Make sure your hospital bag is all packed and ready to go.
(Don’t forget baby’s homecoming outfit)
The third trimester can be unpredictable. Sometimes baby shows up 2 weeks before your due date. Sometimes it’s a few days after.
Once your bags are packed, keep them close by just in case!
Prepping for a c-section? Here’s what to pack.
Make a third trimester shopping list
Do you have everything you need for baby?
If not, this is the perfect time to make a list of the last-minute baby items you need to purchase.
A few baby items you may have forgotten about:
Stock up on household items
Additionally, since you won’t be going grocery shopping for a little while, it’s also a good idea to add extra household items to your list.
Think about the things you typically have to make a quick trip to the store for.
Things like dishwashing liquid, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc.
Wash baby’s clothes and linens
Speaking of laundry detergent– Do you have baby’s clothes all clean and ready?
At the bare minimum, you’ll need to have a few blankets, burp cloths, and at least 2 clean sheets ready.
Sterilize baby bottles/breast pump
As far as washing and cleaning go…
Sterilize all baby bottles, pacifiers, and also your breast pump + accessories if you plan to use one.
Prepare for postpartum recovery
Have you picked up the essentials you’ll need for recovery?
You’ll definitely want to have enough maternity/heavy flow pads to last and comfy clothes (including high-waisted underwear if you’re having a c-section) to wear.
Related: C-Section Recovery Tips + Essentials
Declutter, clean, and organize!
That urge to clean and organize like a madwoman? They call it nesting.
Your third trimester is the perfect time to finally do some much-needed decluttering and finish organizing allll the baby clothes, products, and more. Just don’t overdo it.
Prep meals for later
Next, prep some meals now so that you won’t have to stress over dinner later.
Cooking probably won’t be on your radar while you’re adjusting to life with a newborn. And fast food will drain your wallet in a hurry.
There are endless inexpensive and delicious make-ahead meals that will make your life much easier while you’re recovering.
Install baby’s car seat
I highly recommend installing baby’s car seat way before it’s time to head to the hospital.
That way, you can strap baby in and head home right away after you’ve been released.
Don’t forget to assemble the rest of your baby gear (and learn how to use it) while you’re at it!
Get serious about baby names
If you already have the perfect name picked out, that’s great!
But if you haven’t, time to start narrowing down your options.
Again, if you need a starting point, this book gives you 100,000+ baby name ideas.
Download a contraction tracker app
A contraction tracker app will help you keep track of your contractions so you’ll know exactly when/if you should head to the hospital.
Very useful to have in your third trimester!
Wrap up maternity leave plans
And, of course, wrap up allll maternity plans.
Do you plan on returning to work? Are you considering NOT going back to work at all?
Let your employer know about your plans if you haven’t already. And if you’re already a SAHM, that’s one less thing to worry about.
Make plans for your other children and/or pets
If you have other children or you’re a pet parent, you’ll need to make plans for them as well.
Who will care for them while you’re in the hospital? What about while you’re recovering?
Choose a pediatrician
Finally, select a pediatrician for your new baby.
If this is your first child, don’t fret. You can do the majority (if not all) of your research on Google and Facebook.
While you are researching, be sure to read ALL the reviews! The reviews are golden.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask around if you have friends or family with younger kids.