Month 4: Have a second-trimester screening. Also known as multiple marker screening, this blood test typically performed between 15 and 20 weeks looks for hCG, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), estriol, and inhibin-A. It screens for elevated risk of various defects in the fetus, such as Down syndrome, spina bi-fida, and anencephaly. If your results are abnormal, you'll need additional testing, possibly including an amniocentesis or CVS.
Enroll in a childbirth-education class. Many take six to 12 weeks and you'll want to finish by Week 37 in case you go into labor early. Yours should cover the labor and birth process, plus breathing and comfort measures. To find a class, ask your doc or visit lamaze.org or icea.org.
Share the news with your boss. Before you announce everything to your coworkers and office pals, meet with your supervisor to discuss your maternity leave. Go into the appointment with several proposals for how your work might be handled while you are gone, taking both your needs and the company's into account, suggests Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute in New York City.
Month 5: Take a look at your baby. Around 20 weeks, you'll have an ultrasound, so the doctor can assess your baby's growth and make sure all the organs are developing properly. This is likely when you can find out the sex of your little one as well.
Set up your nursery. Furniture delivery can take 12 weeks, so order by Week 20. Get a bassinet, a combination changing table-dresser for clothes, two sets of bed linens, and a baby bathtub. Also buy infant clothing, bibs, receiving blankets, wipes, and at least 50 newborn and 50 size 1 diapers, says Jodie Hughes, an infant-care teacher for Lamaze Family Center Ann Arbor.
Start thinking about a birth plan. Sit down with your partner to outline what you'd ideally like your birth experience to be. You might include whom you'd want to be with you when you deliver, what position you would like to push in, and your preferences about use of pain medications.