Your Pregnancy To-Do List

5 Maternity Must-Haves
Between preparing for Baby and staying as healthy as possible, you have a lot to think about for the next nine months. Follow our week-by-week to-do lists to make it easy.

Week 1

Congratulations! You're actively trying to concieve—and you might even be pregnant already! Here's what you need to do now:

1. Start taking a prenatal vitamin if you haven't already.

2. Write down the date of your last period or two.

3. With your partner, create a family health history, including any genetic or chromosomal disorders.

4. Quit smoking, and focus on having a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

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Week 2

1. Reduce your caffeine intake.

2. Talk to your doctor about safe medications during pregnancy.

3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.

4. Talk to your doctor about your exercise routine. Note: It won't harm your baby, and your body will tell you when it's time to slow down. 

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Week 3

1. Look for the early signs of pregnancy.

2. Buy an at-home pregnancy test.

3. Learn what foods you should avoid during pregnancy.

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Week 4

1. Take a pregnancy test if you've missed your period

2. Tell your partner the news!

3. Make an appointment to see your doctor to confirm your pregnancy.

4. Consider the alternative of a certified nurse-midwife.

Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay

Week 5

1. Pick up a pregnancy book.

2. Download a pregnancy app to help you stay organized for the next 8 months.

3. Buy a journal or memory book to record your milestones, symptoms, and questions for the next nine months.

4. Sign up for your Due Date club or join an in-person pregnancy support group.

5. Be sure to drink lots of water.

6. Talk to your insurance company to find out which local doctors and hospitals are covered by your plan.

Fancy Photography/Veer
Fancy Photography/Veer

Week 6

1. If you're ready, start sharing the good news with family members and close friends.

2. Make your partner the official kitty litter changer.

3. Experiment with morning sickness remedies.

4. Decide whether you like your doctor enough to stick with him or her through delivery. If not, start looking for a new one.

Blend Images/Veer
Blend Images/Veer

Week 7

1. Schedule and prepare for your first prenatal visit, which should happen between 8 and 12 weeks.

2. Compile a list of questions for your first doctor's appointment.

3. Clear your beauty cabinet of any chemical-laden products like DEET-filled insect repellent.

4. Buy a belly band to extend the life of your pants.


Week 8

1. Shop for a new bra, whether it's a maternity bra or just a bigger, softer style.

2. Make Kegel exercises a part of your daily routine.

3. Pick up antacids in preparation for pregnancy heartburn, along with other drugstore staples.

4. Make a dentist appointment.

5. Discuss recommended prenatal tests with your doctor.

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Week 9

1. Create a baby budget.

2. Make a pre-baby to-do list of all the things you want accomplish or enjoy before the baby arrives.

3. Look at your household cleaners and swap in eco-friendly ones for any toxic ones.

4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

5. Go for a walk, or do 30 minutes of another moderate exercise, and make it a part of your daily routine now.

Jamie Grill/Getty
Jamie Grill/Getty

Week 10

1. Wash your hands frequently to avoid getting a cold or the flu.

2. Try natural remedies for indigestion.

3. Go shopping for maternity clothing.

4. Review your company's maternity leave policy.

5. If you're hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) but your doctor isn't on board, consider jumping ship for a practitioner who will consider it.

PhotoAlto/ Matton
PhotoAlto/ Matton

Week 11

1. Moisturize your belly, hips and thighs daily to prevent itchy, dry skin as it stretches.

2. Avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, intense hot-weather workouts, super-hot baths, or anything else that could raise your body temperature above 102 degrees.

3. Get a first-trimester screening to help your practitioner decide what tests may be warranted.

4. If it's recommended by your doctor, get tested for chromosomal abnormalities through a nuchal translucency (NT) and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).

5. Listen to the baby's heartbeat with a Doppler at your doctor's appointment, if possible.

Week 12

1. Plan a babymoon vacation.

2. Buy a body pillow for sleeping.

3. Be sure to stretch and warm up before exercise because your ligaments and joints are loosened up now.

4. Until you give birth, avoid any exercises that require you to lie flat on your back (crunches, Pilates, etc.).

5. If you're having multiples, your doctor will be able to spot the extra babies at your next ultrasound.

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Week 13

1. Begin thinking about baby names.

2. Start sleeping on your side.

3. Research pediatricians.

4. Eat smaller meals more frequently to stave off heartburn.

5. Consider borrowing previously worn maternity clothing from friends or family.

StockByte/ Veer
StockByte/ Veer

Week 14

1. Tell your family and friends your good news if you haven't already.

2. Break the news to your boss, too.

3. Take advantage of your energy boost by checking things off your to-do list at home and at work.

4. Start taking weekly pictures of your beautiful belly.

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Week 15

1. Sign up for a prenatal yoga class.

2. Strengthen your abs with pelvic tilts.

3. Talk to you partner about finding out the sex of your baby.

4. Over 35? Schedule an amniocentesis if it's recommended.

5. As your doctor about the quad marker screen.

StockByte/ Veer
StockByte/ Veer

Week 16

1. Be sure to get plenty of calcium now, from low-fat dairy foods or supplements.

2. Tour local birth centers.

3. Start your baby registry.

4. Ask your mother or grandmother about their birthing experiences.


Week 17

1. Combat your forgetful "pregnancy brain" with lots of notes and reminders.

2. Treat yourself to a prenatal massage.

4. Sign up for a childbirth class.

5. Start a college fund for baby-to-be by opening a 529 account or a special savings account.

6. Pick up a saline spray or humidifier to alleviate congestion caused by pregnancy.

Juice Images/Veer
Juice Images/Veer

Week 18

1. Consider signing up for infant CPR, prenatal breastfeeding, or newborn-care classes.

2. Check your desk chair to see if a more supportive one or a footstool could help with back pain.

3. Is it a boy or is it a girl? Find out if desired at your mid-pregnancy ultrasound.

Shannon Greer
Shannon Greer

Week 19

1. Scan your pix from your ultrasound and share them via e-mail and Facebook.

2. Have a date night.

3. Research nursery furniture.

4. Considering a home birth? Research the pros and cons.

StockByte/ Veer
StockByte/ Veer

Week 20

1. Talk to your other half about how you'll handle life after baby.

2. Make sure you have flats or sensible shoes -- not 3-inch heels -- to live in for the next four months.

3. Know the symptoms and risks of preeclampsia.

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Week 21

1. Research the pros and cons of breastfeeding. Decide what's best for you and your baby once you have all the facts.

2. Get organized and tackle pending projects around the house.

3. Buy a new maternity bra -- again.

Week 22

1. Work with your gracious baby shower host to plan party logistics.

2. Now that you know the sex of the baby, take a second look at baby names.

3. Prevent varicose veins. Avoid crossing your legs and long periods of sitting or standing, which may result in blood pooled in the legs.

Buff Strickland
Buff Strickland

Week 23

1. Go shopping for more maternity clothes.

2. As you think about the baby's first name, don't forget to consider what last name he will take.

3. Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.


Week 24

1. Look into childcare options if you're planning to return to work.

2. Start planning the nursery.

3. Get tested for gestational diabetes.

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Week 25

1. Update or attain life and disability insurance, and add chosen guardianship to your will.

2. Write a birth plan.

3. Pre-register at your hospital or birthing center, if possible.

Lara Robby
Lara Robby

Week 26

1. Interview potential pediatricians. Find out which local doctors are covered by your insurance and seek recommendations.

2. Do any last-minute travel. It's best to avoid travel once the third trimester hits.

3. Take the glucose-screening test.

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Week 27

1. Choose a color for the nursery.

2. Research cord blood banking.

3. Find a birth doula, if desired.

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Week 28

1. Start seeing your doctor or midwife every two weeks.

2. Update your retirement beneficiaries.

3. Babyproof your house.

4. Help your partner to feel the baby's kicks.

5. If your fingers are swollen, take your rings off and store them in a safe place until after delivery.

6. Depending on your and your partner's blood types, you may receive an injection of RhoGAM.

Tetra Images/Veer
Tetra Images/Veer

Week 29

1. Enjoy your baby shower!

2. Start shopping for birth announcements and decide whether you'll choose paper or electronic ones.

3. If you live in an older home, ask your partner to test for lead-based paint in the nursery and remove it if necessary.

4. Eat a high-fiber diet to help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.

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Week 30

1. Buy a car seat, stroller, and any other important baby gear that you didn't receive at your shower.

2. Count fetal kicks.

3. Pack your hospital bag and one for your partner.

4. Know the signs of premature labor.

5. Try exercises designed to help prepare your body for D-day.

StockByte/ Veer
StockByte/ Veer

Week 31

1. Eat foods rich in iron.

2. If you plan to hire a baby nurse, start seeking recommendations.

3. Plan your maternity leave.

4. Prepare a baby first-aid and an emergency kit.

Blend Images/Veer
Blend Images/Veer

Week 32

1. Plan care for your other children or your pets for when you go into labor.

2. Get a haircut.

3. Set up the baby's nursery.

4. Start seeing your doctor or midwife weekly through delivery.

Image Source/Veer
Image Source/Veer

Week 33

1. Start reading about newborn care.

2. Clean out your car to make room for baby.

3. Install your car seat and visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site to locate an inspection station near you so you can be sure you did it correctly.

Alexandra Grablewski
Alexandra Grablewski

Week 34

1. Call your insurance company to add your baby-to-be to your policy.

2. Get tested for Group B strep (GBS).

3. Buy any items you'll need for postpartum recovery.

4. Meet with several pediatricians to make your final choice.

Greg Scheidemann
Greg Scheidemann

Week 35

1. Buy a baby book.

2. If you plan to try breastfeeding, get the number of a recommended lactation consultant or join a local La Leche League International group.

3. Review your baby registry to see what items you still need to purchase before baby's arrival.

Aimee Herring
Aimee Herring

Week 36

1. Schedule a non-stress test if it's recommended.

2. Review your birth plan with your doctor, midwife, doula, or any others involved.

3. Sleep in, take naps and get as many extra Z's as you can.

4. Send thank-you notes for your shower gifts.

Aimee Herring
Aimee Herring

Week 37

1. If you have other children, be sure to prepare them for their sibling's arrival.

2. Plan for your first few weeks with baby by cooking and freezing a few nights' or weeks' worth of dinners.

3. Stock up on diapers and formula.

4. Wash the baby clothes and bedding.


Week 38

1. Tie up any loose ends with finances or medical insurance.

2. Make a list of who you want to contact when the baby arrives, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

3. Nail down your final choices for baby names.

Frank Heckers
Frank Heckers

Week 39

1. Practice any relaxation or breathing techniques you've learned.

2. Wrap up at work and create a memo for your fill-in, just in case you go into labor before your due date.

3. Discuss with your partner the option of cutting the umbilical cord.


Week 40

1. Be ready for your water to break, or for the mucus plug or bloody show.

2. Time your contractions.

3. Buy a few cold packs at the drugstore to use when the perineal cold packs from the hospital run out.

Alloy Photography/Veer
Alloy Photography/Veer

Week 41

1. Enjoy those last few kicks and the amazing feeling of having your baby inside of you.

2. Do squats to help prepare your body for labor.

3. Take advantage of the extra time to rest.


Week 42

1. Try a few tricks to bring on labor (or at least keep your mind off it) -- eat spicy foods, have sex, take a walk or stimulate your nipples.

2. Have the non-stress test again, or a contraction stress test.

3. Go to the hospital and get induced.

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