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Pregnancy Timeline: A Month-By-Month Pregnancy Checklist

pregnancy guide

 

During the pregnancy period, your life and body go through a lot of changes. These could be alarming at times. Knowing what to do first and how to go about doing it are important. We have compiled a quick and easy monthly guide and some of the reasons behind each action.

 

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1st Month

 

What: Arrange your first appointment with gynae

 

Why: During your first antenatal appointment, a dating scan is done to detect the baby’s heartbeat and to confirm that the pregnancy is in the right location. An estimated date of delivery will also be worked out based on the size of the foetus. Other tests like full blood count, HIV, Hepatitis B will also be conducted across the coming weeks.

 

What: Start taking folic acid supplement

 

Why: Getting enough of this vitamin B can reduce your baby’s risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 70% and lower your risk of pre-eclampsia. Folic acid may also reduce the risk of other defects, such as cleft lip, cleft palate and certain heart defects.

 

What: Avoid certain foods that could contain bacteria, parasites or toxins like under-cooked meat, unpasteurized soft cheeses, fish that’s high in mercury, foods that contain raw fish, raw oysters and raw eggs.

 

Why: These may make the expectant mothers feel uncomfortable and experience abdominal pain, diarrhoea and run a high temperature.

 

What: Quit smoking, stop the alcohol and limit the caffeine

 

Why: These raise your risks of miscarriage, placental problems, premature birth and stillbirth.

 

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2nd Month

 

What: Prepare your older children for your baby’s arrival

 

Why: Preparing them mentally means that they will be ready psychologically and physically for someone new in the family. This is to avoid the feeling of rejection and neglect from them.

 

What: Do some financial planning

 

Why: Becoming a parent means new financial responsibilities. Work out those budget and know how a new family member will increase your overhead.

 

What: Plan and consume smaller meals

 

Why: For some ladies, it is around this time that the morning sickness starts to kick-in.
Therefore, it is advisable to eat small portions of food during mealtime and avoid oily ones and limit dairy products if possible.

 

 Dealing with Stress during Pregnancy

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3rd Month

 

What: Prepare for a series of medical tests and scans

 

Why: As you have reached the last month of your first trimester, there will be a series of medical tests to check your body condition as well as the growth of your baby.

 

What: Fatigue and exhaustion are on the rise

 

Why: Changes in your body makes you more weary. Get plenty of rest when possible. Take short breaks if you are working.

 

What: Hormonal imbalance

 

Why: Getting upset or over excited rather easily. This is normal. Just make sure you are in happy surroundings with happy people. Understand that this is just a phase that will soon pass.

 

What: Constipation!!

 

Why: Yes, constipation is inevitable. It is likely caused by the increase in the hormone progesterone that relax the musles – including your digestive tract. Just ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day and eat foods that are rich in fiber. Load up on all the different fruits and veggies.

 

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4th Month

 

What: You’re in your 2nd Trimester!

 

Why: That means your pregnancy is more stable now and the risk of miscarriage is reduced. You may want to announce the good news to everyone right now.

 

What: Plan the way you will like to deliver to your baby

 

Why: Begin to think seriously about how you want your delivery to be: with or sans the epidural. Normal, water birth or caesarean. Spend some time to think about it, you can also consult your friends or a professional’s help.

 

What: Exercise, exercise and exercise

 

Why: Keeping fit and healthy will ultimately help you in the labour room. Consider joining prenatal exercise classes that have sessions in Pilates and water exercises. Apart from bonding with other expectant moms, this is also a good way to unwind.

 

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5th Month

 

What: Delegate your duties and plan your work while you are away

 

Why: Now that your employer knows about your pregnancy, you may start planning and delegate your duties to your co-worker who’ll be covering you while you’re away during the maternity leave.

 

What: Do you want to find out the gender of your baby?

 

Why: An ultrasound scan will tell the gender of your baby. You may decide to know the sex of your baby; or if you prefer, keep the suspense till he’s born.

 

What: Getting into full bloom

 

Why: It is around this time that the morning sickness and lethargic episodes are over. You’d be bursting with energy. Take advantage of that to do a lot of things like moving house, prepare in advance baby needs or even go for a babymoon.

 

What: Start shopping for your maternity clothes now

 

Why: Soon, you can no longer hide that belly especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy.

 

 things you should not do for your pregnancy

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6th Month

 

What: Make time for special moments

 

Why: You won’t have the chance to do that after your newborn arrives. So, go on a date with your husband. Read, sleep as much as you can. Pamper yourself.

 

What: Stretch marks

 

Why: Start moisturizing your belly. Lotions and creams may not prevent stretch marks but they will reduce itchiness!

 

What: Track your weight gain

 

Why: Now that your appetite is back, you may end up eating more than you should, thus gaining the undesired extra kilos. Therefore, watch what you eat!

 

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7th Month

 

What: Yes! You’re in the last and final third trimester!

 

Why: Start discussing who will be taking care of you and baby after the delivery. This is crucial as at times your husband may have his own preference who to care for you and baby during your confinement. Therefore, have a deep discussion with him.

 

What: Beware of Braxton hicks

 

Why: This is when you feel your uterus tightening up but they’re not efficient enough to push your baby out just yet. Your pregnancy hormones are hard at work, sending messages to your body to start the process of childbirth. Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as week 20 of pregnancy and will become more noticeable in later months. To ease up, drink more water and move your position, e.g. when you’re sitting, get up and vice versa.
What: Narrow your baby names list

 

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8th Month

 

What: Start shopping for items you’ll need in the hospital (nursing bras, nightgown, baby clothes, diapers, wipes, etc).

 

Why: You are going to need these items after delivering to your baby. And if you haven’t got them, now is the time to get it. By next month, you may be feeling too lethargic to head out with your big belly.

 

What: Attend childbirth classes

 

Why: Through these childbirth education classes, you will be able to gather information and knowledge on how to care for your baby and also, it may lessen your anxiety about the childbirth process. Ask your spouse to accompany you so that he knows just what to do when the situation arise!

 

What: If you’re planning for a baby shower, this could be the time.

 

Why: Seems a little fast, but remember during the confinement, it may be challenging for you to do the research for venue, food and baby full month packages. It’s alright to be a little ‘kiasu’!

 

If you are looking for baby full month packages, here’s the top 15 highly recommended ones!

 

 delivery process

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9th Month

 

What: You may want to consider starting your maternity leave earlier

 

Why: There may be some matters to settle at home or errands to run. Thus, you may like to start taking your leave a week or two before your expected due date. This will be the time where you can prepare the things you need to and also, get ample rest before baby comes along.

 

What: Prepare the nursery, if you have one. If not, wash, fold, and put away all your baby clothes and products beforehand and install your infant car seat.

 

Why: Need we say more? You want to be ready before the baby comes along. Getting a car seat is important if you or your spouse drive.

 

Do you need help to choose a car seat? Check out the top 12 most popular and recommended car seats to get for your baby!

 

What: Consider cooking and freezing some food while you’re away at the hospital.

 

Why: This is especially good if you have other children. During your absence, the care-giver or babysitter will be able to manage your other kids with the prepared foods that you have already set them aside in the freezer.

 

What: Pack your bag and be ready to head to the hospital anytime.

 

Why: A baby is considered at full-term if he’s born after his 37th week.

 

Last but not least, just count the final days before baby pops out. Relax, recharge your body and be ready for the D-Day and look forward to coming home with a new bundle of joy!

 

Written by Noreen Yek Boussetta & Crystal Tan

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