As a first-time Mom, there will be no end to the lists that you’ll come across. Many of them are focused on tests you need to have done or the things you aren’t supposed to be doing, eating, or drinking.
With my clients, I love to focus on the things that they do want from their pregnancy and birth experience, and offer resources that help them incorporate those things in a safe, supported way.
Here’s a few things my clients and friends have done during their first few months! You can look through to decide if they are right for you. As always, remember that this is your experience, your body, your baby, and your choice. There is no one size fits all list, recommendation, or idea for pregnancy.
Before I begin, I would also like to note that I’ve known several women who don’t do too much of anything, medical or not, in their first trimester. Sometimes that can be because they have experienced previous loss and don’t want to become emotionally attached to the idea of a baby. Sometimes it’s because they have researched all the testing and procedures available in the first trimester and have decided against them already, so they see no purpose in making any appointments. Sometimes it is even due to shock or denial. Whatever the reason, if you don’t feel the need to do anything out of the ordinary as you enter pregnancy, be assured that you are not alone. This list is merely meant to inspire you to start planning your own experience!
1: Tell People
Some people will tell you to keep your pregnancy to yourself until you are at least twelve weeks along. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep it to yourself for a while, I wanted to add this to the list because it is okay to be excited about your pregnancy early on! I have met a few women who are afraid that they will jinx the pregnancy if they talk about it too early. What I have found, however, is that if anything does happen, it’s sometimes nice to at least have some close friends and family who are aware of it already and can be there for you without you having to explain the whole thing. If you do decide to wait, you could use the time to plan a fun surprise announcement, if that’s your thing!
2: Book a Birth/Newborn Photographer
If high-quality photos are up there on your priority list, getting on someone’s calendar near the end of your first trimester might be a good idea. Birth photographers, like doulas, often have a limit on how many births they will book in a month, due to the unpredictable nature of the job. Make sure you interview your photographer and feel comfortable with them as a person, since they will be someone that is in your birth space! If you aren’t looking for photos of the birth itself, many birth photographers offer a “first 48” session, in which they will be on call to come take photos of your new babe within the first 48 hours after birth.
3: Book a Childbirth Education Class
It’s easy to put this one off, but if you are wanting to attend a quality childbirth class, it’s best to start looking for one sooner rather than later. Many classes run for 8-10 weeks, so you’ll want to make sure your start date falls somewhere in your late second trimester if you want to guarantee that you will have time to finish it. If you are a first time mom, or if you had a previous birth experience that did not go well, I would encourage you to find a class that empowers and encourages women by teaching physiological birth. Even if you plan to have a medicated birth, knowing how labor works when it is undisturbed and well-supported can give you a framework for making any medical decisions if they happen to come up.
4: Line Up Some Doula Interviews
If it is important to feel comfortable with your birth photographer and care provider, it is definitely important to find a doula who you really mesh with. This is someone you will be trusting to be a resource, a confidant, and a friend throughout your pregnancy, birth, and even postpartum. Taking the time to line up a few interviews will pay off as you later choose and hire your doula.
5: Have Fun!
I know, sometimes morning sickness or other symptoms make this trimester really not fun. But even if you are not loving every minute (I know I never did), make sure to take some time for yourself to do some relaxing, exciting, or fun things. Soon enough, every conversation will start with, “Look how big you’re getting!” or, “So how many weeks left?” Taking some time to really enjoy your “normal” life, before having to adjust too much to the “new normal,” can help ease the transition into the later trimesters.
What type of things did you do during your first trimester? Is there something you wish you would have done earlier? Are there things you wish you would have waited on? I would love to hear!