Pregnancy To-Do List
You’re pregnant! Congrats! Enjoy every minute, but also think about how to use these 9-or-so months to get prepared for your delivery and beyond. We’ll make sure you stay on track with your doctor’s appointments, but here’s a guide to help keep you on top of everything else.
Pregnancy To-Do List – Condensed Timeline
While nine months is certainly a long period of time, it’ll go by faster than you think. Some expecting moms-to-be may try to take in anything that they can get their hands on, while others may want a convenient cheat-sheet that they can print out and refer to during each week of their pregnancy. For those expecting mothers, this one’s for you.
The overall thinking behind every pregnancy to-do list is that you should space things out reasonably, avoid rushing and get ahead of things as much as possible. You already have enough to think about and to anticipate, so adding a bunch of frenzied, last-minute tasks to what’s already an interesting time could seem overwhelming. Take a look below at some pregnancy to-do list suggestions and get ready for your life-changing day!
20 Weeks: Start Planning for Daycare
Start early! Think about what would be the most convenient and affordable for your lifestyle. Many daycare facilities have waiting lists, so you will want to start looking into options before your baby arrives. What makes more sense for drop-off and pick-up—close to your home or work? Will your partner and/or the baby’s grandparents be helping with care or pick-up/drop-off? Do you prefer an in-home nanny?
24 Weeks: Register and schedule a tour of your hospital and register for prenatal classes
Around 24 weeks, schedule a tour of the labor and delivery unit of the hospital where you are a delivering as well as any classes you’d like to take to prepare you for the birth of your baby.
Henrico Doctors’ Hospital (HCA)
Call 804-320-3627 or visit the classes and events page to sign up for a labor and delivery tour or prenatal classes at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.
Johnston-Willis Hospital (HCA)
Call 804-320-3627 or visit HCA’s classes and events page to sign up for a labor and delivery tour or prenatal classes at Johnston Willis.
St. Francis Medical Center (Bon Secours)
Call the Bon Secours Baby Line at 804-340-2229 to schedule a “Love and Learn Tour” of St. Francis Labor and Delivery Unit or to register for a “Love and Learn” prenatal class.
St. Mary’s Hospital (Bon Secours)
Call the Bon Secours Baby Line at 804-340-2229 to schedule a “Love and Learn Tour” of St. Mary’s Labor and Delivery Unit or to register for a “Love and Learn” prenatal class.
28 Weeks – Time to Babyproof Your Home
While 28 weeks may seem a bit early to add this one to the pregnancy to-do list timeline, this is not too early to get started on babyproofing your home. Babyproofing is one of those tasks that may seem relatively straightforward when you map out what needs to be done, but as you get into it, it’s common to discover quite a few things that you didn’t see ahead of time.
Yes, plugging electrical outlets and removing dangerous knick knacks that can fit inside an infant’s mouth are obvious steps, but every home is unique and everyone will have some different ideas about what you should do. Don’t be afraid to lean on parents who have been through this, as they’ll have insights that you may find extremely helpful.
Give yourself a couple of weeks to get this done, and aside from the starter steps mentioned above, dedicate a bit of time to each room to learn its particularities and potential dangers. If you spend a day or so on every room, you should have most things covered before that magical day arrives when your little one comes home.
28 Weeks: Look for a Pediatrician
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends finding a pediatrician during the third trimester of pregnancy. Your baby will need to see a doctor quite frequently in the first few weeks after birth. It will be helpful to know who that pediatrician will be (and how to get there) before your baby is born.
34 Weeks: Pack Your Hospital Bag
At around 34 weeks, pack the basics you’ll need in your hospital bag just in case of an early arrival. You can always add to it, but it’ll be a major stress-reliever to have that done should you need to go to the hospital earlier than planned.
What to pack:
- Underwear (you may find you prefer the hospital mesh underwear the first few days!)
- Nursing bra if you plan to breastfeed
- PJs or loose nightgown/sweatpants/tank tops
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Face wash or makeup wipes, shampoo, conditioner, and soap
- Socks and slippers
- 1-2 Baby outfits: socks/ mittens/ hat (size Newborn and 0-3 months)
- Car seat
34 Weeks: Install Your Car Seat
Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for car seat recommendations, installation instructions, and how to find a child safety seat inspection station. Once you install your car seat, familiarize yourself with how it works. Have a plan for additional car seats, car seat bases, and/or how to transfer car seats to grandparents or other caretakers in case of emergency.
36 Weeks: Order Your Breast Pump
Whether you plan to breastfeed or not, you will likely want to order a breast pump in order to relieve pressure. The good news is that most insurance plans cover the cost of a breast pump.
36 Weeks: Prep Meals
Try to start preparing meals approximately 1 month in advance of your due date. Freezer meals are great, especially in those first couple of weeks when your schedule is so much more unpredictable (or predictably sleepless). Check out these 25 easy freezer meal ideas before the baby comes. If friends or family offer, a meal train is a special treat.
36 Weeks – Wash Those Baby Clothes
Once again, it may seem a tad early for this task to show up on a pregnancy to-do list, but as you likely already know, 36 weeks is an important threshold to cross for your baby’s development. It’s also the point where your child could arrive soon, and the last thing you want to do is rush around scrambling to get things done.
Not to mention, once you hit 36 weeks, you’re going to most likely find some everyday tasks a struggle. You’ve been carrying your child for over 8 months now, and you know what? It’s getting to be quite a chore. That little boy or girl is getting heavy, and even things like sitting up and laying down can be difficult.
You probably won’t need to spend time doing more than a few loads of laundry to get all of it in order, and to be honest, it’s actually a fun task washing and folding all those cute little sleepers and outfits. It’s a fun way to remind yourself that it won’t be long before the big day is here.
Preparation Means Less Stress
Getting prepared ahead of time means less stress as the big day approaches so you can focus on your pregnancy and the health of you and your baby. We hope this guide provides some help. Best wishes from your VPFW family!