During the first trimester of pregnancy, many moms-to-be become irritated at having to deal with such annoying side effects such as the infamous bouts of morning sickness and look forward to the second trimester, when such side effects tend to decrease.
The second trimester also brings its own challenges and tasks too, so it is not always smooth sailing. For example, Baby Center notes that parents will have to decide if they want to go forward with scheduling an ultrasound to find out if they are having a boy or a girl or if they would rather wait and be surprised on the big day.
Before pregnancy progresses too much, moms-to-be should start thinking about the following tasks they should complete as soon as possible.
20 Make An Appointment For A Glucose Screening Test
According to Baby Center, most ob-gyns want their patients to undergo a glucose screening test to make sure that the mom-to-be in question doesn’t have gestational diabetes.
Doctors say that moms have until week 28 to get this test done, but it is better to get it done sooner rather than later.
19 Don't Sit Out On Getting Baby Screened For Health Issues
Baby Center adds that moms-to-be shouldn’t put off learning about and making an appointment to undergo screening tests to make sure that the baby is a-okay.
These tests are a good way to double-check to see if the fetus has anything odd with their chromosomes, certain kinds of genetic disorders, and much more.
18 Hire A Doula
Baby Center points out that now is the time to start looking into whether or not you want to hire a doula to assist you on the big day.
Doulas are professional labor coaches that help keep the mom-to-be going steady and strong when it is time for the little one to be born. If you want to hire one, ask your ob-gyn if they have any recommendations.
17 Decide On Whether You Want To Find Out If Baby's A Girl Or Boy
Baby Center notes that before the second trimester, many ob-gyns feel that it is best if the proud parents have a long talk on whether or not they want to go through with an ultrasound to find out whether they will be welcoming a boy or a girl.
Most parents decide that they want to know right away in order to narrow down a list of names, but there are always those out there that would rather be surprised.
16 Researching Childbirth Preparation Classes Nearby
Another important task that pregnant women need to complete is to look up and find out where the nearest childbirth preparation classes are being held.
Baby Center notes that most childbirth classes can fill up pretty darn quickly and it’s best to find out where they are being held as well as how they can sign up ASAP.
15 Start Prepping Pets For Baby's Arrival Now
Baby Center points out that it is best to get pets used to the baby’s arrival sooner rather than later, especially if they own a dog and the pooch hasn’t been socialized to babies.
Moms-to-be can look up force-free dog trainers on websites like the Pet Professional Guild and hire one to help them get their furry friend used to all the changes that come with their owner being pregnant.
14 See Your Dentist For A Checkup And Cleaning
According to Baby Center, most ob-gyns recommend that their patients make an appointment with a dentist in order to get a check-up and undergo a routine dental cleaning.
There have been studies that show women who practice good dental hygiene are less likely to give any bacteria that can cause icky cavities to their babies.
13 Learn How To Do Kegel Exercises
Baby Center adds that every mom-to-be should ask their ob-gyn to recommend a book, Internet video, or website that can teach them how to perform kegel exercises properly.
Kegel exercises are great for pregnant women to include in their daily routine because they can help prevent their bladder from leaking when they have a bun in the oven.
12 Get Used To Sleeping On Your Side
Before becoming pregnant, most women have a preferred sleeping position that helps settle them and allows them to quickly drift off into dreamland. Some prefer to sleep on their backs while others sprawl out on their stomachs.
American Pregnancy Association notes that now is the time for women to start practicing sleeping on their left side so that it becomes a habit and they don’t struggle to get comfortable when their baby belly explains. Sleeping on the left side has lots of health perks, including increasing the number of nutrients that can reach the placenta.
11 Increase Your Water Intake
Let’s be honest, most people nowadays don’t consume nearly enough water as they should. Most folks can get away with slacking on their water intake, but pregnant women can’t.
According to Baby Center, it’s good to get into the habit of drinking 10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day (and a little more if you plan on working out) so that you meet the recommended amount of hydration and won’t receive a scolding from your doctor.
10 Start Making A Meal Plan To Consume More Nutrients
Baby Center writes that once a woman knows that she is eating for two, it is a good idea to sit down with their ob-gyn and find out what kind of nutrients they need to start including in their meal plan.
Once that’s done, it’s best to start planning out their meals and swapping things like pretzels for yummy snack items such as a hard-boiled egg or slices of watermelon.
9 Make Sure Any Issues With BP Get Under Control
Heathline points out that if a pregnant woman has any kind of pre-existing problem with high BP, then it is important to meet with her doctor to get that under control ASAP.
If the mom-to-be is a first-time mom or over the age of 35, all of these are risk factors for having circulation issues and it is important to make sure that they get a check-up to make sure everything is okay.
8 Start Taking Pre-Natal Vitamins
According to Healthline, now is the perfect time to ask your ob-gyn about what brand and type of pre-natal vitamins you should buy. The sooner you get into the habit the better since it means there’s less of a chance that you’ll forget to purchase them or take them.
In general, most doctors recommend a brand that contains necessary nutrients such as folic acid, iron, copper, and calcium.
7 Stay Active By Taking Prenatal Yoga Classes
American Pregnancy Association adds that now is the perfect time for a mom-to-be to enroll in a pre-natal yoga class.
Taking pre-natal yoga has plenty of benefits for mom, including helping her increase her endurance and flexibility, aiding in the reduction of stress and decreasing the amount of lower back pain they can get.
6 Keep Away From Foods That Are Toxic To Baby
There are certain food items that pregnant women can’t eat because there’s the chance that it could cause health issues, and it’s important to go through the refrigerator or start planning meals around the items that can’t be consumed.
According to Healthline, moms-to-be need to avoid eating sushi, deli meats (no more bologna sandwiches, sorry) and swordfish, since the latter has high levels of mercury in it.
5 Read Up On How To Monitor Baby's Movements
Stanford Children’s Health writes that by the time moms-to-be hit week 20, they should be able to feel their little one’s movements as they kick and turn about the womb.
It’s a good idea to ask your ob-gyn how to properly perform the method known as fetal movement counting so that you can check in with your little one every day and report any irregularities to the doctor.
4 Get Your Flu Shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that pregnant women get their flu shot pretty much the minute that flu season starts.
Sure, being pregnant means juggling an already-packed schedule, but it’s best to not slack off on this task because coming down with a gnarly bout of the flu and carrying a bun in the oven is not a good mix.
3 Make Sure You're Up-To-Date With Certain Vaccinations
Aside from getting the yearly flu vaccination, the Mayo Clinic writes that moms-to-be should also make sure that they get the Tdap vaccination, which helps protect against illnesses such as whooping cough.
For expecting mothers that are going to travel to another country, their ob-gyn might recommend that they get the hepatitis A and B vaccines too.
2 Cut Caffeine Out Of Your Life
The American Pregnancy Association notes that it is best for expecting moms to cut caffeine out of their life until their little bun in the oven makes their arrival because it can increase their heart rate and reduce the amount of fluids in your body.
For moms who love coffee and enjoy the taste, there is always the option of switching to decaf until their baby’s born.
1 Avoid Hot Tubs And Saunas
Many people enjoy booking an appointment at the hot tub at their local spa in order to unwind after a long week of work, but pregnant women need to give up that habit.
What To Expect writes that both hot tubs and saunas can raise a woman’s body temperature, which is a huge no-no when they are pregnant and it can cause dizziness, which is not fun to deal with when you are carrying a baby.
Sources: Baby Center, American Pregnancy Association, Healthline, Stanford Children's Health, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Mayo Clinic, What To Expect