Countdown To Baby: A Month-By-Month Guide On How To Prepare

You’ve found out you’re pregnant and now you have nine months to prepare. But just how should you prepare? At first, it can feel as if there are hundreds of tasks that need completing before your baby arrives. In reality, much of it is optional or advisory and there are only a few necessary tasks that need doing. 

Certain tasks are best carried out at certain points in your pregnancy. This useful guide explains exactly when during pregnancy you should be looking to complete each task.

9 months to go…

You’ve taken a pregnancy test and it’s come back positive. Congratulations! Most women don’t actually find out they’re pregnant until four weeks in. However, some find out two weeks in. It’s worth taking a few pregnancy tests to confirm you’re definitely pregnant – especially if it’s still likely to be very early stages.

It’s best not to break the news to too many people at first. In fact, it’s best to only tell your partner and closest family members. More than 80% of miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, so ideally you want to get past these first few weeks before telling the world. 

You should tell your doctor as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. This allows you to be assigned to a midwife so that you can start the antenatal care process. 

If you’re not already taking folic acid supplements, now is a good time to start too. Taking folic acid every day within the first 12 weeks has been proved by studies to reduce the risk of various complications. 

8 months to go…

Before you’re 10 weeks pregnant, you should have your first midwife appointment. During this appointment you’ll take a few health tests to determine if there are any risks that may need to be factored into the pregnancy. Measures can then be taken to reduce these risks.

When can you book your first scan? Most medical practitioners will recommend not booking an ultrasound until at least 6 weeks as you’re unlikely to see or hear anything before this. During the first scan, you’ll get an opportunity to hear their heartbeat. Even if you don’t get this scan until 12 weeks, it’s best to book it at this stage.


7 months to go…

The 12 week mark is a good time to announce your baby to the world. At this point, the risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced. Consider planning how to announce your baby to the world. Will you throw a party? Will you make an announcement on social media? These fun pregnancy announcement ideas could be worth a read.

At the same time that you tell your friends and family you should consider telling your employer. Legally, there is no mandate as to when you tell your employer. However, so that your employer can plan for maternity leave, it’s courteous to give as much warning as you can.

6 months to go…

After three months, you enter the second trimester. You can stop taking folic acid supplements at this point, however there is no harm in continuing to take them throughout the pregnancy.

Your bump will start growing in the next few weeks, so you may want to consider taking a break from high-impact exercises (running and jumping), and taking up low-impact exercises (like walking and swimming) instead. 

5 months to go…

The second scan is usually carried out at 20 weeks (about 4 ½ months into the pregnancy). Your baby will be much clearer during this scan, making it possible to take a photograph. This is also when the gender can be assigned – you can choose to have the gender revealed at the scan or keep it a surprise.

If you want to throw a gender reveal party, you may want to plan this a couple weeks before your gender reveal scan. You’ll need to bring a loved one with you to the scan who can then plan the reveal. There are many different gender reveal ideas that you can explore. 

Knowing the gender could allow you to start making plans such as buying clothes or decorating the baby’s room. Of course, you don’t have to know the gender to start decorating and buying clothes – there are many gender neutral options when it comes to baby clothes and decorating, allowing you to prepare without having to reveal/assign the gender at this stage.


4 months to go…

If you’re not already sleeping on your side at this point, it could be an important habit to start getting into. Sleeping on your back in the third trimester results in an increased risk of stillbirth. You can use pillows to help stay on your side as you sleep (pregnancy pillows are particularly handy for preventing back pain and supporting the body). 

As your bump grows during this period, you may also want to look into maternity clothes if you haven’t bought any already. Buying maternity clothes at this stage allows you to get a few months of wear out of them. You may want to avoid certain tight-waisted clothes from this period on so as to not cause unwanted pressure on your baby.

3 months to go…

You are now in the third and final trimester. This is a good time to start planning your baby shower if you would like to have one. Baby showers are a good opportunity to get family and friends together and to receive gifts – which could include useful items like diapers and bibs. Most baby showers are held 4 to 6 weeks before the due date, but you may want to start planning a few weeks early. 

Talking of baby items, you should aim to buy all the important baby equipment at this stage if you haven’t already. This includes the pram, car seat, crib/moses basket, bottles and sterilizer. You don’t want to leave it later than this in case the baby comes early and you’re not equipped. Prams and car seats may also need to be ordered in when purchasing them brand new – it’s best to place your order no later than 30 weeks just in case there are delays. 

30 to 32 weeks is a popular time to attend antenatal classes or parental classes. If you and your partner are interested in these classes, make sure to look for classes in your area. 

2 months to go…

This is the most popular time to host one’s baby shower. After the baby shower, you may want to consider stocking up on any essentials that you haven’t already bought or been gifted such as diapers and wipes. Unlike prams and car seats, these purchases don’t need as much planning, but it’s worth still buying them now rather than in the last month in case the baby comes early.

At this stage you may start experiencing more tiredness and discomfort. Take much more caution with physical tasks – any exercise should be light. You should be regularly feeling the baby moving at this point. If the baby stops moving, make sure to contact your midwife or a medical professional straight away. 

Roughly 10% of babies are born between 32 and 36 weeks. While such premature births are riskier, there is still a high chance of survival at this stage. 

1 month to go…

Get as much rest as you can in this last month. You have many nights of interrupted sleep around the corner, plus childbirth will be tiring – by going into birth well-rested, you will have more energy to put in the birth and more energy for looking after your little one in the first few weeks.

At the same time, it’s important to still do some physical activity. Being active will help bring on natural labor – those who do little to no physical activity in the last few weeks are often more likely to be induced. 

In this last month, you should also consider packing your hospital overnight bag if you haven’t already. This should contain essentials for you and your baby – this hospital bag checklist tells you exactly what you need to pack. 

It could be worth looking into how to install the car seat during these last couple weeks too. Many car seats are straightforward, but some can be complicated and may require a bit of practice. It’s better to master them before the baby arrives than to wait until you’re leaving the hospital.

You may want to plan who is taking you to the hospital, as well as asking someone to look after pets or kids while you are in hospital (these people will need to be on constant standby, so you’ll need to make sure they have no plans in the next few weeks). 

Posted by

My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

One thought on “Countdown To Baby: A Month-By-Month Guide On How To Prepare

Leave a Reply