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Baby on Board - The Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist

When you are trying to conceive, you will quickly find there are many things that you will need to remember and a large number of decisions you will need to make. While it can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. A good TTC checklist covering conception, pregnancy and delivery may be just what you require in order to reduce stress and make you feel as confident and in control of the process as possible.

Just remember to relax and enjoy the process as much as possible. This is a wonderful journey you are about to embark on, and it is worthwhile to try and experience the journey in a positive way. Regardless of whether you are still trying to conceive or if you are already pregnant, this checklist for pregnancy can make it easy for you to break down the different stages of maternity in a way that is easy to follow and understand.

Prior to conceiving

Get a physical exam. Have the doctor check for any health problems that may make conception more difficult. Bring a list of questions that you may have about your health or about the conception process. Consider discussing topics such as your weight, your activity levels and any habits such as drinking or smoking that may affect your ability to conceive.

If your doctor says you are on chronic medications that may harm your baby, it is now time to switch to less harmful alternatives or learn how to reduce your child’s risk of being harmed.

Speak with female relatives about how easy or difficult it was for them to conceive. Certain health conditions, such as endometriosis, can make it difficult to get pregnant and some of these have a genetic component.

Begin reading about how to chart your ovulation cycle. Consider installing an app on your phone or computer that allows you to track your cycles. Learn basic information about how ovulation and conception take place.

  • Consider taking up yoga or meditation to reduce your stress levels.

  • Begin taking prenatal vitamins.

  • Start exercising and lose weight if your doctor has said it would be beneficial.

  • Reduce your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and unhealthy foods.

  • Potential fathers should switch from briefs to boxers, avoid hot tubs and avoid cottonseed oil in their diet in order to maximize their own fertility. 

Conception

Stop taking birth control. Find out from your doctor if there needs to be a wash-out period between when you stop taking it and when you can safely get pregnant. Use a backup method of contraception during this time period.

Decide whether you want to chart your cervical mucus texture and basal temperature. These can be good ways to tell when ovulation has occurred and when you are at your most fertile.

  • Ensure that lubricants and other sexual aides you are using are conception-friendly.

  • Enjoy having sex with your partner. This is the one time when you are not trying to avoid pregnancy.

  • Consider trying different positions as these can help increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

  • If you have been unable to conceive for several months, consider speaking with your doctor. They may want to schedule tests to check hormone levels and ensure you and your partner are fertile.

  • Get those conception myths out of your head because you will only be wasting your time.

Pregnancy

Once you have conceived, schedule an appointment with your general practitioner. Ask for recommendations for obstetricians or midwives if you prefer to go that route.

  • Ensure you are continuing to take your prenatal vitamins.

  • Begin to exercise gradually and gently.

  • Speak to your doctor about testing for genetic disorders. This may be more or less important depending on your family and medical histories.

  • Get tested for gestational diabetes.

  • Schedule a dental exam and cleaning.

  • Try to increase the amount of sleep you are getting and ensure that you are eating a balanced diet made up of nutritious foods.

  • Keep track of your weight changes so you can discuss them with your doctor.

  • Consider attending a prenatal class that will help prepare you for childbirth.

  • Draw up a birth plan as your due date approaches.

  • Prepare your home for your baby’s homecoming.

  • Consider hiring a doula to support you during labour and delivery.

  • Ensure that your camera batteries are charged and that you are prepared to record your baby’s birth, if that is your and your partner’s preference.

  • As your due date nears, make sure any paperwork relating to the birth and to maternity leave or paternity leave are filed properly. 

Labour and delivery

  • Make sure you pack a hospital bag well in advance of your due date.

  • Find out how soon in the labour process your medical professional wants you to go to the hospital.

  • Call any individuals who will be attending your birth such as doulas, midwives or medical professionals and head to the hospital at the appropriate time in labour.

  • Enjoy this time as much as possible, and do not stress if things do not go exactly as spelled out in your birth plan.

Once the baby has arrived, enjoy your new baby and some time with your partner as a new family.

Maternityathome, maternityathome.com, is a pregnancy and infancy resource for expecting or new mothers. Reprinted with permission from Maternityathome.

Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child