You are going to be a mom! Can you believe it?! You’ve probably dreamed of what this moment would feel like and it’s finally here. If you want to enjoy this time and grow a healthy baby, here is EVERYTHING you need to know about pregnancy from a mama.
I read tons of books, blog posts and even watched vlogs from first time moms during my pregnancy. There is so much information out there, I felt overwhelmed by what I really needed to know.
Looking back, there are so many things that I wish I did differently. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes. That’s why I’ve compiled EVERYTHING that you (actually) need to know about pregnancy, so you can focus on enjoying this time!
What you Need to Know about Pregnancy (from a mom!)
I’m going to break this up into trimesters, that way you can skip to that section. I have included EVERYTHING you will need to know from the second you find out you’re expecting up through having a positive birth.
I recommend pinning this to your Pregnancy Pinterest Board, so that you can refer back to it often. There is so much information here!
At Bless Our Littles, we like to talk about things we love and think you might enjoy too. Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links (see disclosure here). This means we will receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. This is no extra cost to you. There are some products we have tried and others that we haven’t but think would be helpful to you!
Everything to Know About the First Trimester
The first trimester can be ROUGH! There’s morning sickness, that awkward baby bloat, and the fear of miscarriage that can make it hard to enjoy this season of pregnancy.
If I can give you any advice for the first trimester it’s……
- Don’t google anything.
- Have safe resources.
- And Pray… Lots.
I’ll talk about all these things in a bit!
1. What to Do After You Find Out You’re Pregnant!
After seeing those two pink lines, your mind was probably racing! Where should you even start? From Pregnancy Announcements to your first Prenatal Appointment, there is so much to think about!
2. When Should You Announce Your Pregnancy?
Deciding on when you will announce you are pregnant to friends and family is a personal decision for you and your husband! Many couples choose to wait until the magic 12 week mark, simply because the risk of miscarriage is at its lowest.
Although it’s most common to wait this long, we chose to announce we were having a baby the day I got a positive pregnancy test! It took us a while to get pregnant, so we were super excited to share the news.
3. How to Announce Your Pregnancy
Once you’ve decided on when you are going to announce you’re expecting, you can start planning how you will tell everyone. If you aren’t as impatient as we were, you will have time to do something pretty creative!
Here are some ideas on How to Announce Your Pregnancy to your Friends + Family:
- 18 Ways to SHOCK your Husband with Pregnancy Announcement
- 14 Ways to Announce Pregnancy to Parents
- 13 Unique Ways to Announce Pregnancy To Family in Person
- 14 Memorable Rainbow Baby Pregnancy Announcements
- Long Distance Pregnancy Announcement Ideas
- How to Surprise Grandparents with Pregnancy
- 9 Bible Verses for Pregnancy Announcement
4. Choosing a Health Care Provider
Looking back, I was really lucky that I had chosen a health care provider that was on my side. From what I’ve heard from most of my friends, this isn’t always the case. Your first trimester is a good time to do some shopping around for a health care provider.
I ended up going with a midwife because I wanted an unmedicated birth. To my surprise, she just wanted me to have a positive birth story. So, she would have been supportive even if I decided on an epidural.
5. What to Expect at Your First Prenatal Appointment
Going to your first doctor’s appointment is exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. Although you may get to hear your baby’s heartbeat and should have an ultrasound, this isn’t the main focus of this appointment.
Your doctor will be screening you, your spouse, and both of your family history. This gives them an idea of things to look out for as your baby grows and develops.
6. What to Eat During the First Trimester
If you don’t have morning sickness, you will want to focus on nourishing your body. You should be eating a wide variety of foods to get the most nutrients for you and your baby.
I highly recommend the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols. You can check out my review here… this is a MUST READ!
7. How to Deal with Morning Sickness
I had all-day sickness… hahah. I’m not really sure what it’s called morning sickness when I was nauseous around the clock. It didn’t start until I was about 8 weeks pregnant, but once it did I felt horrible. All I wanted was candy canes!
8. Keep up with your Workouts
Thanks to morning sickness, I didn’t feel good enough to work out. I really regretted this in the second trimester! If I can encourage you to do anything, just take a daily walk. It’s really good for your body to keep moving.
Not sure what exercises are safe? Here are First Trimester Friendly Workouts!
9. There are options if you are impatient to find out the Gender….
My husband and I were flying home at 11 weeks pregnant to visit! We wanted to be able to celebrate finding out the baby’s gender with them. But when we asked at the first prenatal appointment, we didn’t qualify for NIPT.
I ended up stumbling on Sneak Peek Early Gender Testing and we were able to find out we were having a girl at just 9 weeks pregnant!!
10. Make Yourself Comfortable + Get these MUST HAVES
Although you don’t need a whole lot that’s specific to pregnancy, these are some essentials that will make the first trimester a whole lot easier. This season is tough because you don’t look pregnant yet, but you absolutely feel it.
11. It’s normal to Feel Worried about Miscarriage
Every mom feels a bit anxious during the first trimester. Although it’s normal, there are some ways to help lessen your worry around miscarriage.
I really struggled to enjoy the first trimester because I was so worried. I have written several articles about worry and anxiety in pregnancy, so if you are dealing with this you should definitely read them!
- How to Calm Anxiety During Pregnancy
- 9 Natural Remedies for Anxiety During Pregnancy
- How to Overcome Anxiety with God
If you find yourself in constant worry about having a miscarriage, I found that having a baby doppler held tremendously! This was the best investment I made. It truly made the end of my first trimester so much more enjoyable.
12. You won’t Need Maternity Clothes (yet), but Get Something Comfy
Unless this is your second baby, you probably won’t need maternity clothes until the second trimester. But you will need stretchy pants or a bellyband!
Imagine how you feel after thanksgiving dinner….. needing to unbutton your pants because you are so bloated and full… this is how you will start to feel toward the end of the first trimester! You will be so grateful that you purchased clothes that make you feel comfortable.
13. Shop around for Baby Staples (Stroller, Crib, Pack n Play)
Especially if you plan on having more kiddos, you should start shopping around for quality baby staples. Obviously, these items are going to be gender neutral.
We went shopping around for a baby stroller because that was really important to us. The one we fell in love with online, broke when we tested it out in the store…. And surprisingly we fell in love with a stroller while just browsing through Nordstrom!
14. You will want to start planning your Gender Reveal… so do it!
I was SO excited to start planning our Gender Reveal Party. Start a Pinterest Board and add unique gender reveal ideas to it.
Typically the parents-to-be host this party, but if you aren’t sure of all the do’s and don’ts here is some Gender Reveal Party Etiquette!
Like I mentioned earlier, if you are impatient you can find out the gender as early as 7 weeks with SneakPeeks Test!
15. You will want to Buy your Baby Something!
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to buy my baby something. That week, my husband and I went to the mall and I picked out a gender neutral outfit! (Spoiler Alert: my daughter never ended up wearing it because it was kind of boyish hahaha)
You totally need to buy something!!! Just don’t go crazy.
Wondering when you SHOULD start Shopping for Your Baby? It’s earlier than you think!
16. Stretch Marks Happen… EVERYWHERE
I’m going to share something embarrassing, but my hope is to prepare you and let you know that it’s normal. In the first trimester, your boobs are gonna get bigger and they will probably have some stretch marks.
I was adamant about reducing the number of stretch marks and applied Earth Mamas Belly Butter daily. I definitely think it helped, but they are hereditary…. And there isn’t much you can do about that!
What shocked me the most was that I got stretch marks on my butt. Yup.. no one ever told me this would happen. Apparently it’s pretty common!
17. Start Praying over Your Baby
It’s never too early to start praying for your growing baby! Pregnancy was one of the holiest seasons for me. I couldn’t thank God enough for this precious miracle!
During the second trimester, I started writing my 40 Week Pregnancy Devotional, to help moms grow closer to Christ and to enjoy this short season!
Everything YOU NEED to know about the Second Trimester
This is the sweet spot! Your morning sickness will begin to fade and you aren’t waddling around you. Spend this time enjoying your pregnancy.. it’s such an exciting time!
1. You Will NEED Maternity Clothes
I’ve heard of tons of women who never needed maternity clothes, but I was all belly and couldn’t live without them. You will want to invest in a couple of pairs of maternity pants along with a few shirts. But they are expensive, so start shopping now and get things on sale!
2. Start a Pregnancy Journal
This is something I really wish I had kept up with during my pregnancy. I had started a DIY pregnancy journal, shortly after I found out I was pregnant. But, I never got around to finishing it.
There are so many things I wish I could remember about being pregnant, to share with my daughter! If you need some ideas for what to write, here are 40 Pregnancy Journal Prompts….. they will really get you thinking!
3. Start Birth Affirmations NOW
About halfway through the second trimester, I started listening to Birth Affirmations and I believe that this played a huge role in being able to have a natural child birth. Regardless of what kind of birth you choose, this will set you up to have a positive birth experience.
My favorite birth affirmations are from Bridget Teyler! They are free on Youtube. She is an awesome resource for how to have a positive birth. I absolutely LOVED all her content, so spend some time over there.
3. Start Studying Birth
Being educated about the birth process will help you to be aware of what’s going on. If I’m being honest I thought this advice was ridiculous, but after having my daughter I believe this whole heartedly.
Because I was aware of the process, I wasn’t scared for what was to come. I knew the entire process like the back of my hand, which helped me to relax during labor.
4. You will Need To Think About Your Birth Plan
I was surprised when my midwife asked this so early on! At 16 weeks, we were talking about whether or not I wanted an epidural. I was really not prepared for this.
I would highly recommend watching Birth Videos and get an idea of what kind of birth you want. Also, weigh out the pros and cons of an unmedicated birth vs epidural!
Have no idea what you want? Here is my list of Pros and Cons of a Natural Birth that made me change my mind about getting an epidural
5. Sign Up for a Birth Class
Once you know what kind of birth you want, you will need to start looking for classes. Obviously most hospitals offer them, but they are usually pretty generic. I was pregnant in 2020… which meant all in person birth classes were canceled.
I stumbled on Mama Natural’s Birth Course….. and It SAVED my daughters life. Although the first few moments after birth were scary, I had the most beautiful labor and delivery. I give all the credit to this course. It’s worth every penny.
If you purchase through my affiliate link, I will give you my 40 Week Pregnancy Devotional! Just send me a copy of your receipt and I will send you over the bonuses!
6. Sleeping gets Really Uncomfortable
I’m a back sleeper and when I was told to sleep on my side, I really struggled. My back ached ALL night long. Between this and needing to use the bathroom every 2 hours, I was so tired.
The only way I was able to sleep was after I purchased a pregnancy pillow. It was a life saver! I highly recommend you invest in one. I even used it after my daughter was born.
This is the Pregnancy Pillow that Helped me to wake up feeling well rested, even in the third trimester!
7. Get a Birth Ball
I bought a birth ball during my second trimester and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! Every night I spent about 15 minutes preparing my body for birth and I think it paid off.
I mentioned Bridget Teyler a little earlier, but she has some amazing birth ball exercises here!
8. Start Your Baby Registry
Most mamas-to-be have their Baby Shower in the third trimester. After you find out your baby’s gender, you can start picking out baby items you will need on your registry.
Although there are so many cute things out there, you will want to keep in mind the season that your baby is being born. Registering for a lot of baby blankets for a summer newborn, might not be the smartest thing. (Click Here for Baby Items you SHOULDN’T Register for)
9. Nesting is a REAL thing
When I was about 24 weeks pregnant, I started getting antsy about having everything ready for my daughters arrival. It dawned on me that this was probably nesting. As each week passed, it became more urgent to get things in order.
The one thing that I was fixated on was the nursery. Looking back, I don’t think it’s ever to early to start preparing this precious space!
10. You Definitely Need to Plan Maternity Photos
Here is the deal with maternity photos, you want to look pregnant… but you don’t want to wait until the very end. I had my pictures taken at 30 weeks. Now grated, I was all belly so I already looked like I was going to pop!
During the second trimester, you will need to book this photo shoot – especially if this is a well known photographer.
You will want to start a Pinterest board for maternity picture ideas, so that they have an idea of what you are looking for. This will also help you when choosing outfits for you and your spouse!
Everything YOU NEED to know about the Third Trimester
It’s the home stretch! There is a lot of “nesting” that goes on at this time. I want to encourage you to enjoy this short season for what it is. Soon enough you precious baby will be here!
1. Pack Your Bags at Least a Month Before Your Due Date
I went into labor 4 weeks early with my daughter and thank goodness I was (kind of) prepared. Since you never expect this kind of thing to happen, it’s smart to get your bags packed way in advance.
You will want to create a Hospital Check-List so you and your husband aren’t running around the house trying to remember everything you could possibly need before leaving for the hospital.
2. Plan your First Family Photos
If you plan to have a photographer there to capture your birth, you may want to think about hairstyle ideas for labor and delivery. This way you don’t look back and regret it.
Most couples plan on taking pictures while they are in the hospital. You will want to be sure to have your outfits ready, along with anything you may need like makeup and a curling iron.
3. You will be EXCITED to Announce Your Baby
Thinking about how you will tell the world about your baby is so exciting! Whether you start a Pinterest board with photo ideas or you scroll through pregnancy announcement cards, let yourself enjoy this.
During the early part of labor, I scrolled through baby announcements on Minted! This was a fun way to distract myself during contractions.
Do you want a Unique Baby Announcement? You will NEED Basic Invites Cards to share the news!
4. You will be tired.. ALL THE TIME
I’m not much for naps, but during the third trimester I was laying down after lunch to get some sleep. You will want to soak it up now before baby comes. Seriously, don’t waste a single second of sleep.
5. It’s not exciting, but You SHOULD Plan for Postpartum
With all the excitement on meeting your baby, you probably haven’t thought about postpartum. This is the one thing I regret. I only focused on birth and never thought about preparing for all that comes after it.
I wrote a blog post on Preparing for Postpartum, so that YOU don’t make the same mistakes I did.
6. You might feel Unprepared to be a Mom
Surprisingly, many moms-to-be feel unprepared to be a mom. This is a brand new role, so it’s all new! But to ease your anxious thoughts, there are some things you can be doing to prepare for this huge change.
If you want to be READY for Motherhood, here are 7 things you MUST do!
7. Get Familiar with Breastfeeding
This is actually one of the things you should do when preparing for motherhood, but I feel like it’s super important to mention here. Although birth gets all the hype, breastfeeding is really important.
I’ve seen so many moms give up on nursing their child, simply because they don’t know anything about breastfeeding.
I love Karrie Locher, she is absolutely the BEST when it comes to all things postpartum. But, her breastfeeding tips and advice helped my daughter and I to bond after the NICU.
8. You Might Start Feeling Nervous about Birth
If I’m being honest, I was never worried about giving birth. I truly believed that my body was made to give birth (thanks to my positive affirmations). Although a lot of women I know start getting anxious about giving birth….. and that’s totally normal!
Something that helped me was watching positive birth stories. Although there are many “horror stories” out there, there are tons of women who share a good experience.
9. You and Your Hubby Will Feel Super Close (…or not)
For my husband and I, we got really close throughout my entire pregnancy. We were so excited to meet our daughter! The month before I went into labor, we went on a few dates and did some us things.
I would highly recommend you making some intentional time to spend with your spouse. Even though pregnancy brought us closer, for some couples it can be difficult to keep the spark alive.
10. Begin to Pray about Birth
God knows how your baby will come into this world. No matter how hard we try to change it, He already has a plan.
I had Bible Verses that I prayed and meditated on daily to help prepare me for labor. You can check out the Bible Verses that helped me while giving birth.
Although when you first find out you’re pregnant, nine months feels like an eternity, this season is short. Knowing what to expect can help you to prepare for what’s ahead. I hope this list of EVERYTHING you NEED to Know While Pregnant helps you to prepare for this beautiful miracle God has given you!
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