We’ve put together a month-by-month plan for you to have the best pregnancy experience for both you and your unborn child.
You have just gone through five home-pregnancy tests and there is no doubt – you’re pregnant. A whole load of thoughts and feelings rush through you. Breathe, don’t panic. Our 9-month baby planner will help ease the emotional and financial strain of having a baby.
Month 1 – Don’t panic
For every good birth story there are about five horror stories. Our tips to avoid disaster are:
- Set aside your initial anxiety.
- Cut down on credit card debt – interest from debt could stop you providing the best life for your newborn.
- Healthcare – visit a doctor as soon as you can and go through the check-up schedule and other health concerns and best practices.
Month 2 – Eat well
A healthy mom equals a healthy baby. In the second month of your pregnancy, focus on getting all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to develop. Vitamin B will become increasingly important for development of the neural tube. Focus on iron, calcium and protein intake as a foundation for your baby’s development. It goes without saying, avoid harmful substances.
Month 3 – Start buying
Supplies are your next consideration. What will you need for your baby?
Things to consider:
- Do you have enough space in your home?
- If you are a homeowner, are there any renovations to be made? Do you have to build a nursery?
- If you are renting, may you need to move?
- Do you have the right accessories – crib, toys and nappies?
You can consider looking for great second-hand deals for some of the big ticket items you need.
Month 4 – Prenatal classes
Join a prenatal class. This will ensure you maintain and enhance your muscle strength and the flexibility needed for the birth. Prenatal classes also ensure you are surrounded by other pregnant women who share your anxiety and excitement, providing tremendous moral support.
Month 5 – Maternity leave
You are allowed 4 months maternity leave, so take advantage of it. Start looking for a nanny or domestic helper at least 3 months before the due date. Once you have found a caregiver, ask a lot of questions—‘what if’ this and ‘what if’ that. Gain as much information as you can, so you can be assured that the caregiver can handle whatever comes her way, which will give you peace of mind.
Month 6 – Educate yourself
This is the month your baby starts to open his eyes and expand his taste buds; this is the time nearing the end of your second trimester before your baby becomes heavier. Take full advantage while you still have the energy and learn as much as you can about life after the baby has arrived. Attend classes, and look at childcare books, and read up on developmental psychology to ensure you are well equipped once your little bundle of joy arrives.
Month 7 – Practice runs
At this point you can go into labour at any point and you need to start practice runs.
- You plan your route to the hospital
- You have your maternity bag ready
- You are familiar with your new baby’s dietary needs
- Baby’s clothing is ready
- You have contingency plans in case something goes wrong
Month 8 – Baby shower
Though there will be people in charge of your baby shower, here are six ways you can lend a helping hand:
- Choose your theme
- Choose your venue
- Prepare a guest list and send out invitations
- Choose baby shower games
- Arrange for catering
- Set up, relax and enjoy your special day!
Month 9 – Baby proof the house
Put up security measures to ensure your baby is safe around the house. Always reassess new danger zones as your child grows up.
Ensure that you:
- Keep all electrical outlets covered
- Keep electrical appliances out of reach
- Baby proof all furniture that the baby might climb onto or that may harm him
- Have a lot of cushions and bumpers to prevent injury.
Don’t feel anxious about your pregnancy; take full advantage of it. Visit our Pregnancy and Birth section to find out all you need to know about your pregnancy and birth, as well as the phases that will follow as your baby grows into a toddler and pre-schooler. If you want to find out more about planning your pregnancy, read the full article at www.hippo.co.za.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.