When you are trying to conceive you will quickly find that there are many things that you will need to remember and a large number of decisions that 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 that 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 already have the child inside of you, 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 that 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 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 stress levels.
☐ Start exercising and lose weight if your doctor has said it would be beneficial.
☐ Reduce your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and unhealthy food.
☐ 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.
☐ Review your finances and insurance to make sure that your pregnancy and delivery will be covered by your insurance policy.
☐ 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 back-up 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 that 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 that you and your partner are both fertile.
☐ Get those conception myths out of your head because you will only be wasting your time.
☐ 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 begin and continue to take your prenatal vitamins with the direction of your physician.
☐ 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 that you are getting and ensure that you are eating a balanced diet made up of nutritious food.
☐ Keep track of your weight changes so that 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 home coming.
☐ Consider hiring a doula to support you during labor and delivery.
☐ Ensure that your camera batteries are charged and that you are prepared to record your baby’s birth if that is what you would like.
☐ As your due date nears, make sure any paperwork relating to the birth and to maternity leave or paternity leave are filed properly.
Labor and Delivery
☐ Make sure you pack a hospital bag well in advance of your due date.
☐ Find out how soon in the labor 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 labor.
☐ 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.