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Pregnant? Here’s a list of 16 things you should do TODAY!

They say the next nine months are going to fly by, and even in the slowest moments you’ll definitely feel the clock ticking a bit faster than usual. There’s a lot to fit into those potential 273 days, and you’ll soon realize it’s a lot more than numerous doctor’s appointments and baby showers. Here’s a helpful list of things to do right now that will help you out in your pregnancy.

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16 Start Maintaining a Nutrition Plan

You’ll be eating a lot, and you want to be sure that what you’re eating is worth the cost - and the calories! Ensuring that your food is wholesome and nutritious is a great first step to making your pregnancy a smooth process. Plan out a healthy meal plan, even if it’s just about keeping healthy snacks around.

If you need help staying strong, get your significant other to join you in eating healthier, or if you have a friend who is pregnant at the same time, you can trade secrets and tips to feel encouraged. Even if you only decide to eat healthier in the middle of your pregnancy, there’s no time like the present to get started on your way to a healthier you.

15 Look For a Doctor

Hopefully you already know and trust your doctor and OBGYN, but maybe you want to search for someone new during this special time (as long as they’re covered by insurance). Don’t feel like you’ll be hurting anyone’s feelings if you move on to someone else for this period of time. The only thing that matters is that you feel comfortable and safe with the person who will be taking care of you and your baby’s delivery.

It’s always sound advice to get a second opinion if you feel that maybe your doctor isn’t listening to your concerns, or if you suspect the doctor may have misdiagnosed you. No one knows your body better than you, and if your gut is telling you to get another opinion, don’t wait, go and get one!

14 Explore the Vitamin Aisle

Pre-natal vitamins are a must, but there are unlimited horizons in the world of vitamins. It would be best to talk to a doctor first, but now is the best time to start supplementing your diet with some added vitamins and minerals. Your body - and your baby - will be thanking you as you avoid vitamin deficiencies during and after your pregnancy. Plus your nails and hair will look great!

Your prenatal vitamins should include essential vitamins and minerals. These aid in the development of your fetus. The most important of these include: folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc,Omega-3, EPA and DHA.

13 Track Your Symptoms

You haven’t kept a weight diary since your last diet, but things like sudden weight gain (or loss) and changes in appetite, among other symptoms, will be important to keep track of. It’s good to start now so you can know what’s normal for you now compared to what changes later.

Even the small things can make a difference, so it’s worth noting how you feel, even if it’s related to food, that means you’ll know which foods you should avoid during your pregnancy to stop yourself from excruciating heartburn or excessive gas.

12 Go On a Shopping Spree! (within reason)

A lot of things are about to start changing, not the least of which is your waistband. Before you’re trapped without a fitting pair of pants, plan ahead. Start checking out the items in the maternity section and keep your eyes on the baby area as well. You’ll want to know what to add to your baby registry in a few months.

You can find plenty of deals online and in store, so don’t be afraid to look into loyalty programs and discounts. There’s nothing wrong with being a little frugal since your pregnancy is a temporary state, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself needing your maternity clothes for the first little while after the birth of your baby.

11 Hit Up the Library (or Google)

There’s an overwhelming amount of pregnancy literature out there: baby name books, how-tos, self-help and more. Avoid the scary ones that will give you pregnancy nightmares, but we recommend exploring and research the books (or articles or ebooks) that will help you out.

Check out a recommended reading list and don’t forget to include some fun books too, there’s no point in only reading books about what will happen to your baby and body over the next nine months, learn how other mothers have enjoyed their pregnancy experience as well.

10 Pull Out the Piggy Bank

Money issues will start to creep up sooner or later, so best to get ahead of them by saving now. Surprise costs will pop up and you want to be ready for anything that pregnant life throws your way. Tuck aside some rainy day funds and start a saving plan for long term.

Not to mention, once your baby is here, there may be unexpected expenses. Having some savings set aside before your baby arrives is a smart idea. Even if it’s only a couple of hundred dollars, something set aside is better than nothing at all!

9 Join a Club or New Mommies Group

Even with a helpful doctor, supportive partner and a huge pile of books, you’ll still have plenty of questions throughout your pregnancy. One of the best ways to discuss issues and celebrate good news is to do so with people who know exactly what you’re going through. Whether online or with a neighborhood group, finding a community of fellow pregnant women will make your experience much more pleasant.

You can’t place a value on having a sympathetic ear to listen to your complaints or to have someone who can understand your predicament. Mommy groups are all about creating friendships through a shared experience. Not to mention your child will already have play buddies at the ready once they get to the toddler stage.

8 Make the Announcement!

A lot of couples have found cute ways to share the good news, including funny YouTube videos and posed photos. However you decide to make the announcement, you’ll want to start collaborating with your partner now to make a plan. Do you want to keep it a secret or share the news asap? Time to figure that out!

Not to mention, you may want to have a gender reveal party. In that case, you get to share in the suspense and excitement your family and friends feel about your pregnancy. There are a number of gender reveal ideas online as well. So mull it over and good luck with your baby announcements!

7 Start a Health and Wellness Plan

It’s time to skip the nightly glass of wine and the occasional cigarette. Adapting your habits will be hard, but start as soon as possible to ensure the health of your baby. Try out new ways to reward yourself and figure out the best way to fit in exercise that won’t be too stressful on your body.

Don’t feel ashamed asking your doctor for help, it’s their job to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible. And it’s never too late to start trying to be healthier. Whether you’re butting out, or drinking less soda any type of changes you make (and the sooner the better) will ultimately benefit your baby and you later on.

6 Cut Down on Caffeine

Again, as we said above, the sooner you cut down or quit drinking coffee during your pregnancy the better. It might be the pick-me-up you lean on in the morning, but consider cutting back at least over the next 9 months.

Studies have linked high caffeine consumption to miscarriage and other pregnancy problems. That's why the March of Dimes advises expectant moms to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day (that's about one 12-ounce cup of coffee).

5 Start a Blog/Journal

Tracking your health and body changes is good, but you’ll want to keep track of your emotional state as well. Journalling is a healthy way to keep track of your daily ups and downs as well as giving you a place to release all your feelings.

Blogging has the added “bonus” of this information being available to your friends and family, but this is also a great solution if you don’t want to have to keep sending out emails or posting on Facebook every time you get a bit of news.

Not only that, but this can also be something that you share with your child later on. It’ll give your children a bird’s eye view of what your pregnancy was like with them. They’ll learn about all the ups and downs you experienced and the moments you looked forward to. It could bring you all closer together.

4 Look Into Health Insurance

Medical bills are sky high in the US, which is why if you haven’t already, you need to ensure that Make your health insurance plan covers your prenatal care and delivery costs. If at all possible, it should cover caring for your baby as well!

If you don’t know where to begin, simply talk to your company's benefits department or call up your existing health insurance provider. If you do not have insurance, don’t worry. There is still hope for you. Check out what the government has in store for you!

3 Adjust Your Sleeping Patterns

You’ll want to make sure you’re not just getting enough sleep, but quality sleep as well. You can download apps that will track your sleeping patterns and know when to wake you up. While you’re still limber and still able to move furniture around the house, now might be the time to finally invest in that memory foam mattress you’ve had your eye on. Whatever it takes to make sure you’re well rested and healthy.

In your last trimester you might benefit from the use of additional pillows or specially made pregnancy pillows. Your comfort at night and throughout the day can mean the difference between feeling relaxed and feeling stressed. The larger your belly becomes and the harder it is for you to get around, the more you'll want to feel comfortable when you're at home.

2 Maintain a Countdown to Your Due Date

Once you become pregnant the only thing that will matter to you (other than your health and that of your baby) is your due date. You will obsess and dream about the day you finally meet your little bundle of joy. Sure childbirth might seem scary for first time mothers, but hey, that’s part and parcel of baby territory.

You can find lots of fun ways to countdown the days to your new baby. You can buy a wall calendar and fun stickers or make an online countdown clock that friends and family can check out as well. This is a great way to make sure you don’t have to keep answering the same questions over and over, too!

1 Take a Breather and Relax

Time is passing you by quickly, so today is the day to practice breathing in the moment and taking things one step at a time. You won’t learn every baby fact in a day and you would blow through your entire monthly budget if you decided to do all your pre-baby shopping right now. Remember to take care of your mental state by taking it easy and being mindful of living in the moment.

These techniques aren't only good for helping you to relax, but they're skills you'll be able to use in the delivery room too. It doesn't matter what type of birth option you've chosen, being mindful and present will help you to mentally record your birthing experience.

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