We are pregnant!!! Announcing a pregnancy is a wonderful moment in a couple's life, congratulations from the entire LoveLane Team!!!
During this exciting time filled with love and change, there are so many tasks and decisions that are waiting for you as expectant parents. From finding a midwife, writing a birth plan, to packing the hospital bag - there are a bunch of things to consider.
To help you stay organized during pregnancy, we’ve put together a pregnancy to-do list that shows you what you need to do and when - from early pregnancy to the day of birth. Pregnancy Checklist PDF
With no further ado, let's get into it!
First Trimester - Early weeks of pregnancy
The first trimester, also known as early pregnancy, includes the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. There are already a couple of things you can do during these early weeks..
Calculate the birth date
If you haven't done so already, we recommend finding out your week of pregnancy and calculate the due date. You can easily do this with a pregnancy calculator, for example, here. Alternatively, you can find out during a visit to your doctor. Knowing the approximate due date will help you plan for all other things, so that's gotta be the first step!
Find a midwife
The search for a midwife can take some time, especially in big cities, so it's best to start early. You can consider whether you want to have your prenatal check-ups done by your gynecologist or midwife. This way, you can build a trusting relationship with your midwife during the pregnancy.
Schedule and attend Check-up’s
Regular check-ups take place from the beginning of pregnancy. Doctors recommend the first prenatal appointment starting from the 5th week of pregnancy. Normally, prenatal check-ups are scheduled every four weeks, and from the 32nd week of pregnancy, medical examinations take place every two weeks. Talk to your doctor about it!
Notify the employer of the date of delivery
Employers should be informed as soon as possible about the pregnancy and the expected due date. While on statutory maternity leave, your employment rights are protected, including pay rises, building up holiday and returning to work. At this point, it also makes sense to have a discussion about working conditions before and after the birth, at this point, you should have a look at your contract too.
Apply for maternity protection pay
If the soon to be mom is not allowed to work before and after maternity leave due to various reasons, e.g. a doctor's recommendation, she may be able to claim maternity protection pay. All that is needed is a medical certificate of the individual or complete prohibition of employment, which is then submitted to the employer.
Read baby guidebooks
Whilst early in pregnancy, you still have the time to stick your nose into a book, so it's best to use this time to read up once again. Especially when you are having a baby for the first time, many things may still be unclear. Good books can give you great tips and certainly take away some insecurities.
Second trimester - Birth preparation
The second trimester ranges from the 14th to the 27th week of pregnancy, you made it halfway now and hopefully, your morning sickness got better!
Participate in childbirth classes
In birth preparation classes, you will learn about birthing methods and processes, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. You will also receive advice on maternity clinics and the time after childbirth. Birth preparation classes are also offered online, over here, you’ll find some listings.
Choose a suitable birth method
There are different types of childbirth methods tailored to the individual needs and circumstances of the expectant mother and child. Here, we'll discuss four different delivery methods:
Natural birth in the hospital
A vaginal birth in the hospital is one of the most common forms of childbirth. There are two forms: inpatient and outpatient birth. In the former, the mother and child stay in the hospital for up to four days after birth, while in the latter, the family leaves the hospital a few hours after birth.
Cesarean section (C-Section)
A cesarean section is only performed if there is a medical necessity for it, such as a pre-existing condition of the mother, premature birth, or complications in the vaginal birth process.
Natural home birth
As the name suggests, home birth takes place in the woman's own home and is usually attended by a midwife and partner. It is only possible when no complications are expected for the birth.
In a water birth, the woman gives birth to the child in a pool of warm water. This method is offered both in clinics and can be conducted during home births.
The birth of your child is a unique and special moment. For a well-considered decision, you should definitely engage in discussion with your midwife or gynecologist to determine the most suitable method of delivery for you.
Choose a suitable birth center and register the date of birth
Choosing the right place to give birth is an important decision. You have the option of having your baby in a hospital, birth center, or having a home birth. This decision depends on your individual needs. Here, too, it makes sense to look for a facility or birth companion as early as possible, since free places are limited and good birth facilities are popular.
Find a pediatrician’s office
The first two examinations (U1, U2) of your baby are usually performed at the birth center, while the U3 is performed by a pediatrician in the 4th - 5th week of life. The U examinations are very important and doctors are often high in demand. Therefore, start your search early to secure a practice space you are comfortable with. Waiting for appointments can sometimes take up to 5 months in large cities.
Find a suitable daycare
At what point in time you want to place your child in educational care is entirely your decision. If you plan on doing this soon, it is advisable to look for a place during pregnancy. The waiting time for daycare facilities can sometimes take up to two years - crazy, isn't it?! When making this decision, it is important to pay attention to what is best for the child AND the parents.
Plan health insurance for the baby
Your child has just seen the light of day and is already covered by health insurance, well at least when you’re in Germany: Newborns are covered by their mother's health insurance. If both of you have statutory health insurance, you can choose which insurance you want to include your baby in. It is certainly worth comparing the offers and considering a change of health insurance at least 4 months before the date of delivery in order to receive full benefits when the baby is born.
In other countries, like the US, you should definitely get insurance yourself and make sure everything you need is covered.
Get baby's first outfit
One of the best pregnancy to-dos: Strolling through the shops and buying cute little socks! But you need a lot more, so plan enough time for this, too. For an overview we have compiled a PDF checklist for you. Since some things will be given to you as gifts, it's best to make wish lists so that you get what you need! Ask your friends, family and acquaintances, maybe one or the other person has a few rompers or even a crib to give away.
Think about baby’s name
Maybe you have already agreed on the perfect name for your baby, but sometimes this question can only be answered when you hold your new family member in your arms. A selection of name suggestions would be good in any case though, if you are still looking for inspiration, we recommend this page
Spend quality time as a couple
This is the right time to enjoy the last togetherness for now and spend some quality time together. In between the pregnancy preparations, try to remember to enjoy your last time together and not to forget you as a couple. You can find out how to do this in our article Becoming parents – staying a couple, feel free to check it out here.
Third trimester - The final sprint
The 28th week of pregnancy ushers in the third trimester, now it's time for the final sprint! In the last trimester, you, as expectant parents will have to deal with a few formalities. Here you will find an overview of all important things during the last part of pregnancy.
Apply for maternity pay
During the 14-week maternity protection period, mothers in Germany receive maternity benefits. As a rule, the period begins the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and ends 8 weeks after. Those with statutory insurance apply to their health insurance fund, while those with private insurance and family insurance apply to the federal social security office. For this purpose, the mother needs a certificate from her gynecologist stating the presumed date of delivery. This benefit can vary widely depending on countries.
Apply for Parental leave
To apply for parental leave, an informal application to the employer is sufficient. In Germany, both parents have a total of three years of legal entitlement to time off from work. This should happen in late pregnancy, but at least 7 weeks before the start of the desired parental leave.
This point can also vary greatly from country to country. In America, for example, both parents get up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave with the birth of a child. Paid parental leave is the matter of each employer, so better take a look at your working contract.
Calculate and apply for parental allowance
If parents work less or not at all after the birth, it is possible to apply for parental allowance. The same applies to parents who were already not working whilst pregnancy or before. This regulation is handled differently in different countries, so check again how it is regulated in your country.
You live in Germany? Here you are entitled to financial support:
You can use the parental allowance calculator to find out what your entitlement is and what the amount of the parental allowance would be. The application can be submitted online and only after giving birth, but it is advisable to prepare all the documents before the birth. You will surely have enough to do with your offspring afterwards.