Pregnancy

Third Trimester To-Do List

Let me begin by saying nothing on this list needs to be done. The only imperative is to take good care of yourself and listen to your body. However, like many people, I had quite the nesting bug during both pregnancies—especially at the end. So, for the person who likes to stay busy and is seeking some guidance on how to do so, this list is for you. As always, these types of lists look different for everyone—there are so many wonderful ways to prepare for birth and to care for children.

third trimester to do list 4

Finalize the nursery. Here are my suggestions for creating a non-toxic nursery. It might seem like this can wait, but I like to have my nursery done at least six weeks before my due date. Part of that is the worrier in me that I could deliver early (HA! Joke’s on me—I’m always super late!!)  … and the other part is I like to have nothing planned for my last month of pregnancy.

Finalize any changes to a sibling’s room. Those little guys are going to experience enough change as it is. I like to do this gradually so it doesn’t feel like a major transition right before a baby arrives. A few months give them time to adjust.

Buy any final baby necessities. This list will look different for everyone, but be sure you have what you need now. Amazon can deliver in a day, but sometimes that doesn’t even feel fast enough.

Wash linens and clothes. Here are my tips for non-toxic detergent. Choose organic fabric whenever possible (GOTS certified is even better). If you can’t go organic, at least choose all natural fibers—cotton, linen, wool—and be sure all clothes (especially sleepware) are free of flame retardants. Tip: Be sure you have some newborn or 0-3 size shirts and pants for right after the baby is born. Just 2-3 of each. Newborns cannot wear solid pieces like onesies until their umbilical cords fall off (I didn’t know this for my first pregnancy! Oops!).

Sterilize your pump and bottles. Like many women, I was very engorged after my milk came in and being able to pump off excess was invaluable. A small manual pump is a great option if you aren’t sure you’ll need the full size. It is also helpful to learn how to use everything now—though easy once you’ve done it, pumps can be a little tricky to sort out initially. The bottles can wait but I like having those done, too (we start giving a pumped bottle around 2-3 weeks for a dream feed. Mentioning bottles can spark debate, but for us, it worked out really well. Both of my babies remained strong breast-feeders and never had nipple confusion.)

Assemble and set up any baby gear. Get the car seat and stroller ready. Wash the sling and carrier. Same for a bouncy seat and swing if using those. Tip: if you need to move an older child’s car seat to a different location in the car, do that now. The more changes that can be done ahead of time, the better (at least for my family!).

Think about diapering. Disposables or cloth? We are not a cloth diaper family (as much as I’d like to be!), so I always had a few packs of newborn diapers and wipes ready to go. We use Seventh Generation or Honest diapers and wipes. Bring these with you to the hospital, too, or you will have to use whatever they supply (which is surely more toxic). Also, don’t buy too much in the newborn size as you can always buy more if you need them—both of my babies were into size one very quickly. (I have no advice for those going the cloth diaper route, but more power to you!!!)

Stock up on the essentials. Make sure your pantry and household staples are in good supply. The last thing you want to worry about with a newborn is toilet paper or shampoo! Also, freeze meals and stockpile simple, healthy snacks.

Buy postpartum supplies: Check out my personal list here.

Consider your birth experience. Where and how you plan to give birth should be thoughtfully considered. A hospital birth was our choice both times, but whatever you choose should be done carefully and with considerable forethought. Begin/continue childbirth classes if desired. If you have decided to work with a doula, stay in close contact with her (consider my friend dear Kelly Googe. She is incredible!).

If applicable, pre-register at the hospital or birth center and take a tour. It was very comforting for us to see where I would give birth. I highly recommend this. Also, take an infant CPR class (even if you have done so in the past!). If needed, plan your route to the hospital and what you will do in the event of traffic.

Find a pediatrician. Ask your trusted girlfriends who they go to.

Continue date nights with your partner … and kids! Do this as much as you can before the baby arrives. It might be tricky to make the time, but it certainly won’t get any easier.

Talk with your team. Whoever is your team in life, get them in the loop—the friend at work who is taking over for you, the neighbor who will watch your house, the family who will come in the middle of the night to stay with the kids, those precious people who will be there for the delivery, etc.

Think about who will help. Although there is much lead up to the birth, the real work begins once the baby is here (ta daaaa!). Consider who might be able to help—family? friends? Nanny or doula? Perhaps you need more practical help and want to hire a housekeeper and/or lawn service if you don’t already have one. “It takes a village” is cliché for a reason! Every day we are thankful for the little village we have cultivated and find tremendous support and strength from those people in our lives (and we love returning the favor when other people have new babies!).

Narrow down names. Waiting until he or she is born is perfectly fine (that’s what we did!), but think about narrowing down the options.

Schedule any final personal appointments. Taking care of these things now—dentist (but no x-rays!), eye doctor, hair cut—will be a relief.

Finish any parenting books (sleep, siblings, etc). It is easier to read a book with a big belly than a crying baby. Also that pregnancy insomnia? Books were always the best way to get me back to sleep.

Clear the decks. Get your paperwork and projects in order. If something has not been completed by now, avoid planing to do so during the first few months of your baby’s life. That is a precious (and exhausting) period.

Engage in soothing practices—often. Our bodies are really working overtime now. Prenantal yoga, meditation, prenatal massage—these things really helped me in the last trimester.

Finalize maternity leave plans. Make sure your boss and appropriate colleagues know the plan. Wrap up projects and get things in order so they aren’t calling you later. (For those not returning to work, that is fantastic, too!)

Look into childcare if you are returning to work. Begin thinking about this now. It can take a while to find the right fit for your family.

Babyproof the house. Actually, this does not need to be done quite yet, but think about how your house will need to be adjusted once there is a mobile baby living there.

Prepare for breastfeeding. If you are planning to breastfeed, start reading now, watching videos (so helpful for latching!) and familiarize yourself with helpful web sites (I love kellymom.com). If you’ve struggled with this in past pregnancies, go ahead and line up a lactation consultant (my friend Kelly Googe also does this—so helpful!).

Corral the diapering supplies. Diapers, wipes, diaper cream, tissues, disposal system (for us, that is just a lidded garbage can and bags), and organic hand sanitizer. We simply did this on the dresser in our nursery, but for folks with a bigger home, it might be more convenient to have this elsewhere in the house. No need for fancy organizers to hold everything. Also, if using a changing pad, be sure it is free of flame retardants (if it doesn’t specifically says it is FR-free, it almost definitely contains them).

Designate a comfortable feeding area. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you will be glued in place many times throughout the day, especially in the early weeks. Having the necessities at hand makes a big difference. In addition to a comfortable chair, for me, those things were burp cloths, a place to set my water, and a clock or watch. Avoid upholstered furniture with flame retardants. I am not big on nursing pillows, but some people love them. If you use one, be sure it is free of flame retardants—most contain them. Lastly, and this will likely make you think I am crazy, but resist the temptation to use your phone while feeding your baby. There is no solid research proving the safety of wifi/cell phone radiation, and for a tiny developing body, it is certainly not worth the risk. (Some people also argue using a phone while feeding a baby is a bit dismissive of the baby and inhibits bonding, etc).

Pack your hospital bags. I won’t go into detail now for what I like to bring to the hospital, but suffice it to say, this is a good time to check this one off the list!

Know your body and the stages of labor. Familiarize yourself with this so that you are not calling your doctor 18 times. It is so easy to confuse Braxton Hicks with real contractions!

Say yes to meals. If someone offers to set up a meal list for you, don’t hesitate! I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped us during those early months.

Practice swaddling. This seems so silly, but practicing now on a non-moving target will give you the slightest edge of confidence before you do it for real the first time (should you choose to!).

If applicable, create a birth announcement mailing list. This task is for the pregnant lady with so much energy, she needs to find ways to put it to good use (ahem).

Continue with the healthy choices. Keep on with the good diet and exercise. Hydrate hydrate hydrate. Take your prenatals. See your doctor. And consider identifying and ditching the toxins in your life (beauty and personal care products, cleaning products, kitchen storage and cookware are all great places to begin).

Take it easy. It can’t be said enough (although this post could certainly make you think I recommend the opposite!). You might be moving much more slowly these days, and for good reason. Listen to your body and take it as easy as you can.

Earlier in your pregnancy or maybe just curious? Here are my first and second trimester task lists.

 

Non-toxic Postpartum Supplies

FAIR WARNING: This post is real life, guys! While I am tip-toeing into TMI territory, it is with the hopes it will be useful for someone. I had to scramble after my first birth to get these things, and the traditional product offerings often contain ingredients I’d rather avoid. It is so much easier to buy these things ahead of time.

This is my (very!) personal postpartum list. Everyone does things differently, but if you’d like some ideas, I hope these are helpful. While some of this might seem like overkill, taking care of our delicate bodies after a birth not only helps prevent infection but also makes things far more comfortable … and more apt to heal quickly. I recommend corralling all of these items in a convenient place in your bathroom so it is at the ready every time you need it. Here we go:

Non-toxic post partum supplies

Seventh Generation overnight pads and pantiliners. 2 packs of each. Traditional pads and pantiliners often contain questionable ingredients, including chlorine and fragrance.

Organic cotton rounds plus organic witch hazel in a glass spray bottle. These are to replace Tucks, which contain parabens.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Spray. This is to replace the Dermoplast numbing spray provided by the hospital, which feels amazing but isn’t the best in terms of ingredients.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm. This is to replace a traditional hemorrhoid cream, which often contains parabens.

Peri bottle. Although plastic is best avoided, I wouldn’t worry about it in this case. The hospital or birthing center will provide one, so definitely bring it home with you.

Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple cream. This is an alternative to lanolin. Although it has been used for generations, lanolin really is not a safe ingredient. The lanolin itself is not that bad, but the sheep are nearly always sprayed with toxic ingredients. Click here to learn more.

Stool softener. TMI, I know, but many women struggle with this after delivery. I hear Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks is a great organic option (I have not tried it personally).

Prenatal vitamins. Continue with these. I like the ones from Rainbow.

Heating pad. Great for sore backs. This etsy seller did a custom cover for me in a plain natural cotton for no additional cost.

Underwear. And here it is: do yourself a favor and buy a pack or two of comfy white cotton underwear. These likely will end up in the garbage and that’s okay. Comfort and recovery are the key here. (And then treat yourself to something beautiful and organic when things are back on track!)

There. Now we are really friends.

Not on the list but something to consider: pain reliever. Many women forgo pain relief altogether due to concern about the ingredients. Although I avoid medicine whenever possible, after something this disruptive to the body, I wouldn’t hesitate to take Advil for a limited period if I needed it. For my son, I think I took it for two days, and with my daughter, I don’t remember taking it at all. Just be sure to take it with food, and limit it to what is genuinely needed.

No doubt this list is incomplete—every birth is different. For example, I did not need ice packs, but I know many women do. Here is a recipe for making your own … and if you use the products listed above, they will be even safer. If needing a sitz bath, Wellness Mama has a great herbal recipe.

And finally, I was still learning about toxins when I had my first baby, so I used some ingredients back then that I now regret. This list, while not perfect, is a huge improvement. Sending love and comfort to all expectant mamas!

EDIT: Soooo I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the pain relief. Our bodies are all very different and by all means I support however you need to cope and recuperate. If you need Advil for two weeks, go for it! If you need something stronger, I support you! I had epidurals with both deliveries, and I don’t regret it for one minute and would do it all over again the exact same way. Everyone’s experience is extremely personal and different. The goal is healthy babies, healthy moms … however you get there is amazing!

My Evening Skin Care Routine

I’ve talked before about my morning skin care routine, so I thought I’d share the products I use in the evening. Before buying any products, I always research it on EWG’s Skin Deep database to be sure it is completely non-toxic (I try to only buy products rated 0-2, which is the least toxic).

This probably looks like a lot of work, but I spend less than 4-5 minutes doing all of this. For me, it is a nightly ritual where I get to slow down, take care of myself, and prepare for bed, so I enjoy making this small extra effort. This is the order I do things:

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1. Beautycounter Routine Cream Cleanser. This gentle face wash really removes make up while soothing my skin. I love it because it doesn’t burn my eyes when I wash off my eye make up. It also moisturizes as it cleans, which I love for my dry skin. The subtle scent is really nice, too. I often use it in conjunction with my Clarisonic Mia (11.), which is a cult favorite for good reason! (EWG 2)

2. Beautycounter Rosewater Uplifting Spray. I love using toner as part of my routine. It helps prep the skin so it better absorbs any additional products applied. The subtle rose scent is a bonus. (EWG 1)

3. Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. It might seem funny to include toothpaste in a skin care routine, but I find it is vital to let products soak in before moving on to the next, so I use this time to brush my teeth. It makes the whole routine more efficient. (EWG 1)

4. Aura Cacia Organic Tea Tree Oil. If I have any blemishes, I apply a tiny bit of tea tree oil at this point. Just add a few drops to a q-tip and apply where needed. Fluctuating hormones of pregnancy get me every time! (EWG 1)

5. Countertime Radiance Firming Complex. I’m a major fan of this serum. It fights fine lines and discoloration, and I have definitely seen an improvement in both areas. My skin is more “glow-y” as someone told me—super nice to hear after a long night with a sick baby! To me, the best part about it is that it is still non-toxic. All of the other serums I have come across that are effective contain harsh ingredients, which I am not willing to use (especially while pregnant and/or breastfeeding). And a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. Definitely my favorite item out of everything. (EWG 2)

6. Countertime Vibrant Eye Perfector. I’ve loved this eye cream for a while. For someone who has dark circles with or without sleep, I really appreciate a product that solves that for me while still being safe. A must for me. (EWG 1)

7. Glide Floss. Next up I floss my teeth while the serum and eye cream absorb. I tried using Tom’s floss but it felt like flossing with shoelaces—it was just too thick. So I am not sure Glide floss is the purest out there, but it does a great job. I can’t go to sleep without flossing. [EDIT: Glide is not as safe as I thought! Now we use Radius floss! Much safer!]

8. Acure Organics Argan Oil. I use argan oil in place of a moisturizer. It has almost no scent, goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly. This goes on once the serum has soaked in. In really cold months, I use a heavier night cream, but for now this works. (EWG 0)

9. Raw Organic Shea Butter. I use this for my lips and it moisturizes throughout the night. It is hard when you first get it out of the jar, so you’ll have to rub it in to soften it. It only takes a moment, and it has been incredible for my lips. It is also great for hands and cuticles. (EWG 0)

10. California Baby Organic Body Oil. I often take showers at night, and if so, I apply this baby oil after. I find it moisturizes more intensely than lotion alone. (EWG 1) (This isn’t the exact body oil I use, but the one I am finishing up is discontinued, and I will be buying this brand when I need a new bottle).

Many of the products here are from Beautycounter, a brand I have been passionate about for a long time. With a mission focused on extreme safety, Beautycounter’s products are not only effective, but they are completely non-toxic. After using and raving about this brand for many months, I decided to become a consultant. I am very proud to be working with Beautycounter and sharing their message that all products on the marketplace should be safe. I used every product listed here before becoming a consultant (except for the Rosewater), so I can tell you without bias how effective each of these are. In fact, it is only because I thought the products were so incredible that I got involved on an official level. If you’d like to learn more about why I love it so much, please don’t hesitate to ask.

This routine of course evolves through the seasons and as my skin changes, but for now, this is what works for me. My top priority is to use the safest products on the market that also get the job done, and I feel like I’ve finally found those very things.

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Second Trimester To-Do List

The second trimester can be a wonderful time for many women. Morning sickness has usually passed, your growing belly is visible but not huge, and energy levels probably haven’t yet tanked. Below are some ideas for what you might consider accomplishing during this period. Most importantly, listen to your body and if you just need to rest, then do that. (Also: My First Trimester and Third Trimester task lists.)

second trimester to do list - 2

Get working on space for the baby. Regardless of the size of your house or apartment, whether you will co-sleep or not, your baby will still need space of his or her own. My family’s choice is the baby sleeps in his/her crib in their own room. Other essentials for a nursery are a comfortable place to feed the baby and storage for clothing, diapers and books. (Of course there is often much more than this, but these are the bare necessities. More on this later.) Whatever you plan to do, ideally the nursery is complete about six weeks before your due date. That might seem like plenty of time, but it can take a while to order furniture and get things how you want them. I suggest beginning now.

Maternity clothes. By now, you will likely need at least a few maternity pieces. I like to keep my maternity clothes pretty simple and versatile. I’ll share more on this soon, but a good list of basics are black pants, white pants, jeans, black leggings, 3 short-sleeve tops, 3 long-sleeve tops, 2 blouses or tunics, 1-2 casual dresses, comfortable underwear and bras, and pjs. Cardigans and jackets can often be pulled from your non-maternity wardrobe. Keep things interesting with jewelry, scarves and shoes. Of course all of this depends on your work situation and climate, but this is generally a good place to begin.

Finalize any changes to your house. The nesting bug really bites some women and they try to tackle major renovations before the baby comes (We remodeled both bathrooms during my first pregnancy. Not the best idea, but glad it is done.). If this is your plan, I highly suggest having everything complete before your third trimester begins … for two reasons: (1) projects always take longer than scheduled and (2) you will need ample time to rest during the last few weeks.

Plan what to buy for the baby (and maybe register). I like keeping a minimalist’s mindset when buying baby things, but there is still quite a lot to consider (especially when you plan to earn a PhD in Google University like me and so many other pregnant women :)). If you go the registry route, this is a good time to start it. I’ll share my registry list soon. In addition to reading reviews on Amazon, there are two new sites that focus on rating and reviewing baby products: WeeSpring and Cricket’s Circle. I think both are helpful and worth a peek!

Childbirth classes. Think about how you might like to approach childbirth, and consider whether classes will be helpful. Also, if you’d like guidance from a doula, begin researching options (for anyone in Jacksonville, consider Kelly Googe! She is a dear friend and amazing!)

Maternity leave. If you currently work outside of the home, look into your company’s maternity policy: how much time you get off, how much you will be paid (if anything), who will cover your work while you are out, and how you will handle your work schedule once you return: will you go back at all? Part time? Full time? Flexible schedule? Childcare will likely play a large role in this decision. I went back to work part time after 12 weeks with both of my babies. (Although I’m all about that year-long maternity leave in other countries!).

Childcare. Consider who will take care of your child if you go back to work. Family? A nanny? Nanny-share? Day care? Start addressing this now because it can take a lot of soul-searching (and researching) to figure out the best decision for your family. Talk to girlfriends with children. Our son stayed with family while I worked part-time (and later went to preschool at 18 months), and our daughter stayed with family and a nanny.

Get your legal and financial life in order. No one wants to think about this stuff, but you really need a will, documents naming short-term and long-term guardian(s), medical authorization and power of attorney for your children. It doesn’t have to be done now (we waited until after ours were born so we could include their names), but start considering these topics and a law firm to handle the work. For finances, look at your budget and make sure you are allowing room for the expenses that come along with children. If you need to reign in spending somewhere else, start now.

Prepare your older children (and pets). If you have other children, by now they have probably realized something has changed with mommy. Start planning how you will incorporate a new member of the family. Gradual changes often go over best, so now is a good time to subtly adjust things. I have a lot of tips to share on this topic! More soon.

Consider a baby shower. If someone has kindly offered to host a baby shower for you, I think scheduling it around week 30 is ideal. Although it feels a bit indulgent as the recipient, I found it very special to be surrounded by so many women to hug me, love me and share their wisdom with me (I also learned a ton at other peoples’ showers … super helpful). If you feel comfortable with it, it can be a wonderful experience.

A last travel hurrah. Some clichés are true, and the old “travel while you can!” definitely falls into that category. Most people are allowed to travel up to 30/32 weeks, so buy those tickets now and scamper off somewhere fabulous while you can.

Cord blood storage. If you go this route, buying the kit earlier in your pregnancy can save on cost. (We used Cord Blood Registry for both babies. I can’t say I am 100% convinced it is a great decision, but the worry-wart in me decided to go for it).

THINGS TO CONTINUE

Healthy choices. Keep on with the good diet and exercise. Hydrate hydrate hydrate. Take your prenatals. See your doctor. And consider identifying and ditching the toxins in your life (beauty and personal care products, cleaning products, kitchen storage and cookware, etc etc).

Date nights. Whether you have zero, one or two+ children, it won’t be easier than it is now, so get out while you can!

Reading books. Keep on exploring different books until you find the ones right for you and your family. No matter your childbirth views, parenting views or sleep decisions, I think everyone can benefit from this tiny yet incredible book. I don’t think it is very well known, but it is one of my favorites. Might be worth a look.

Building community. Family, girlfriends and neighbors—these are my rocks. Even if this isn’t your first baby, undoubtedly you will have a million questions during those early weeks (how do we so quickly forget what it was like to care for a newborn?). Your support system will be more important than ever, so don’t neglect those relationships.

First Trimester To-Do List

Congratulations! Being newly pregnant is such an exciting time. But it can also be hard physically and overwhelming emotionally, right? During my first pregnancy, I felt overloaded trying to prepare for everything changing in our lives, and I didn’t find a lot of guidance on how to handle that (outside of the health/medical side of things). Below are my tips for how to approach the first trimester. (Also: my Second Trimester and Third Trimester task lists)

first trimester to do list - 2 gray

Consider your physical and emotional health above all else. Being pregnant is a wonderful, beautiful thing, but it can also be challenging for many women. Truly, the only thing you need to be concerned with right now is taking good care of yourself. Start paying attention to your physical and emotional needs and then respect them. Being in tune with our bodies and minds can make such a difference in our well-being! The rest of this below is bonus.

Start thinking about your support network. I wouldn’t survive motherhood without my mom, sister, best friends, neighbors and fellow mothers (it helps to have children around the same age). I rely on these women for all kinds of advice and encouragement. No one can do it alone. Partners are wonderful, but I feel it is important to have other people in the trenches with you, too. Begin considering the people in your life that you want to surround yourself (and your future children) with. And, perhaps open your eyes to new friendships, too. I was lucky enough to have girlfriends during both pregnancies that were due at similar times. It can be so helpful (and fun!) to talk with someone who is in pace with your pregnancy.

Consider your commitments. Many women are exhausted during the first trimester—both times I felt like I had been hit by a truck. It is a wonderful opportunity to think about slowing down in general—not just now, but for the future, too. What commitments are meaningful to you? Which can you let go? This is a new season of life, and perhaps a time to reevaluate the things that are most important to you.

Evaluate your home. This isn’t the time to take on huge changes unless absolutely necessary. But, if you really feel you don’t have adequate room for a growing family, it might be beneficial to start the house hunt or remodeling sooner than later. (The months really do fly by!)

Examine your lifestyle choices. Pregnancy is a time when many women choose to be much healthier. I think this is a fantastic idea, and in addition to food choices and exercise, I would encourage pregnant women to consider removing the toxins in their lives as well. More on this soon!

Take a look at your finances and health insurance. Do you have a family budget? (We do!). What changes might you need to make to accommodate your little one? Will you or your partner get any time off work? Will you be paid for that time? You might even consider adding to an FSA and/or HSA if you can to help with medical expenses (our HSA was an incredible source of savings for us). Companies often have limited enrollment periods, so if you look into this now, you might be able to enroll before the baby arrives. While you are at it, double-check your health insurance to be sure you are aware of its policies.

Spend intentional time with your partner. My husband and I started placing greater emphasis on spending time together without talking about work or future babies. Just each other, our interests and other amusing-to-us topics. I think it is so important to remember the wonderful relationship you have with your partner or spouse outside of children. Begin now with this commitment, so it is already in place before the baby arrives. And make hay while you can! It will be so much more challenging to escape for a date night after the baby is born.

Browse some books. If you plan to read books about parenting, sleep, breastfeeding, etc, it is much easier to digest when you are not holding a crying baby. If you decide to go this route, seek helpful information during your pregnancy so you can easily reference your favorite books when the need arises. (Side note: I did not read any pregnancy books. I felt like they made me more worried. Any real questions I had I asked my doctor. I spent this time reading about caring for babies).

Think about your clothes. With both of my pregnancies, my belly popped quite early and I was out of my jeans by 12 weeks (yikes, I know!). The need for maternity clothes really crept up on me, but I stuck with loose skirts, dresses and leggings as long as possible. I would not rush out and buy anything, but if you do, keep in mind what seasons you will be pregnant. It can feel awkward hiding a tiny belly before you are ready to share things, but fortunately this phase does not last long. I’ll write more soon about my favorite maternity clothes.

Sign up for newsletters. I found the weekly updates from Babycenter and Parenting to be very helpful. I did not always agree with their advice or philosophies, but I still appreciated the steady source of information tailored to my due date. Consider checking out these sites.

Add emergency numbers to your phone and on your fridge. We all hope for an easy pregnancy, but be sure to add your OB’s number to your phone and an obvious place in the house, like your fridge.

And for good measure, the usual stuff: take your prenatals, eat healthy food, exercise, drink enough water and be careful about toxins. And it can’t be said enough—rest.