The Offbeat Mama’s pregnancy and birthin’ checklist

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Birth Unit plan I am currently crossing my fingers to figure out if this oddly late period is a fluke or a little stranger, and as much as I have enjoyed this site, I’ll make bold to tell you what it needs to make it perfect. On Offbeat Bride, Ariel compiled a magnificent, life-and-sanity-saving CHECKLIST for all brides to be. Birth plans aside, I am ‘umbly requesting a (at least six month out) checklist of things for us Offbeat Mamas. More of a “Have you thought of this yet?” Finding out the gender or not? Disposable or reusable on diapers? Homebirth or hospital, with what options?” — Sarah Katz


No two pregnancies and deliveries are the same, which means no two experiences will be. For everything I’ve listed there are probably going to be two or three other things I didn’t — that’s the nature of the maternity game.

The first trimester

checkbox.gifAfter sharing the news with your partner/friend/confidant, now’s the time to go ahead and connect with a medical official — be it an OB/GYN, midwife, or something in-between.

checkbox.gifIf you don’t have health insurance and want it, look into your state’s version of Medicaid (income contingent). If you exceed income restrictions, look into your local Department of Health or Catholic Charities and/or Lutheran Social Services — if that’s your bag. Many hospitals and birth centers also offer payment plans.

checkbox.gifGet your vitamin situation sorted out: do you want to use over-the-counter or skip vitamins altogether and get the necessary nutrients from your diet? Talk over all of your options with someone you trust.

checkbox.gifMake your first prenatal appointment! Whether you’re going hospital, birthing center, or birthing at home, you’ll want to meet with the person or people who will be assisting you in your birth.

checkbox.gifGet your reading on. The world is filled with websites and books all about being pregnant — we’ve even got a list of ’em.

checkbox.gifIf you’re into it, figure out an exercise plan. Setting dietary goals early is essential to following through with them.

The second trimester

checkbox.gif If you haven’t already, you’ll probably “pop” soon — now’s the time to scope out thrift stores, vintage sales, or wherever you shop for clothing you can rock while pregnant.

checkbox.gif The medical professional in your life will probably mention pregnancy and baby classes around now. There are all kinds — ask about water birthing if it’s something you’re curious about, breastfeeding, and more. These obviously aren’t necessary, as people have birthed and raised children without classes for thousands of years, but they might be something you’re into.

checkbox.gif Are you working out of the home? It’s time to find out your employer’s maternity leave policy and determine when and how you want to implement it.

checkbox.gif Unless you already have everything picked out, it’s time to start playing the name game. If you’re going to be co-parenting this might be harder than you think.

checkbox.gif Thinking of using cloth diapers? If so — start buying now! You can peruse your options on sites like Amazon and Etsy to get an idea of what’s available, or check out this guide to cloth diapering.

The third trimester

checkbox.gif Now’s the time to end your search for a doula, if that’s something you’re doing in the first place. You may also want to begin finalizing the details of your birth plan.

checkbox.gif It’s a touchy topic, but if you haven’t thought about circumcision yet, the last few months of your pregnancy are definitely the time to figure out what you want to do.

checkbox.gif Now for something fun: it’s baby shower time! We have tons of inspiration: there’s everything from a rainbow-themed shower to a punk-inspired shower in the archives.

checkbox.gif Some people buy baby stuff before the birth and some don’t: if you plan to, go ahead and pick out your stroller, nursery decor, and other items. If anything, they make easy shower gifts! You can also consider creating a baby registry.

checkbox.gif Planning on listening to music during delivery? Get started on your birth playlist!

checkbox.gif You’ve probably been doing this all along, but nothing tops off the last month of your pregnancy like over-dosing on birth stories.

Tell me, tell me: what’s missing from this list? Let’s make this the most gigantic birthing checklist anyone’s ever seen.

Comments on The Offbeat Mama’s pregnancy and birthin’ checklist

  1. First trimester: at your first prenatal checkup, make sure you get your TSH levels checked: that indicates whether your thyroid functions normally. If it doesn’t, it’s very important for your baby that you get thyroid hormones right away. And many doctors do not know this. Consider not telling every single person you know about your pregnancy just yet, not only because “something might go wrong”, but because they might desperately look for something pregnancy-related to talk about and end up focusing on all the things that might go wrong and that are forbidden for you, and thus drive you nuts, especially if this is your first time around. Note: you can still eat and act like a normal human being.
    Second trimester: get exercise, avoid letting your growing bump tempt you into overeating, and try to take a vacation, even if it’s a tiny one – you’re unlikely to have another one for a long time.
    Third trimester: along with stocking the freezer with meals, keep handy, non-perishable snacks around the house, preferably ones that can be eaten with one hand when you’re breastfeeding. Also make sure you have a collection of stuff you like to watch, because breastfeeding works best when you’re relaxed and that works best when you’re watching something you love (whether it’s old movies or reality shows or whatever). For the same reason,also keep batteries for remotes (and, if applicable, the breast pump) around.

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