The ultimate guide for first-time parents

How to take care of yourself during your first pregnancy

First pregnancy care

Even if you’ve read countless books on the subject, no one is truly prepared for parenthood until the moment arrives. Most 
first-time parents have a lot of questions about how to handle the responsibility of this new addition to their lives. If you need a little help along the way, this guide is chock-full of tips, information, and advice that may make the process of parenting a bit easier. With the right help and by making a few changes to your lifestyle, you’ll enjoy a smooth parenting journey and a joyous experience.

The goal of this guide is to help ease the stress for first-time moms and dads and help them make the proper adjustments for a smooth transition. You’ll find lots of actionable, easy-to-follow tips and advice. Read on to learn more about how to prepare for your brand-new baby and love every minute of being a new parent.

How to take care of yourself during your first pregnancy

If you’re new to being a mother, it’s important to know how to care for yourself while waiting for your baby to be born. Caring for your physical and mental health while pregnant is essential to ensure a happy, healthy pregnancy and birth. Make sure you eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet and get plenty of sleep every night. You may need to adjust how much physical activity you do during this time, but mild to moderate exercise is still recommended to help keep you strong. Your needs will change during each trimester as the baby develops.

What to do during your first trimester 

Here are some tips to feel your best during your first trimester of pregnancy:

  • Educate yourself about parenting and childbirth as much as possible. Read books, visit online forums for advice, and talk to your doctor about any questions you have about pregnancy.

  • Follow your doctor’s recommendations, including advice about taking prenatal vitamins, what types of food you should eat, and if you need particular care during this time.

  • Try to get as much sleep as you can. Try to go to bed at a decent hour every night and awake at the same time every morning to develop good sleep hygiene habits early.

  • Learn about the symptoms and treatment for postpartum depression to ensure that you remain in good mental health after the baby is born.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, making sure that you’re mainly consuming water. If possible, refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages or energy drinks.

What to do during your second trimester 

The second trimester (months four to six) is the time to get ready for your baby to arrive, so keep these tips in mind:

  • Get routine lab tests from your doctor to check for any abnormalities that may mean a higher chance of having a baby with birth defects.

  • Have your doctor measure your belly and weigh you every visit to confirm the baby is developing normally and on schedule.

  • Consider seeking regular prenatal care from a healthcare provider that specializes in pregnancy, such as an OBGYN doctor.

  • Remember to have some fun as you get excited for your newborn baby to arrive. Set up your nursery and decorate it or buy new furniture for when the little one comes home.

  • Now is the time to plan for any major upgrades or renovations, so everything will be complete once your baby is here.

What to do during your third trimester 

The third trimester is the last stretch before the baby arrives, so remember to follow these tips:

  • Do your best to get as much rest and relaxation as possible so you’re not straining your back and body.

  • Continue to meet with your doctor for monitoring and discuss any changes you notice or concerns you may have before the big day.

  • At this time, it’s also recommended to take a birthing class. Which will teach you about what to expect during labor and delivery. You may also learn what to expect in the hours, days, and weeks after delivery.

  • Get a “go bag” together for the hospital now, so you’ll have everything you need ready when it’s time. Your hospital bag should include a fresh change of clothing and whatever else you need to be as comfortable as possible during your stay. A more detailed list is mentioned below.

  • The third trimester is a great time to have a baby shower or a gender reveal party if you choose. It’s also the time to really enjoy these last few months of pregnancy as you prepare your home for the new arrival.

What to bring to the hospital

First-time parentshere are some items to include in your hospital go bag:

  • A written birth plan you can give to other people, including your doctor

  • A fresh change of comfy clothing and undergarments (don’t forget the socks)

  • A comfortable robe, nightgowns or pajamas, and a pair of slippers

  • Your cellphone and charger

  • A cord blood kit if you are planning to donate – be sure to read all paperwork before doing so

  • Toiletries like body wash, shampoo, deodorant, sanitary napkins, and facial care items

  • An assortment of healthy snacks

  • A comfy nursing pillow and massage oil if you prefer to get a massage during labor

  • A good book, some music, or magazines

Article courtesy Denisse Garcia from

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