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Checklist for the first trimester of pregnancy

In the first trimester, or the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, a lot happens. Most significantly, you learn that you're expecting a baby!

While each woman and pregnancy is different, our first-trimester pregnancy checklist will walk you through the essentials from the moment you find out you’re expecting until the second trimester.

Month one

You’ll be two or more weeks pregnant by the time you miss your first period, and your pregnancy test comes back positive. If you’re undergoing fertility therapy, a blood test may have already confirmed your pregnancy. The next step now is to choose your healthcare provider — an obstetrician, gynaecologist, doctor, or midwife – as well as the location of your baby’s birth.

Make your initial appointment. Allow at least two hours if you need to take time from work, in case you’re kept waiting and your first appointment is longer than normal. Your doctor will collect a complete obstetrical history and perform a few tests. You will be given a follow-up date as well as a schedule of regular appointments to receive these results.


  • No more alcohol, smoking, or over-the-counter medications without first consulting your doctor.
  • Early pregnancy might have a negative impact on your teeth. Brush your teeth after vomiting or chew sugar-free dental gum if you’re suffering from morning sickness. To aid with sore or bleeding gums, use a high-quality toothpaste, clean your teeth regularly, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages, soft cheeses, raw fish, and processed cold meat from your fridge.
  • The vital organs of your baby are maturing during the first trimester. Chemicals and viruses are particularly harmful. Get your partner to clean the cat litter. Wear gardening gloves when working with soil, and avoid chemicals, especially if you’re a hairdresser, lab technician, or work in a chemical plant.
  • Breast health is important. One of the early indicators of pregnancy is breast changes. Wearing a comfortable, well-fitting bra is essential, so you may require a larger cup size at the start of each trimester.

Month two

Early on in your pregnancy, you may be surprised at how tired you are. This lack of energy could be nature’s way of slowing you down, keeping you out of the crowds (and germs), and allowing your body to focus on the development of your baby. There’s no harm in taking a break now and again. In the second trimester, your energy will be recovered.

A scan may be included in your second session with your healthcare practitioner. Bring your spouse along for this momentous event; it will make him feel more involved in your pregnancy, and he will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of your doctor.

Increased hormone levels during pregnancy might make it feel like your brain is turning to mush, causing you to forget vital details. Purchase a small notebook to help you remember things or set a daily reminder on your phone.

Don’t be surprised if you’re overjoyed because you’re pregnant one day and throwing pots at your boyfriend the next because he put you in this situation. This is when you need a bestie who has holes in her motherhood T-shirt and can offer a shoulder to weep on as well as some comforting words.

Month Three

Your baby, approximately the size of your thumb and weighing about 19g at the end of your first trimester, is still tiny but fully developed. This indicates that, while difficulties are still possible, your pregnancy has been given the green light, and it’s time to get your paperwork in place.

Medical assistance and insurance protection: To find out what your medical insurance covers, contact your provider. Inquire about ICD (international classification of illnesses) and procedure costs and make a record of them in a convenient location. Determine what is covered under the categories of birthing, baby care, and complications.

Unemployment compensation: Mothers can claim up to six months of unemployment benefits (after birth/stillbirth/adoption) if they have been contributing to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). For more information on Maternity benefits, click here.

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