So you’ve just got the #BFP (Big Fat Positive). Congrats, you are pregnant! Now what? Breathe, stroke that belly, and read on. In this pregnancy checklist, we’ve laid out all you need to prepare for what could be the most life-changing experience you’ll ever have. Use this checklist, and refer back to it as you go along. It’s also divided it into trimesters for easy planning. You’re welcome!
✓ Determine your due date / estimated date of delivery (E.D.D.)
Honestly, it’s so much fun to try and figure out your estimated due date. You can do this the ‘traditional’ way by counting 40 weeks or 280 days from your last period. Alternatively, search for a due date calculator online, and use that. The most accurate way is of course by ultrasound, which will be done at your first appointment with your obgyn.
✓ Decide who you will tell
Some women prefer to wait till after the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage lowers, while others are ready to shout it from the rooftops. You may wish to share your joy with your immediate family and close friends only, or just keep the news between you and your spouse. If you are working, should you inform your employer? Will there be a risk of workplace discrimination?
✓ Choose your doctor
As you will be seeing your obgyn throughout your pregnancy (and beyond, for postpartum checkups) it would be good to make sure he or she is someone you are comfortable with. After all, this is the person who will be getting up close and personal with your all bits and bobs. Other things to consider include gender (will you be more comfortable with a male or a female doc?), reputation, location, and more — our article on ‘How to choose an obgyn‘ can help!
✓ Think about where you want to give birth
If you have already decided on your doctor, this part is relatively easy. Your obgyn will have a couple of hospitals that he or she works with, and all you have to do is choose one. If not, some factors to think about include the hospital’s proximity to your home, its facilities (especially for higher-risk pregnancies, and babies), and cost. To start, take a look at our round-up of hospital maternity packages in Singapore.
✓ Check your finances
The MediSave Maternity Package (MMP) is designed to help Singaporeans defray costs incurred during pregnancy and delivery, and can be used whether you give birth in a public or a private hospital. Remember to save all your bills for your pre-delivery expenses. Present them to the hospital where you are deliver your baby. The hospital will submit these bills, together with the delivery expenses, for your MediSave claims. Find out more about how to maximise your claims and minimise your costs by using Medisave for pregnancy.
✓ Buy maternity insurance
Healthcare costs are high, and having insurance can give you peace of mind during these 40 weeks of gestation. Maternity insurance policies reimburse a range of medical expenses incurred for hospitalisation, diagnostic tests, outpatient treatments. In addition, many have add-on options to cover maternity expenses, miscarriage, delivery charges, emergency Caesarean sections, premature births, as well as congenital defects.
✓ Shop for baby essentials…
Do it in style with a motherswork PARtea, where the store will host you and your guests for an indulgent shopping experience that’s all about mummy and baby. Sit back and enjoy tea and nibbles in a private shopping area as a dedicated store concierge provides product introductions and demonstrations. Did you know that the top three buys for new mums are (in order) a stroller, a car seat, and baby’s cot? After the session, you’ll receive a personalised gift, and goodie bags for you and your guests. If you prefer to do it on your own, you can also book a personal shopper for a personal tour, either virtually, or in-store.
Available daily from 12pm to 7pm. Book your party now (up to 4 guests) at +65 8101 8875 or find out more online.
✓ Start doing prenatal exercise
Staying active throughout pregnancy can help encourage a faster and easier labour and delivery. Exercising can also help increase your stamina, as well as your strength. And being in good shape may even shorten your labour and speed up your recovery. Before you embark on an exercise routine, find out what precautions you should take, and remember to get the go-ahead from your obgyn before you begin any workout regimen.
✓ Think about maternity clothes
Unless you put on weight too quickly (try not to), you will probably not need to wear actual maternity clothes until you are fully into your second trimester. The good news is that maternity wear is now far more fashionable than it used to be, with workwear, and even formal wear options as well! It would be good to do your research on maternity and nursing bras now too.
✓ Find a confinement nanny
A confinement nanny can help ease the transition from pregnancy to life with Baby. The right one will cook you nutritious meals, ensure that you get sufficient shut-eye, care for you and your baby, and even encourage you in your breastfeeding journey.
If you prefer neither of the above options, you could opt for confinement food delivery, and manage the rest of confinement yourself. It’s do-able! Order a trial meal to find out if the taste and the portions are suitable for you before confirming. Do this early to take advantage of the early-bird promotions and add-ons offered by some caterers.
✓ Book your prenatal massage
Not everyone will hanker for, or even need, a massage during pregnancy. But prenatal massages can certainly help ease pregnancy aches and pains, bloating, water retention, and more. Look for an established and trained prenatal massage therapist from a reputable establishment. Some that we’ve tried and like can be found in this article on prenatal massage.
✓ Plan your pregnancy photoshoot
If you only plan to have one child, your pregnancy photoshoot will be a once in a lifetime experience. And even if you do have more than one (baby, and photoshoot), each will be different, and memorable. There are numerous maternity and family photographers to choose from. Take your time to go through their portfolios and choose one whose style you like. How about a Bohemian theme or a whimsical night-time one?
✓ Hire a domestic helper
Some mums-to-be hire a domestic helper before giving birth, and have her help them with confinement instead of hiring a confinement nanny. Others have both, or one of them with their mother, or mother-in-law. Whichever combination you prefer, do delegate and define the roles for each before you deliver so that there is no confusion to clear up when you are sleep-deprived and fatigued after giving birth and taking care of your little one.
✓ Buy your breast pump
If you plan to breast feed your baby, you should invest in a breast pump. This is an essential item, especially if you have to return to the workplace after your maternity leave, and plan to pump your breast milk for your little one. Planning to be a stay-home mum? Storing your breast milk will allow others — like hubby — to help feed your baby, and let you enjoy some me-time, sans baby. See our pick of the 11 best electric, and manual breast pumps available in Singapore, here.
✓ Plan for your baby moon
Overseas travel may be out of the question at the moment, but if you can, try to have a little time off with your significant other before Baby comes. Enjoy each other, and think of it as an extended date where you can luxuriate in couple-dom.
✓ Book your postnatal massage
Pregnancy and giving birth take a lot — literally! — out of a woman’s body. That’s why new mothers are advised to go through confinement to help them heal better. Postnatal massage can speed up the elimination of excess fluids and relieve water retention, helping bodies return more quickly to pre-pregnancy shape and size. It can also help accelerate womb recovery, and reposition the pelvis and abdominal organs. Furthermore, some massage therapists are can even help new mums improve breast milk production, and ease breast engorgement. Find one that suits you from our postnatal massage article.
✓ Think about baby’s full moon party
Yes, it may seem too early to be doing this but the reality is that the time before Baby comes is when you actually still have time to think about all this! Think about when and how you will celebrate your little one’s ‘man yue‘. Will there be a theme? What baby full month packages are available? Where will it be held?
Preparing for Baby with a Pregnancy Checklist
Waiting for your baby to be born isn’t just a matter of laying back in the comfiest armchair you can find and twiddling your thumbs. There’s quite a lot to be done! This pregnancy checklist is not exhaustive, but neither do you have to do everything on it. Remember, the most important thing is to keep yourself safe, healthy, calm, and happy, mum-to-be. You’re growing a baby!
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