5 Important Things To Do When You Are Expecting

by Sheri

This post may contain referral links, which means I may receive a small credit, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions remain my own.

You have just found out you are expecting. Life is amazing and all is well in your world. Now what? All of a sudden there is so much more to think about, things to do, things to buy, am I showing already? Ha! Slow down. Yes, this is an exciting time. Whether you are a first-time mom or about to have baby number four, either way, you know there are a lot of things to do. How do you prioritize what comes first? Well, that’s what I am here for. To help you narrow down five important things to do when you are expecting.


Your whole world is about to change, and things can quickly become overwhelming. I say start planning sooner rather than later. This is a great time to practice being flexible as many things will not go as planned. Expect the unexpected.

It is important to enjoy this special time, so consider this a small part of your nine-month to do list.


1. Celebrate Congratulations! Yayyyyyyy!

Are you over there jumping up and down for joy? Excited, nervous or still in a state of shock? All the above? LOL.

When I found out I was pregnant with our little one I was shocked but completely over the moon. It was the best news I ever heard in my whole life. I was at the beginning of the 9th week and was given an ultrasound with a picture!!! It wonderful.

So this is at the top of my list. I believe the first thing to do when you are expecting after you let the news sink in is to celebrate.

Life, love and the new addition to your family. There are so many reasons to be glad you’re pregnant. Spend time planning, dreaming about what life will be like once you’re a mum.

Don’t worry about weight gain, watching your belly grow is a beautiful experience.


2. Think About Waiting To Share Your Wonderful News

You don’t have to wait if you don’t want to. Do consider not sharing you news with the world until after the first trimester.

It is just my opinion and suggestion. Here’s why. The first trimester is a very important and highly sensitive time. Hormone changes are in full effect and your baby is most vulnerable during the first 12 weeks you are pregnant.

After the first trimester, the chance of a miscarriage drops dramatically. According to statistics, the number goes to 10% of all known pregnancies. It is so hard to do, but why not keep your special secret and relish knowing something most people don’t!

Or choose those closest to you and tell them. After your first trimester, share your news with the world. We decided not to tell a single soul until I was in Week 13. I had just crossed into the second trimester.

Of course, you might be on the phone calling your family, friends and all loved ones as soon as you finish peeing on a stick or leaving the doctor’s office. That is great too. I believe in doing whatever makes you happy. Always do what feels right for you as this is a personal choice.

If you decide to wait, you can use this time to come up with different fun and creative ways to make your announcement. Soon, a little boy or girl will be calling you  “mommy”.  

You will find your to do list of important things to do when you are expecting growing by the day. Don’t stress yourself out. The best thing you can do is to prioritize.

Make timelines and set achievable goals for yourself.


 3. Find Yourself A Doctor You Can Trust

One of the most important things to do when you are expecting is to find a doctor you can be open with and trust.

I cannot imagine not being able to ask questions, share your worries and thoughts with a doctor throughout pregnancy. If you are a first-time mum like me, you will have a lot of questions. You will want someone who can give clear, thoughtful responses to ALL your questions.

We had the best private doctor I could have ever asked for. Here in Austria the social security system lets you choose the doctor you want to use for the duration of your pregnancy. These are doctors are listed under the social system. All wonderful doctors, however you cannot call them 24/7.  

With non-private doctors you get only 4 ultrasounds for the duration of the pregnancy and you may feel rushed when you would prefer to take the time to ask questions regarding your pregnancy. On the other hand, it is all free. 

I was glad my private doctor was available to me at all times. 

Now this might be a non-issue depending on the country you live in.

Going private was important for me because even though we would be paying everything cash out of pocket, it meant 1 – 2 monthly check ups until 34 weeks then weekly till birth. Doc on call 24/7, monthly ultrasounds plus pictures and videos of the baby, PLUS up to one hour Q&A time with the doctor at appointment times of choice.

Not to talk of the great team of specialists, supply of pre-natal vitamins, books, etc etc.

The checkups and consistent care help keep you and your baby healthy, spot problems if they occur, and guide you through your pregnancy. Women with high-risk pregnancies need to see their doctors more often.

Again,  this was unique to my situation and may be different for you.

Find out as much as you can about the doctor prior to your first appointment if it is one you have never been to see. If you’re not comfortable with your doctor after the first appointment, switch. No sense in delaying the inevitable.

Friends, family, or colleagues may even offer recommendations. Hospitals and clinics can also provide you with a list.


4. Look Into Maternity Leave Options

Ok, it may be hard to give my advice and suggestions on this one as the law on maternity leave in the country you live in may be very different to the laws here in Austria.

One of the most important things to do when you are expecting and preparing for a baby here in Austria is maternity/paternity leave. While it might seem like there is still enough time until your little one arrives, you really should consider all the options you have.

Here, you can go on maternity leave for up to two years. There is even a special law called “Mutterschutz” – “maternity protection”.  The protection period for pregnant employees begins eight weeks before birth and ends eight weeks thereafter. The law states that during this protection period there is absolute employment prohibition – say what? YUP!

At 7 months, you get to stay home and prepare for your baby. You have more flexible time for doctor’s visits, and anything else you need to do. AMAZING!

This also means, not returning to work until 8 weeks after giving birth. Again, more time for you and your baby as well as time to heal after birth. Most moms do over here do not return to work after this 8 week period. They go on maternity leave. I am so blessed to have this option available to me. Others are not so lucky.

I chose to take a one-year maternity leave. This is a decision that no one can make for you. You and your partner, or even if you are a single parent, may already have a set and clear decision in place.

Others will go through many scenarios, changing your mind several times before coming to a final decision.

Familiarize yourself with your company’s maternity-leave policy. Read the employee handbook, be mindful of deadlines and information you need to provide to your employer.


 5. Play It Safe – Always

There is the obvious – no alcohol and cigarettes. Then the not so obvious – cough syrups, sleep aids, some say even antacids.

There are several over-the-counter products which may contain ingredients that can harm a developing baby.

Download the list below and avoid harmful foods during your pregnancy.

There you go, the first five most important things to do when you are expecting.
You can download the foods to avoid list here.


You Can Do This!

Clearly, there is still so much for you to think about and plan. Every mom to be should do what they feel is best for their family as well as what makes them happy.

You will have a million questions thrown at you. How are you preparing? How will you birth your baby? Epidural? C-Section?

You will get a lot of advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Take the advice you feel is beneficial to you and your baby. All the rest, toss it out of the window.

It is important to feel confident and good about any and every decision you make. If something doesn’t feel right, then it usually isn’t. If you’re a first-time mum, it might be enlightening to read some baby books.

Eat a salad, but enjoy the cake! Your feet may start to hurt, perfect time for a pedicure.

See the positive side to things and savour the good moments.

Just remember – every mum is different, just as every pregnancy is different.

This is a time of great changes, blessings, and happiness, so enjoy it.

Need some more information on pregnancy and mommyhood?  I have lots for you to read here. 


What’s On Your List For Things To Do When You Are Expecting?

Are you a mom to be? Already a seasoned expert with six kids?

In the comments section below, please share with me and others what you consider to be one of the most important things to do when you are expecting.

You never know who you might be helping.


Purposeful Habits xoxo Sheri



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Crystal Gareau January 1, 2018 - 10:50

This post has some very great tips for expecting mothers. I was young the first time I was pregnant, and we dind’t celebrate it too much.

hawklady2 September 22, 2017 - 16:36

Very interesting about the 2 yrs you can take for maternity leave~ In the USA it is just 3 months for maternity leave! Enjoyed reading your post! I didn’t take a maternity leave and was able to go back to work a few wks later.

Stephanie May 13, 2017 - 10:03

The post is so inspiring. I was completely engaged while reading the post. Can’t wait to appreciate your work πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing such wonderful post, Sheri!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life May 14, 2017 - 10:26

Thank you so much Stephanie! I am glad you were able to connect with me and my writing. Hope to see you back here reading more. Your comment made my day today, especially as it is Mother’s Day πŸ™‚

Stephanie May 14, 2017 - 13:17

Yeah, I often read your posts and I like your writing style too. Happy Mother’s Day!

Shilpa Bindlish March 30, 2017 - 06:20

Really a useful article. Thanks for compiling it so well.

Kareen Liez Datoy March 18, 2017 - 02:27

These are all important things to take note of especially finding a doctor that you can trust because you can’t just choose any doctor. I have a doctor that I personally like to handle me. This way, I feel more comfortable and I am less nervous.

Berlin | Momi Berlin March 16, 2017 - 08:54

Finding a doctor you could truly trust is important. That doctor after all is the one who would help you deliver the baby. You and your baby should be with the safest hands. I myself.is expecting. I plan to give birth through water birth. I hope I could do it. The thought makes me both excited and nervous.

Kiwi March 14, 2017 - 16:04

This is a wonderful resource for expecting moms! One day this will be useful to me!

everydaythoughtsbybrittany March 14, 2017 - 08:39

These are fantastic tips! When I found out I was pregnant with my first I switched doctors and found one that I was really comfortable with – it was the best decision I made.

savagesevenblog March 12, 2017 - 16:49

as a mom of 5, I can say these are great tips. Each time I did things differently but in the end each pregnancy was different and my babies were healthy . You truly have to take care of yourself while you are pregnant.

Angela Ricardo March 12, 2017 - 06:59

These are all informative and great tips. Me and my hubby are actually trying to get pregnant this year through IVF. I totally agree with finding a good doctor that you can trust. It’s definitely important!

Rose Sahetapy March 12, 2017 - 06:26

Pregnancy is an amazing and beautiful thing. I agree with you how important it is the pre-planning. It helps the new Moms to control and manage the important thing during their pregnancy like maternity leave and finding a good doctor.

FitSlowCookerQueen March 11, 2017 - 20:04

Great tips for people who are expecting! I have tons of pregnant friends right now, I’ll pass this along to them!

Heather March 11, 2017 - 17:57

Excellent tips. My youngest daughter will be two next month and it truly feels like I was pregnant with her yesterday!

tiarasandtantrums March 11, 2017 - 01:23

The only thing I wish I would have done differently with my pregnancies (3 children) is let a photo be taken of me. I refused. I literally have ZERO images of me every being pregnant. My kids would have liked to see it – but I’m sort of still glad I didn’t.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 11, 2017 - 09:28

I understand you completely. I was not into taking pictures either. I just didnt feel that urge to have a photoshoot done or to even take pictures to show off my belly. I was proud of it, but somewhat out of my comfort zone when the attention was on me. πŸ™‚

annalisanuttall March 10, 2017 - 14:47

Very nice post. When I was expecting (which I miscarriage – i’m fine) I had people thinking they had the right to touch my tummy. I would slap their hand and walk away from them. So learn or get a hand slapper lol

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 11, 2017 - 10:24

I am sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you were able to find the strength to get through it and wish you all the best for the future! If anyone would touch my belly just like that without asking, I would slap their hand 100%! The nerve!

Belle March 10, 2017 - 14:19

These are such great tips for anyone who’s pregnant. One thing I would add to the list though is thinking about child care after you deliver.


Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 11, 2017 - 10:22

Yes childcare is so important and such a big topic! I might just include that as one more point, An added bonus! πŸ™‚ Thanks Belle.

Salt + Light March 10, 2017 - 13:29

I have not been pregnant yet but honestly can’t wait to be! Hopefully done day soon! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

nmetolen75 March 10, 2017 - 10:53

I definitely celebrated when I found out I was pregnant. It took me six years to get there! I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, but I know a lot of people wait until the end of the first trimester.

reesann723 March 10, 2017 - 10:41

Such awesome tips. I would suggest if you are just even in the planning stages to think about maternity leave. I have had a few friends who unfortunately weren’t at their jobs long enough and it changed their maternity leave plans.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 11, 2017 - 00:59

Yes, that’s why I listed maternity leave as one of the points.

Delecia March 10, 2017 - 08:56

Pre-planning for the actual birth was most important to me. Hubby and I were on different health plans and I called way ahead of time to figure out which insurance would cover the most for the hospital stay. I had heard too many nightmares of people getting a surprise $5000 bill because they didn’t realize they had a deductible.

Chante March 10, 2017 - 06:25

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, I personally waited a while to share the news just for personal reason

Tereza (@cityscapebliss) March 10, 2017 - 05:43

These are some fab tips! I’m gonna be sending this over to my friend who’s expecting, I’m sure it’ll come handy! x

Sheri March 15, 2017 - 10:48

Oh great! I hope the tips can help her and wish her all the best in the exciting time in her life.

Amanda Love March 10, 2017 - 02:41

Awesome suggestions. It’s always exciting when you’re expecting a new bundle of joy but you need to take care of the important stuff too, like finding a good doctor and taking care of your maternity leave.

Roxanne March 9, 2017 - 21:47

I agree pre-planning as much as you can control is helpful! But leave room for the things you didn’t count on. My husband was able to take a month off after our babies arrived- that is unheard of over here.

Mommy Engineering March 9, 2017 - 21:46

I waited to share the wonderful news for 20 weeks just to make certain since I had issues with miscarriage! I never did a photo shoot and totally regret it now!

Terri Steffes March 9, 2017 - 19:07

Pregnancy is one of my most fond memories. I loved being pregnant but since that was 31 years ago. Maybe I have glossed the memory.

Ola Broom March 9, 2017 - 16:43

This is a great, well thought out list. Nicely written.

The Belly Rules The Mind March 9, 2017 - 13:45

The best time of my life was during my pregnancy. I think you could also add a photo shoot to this list

Theresa March 9, 2017 - 13:23

These are all such good tips for new moms. I agree that celebrating and getting a good doctor and the first steps to take.

Janel Berchielli (@JanelB) March 9, 2017 - 11:53

Oh I sure do miss those days, my youngest is 13. I noticed now days many ladies are not waiting until 12 weeks to share the good news. Which is good, because should the unfortunate happen you could count on love and support from others.

Marcie March 9, 2017 - 10:56

We waited to share on FB until 2nd trimester for both pregnancies. I liked having another burst of congrats after we were able to celebrate privately.

The Spirited Sloth March 9, 2017 - 10:18

This is such a great list. Comprehensive but straightforward. I’m bookmarking this to send to my pregnant bff!

robin masshole mommy March 9, 2017 - 08:06

I completely agree about not sharing until after the 12 week point. I have known too many people to announce it and end up losing the baby & having to tell everyone. That must be so hard.

shopgirlanonymous March 9, 2017 - 01:11

What great information! I love that what to avoid chart! Luckily I avoided it all when I was pregnant, but knowledge is power! Right?!

Amrita Basu March 8, 2017 - 14:35

This is a very helpful post.Loved the idea of leave from 8 weeks before delivery .In India Govt.employees get 6 months paid maternity leave .Upto 2 years if child care leave cam be taken but not at one time .So issues are difficult

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 9, 2017 - 03:55

HI Amrita, yes definitely not easy. I am happy that we get the paid maternity leave here and that it can be done all at once. So grateful for the options here when I compare to how hard it is for other women worldwide.

thecoffeemom0617 March 8, 2017 - 11:51

Finding a good Dr. is super important. I had an issue finding one with my 2nd, but eventually found an amazing Dr. who was supportive of what I wanted.

seekneverland March 7, 2017 - 21:41

I’m a fan of to do lists, and you did a great job of simplifying the madness that I’m sure comes with expecting. Thanks for sharing.

sveeteskapes March 7, 2017 - 20:19

Haha what timing of this post, Sheri! As you know I am expecting and couldn’t agree more with you – especially on #1 and #2. Its so important to celebrate every single day of pregnancy, its the most precious time! And absolutely, wait until 1st trimester is over to share the big news with everyone.

xx, Kusum

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 8, 2017 - 05:02

I wish you all the very best on the arrival of your little one and hope that some of my other posts in my parenting section http://www.purposefulhabits.com/category/parenting/ will help you. Congratulations Kusum. xoxox

thestylishtrotter March 7, 2017 - 15:09

great tips. you and your hubby look so beautiful!! I am not a mom but if i was a first time mom I would not know what to do with myself

1stclassrvadventures March 7, 2017 - 14:56

Great article I still remember like it was yesterday when I found out I was pregnant with my first and I was a bit lost lol I needed this article back then

creativethriftychef March 7, 2017 - 14:51

Such a great reminders for everyone especially to a lot of first time mom.

Marisa March 7, 2017 - 05:47

These are great reminders. Alot of first time moms don’t know what to do!

cvnxena March 7, 2017 - 03:59

love this! and the infographic is so helpful I always forget what I am and not allowed! A decent doctor or healthcare professional is a definite must! because after all they are the ones taking care of you and your baby!

Brittany Anne Bolt March 6, 2017 - 20:17

Great read! Definitely going to take this information into consideration.

emilynncaulfield March 6, 2017 - 17:43

Really informative post! I’m not expecting yet but I know where to find this post when I am! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Megan Campbell March 6, 2017 - 14:55

Very important tips for anyone expecting. I especially like the waiting to tell folks. That’s what we did.

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