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Early Pregnancy Checklist

Early Pregnancy Checklist

You’re expecting, and from the moment you found out, your life has been forever changed in the most amazing way. So even though you’re not showing and it’s a little too early for childbirth classes, you still have so much to think about and consider. After all, there’s a little person taking shape inside you — and it’s one of the most incredible things you will ever experience. So be sure to use this pregnancy checklist to help you know what’s important for you and your baby at the beginning of your pregnancy.

Your healthcare

  • Schedule your first prenatal visit with your doctor as soon as you think you’re pregnant
  • Choose a healthcare provider (GP, Ob-Gyn, midwife, doula, or combination); some prenatal healthcare professionals, such as midwives, are in high demand and short supply in certain areas of Canada, so decide on your preferred choices and make contact as soon as possible after confirming your pregnancy
  • Plan to visit your healthcare provider every four weeks throughout your pregnancy, increasing visits as your pregnancy progresses
  • Inform your doctor if your immunizations are not up to date
  • If your family has a history of genetic disorders, talk to your doctor about prenatal testing
  • Choose a place to give birth (hospital? home? birth centre?)
  • Canadian Health Experts recommend that all women who may become pregnant and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 – 1.0mg folic acid*.

Your health

  • Avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
  • Consult with your doctor before taking any medication
  • Get plenty of sleep – and try to nap when you feel tired
  • Speak to your healthcare provider about exercise. For most women, exercise during pregnancy is recommended as safe. Be careful not to become overheated during prolonged periods of exercise
  • Many women experience nausea in their first trimester. Try eating dry crackers or smaller meals throughout the day.

Learn more about dealing with morning sickness and nausea.

Your nutrition

  • Boost your energy with high-protein and healthy carbohydrate foods like brown rice, hard cheeses or multi-grain breads. You can find more information from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide here
  • Eat foods naturally high in folic acid like oranges, melons and dark-green, leafy vegetables
  • Drink lots of fluids, especially water (8-10 glasses a day if you can)
  • Eat plenty of iron-rich foods like meats, , beans, nuts, raisins and fortified whole grains
  • If you love coffee try to cut back, or try decaffeinated coffee or tea. Visit Public Health Agency of Canada website to find out which teas are recommended as safe choices and how much caffeine is okay here
  • This is no time to diet. Eat well and make healthy choices

Your lifestyle

  • It’s never too early to start budgeting for your new life with baby (e.g. budgeting during maternity and parental leave, planning for educational savings)
  • Consider starting a pregnancy diary or a photo diary of your changing body
  • Visit a library, bookstore, friend’s house for a few pregnancy books (learning about baby is always fun)


*Health Canada and Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada