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What to Expect When You're Expecting a Baby

You're Expecting Checklist

At Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL, we want to help you plan for the arrival of your baby. This guide will help you learn what to expect from pregnancy and delivery.

What to Expect During the First Trimester

Your Condition

Bodily changes to look for at this time include swelling and soreness of breasts and the urge to urinate more frequently as the uterus grows and presses against the bladder. Fatigue and morning sickness most commonly occur during the early stages of pregnancy. The nausea is caused by increased levels of estrogen in your system.

Your baby's development

By the end of the sixth week, the baby's heart is already beating and the head is beginning to take form. Though only three inches long and about one ounce in weight, your baby can kick (though you won't be able to feel it), smile, squint, and swallow.
 

First Trimester Checklist

  • Schedule doctor's appointments.
  • Develop an exercise program with your doctor's help.
  • Review insurance coverage.
  • Brush up on the basics of healthy nutrition.
  • Check out books and articles on pregnancy, and childbirth through the Denver Medical Library at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.
  • Register for early-pregnancy classes
  • Tour hospital-birthing unit.

What to Expect During the Second Trimester

Your Condition
At four months, your breasts may secrete a yellowish or whitish fluid called "colostrum." The area around your nipples will enlarge and darken and possibly develop raised spots. As you continue to put on weight (up to 15 pounds or more by the end of the second trimester) you may experience some back pain. This can be lessened by wearing low-heeled shoes.

Your baby's development
By the end of the fourth month, you may begin to feel your baby move. You will be able to hear a heartbeat with the aid of your doctor's stethoscope. At the end of the second trimester, hair appears on the head and the eyes open. Your baby should be about 14 inches long and weigh about two pounds.

Second Trimester Checklist

  • Prepare the nursery.
  • Consider bottle vs. breastfeeding, cloth vs. disposable diapers.
  • Research childcare options if necessary.
  • Consult your physician regarding wills and advanced directives.
  • Pre-register with hospital.
  • Continue learning more about new roles as a parent by registering for mid-pregnancy classes. You may call 1.877.PSL.Cares (1.877.752.2737) to register.
  • Comparison-shop for major purchases.

It's Almost Time: What to Expect in Your Third Trimester

Your Condition
In the final trimester, you can expect to gain about a pound per week. You will lose about 13 pounds with the birth of your baby and more in the following weeks, especially if you breastfeed. Your breasts will be at their fullest during the seventh month, so a supportive bra is essential. If you are planning to breastfeed, begin shopping for a nursing bra at this time.

Your Baby's Development

Most of your baby's growth occurs during the third trimester, as she/he gains about a half-pound per week. The hair grows to an inch in length, and the nails extend beyond the fingers and toes. Newborns average 20 inches in length and seven pounds, six ounces in weight.

Third Trimester Checklist

  • Pack bags for hospital.
  • Consider renting a pager.
  • Ask your doctor what the signs and symptoms are at the start of labor so you know when to call.
  • Interview pediatricians.
  • Arrange for at-home help if necessary.
  • Wash baby's new clothes to remove fabric finish.
  • Plan for your hospital stay by asking family and friends to care for other children and pets, collect mail, etc.
  • Decide about circumcision.
  • Register for late-pregnancy classes

Free Community Car Seat Checks

Have one of our National NHTSA certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians help you select your new baby's car seat and the other items that go with your safety seat or vehicle.

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