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Early pregnancy – your first trimester action list

21 July 2021 Blog
The first days, weeks and even months of pregnancy can be exciting but there is quite a lot to get done. Don’t get caught in a flurry, Obstetrician Mei Cheah has devised an action list to help guide you through the first trimester of pregnancy.

You might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the new things to think about now that you are pregnant but don’t forget to breathe. You have plenty of time to get things in order.

Here are a few things to action throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Find an obstetrician

You may already have an obstetrician in mind who you would like to care for you. If not, start asking family and friends about obstetricians who they recommend. Make sure you consider their location and which hospitals they work at to ensure your doctor meets your needs.

You can find obstetricians who work at St John of God Health Care hospitals through our find a specialist search.

Check your health insurance cover

Double check that your private health insurance covers maternity care. Your provider should also have a list of obstetricians who are preferred providers or those who don’t charge a gap fee.

If you have a particular obstetrician in mind who is not on the list, ask for a quote from the obstetrician rooms so you are aware of any out-of-pocket expenses.

Make an appointment with your GP

Book an appointment with your GP when you first find out you are pregnant.

Your GP will confirm your pregnancy by ordering a blood test and/or an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and get the ball rolling with the paper work requirements.

If you have already chosen your preferred obstetrician then this is when you can ask for a referral to book an appointment.

Make a booking to see your obstetrician of choice after receiving the referral paperwork from your GP. Most obstetricians ask to see you when you are about eight to 10 weeks pregnant to allow time to discuss pregnancy investigations and screening tests.

Double check with your GP or a pharmacist that any medications you may be taking are safe for pregnant women.

Maternity ward tour

Book a maternity ward tour so you can meet the midwives and get familiar with the surroundings. This can also help you choose your maternity hospital if you haven’t decided.

Ultrasounds and screenings

Ultrasound tests and other screenings will take place from 10 weeks. Your obstetrician will guide you through your antenatal tests.

Adjust your diet to be pregnancy friendly

Take a look at your diet and ensure you are eating a range of healthy foods to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to support your baby.

Our guide to a healthy diet for conception and pregnancy is a great place to start.

Remember to keep up the hydration by drinking plenty of water and ensure that you are taking a pregnancy multivitamin.

Exercise routine

It is important to maintain a low impact exercise activity plan throughout your pregnancy that includes cardio and stretching.

Check out our ultimate guide to exercise during pregnancy for some helpful tips.

Parental leave policy

Even if you are not ready to announce your pregnancy to your workplace it is a good idea to learn what your maternity leave options are and know your rights. You can generally find the details of your employer’s maternity leave policies in your contract or the organisation’s enterprise bargaining agreement.

Make a baby budget

Think about your finances and how you are going to accommodate for expenses associated with your baby – this can include medical appointments but also baby products and furniture.

Start tracking your pregnancy

Have some fun and start taking belly photos to compare throughout your journey. If this isn’t your thing then you can keep a journal and jot down your observations along the way.

There are also many free apps out there that are a little bit of fun and can sometimes be quite informative. These include apps that compare the size of the pregnancy to a piece of fruit to tracking the developments of your baby week to week.

Get some extra rest

Now that you are growing a baby it is natural to start feeling a little exhausted. It is important to listen to your body and try and slow down to get some extra rest where possible.


Make sure you take a moment to take a couple of deep breaths. And then take another deep breath and embrace that a little miracle is already growing inside you as you’re reading this.

See our action lists for the second trimester or the third trimester.

Dr Mei Cheah - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Dr Mei Cheah is a practising obstetrician and gynaecologist at St John of God Berwick Hospital with special interest in minimal invasive surgery. She is passionate in providing accessible, highest quality care, supporting her patients’ journey through all stages of their reproductive lives and beyond.