Things to Do Before You're 20 Weeks Pregnant

Couple Putting baby stuff together
Things to Do Before You're 20 Weeks Pregnant. Photo © OJO Images/Getty Images

Nine months feels like a very long time in early pregnancy. You are anxious to meet your baby, and you're not sure how you can manage to wait nearly a whole year! Before you know it you're halfway through your pregnancy, and they're still so much to do. Your to-do list starts out very long, and you think that you have a whole nine months to get everything done. But before you know it the 20-week mark rolls around and the end of your pregnancy comes barreling at you.

Here are a couple of things that you want to ensure are completed well before you're 20 weeks along.

Find a Childbirth Class

Finding a good childbirth class is not an easy task all the time. You want a chance to look at the different methods that are offered and where they are offered. Some things that will go into choosing a childbirth class includes the method taught, the information obtained, the location, the teachers' credentials, and the cost of the class. Believe it or not many of the best childbirth classes book up very quickly. This can happen well before your 20th week of pregnancy. So even if you don't intend to take the classes until later in pregnancy you will want to ensure that you were registered long before. (Read more: Childbirth Class Options)

Find Out About Maternity Leave

The policy that you have in place for maternity leave for very greatly from location to location. You want to find out what your company's policy is for maternity leave.

You want to know how long the average person takes, what is paid versus unpaid and other factors that will help you decide your plans. For example, if you know that you will need to use paid sick leave in conjunction with your maternity leave, you may want to save sick days. Your place of employment may also include pulling from other employees paid sick leave.

You will need time to get this implemented. Therefore, the sooner you do it, the better off you are. 

Hire a Doula

Find the right doula is very important. Just because someone has the right credentials, does not make them a good emotional fit for you and your family. I do look and help guide you to finding other resources in your area that will help prepare you for an easier labor and birth, as well as the postpartum. You may also want to find a postpartum doula in addition to a labor doula. Again there are only so many doulas available in any one area and many may book well before your due date. The sooner you make your selection the more people you will have to choose from. (Read more: How to Hire a Doula)

Finding Childcare

While you don't necessarily have to have your final decision made before the 20th week of pregnancy, it is very common for places to begin with a waiting list. Don't despair about being on a waiting list, some move very quickly. You may want to have yourself placed on multiple lists just to ensure that you have the care you desire.

Don't forget to look into alternatives such as in-home care, community coordinated care or a nanny. Again the longer time that you have to find the right person, the better off you are. Often if you find yourself scrambling in the last trimester of pregnancy you may make choices that will not be your first choice.

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