Get organized while pregnant with this easy do-it-yourself prenatal planner.
Pregnancy is super exciting but can be overwhelming at times. Thinking about everything you need to do before baby arrives can cause anxiety for many moms-to-be.
Read on to find out why making your own prenatal planner can help you get organized and prepare for the arrival of your baby.
Why Do You Need a Prenatal Planner?
Even though our lives are very technologically centered, I’m still a hands-on person and like to have things easily accessible.
There are multiple reasons I recommend making your own prenatal planner.
- It can help you get organized during your pregnancy and make sure you’re fully prepared for when your baby arrives
- Allows you to keep important paperwork and information in one place
- You can bring it with you to the hospital when you give birth to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. From experience, this is especially helpful if you are unexpectedly admitted early to the hospital. It’s a relief to know you have everything put together already.
- Use it after delivery to organize paperwork from the hospital as well as any educational materials you receive and things you need to follow up on (for example, making sure you add your baby to your health insurance plan).
What You Need for Your Prenatal Planner
- Divider Tabs
- Hole punch
What To Include In Your Prenatal Planner
Use divider tabs to set up sections in your prenatal planner to help you stay organized. You can label the sections any way you want. Chose topics that make sense to you and your family.
The following are the different sections I created for my prenatal planner during my first pregnancy.
- To Do Lists
- Baby Registry
- Birth/Prenatal Classes
- Medical Information/Pediatrician
- Maternity Leave
- Hospital/Labor & Delivery
For my second pregnancy, I didn’t need as many sections because we had a lot of things figured out already. I condensed my prenatal planner for my second pregnancy down to the following sections:
- To Do List
- Medical Information
- Labor & Delivery
- Maternity Leave
To Do List
For the first section, I recommend writing out a list of the things you know you’ll need to get done before your baby arrives. This list can also help you with how you should label the other sections of your prenatal planner.
The following are some things you may want to add to your To Do Lists for each trimester.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin (if you’re not already!)
- Find an OB/make first appointment
- Start making baby registry
- Talk to your HR department about maternity leave
- Prepare for the glucose tolerance test
- Add baby to health insurance plan
- Send out birth announcements
- Prepare for returning to work after maternity leave
I printed out our baby registry lists so I could keep track of the things we received and the things we still needed to buy before the baby arrived.
I also kept track of perks from different baby registries, like when we could use our 15% completion discount.
Prenatal and Birthing Classes
I knew I wanted to take some kind of prenatal class as a first time mom. Both my OB practice and the hospital I would be delivering at offered (paid) classes.
I researched these and made a list of all the classes available, the prices, dates, and locations. This way I could figure out what worked best for our schedule before registering for any of the classes. I also researched free prenatal classes in my area.
Childbirth classes can be expensive but most insurances will reimburse you up to a certain amount. Check with your insurance company first. You will most likely have to fill out a form and have your instructor sign off on the fact that you attended the class. Keep any receipts because you will also have to provide proof of payment. You can organize everything together in this section of your prenatal planner.
Do I Really Need to Take a Prenatal or Birthing Class?
No, probably not. There’s so much information available to us now. You can research a lot on your own.
However, I did find the classes we took helpful. I would recommend that first time parents consider taking a class at the hospital where they will be delivering that includes a tour.
I’m sure you will find some of the information presented helpful. At the very least, you’ll get a tour of the labor and delivery and postpartum units. This can help you feel more comfortable when you go in to have your baby.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, Babies R Us still existed and the location near me offered several free classes. I took a breastfeeding class that I found to be pretty informative and helpful.
Unfortunately, the store is no longer in business. Buy Buy Baby has some classes available but only at limited locations. You can find out more here.
Medical Information (for mom)
Here I would keep track of your OB/GYN, and your primary doctor’s locations and contact information.
If you get a visit summary after each visit, you can keep it in here in case you want to review anything – weight, blood pressure, any lab work that was done.
If you haven’t yet chosen a pediatrician for your baby, keep track of your options here. Write down different offices that you are considering and the providers who are accepting new patients.
When you’ve chosen a pediatrician for your child, keep the contact information here so you can easily access it when needed.
Keep any paperwork related to maternity leave, short term disability, etc. here so it is easily accessible.
This is also a useful section if your work duties will be covered by someone else while you’re out on maternity leave. You can keep a list of things you want to make sure get done before you go on leave or things that someone else will need to follow up on.
Hospital/Labor & Delivery
Keep information about the hospital you will be delivering your baby at in here. Sometimes your OB office will provide you with required paperwork for the hospital. For example, birth certificate information.
If you have a birth plan, you can include it here.
You can also keep your hospital bag packing list here (or create a separate section for this)!
We visited a number of different daycare centers before my daughter was born. Each center gave us an information packet and I kept them in this section. That way, I could easily compare and contrast things like pricing, location, and specific factors of each place we were considering.
When you finally choose your daycare, keep the contact information and any other important documents they give you in this section.
Keep all info regarding your postpartum care and caring for your newborn here. The hospital will probably give you a lot of educational materials. If you took any prenatal classes, you can keep the information they provided about postpartum and newborn care here as well.
Keep your prenatal planner somewhere easily accessible (and make sure your husband knows where it is)!
If you’ve started packing your hospital bag, I recommend you keep the planner near your bag so you can throw it in there when you’re ready to go.
Alternatively, if you end up unexpectedly admitted to the hospital, your husband or significant other will know where to find the planner to bring to you.
Did I miss anything? What helped you stay organized during pregnancy? Leave a comment!