- What will the baby look like?
- Will she be healthy?
- Will you love her right away?
- Will he love you?
Share your thoughts and concerns with people close to you. Future moms and dads who talk to each other about their fears and excitement are better able to support each other when they become parents.
Around the fifth month, you may be able to feel your baby moving around in your abdomen. These movements may feel like a butterfly is fluttering in your stomach. Not all babies are equally active. Some may kick and turn around often, while others are quieter.
Many pregnant women find that their babies move more after they have eaten. This is due to the increase in glucose in the mother’s and baby’s bloodstream.
- Emotional responses to stress and tense situations can also trigger movement in the baby. Stress causes a surge in adrenaline in your body.
- Learning some ways to relax will help you and your baby. Deep breathing, talking to someone you trust, walking, and listening to soothing music are good ways to relax.
Even though you and your partner are busy getting ready for the baby, make time to be together. Setting aside some time — even small amounts — throughout the day and the week, can be very nourishing for a relationship strained by the changes you are both feeling. If you pay attention to this now, it will be easier to do once the baby comes.
Plan some little dates throughout the day. They can be as short as 5 minutes:
- a morning snuggle
- giving each other a foot rub
- a sincere, “How was your day?”
Finding ways to have fun and nurture your friendship is important. A healthy relationship is the best gift you can give your child. Parents’ relationship with one another is the child’s blueprint for her future relationships. Invest in keeping your relationship strong before and after your baby is born.
Get a safe crib and your baby’s clothes ready.
Get a crib that meets safety regulations. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that cribs should have:
- A firm, tight-fitting mattress so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
- No missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
- No more than 2 3/8 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats — so a baby’s body cannot fit through the slats
- No missing or cracked slats
- No corner posts over 1/16th inch high (so a baby’s clothing cannot catch).
- No cutouts in the headboard or foot board (so a baby’s head cannot get trapped).
Babies can get stuck, strangle or suffocate in cribs that are assembled wrong, have missing, loose or broken hardware or broken slats. If you buy a used crib, check to be sure it meets all the safety standards that new cribs require. You only need 3 things in your baby’s crib: your baby, a mattress, and a fitted sheet for the mattress.
Newborn baby clothes you will need:
- 3-4 undershirts with snaps
- 2-3 dozen diapers
- 2-3 one piece stretch suits that will be warm enough for your baby to sleep in (so you don’t have to use blankets). It’s important that babies don’t get too warm — so the one-piece suits should provide warmth, but not too much
Get a car seat and take a safe ride home from the hospital.
Car Seats: Information for Families
All infants should ride in the back seat facing the rear of the car — starting with their first ride home from the hospital. They should face the rear of the car until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride facing the rear of the car until they are at least 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. There are two types of rear-facing car safety seats:
- infant-only seats
- convertible seats
Car Safety Seat Tips:
- Install the baby’s car seat correctly or it will not work in case of an accident. Call the local police or a childcare resource and referral agency to find out where to take your car to have the car seat installed.
- Babies and children should always sit in the back seat. Many cars have front airbags that can hurt children if they open.
Helpful Prenatal Classes
- Car Seat Safety Checks
- Childbirth Introduction
- Infant CPR
- Breastfeeding Class
- Infant Nutrition
- Parenting Classes
Do you have to stop exercising after you are pregnant? The answer is “No” for most healthy pregnant women. Doctors recommend that pregnant women without health problems or pregnancy complications can exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Check with your doctor to see what exercise (and how much) will be best for you.
Exercising can ease headaches, help sleep, and decrease the risk of high blood pressure. Walking, swimming, dancing, yoga, and stationary cycling are good workout ideas for pregnant women. When you are working out:
- Make sure your workout is low-impact
- Avoid jerking and bouncing movements
- Take breaks and drink plenty of water
- Avoid any exercise lying on your back after the first trimester because you may put too much pressure on an important vein that takes blood to your uterus and your brain
- In weight training, avoid lifting weights over your head
- Always warm up and cool down when working out
- Include stretching and relaxation exercises
Staying active is important — and so is eating healthy foods. Each day, eat several servings of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and calcium-rich foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Cut down on fatty foods, sugar, and salt. See the pregnancy and breastfeeding food guide at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/moms-pregnancy-breastfeeding. The Daily Food Plan for Moms can help you select healthy meals options. Some women find that eating more small meals throughout the day is more comfortable than trying to eat 3 regular-sized meals a day.
If you need more information about breastfeeding, the CDC has a parent portal.
For more parenting info and updated links, visit jitp.info. For more information about your baby’s development visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEH2ev_JpVg adapted from Healthy Women Infants and Children.
Questions? Need help? Contact your local extension office.
Text4baby will send free text messages to your cell phone with health tips for you and your baby. It’s all free! To sign up, text BABY to 511411 or go to www.text4baby.org.
Reviewed and updated in 2018 by Anne Clarkson, Ph.D., YaeBin Kim, Ph.D., and Dan Weigel, Ph.D.