Pregnancy Info

Prenatal Checklist

Download & Print the Prenatal Checklist PDF!

First Trimester (Weeks 1-13) 

  • Get a pregnancy confirmation. (Community Center for Life can help!)
  • Check on your insurance to see if it covers pregnancy; apply for Medicaid if needed.
  • Find an OB/GYN who you can trust, make your first appointment, and then keep every follow up visit with the doctor.
  • Stay healthy.prenatal-checklist-supplements
    • Take your prenatal vitamins daily.
    • If you drink, smoke, or do drugs – find a way to quit.
    • Drink plenty of water – at least 8 glasses per day.
    • Eat healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, foods with good
    • protein and foods that are low in sugar and salt.
    • Avoid lunch meats and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
    • Exercise – Go for a daily walk or take Pilates.
    • Visit the dentist. A healthy mouth is a healthy body.
    • Get plenty of rest! You’re making a whole other person!
    • Take time for yourself.  Staying stress free goes a long way.
  • Tell your family the news!
  • Sign up for prenatal or birthing classes (We offer free prenatal classes at the center!)
  • Work on your relationship with the baby’s father.  The father is the key to a baby’s emotional development, so it is important that he is a part of the child’s life if possible.
  • If you never graduated, work on getting your GED! Be the role model NOW that your baby will need when he/she becomes a teenager.

Second Trimester (Weeks 14-27)

  • prenatal-checklist-mother-and-babyLearn how to breastfeed, bottle feed, diaper, bathe, and care for your baby.
  • Go over your finances.
    • Budget for the baby’s arrival and doctor visits.
    • Sign up for WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) if needed.
    • Find a job if you aren’t working yet to save money for your baby.
  • Choose a god-parent for your baby.
  • Start buying maternity clothes and taking pictures of your growing belly.
  • Pay attention to your mood and stress level.  Don’t let other people get to you easily. Your baby feels how you feel.
  • You are the roadmap for your child’s future.  Children learn what they live.  They repeat what they see, so set a good example in a good environment. Work on making your life and your surroundings what you want your child to see! (Our free mentoring classes can help with this!)
  • Talk to your baby so he/she can learn your voice. Have your partner talk to your baby too! Make sure you let the baby’s father feel the baby when he/she kicks!
  • Don’t dwell on wanting one gender over another.  You are growing the perfect little person for you, whether he’s a boy, or she’s a girl.  Make sure your developing baby feels loved for who they are!
  • Start buying for the baby. Some of the most important items are: a crib, a car seat, diapers, wipes, toiletries, onesies, clothes, bottles, burp cloths, swaddling blankets, a medical kit, etc.  (Make sure you send thank you notes to anyone who buys baby items for you.) If you’re on a tight budget check out “Finders Keepers for Kidz” at 900 Terry Parkway, Suite 110 in Terrytown.  It has a lot of inexpensive, gently used baby items!

Third Trimester (Weeks 28-40) 

  • Choose a baby name!
  • Take a tour of the labor and delivery portion of the hospital where you will deliver.
  • Find a pediatrician you trust. Meet with them about being at the hospital when you give birth, and ask about what you should prepare for the first month of the baby’s life.
  • Find someone to watch your other children while you’re at the hospital giving birth.
  • Take parenting classes. (We offer these free at the pregnancy center.)
  • Set up a meal plan for when you get back from the hospital. (It is ok to ask friends and family to help! is a great resource to pass on to your best friend.)
  • Make a birth plan – and don’t forget to give it to your doctor before you deliver!
  • prenatal-checklist-my-birth-planMake arrangements for post-partum care for yourself for the first week or two.  Ask someone to help around the house while you recover, help watch any other children you may have, go grocery shopping, and watch the baby sometimes so you can rest.
  • Pack for the hospital.
  • Try not to worry! Find positive outlets for your stress, and remember to ENJOY your pregnancy!

EOC-cropCommunity Center for Life
539 Lafayette Street
Gretna, LA 70053
(504) 227-9090


Pregnancy Tips

We know pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your life and your body. For further information and help with your pregnancy, please schedule an appointment with us! We would love to be able to sit down with you to find out about your needs and to help you in any way that we can. The following are a few tips to help you through this change in your life!

  • Visit your OBGYN right away and continue to see your doctor regularly. Make sure you make it to all of your appointments and follow your doctor’s instructions for your pregnancy. (If you do not have an OBGYN we would love to give you a referral during your visits with us.)
  • Take your pre-natal vitamins daily. (Each of our clients receives free pre-natal vitamins during their first visit, and then throughout their pregnancy as needed.)
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid smoking, second hand smoke, alcohol, and drug use. Each of these can cause serious birth defects or even miscarriage.
  • Eat healthy foods every day. Try to avoid fast food, junk food, and foods with high acidity or salt.
  • Avoid eating lunch meat while pregnant as it may contain listeria. Listeria may cause stillbirth, premature birth, birth defects or a miscarriage.
  • See your Dentist. A healthy mouth will help you have a healthy baby.
  • Do not diet during your pregnancy.
  • Stay active.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Plan ahead for your delivery and the arrival of your baby.

-ETR Associates. Prenatal Care. ETR Associates. Reviewed 2013. Revised 2006. Brochure.


Fetal Development

First Trimester (0-13 Weeks)

Day 1

The first day of your pregnancy begins on the first day of your last menstrual period.

2 Weeks

Your baby is made when the egg and sperm meet. This creates a new cell called a zygote which contains all the genetic information your baby will every need including eye color, gender, and even fingerprints!

4 Weeks

By the time you miss your period you are about 4 weeks pregnant! Your baby is now completely attached to the lining of your uterus wall. This allows the baby to get the nutrients it needs to continue to grow.

5 Weeks

Your baby’s heart has begun to beat, and the baby’s brain is showing development! Every organ system the baby will need to survive has already begun to develop!

6 Weeks

Your baby’s eyes have begun to develop and leg buds and arm buds have begun to appear. Her beating heart can already be seen on an ultrasound! Your baby is about 1/6th of an inch long.

8 Weeks

Your baby’s lungs are developing, and taste buds and tooth buds have begun to form. Your baby is now 1/2 inch long.

10 Weeks

Your baby’s brain is growing so rapidly that every minute it is producing about 250,000 neurons (nerve cells that transmit electrical signals across the body). The outside of the baby’s ears are now developed. The baby is about 1 1/4 inches long.

12 Weeks

Your baby’s fingers and toes are distinct and even have nails! Your baby is now moving, although it is too early to be felt. Your baby is now about 2 1/2 inches long.

Second Trimester (14-27 Weeks)

14 Weeks

Your baby can now swallow and her kidneys are making urine. She can even suck her thumb! Your baby is now 3 1/2 inches long.

16 Weeks

You might be able to see the gender of your baby on an ultrasound! Some women will be able to feel their baby move by now. Your baby is now 4 3/4 inches long.

18 Weeks

Your baby has REM cycles which means she is already dreaming! She even has her own unique set of fingerprints which she will carry with her throughout her life! Your baby is now 5 inches long.

20 Weeks

Your baby can feel pain. She has respiratory movements and all of her organs are formed. Your baby is now 6 1/4 inches long!

22 Weeks

Your baby has visible hair! There is little chance before this time that she might able to survive outside the womb now with intense medical care. Your baby is now 7 1/2 inches long.

24 Weeks

Your baby can hear your voice, your breathing, and even your heartbeat! The lungs have developed enough that your baby may be able to survive outside the womb with intensive medical care. Your baby is now 8 1/4 inches long.

26 Weeks

Your baby can taste your amniotic fluid and tell whether its sweet, sour, or bitter! Your baby’s eyelashes and eyebrows are formed. Not only can she hear you, but she can hear other noises outside your body as well. She can even respond to light! Your baby is now 9 inches long.

Third Trimester (28-40 Weeks)

28 Weeks

Your babies eyes are partially opened. Her brain is developed enough to regulate her body temperature and help her breath rhythmically. 9 out of 10 babies born at this stage will survive with intensive care services. Your baby is now 10 inches long.

30 Weeks

Your babies lungs can breathe air, but some medical help may be required. Your baby can open her eyes and even cry. Almost all babies born at this point will be able to survive with intensive care. Your baby is 10 1/2 inches long.

32 Weeks

Your baby can remember music that she hears every day! She might even start moving to the beat! Your baby is now 11 inches long.

34 Weeks

Your baby’s skin is pink and smooth. Her eyes are wide open, so she may respond more to light at this stage. Your baby is 11 3/4 inches long.

36 Weeks

Your baby is rounding out and gaining weight. She can recognize your voice and be comforted by it. Almost all babies born at this stage will live. Your baby is now 12 1/2 inches long.

38 Weeks

Your baby has a firm grasp. She continues to suck her thumb, which helps prepare her for breastfeeding. Your baby is now 13 1/2 inches long.

40 Weeks

Your baby is full term and ready to be delivered. She will usually be head down in your pelvis waiting to be born. Your baby about 14 inches long which makes her about 20 inches overall! She will weigh about 6 1/2 to 10 pounds.


*All measurements are from head to rump. The baby’s legs are not included in her length measurement.



-Vicki L. Dihle, PA-C and Bradley G. Beck M.D. The First Nine Months. Focus on the Family, 2010. Brochure.

-Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Abortion Making a Decision.Department of Health and Hospitals/Office of Public Health. Booklet.

-Heritage House ’76, Inc. 800 858-3040. Earn While You Learn Curriculum, Lesson 3.3 Your Unborn Baby’s Secret World. Print.