Congratulations! You’re pregnant and beginning an exciting nine-month journey. As wonderful as this time is, you likely have many questions as your baby develops and your body changes. Tracking your pregnancy throughout the coming weeks and months can help give you insights into your baby’s well-being and your own.
What is pregnancy tracking?
Pregnancy tracking involves monitoring the growth and development of your baby, as well as the health of you, the expectant mama, throughout the nine months. Your OB-GYN will oversee your pregnancy, but tracking your pregnancy on your own is also helpful—and today, there are many options for tracking your progression. Whether you’re four months pregnant and experiencing heartburn or are in the home stretch and going into labor, pregnancy tracking is a proactive step that can help you stay informed.
The importance of pregnancy tracking
Pregnancy tracking by day, week, month, or trimester has many benefits to support both you and your baby.
- Helps ensure the baby’s growth and development are on track.
- Allows for the early detection of potential fetal health issues so that timely intervention can be taken.
- Provides education on what to expect at each pregnancy stage—what’s typical and what may warrant a visit to your healthcare provider.
- Allows for early detection of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or other complications.
- Tracking your baby’s development—and those tiny kicks—fosters bonding in utero.
- Depending on your chosen method, pregnancy tracking can be a wonderful way to document this special experience.
How to track your pregnancy journey
Pregnancy tracking is a valuable way to help you stay informed about your pregnancy, identify any potential issues early on, and plan for labor and delivery. Let’s explore some of the best ways to track your pregnancy.
1. Prenatal checkups
While many pregnancy tracking methods are available, the most important one will be your prenatal doctor visits. Your healthcare provider will monitor your entire pregnancy. You can expect them to:
- Confirm your pregnancy through a urine or blood test.
- Establish a baseline of your health, including your height, weight, and blood pressure.
- Track your weight gain and measure your growing bump.
- Perform various tests throughout your pregnancy, including a glucose screening test around your sixth month of pregnancy.
- Perform ultrasound imaging and discuss your baby’s development while you get a view of your little one in the womb.
- Let you listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
- Provide information and advice on prenatal nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle choices that can help promote your baby’s health and well-being.
- Guide you through your pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and answer all your questions.
2. Pregnancy calendars
A pregnancy calendar can help you track your pregnancy progression, usually week-by-week. These convenient physical or online calendars typically feature the following:
- Baby development information. Is your baby the size of a kiwi or a cantaloupe? Your pregnancy calendar will give you an estimate of the size and weight of your baby. Can your baby hear yet? When will you be able to tell their gender? A calendar can be an excellent resource for understanding your baby’s amazing growth and development milestones.
- List of common pregnancy experiences. Prepare for the physical and emotional changes by knowing what to expect. When will you start to show? Can you still have morning sickness at five months pregnant? What are Braxton-Hicks contractions? Being aware of the most common experiences at your pregnancy stage can ease your mind, while also helping you recognize when something may not be quite right.
- Due date calculator. An online pregnancy calendar may have a due date calculator. Fill in some key information and get an ETA for your bundle of joy.
- Prenatal tips. From nutritional guidance to suggestions on managing morning sickness, pregnancy calendars often provide a wealth of information to help get you through the nine months.
3. Pregnancy apps
Pregnancy apps are growing in popularity. These digital platforms track everything from your baby’s growth to your labor contractions. While features vary depending on the app you select, many enable you to do the following:
- Get baby development updates. Track your baby’s growth and development with daily and weekly updates and guides.
- Log your prenatal experiences. Monitor your baby bump and pregnancy-related body changes.
- Track those kicks. Keep tabs on your baby’s movement and share the information with your healthcare provider.
- Access expert self-care tips. Learn ways to safely manage morning sickness, constipation, and other issues and discomforts.
- Calculate your due date. Plug in some information and calculate your estimated due date.
- Manage your baby registry. Create a personalized, shoppable baby registry that can be shared with family and friends.
- Eat well and stay fit. Get nutritional guidance, recipes, healthy diet and food tips, and pregnancy-safe workouts.
- Count contractions. You and your partner can keep track of contraction durations, intervals, and intensity.
4. Pregnancy journals
Pregnancy journals do more than help you track your pregnancy journey; they are also meaningful keepsakes. These traditional hardcover books feature baby development information and allow you to chronicle special moments at each pregnancy stage.
- Journal your progress. Write down your experiences and feelings by day, week, month, or trimester. Share thoughts about your pregnancy milestones and wishes for your little one.
- Add photos. Capture pictures of your ultrasounds, baby bump, baby shower, gender reveal, and nursery. After your baby is born, add newborn photos and your little one’s footprints.
Pregnancy tracking helps expectant parents navigate the pregnancy journey. While your OB-GYN should be your primary go-to information source, pregnancy calendars, apps, and journals offer a convenient way to get additional insights into your baby’s growth and development on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. No matter which methods you choose, pregnancy tracking can empower parents and give you peace of mind as you await your little one’s arrival.