To-do lists can be a great way to stay focused and organized. However, they can also quickly create an overwhelming feeling of having to accomplish an unreasonable number of tasks within a certain period of time. This is especially true for those well-intended to-do lists found on every pregnancy website.

“Preparing for a baby is really a personal experience,” said Kathy Schaaf, Birth Advisor, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. “Online to-do lists really don’t take into account a mom’s personality, experience or comfort level. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus on what’s really important, which is taking care of yourself and your baby.”

Kathy offers these tips to help moms-to-be stay focused on their pregnancy priorities:

Stay on track with your doctor’s visits.

Once your doctor has confirmed your pregnancy, the office will keep you on a specific schedule of appointments, tests and ultrasounds. These are to-dos you can’t miss, so be sure to stay up-to-date with all of your appointments.

Focus on what’s important to you.

Keep in mind it isn’t necessary to have every single item on your list crossed off before the baby comes. “You don’t need to go to every single class or have every piece of baby equipment purchased and ready to go before the baby arrives,” said Schaff. “Have a safe place to sleep ready for the baby, clean clothes, blankets and diapers, and whatever feeding supplies you need – all of which make great shower gifts. Focus in on those important things, and know that everything else is just icing on the cake.”

Sign up for classes.

Shady Grove Medical Center offers a full calendar of baby classes and hospital tours for expectant parents. From baby care basics to breastfeeding, birthing classes and more, moms, dads and even siblings can get ready for the latest addition to the family.

“Classes are a great way to prepare for a baby,” said Schaff. “While parents can pick and choose from the classes that interest them, I always recommend everyone sign up for a tour. It helps let moms and dads know exactly where to go when the big day comes, which always helps reduce a little bit of stress.”

Review our comprehensive calendar, class lists and register online.

Take care of yourself.

Instead of running around worrying about what’s next on your to-do list, focus on caring for yourself. Schedule a massage or relax with a good book. Try to enjoy this special time of carrying your little one. He or she will be here before you know it!

Learn more about the birthing experience we offer moms and dads at Shady Grove Medical Center, including our Baby-Friendly designation.