The last days of pregnancy are exhausting! Youíve done pregnancy now, you want to do MOTHERING! You spend all night getting up to go to the loo, your back aches, you yawn every three minutes Ö. címon baby! Itís hard to stay patient and wait isnít it. Hereís a few tips to make the last days easier and ensure that youíre ready for the big day.
Lunar Eclipse - Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
DONíT start expecting the baby before 40 weeks. Since the dawn of time women calculated pregnancy using 10 lunar cycles, not 9 months. Women were always pretty much spot on until the 1800s when a man came along and told us he could do better. Somehow or other we still believe him!? Some women give birth before 40 weeks, most donít so you might as well assume youíll be in the MOST category. The sooner you start waiting the longer you will have to wait! Have two dates, a 40 week date and a start to wait date.
Use this to calculate your Start to Wait Date: LMP plus 290 days = Start To Wait Date.
DO take the phone off the hook and avoid all the prying eyes. Youíll tell them when the baby is born if they leave you alone. If they annoy you tell them youíll consider sending them an invitation to the 21st birthday party but you wonít guarantee it.
DONíT have vaginal exams. They donít tell you anything useful about when labour will begin, in fact all too often they steal the wind out of your sails and leave you feeling deflated, like youíll be pregnant until the next ice age. Trust me, you ARE going to have the baby, you just need a bit more time.
DO use the last days to ensure your birth plan is completely ready to go and your support team understand how important it is to adhere to it. Make sure you know how your care provider will manage anything that arises and make a plan for every possible scenario. Include a plan for pre-labour because that can go on for a few days or more!
DONíT time contractions. Donít even focus on them until you canít ignore them. Itís all pre-labour until labour, and you can tell when itís labour because you canít ignore it. Sometimes women think their bodies are faulty because they donít ďjust go into labourĒ but itís NOT a fault, itís your body making sure everything is perfect, icing the cake. The very second that your baby and your body are both ready, labour will kick off! It really will! No one has ever enrolled their belly in kindergarten.
Take the phone off the hook - Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
DO keep your mind busy. Watch a movie, send an email, play games on facebook, write a letter to your baby, take some belly shots, eat good food, stay well hydrated, hang out with friends, read stories to older children, take a nap, take a bath, have a massage, go for a walk, meditate, go swimming, take up yodelling Ö. or not. Just keep your mind busy.
DONíT panic. The last days of pregnancy are hard!! Thatís normal, itís ok to feel totally over it. But you can trust that your body has everything under control. Your body took two cells, joined them, and grew them into a person, you didnít have to think about any of it, it just happened. Your body can expel the small human equally efficiently. Itís frustrating not knowing WHEN the expulsion will occur so try to think of it as part of the magic rather than a flaw. Your body and your baby are planning a party and your brain will not receive an invitation until the very last minute, but donít worry, the invitation will come, and not a moment too late.
DO be kind to yourself. However you feel while you wait is ok, you are only human!