When your estimated due date is fast approaching it can feel like a count down to the big day. Remember that the estimated due date (EDD) is just that – an estimate – and until you reach 42 weeks you are not truly ‘post dates’. Your baby will signal to your body when it is ready for birth by releasing a hormone that triggers labour. If your EDD has become a cause for anxiety, impatience and pressure on yourself, or pressure from others to ‘hurry up and have your baby’ then take this as a signal that it is time for you to do exactly the opposite and slow down.
When people around you are asking all the time about the baby, remember they are just very excited and they do mean no harm. People really do love a pregnant belly and news of a new baby. It is exciting and sharing in the news brings joy to many people.
If these curious questioners are close to you, you may choose to tell them that you appreciate their eagerness and you will certainly let them know when your baby is born! Let them know that you would like to spend the last weeks relaxing and feeling emotionally and practically ready. Maybe they can help instead by picking up some shopping, baking a meal, looking after older children for a little while or doing some errands for you. They will feel involved and this is what they want. You will get some peace and avoid some of those outings where everyone wants to comment on the size of your belly and whether it is normal to be that big or declare that you don’t look big enough, are you sure the dates are right!
If you are able to give over your jobs out in the world to someone else then do this so you don’t have to have the same conversation with the person at the shop or the mums at school every day until your baby is born!
You may feel tired of preparing for birth and begin to feel a little lost or emotional. This is all a part of the waiting time where your body and mind are getting ready for labour and the transition into motherhood. Don’t be afraid to let go and have a good cry. Open up to your doula, midwife or a supportive friend and share how you are feeling. Allow yourself to be a little dreamy and disconnected from the rest of the world. Connect with your baby in any way that appeals to you, nurture yourself, do a little last minute nesting, and protect yourself from negative thoughts and feelings.
From women’s stories we can see how common an emotional release is shortly before labour begins. It is a great way to clear out fears, anxieties and become emotionally ready for birth and your new baby.
• Put your phone on answering machine – put the world on hold.
• Stop watching the news,
• Avoid discussions online or in real life that cause you stress or irritation.
• Have a massage, chiropractic adjustment, or other relaxing treatment that will help put your body and mind in a great position for birth
• Meditate or listen to positive affirmations. Try a fresh meditation that you haven’t listened to before. My pick is “25 Ways to Awaken Your Birth Power”
• Have a fear release session with a birth hypnosis practitioner,
• Do a yoga/meditation class,
• Read positive birth stories and avoid any stories that make you anxious even if they are supposed to be positive. Only you can decide what is helpful for you to read or view!
• Read your favourite feel-good books. My picks are light hearted romantic comedies for pregnancy.
• Create an artwork about your baby, birth or becoming a mother,
• Begin a craft for your baby (you may not get to finish it!).
• Cook and freeze a celebration cake for after the birth,
• Write a letter to your baby, your mother or your partner.