You’ve made it! Almost. You’re so close to the finish line, you can almost smell that intoxicating newborn smell. You have just a few more weeks to power through and then it’s time for newborn cuddles. The hard part is almost over….
Then it’s time for the hard part to begin.
Yep, growing a human being is pretty well exhausting, but so is hanging out with a nocturnal newborn.
Soon you’ll be running round looking after your tiny new person, so you’ll need to make the most of these last few weeks of peace and quiet while you can.
The last stretch of pregnancy is arguably the worst. You hope the morning sickness is over, but now you are battling exhaustion, heaviness, and a never ending desire to pee. Oh, and every time you leave the house, strangers comment on how huge you are. Great!
10 Pregnancy Survival Tips For The Final Stretch…
Here are some survival tips to help you through these last few weeks:
#1: Adjust Your Expectations
You might not like to admit it but during these final weeks of pregnancy, you might not be able to do all of the things you usually do. You might find you need to nap during the day, reduce your workload, and take a less stringent approach to the housework. Don’t beat yourself up about this.
You’re heavily pregnant and it’s exhausting lugging around all that extra weight. You might not be sleeping well at night, you could be feeling distracted at work, and you just might be feeling sorry for yourself, thanks to all those aches and pains. It’s important to adjust your expectations.
It doesn’t matter whether you get all of your to-do list ticked off today. What matters is that you’re taking care of yourself and your baby. Just do what you feel you can manage, and remember that the health of you and your baby are way more important than whether all the laundry is done.
#2: Read Positive Birth Stories
Reading birth stories is a great way to prepare yourself for the birth. If you’ve never given birth before, it can be virtually impossible to know what to expect. How are you supposed to begin to build a mental image of what birth might be like when all anyone will tell you is that birth is unlike any other experience?
To help prepare yourself for the birth, you could spend some time reading positive birth stories on the internet. Lots of mamas share their birth stories online and you’ll be able to pick and choose the ones you want to read. Surround yourself with the stories that are most similar to the birth you want and focus on the strength of the women in the stories.
#3: Manage Your To-Do List
Are you completely prepared for the baby’s arrival or are there still a few stray jobs lurking on your to-do list? Now that you’re getting close to the birth, it’s time to sort out that list. It might not be possible to tick off all the jobs, so start work on prioritising them instead.
Work out what you have the energy, time and ability to do yourself, and delegate the other jobs to your partner, friends and family. Focus on the jobs that are the highest priority and don’t worry if the rest fall by the wayside.
#4: Write Things Down
You’re about to become a mama. Whether that’s for the first or fourth time, it’s going to create a pretty huge shift in your life. As you await the birth of your baby, why not write a letter to your unborn child? You can write down all of the thoughts and feelings swirling around your head at night. This might help you to focus on what’s important, and make sense of any emotions you’re feeling. It will also be a lovely keepsake for the future, a note to your child letting him or her know just how excited you are, and looking forward to meeting face to face soon.
If you haven’t been keeping a pregnancy diary for yourself, this is a great time to jot down some thoughts about your pregnancy in a journal. It might not seem like an experience you’ll ever forget, but you could be surprised at how quickly the details fade.
#5: Get Some Rest
You are heavily pregnant. That means you qualify for all the naps in the world. All of them. Go on, sleep! Really! Go to bed whenever you feel the urge. You’re pregnant and that’s your ‘Get Out Of Being Awake Free’ card. Don’t worry about what time it is, or what else you should be doing. Just go for the nap. Enjoy the nap. Napping is your right.
#6: Start A Project
For the last few weeks of the pregnancy, you will be in countdown mode. That means time will essentially stand still, while you manically tick off every passing second, in the hope you will get to meet your baby sooner.
Time will slow right down, and you will spend pretty much all of your time waiting. It’s not fun. To cope with this waiting phase, you need a project to keep your mind and hands busy.
Choose a project you can sink your teeth into. It could be a knitted baby blanket, a pregnancy journal, homemade Christmas presents (it never hurts to start early), or whatever you want. Just choose something you’ll enjoy and that will keep you busy during these last few weeks.
#7: Eat Well
Getting off the sofa is hard work. Your lady bits are swollen beyond recognition and bending over is basically impossible. You might think this is not the time to worry about what you eat. After all, shouldn’t you be allowed that ice cream at the end of a long day of groaning every time you stand up?
Well, maybe, but it’s also important to stay healthy during this final stretch of pregnancy. Keeping your weight gain to a manageable amount will make your postpartum recovery easier. It might even help you to keep up your stamina during the birth. Avoid sugary, processed junk foods, and instead increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you are eating each day.
#8: Be Honest
It’s ok to freak out. Whether you’re worried about how you’ll cope during labour, whether you’ll poop in the birthing pool, or how you’ll cope with a newborn baby, it’s ok to freak out. Freaking out doesn’t mean you’ll be a bad mama. In fact, being honest about how you feel now could help you to prepare even better.
If you’re worried about the birth, speak to your midwife and mama friends about how you’re feeling. Let your partner in on it too. You might find he shares the same concerns, and together you can find the strength you need. No matter what your worries are, you will probably feel better if you share them with other people.
#9: Keep Exercising
You might find that you want to spend all of your time slumped on the sofa, bouncing on the birthing ball, or buying ice-cream. Don’t! Gentle exercise is a great way to keep busy, and stay active and healthy as you near the end of your pregnancy.
Walking can encourage the baby into position, and bring on contractions, so you might find a daily walk is a good thing to do as you near the end of your pregnancy.
If you find walking to be uncomfortable, try swimming instead. The water will help you to feel weightless, and you might find it easier to breathe this way.
Yoga is another great exercise for pregnancy. It will help to keep you calm, and teach you breathing techniques to utilise during labour.
#10: Bask In The Attention
Not to burst that pregnancy bubble you’ve been enjoying for the past few months, but pretty soon there’s going to be a new centre of attention on the block.
Yep, that baby of yours is going to be getting all of the compliments, cuddles and attention after the birth. These are your final few weeks of feeling important, so make the most of them. Just kidding. People will still look after you once the baby arrives, but only so you can be at your best for looking after your baby. Seriously, people go crazy for babies. Make the most of the offers of help, the compliments and the favours while you still can.
Recommended Reading: Waiting for that baby to arrive? Check out Best Things About Newborns – 10 Things We Love.