There’s a hilarious meme floating around that says each month has an average of 30-31 days…except for the last month of pregnancy. That one has 1,453 days. ? It’s not wrong. The end of pregnancy seems to stretch on forever and a day. You’ve moved past the newness of the experience, ready to just be done with all the aches, pains, and awkward hugeness pregnancy brings. You’re ready to meet Baby: this wonderful, little human being you’ve been growing in your tummy – IN YOUR TUMMY, of all places – who keeps nudging you from inside and reminding you that he or she has a mind and character and personality that’s completely unique. And life will definitely never be the same. For me, the entire third trimester is this wave of impatience to just be done with pregnancy and finally have this little person in my arms. I usually start going slightly insane trying to stay busy. My mind races ahead, trying to tackle all those problems of how to get baby to sleep, how we’ll interact, whether I’ll get to sleep, the uncertainties of birthing, any big sibling adjustments that need to be made, and the lifelong commitment of parenting…but then I keep remembering that this is my last month before all of that truly begins and I try to take a deep breath and just be in the moment.
Which brings me to this post. I have so SO many friends and family members who are about to give birth to their first, second, or third babies, so I thought a little reminder of what you should schedule for your last month of pregnancy might be in order. Just in case you’re starting to go nuts and are ready for some distractions. Ready for it?
6 things in the last few weeks of pregnancy!
1. Eat freakin-whatever you want. Yes, I know how unhealthy that sounds and no, I really do mean it. I’m nauseous about 80% of my pregnancy. It is truly and spectacularly awful. If there’s something I’m craving and I can down it? You better bet I’ll do so. If you have a better and less gag-filled sort of pregnancy and have been healthily chowing down on salads and veggies and beans, then that’s fantastic! (no, really! It is!) But I still say eat whatever you want these last few weeks, because between nursing and possible food allergies for the baby (I’ve had friends who had to give up eggs and dairy and beans and a whole host of other foods!) and losing the baby weight and just plain exhaustion…I’m all for making those last few weeks of pregnancy as lovely as possible. If you have any big siblings in the house, I also like to take this opportunity to spoil myself by not having to clean the kitchen repeatedly. We made a lot of Chick-fil-a runs in those last few weeks and I enjoyed every last one of them.
2. Speaking of older kids, if you have any, make sure to schedule some one-on-one time with them that’s 100% about you and them. If they’re older and understand what’s happening, they’ll really appreciate it. If they’re younger and their world is tipping upside down, it’ll help both them and you out. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Sit down and read some books. Maybe make some plans for how to help them transition to being a big brother or sister. Go to the park and let them run wild. Visit that museum you’ve been meaning to check out. Take some photos of you and them and print them out to put next to their bed. Trust me: it’ll be wonderful for everyone. Most of all, know that this will be a transition that looks different for every kiddo and they might be fine at first and then need some extra loving later, or maybe they’ll need lots of extra loving right up front. Just take it one step at a time.
3. Go get a mani & pedi with your BFF. This has been a tradition for me from my first pregnancy. There’s something about getting your nails done right before going into the “I’ve gotta birth a baby” mindset that just helps you feel more prepared and in control. Everything else might be going crazy, but heck – those toes look MIGHTY fine. I’ll also add that I’m a huge fan of getting a gel pedicure, because that polish stays on through hell or high water (or, in my case, 37 hours spent shuffling between a hot shower and a hot bath) and no water birth will taint those fine toes. Plus, you just know you’ll be too exhausted to touch them up for weeks, so you’ll keep looking good for however long it takes your nails to grow out. Then you’ll feel pretty embarrassed about the tiny strip of perfect pedicure left and you’ll hightail it back to the salon to feel good again. Win/win. Did I mention how nice it is to just spend a quiet moment with your best friend?
4. Go on a date. A fancy date. I know you’re bored to death of your (very limited) maternity wardrobe, but do you hair up nicely anyway, slap some lipstick on, and go try out a new restaurant with the hubs. If you’re pregnant with your first, this might be your last chance for a while to go out without a nursing baby or the hassle of figuring out childcare. Even if you have family living right next door, STILL GO OUT. And talk about something other than the pregnancy. (hard with every other person asking you when you’ll give birth, but still give it a try!) Don’t forget to take a fancy-schmancy selfie to show the world that you know how to rock a nine month belly in style.
5. Walk, walk, walk, and then enjoy some serious Chiro-time. I know, I knooooow – I JUST said I don’t like moving around much in my third trimester, but I do firmly believe that walking is such a great thing to do – hopefully during the entire pregnancy, but definitely in those last few weeks. It helps everything stretch out and shift down and get things moving. Once you’re done walking? Trot on over to a chiropractor. I learned my lesson the hard way during my first pregnancy, so with my second son I made it a PRIORITY (all in caps) to schedule weekly chiropractor appointments during the end of pregnancy. And it helped so, so much! When I first started coming to her, I had bad back pain and leg pain, not to mention shooting spasms. After a few appointments, the pain went almost completely away! More importantly, my postpartum recovery was about a million times better than the first time around. I was shocked at how quickly I could move around and exercise and have no doubt that the regular chiropractor visits influenced this greatly.
6. My last tip is to spend a bit of time creating a peaceful corner for yourself in your home. You’re about to spend a lot of time sitting and snuggling a newborn, not to mention nursing about every other hour or so. You do not want this to happen in a dusty, disorganized, uncomfortable spot. Hang up a peaceful picture, find a stack of interesting magazines (note: magazines, not books. Maybe it’s just me, but I can not concentrate on a long book after giving birth. Waayyyy too many pages and too little sleep for that. I’m all about zoning out on facebook, watching netflix, or looking at magazines those first few weeks). Speaking of Netflix, go and find some interesting shows and bookmark them. Go ahead and save some cute little kid shows for your toddler, too, because he or she will likely be watching a lot of tv and don’t you dare feel guilty about it! Hopefully your toddler isn’t all about the singing trucks, like my kiddo was when my second was born. I might have had trucks singing in my dreams after a few weeks of nonstop singing-truck-watching. I also highly recommend ordering a six foot charging cable for your phone and plugging it into your new peaceful spot, so that you don’t find yourself tethered to a chair with a dead phone. Stocking a basket with diapers, a couple of onesies, a million burp clothes, some hand cream, a Burt’s Bees chapstick, a few water bottles, and these delicious pomegranate clusters and snacking chocolate will not go unappreciated as well. A cozy blanket (and remote control for the TV) for you and your spot is COMPLETE!
Bonus tips! I asked my friends on Instagram what tops their list of most important things to do before giving birth and I got a great variety of answers. Vija recommended going swimming to take the weight off your feet and help stretch out your hips in a completely enjoyable way. She also loved sitting down to read a book for long, uninterrupted chunks in the evening while she still could! Monika sang praises about soaking her swollen feet in lavender foot baths – not only did it help her feet, but it also relaxed her before bed. Mariana swears by regular girls’ night outs, since she knows she’ll have a small baby attached to her 24-7 before long (so soon!). And Gaja reminded me that getting a haircut is another great way to pamper yourself before being consumed by all things baby! Thanks for your input, guys! xox
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