I've written this blog especially with my mamas who are approaching, at, or past their 'estimated due date' in mind!
Congratulations Mama, you are almost there! Within a number of days, you are going to be snuggling with your beautiful little one, breathing in that gorgeous new baby smell :)
And that is exactly what I want you to focus on. It's generally at this stage when heavily pregnant women who are right near, or have passed, their 'estimated due date', get understandably really frustrated. They just want this baby outta here! I totally understand, I do.
However, I'd like you to flip your mindset for a moment, and instead of thinking negatively, and feeling incredibly impatient, I'd love you to start looking forward to your baby's birth. Understand that within days, or weeks, you ARE going to be a new mama. Take a moment to bring your hands down onto your belly, and take a big deep breath in, and a very long exhale. Do that three times, with a half-smile on your face and repeat quietly 'my healthy baby is coming'. Understand that right now, baby is doing exactly what baby is meant to be doing and all is well.
Don't forget that your Pregnancy is considered full-term any time between weeks 37 to 42. So 41+5 days might be your normal, full-term, or 37+2 might be full-term for you and your baby! Even though it is tough, DO NOT get hooked on your specific due date. Only 4% of babies are actually born on their estimated due date...and it is absolutely only an estimate!
Remember that the beautiful hormone of love, oxytocin, is the hormone that moves along your labour and progresses your dilation. This hormone is shy and does not like the limelight. So in order for it to flourish, you need to create a really warm, safe and loving environment. Remember that oxytocin is present after an orgasm and during intimate moments with your partner. I call it your 'Love Nest', and that is what you want to re-create at home.
If you are in a position whereby your hospital is telling you that you will have to be induced if baby doesn't appear by a certain date, that can be hard to manage emotionally. At a time when you are trying to stay relaxed, this can in fact just make you more anxious. What I would say is to remember that YOU ARE IN CONTROL of all the decisions pertaining to your birth and or induction. If you have a situation where you feel you are being 'forced' into an early induction, NOT based on medical grounds, then it's up to YOU to stand up and ask my favourite question - 'WHY'! Note that you should always go with your gut feeling and please remember that your baby should be moving all throughout your pregnancy, as you head into labour AND during labour. That's super important. So as long as you feel well within yourself and your baby is happy and moving, then consider all your options.
So, how can you naturally encourage your baby to 'get going'? Baby will move when they are ready, but here are some things to do when faced with a looming induction:
Ultimately, it is now thought that baby releases a protein when the lungs are ready, which triggers labour. Obviously we have no impact on this, but do remember R.U.M. - if you can keep Relaxed, Upright and Mobile, your body and mind will be open and ready for your birth journey.
p.s. the picture on this blog is of me on my 'estimated due date' with baby Nico, 3 days before I gave birth :-)
Helen Plass is a Pre & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, and Yoga Instructor, working with women and their birthing partners to achieve a comfortable, healthy & happy journey into Pregnancy, birth and Motherhood. She is a mother of three boys, all birthed naturally, and is known for her very practical & non-judgmental approach to pregnancy and the crazy times of motherhood. Check out all her communication at NurtureMamas.com.