Those last couple of weeks of pregnancy – what to do...

birth preparation Jun 04, 2017

You’re 38 weeks pregnant, you feel enormous, in fact you feel a bit like a whale, a sweaty whale, a whale who can’t put her socks on anymore (if whales had feet), a whale who finds it really hard to turn in bed at night and keeps waking up to pee, a whale who adores her little bubba inside but can’t wait until the thing comes out…any of this sound familiar?

Even though pregnant mamas have been waiting patiently for the arrival of their precious bundle for 9 months, those last couple of weeks seem to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Mamas-to-be can tend to feel so impatient at this stage as obviously they feel big, uncomfortable, achy and blooming irritable. Sometimes this can lead to a negative mindset, and potential conversations with care givers about how to maybe get a ‘helping hand’ in the hope of starting labour early (this generally ain’t a good thing (unless medically necessary) and rarely works, particularly on first time mamas).

So instead of me just telling you to be patient, I’m going to suggest 10 things that you can do which will improve your mindset, help your physical body, and hopefully allow you to become a little more comfortable and a little happier! 

  1. Grab a pen and paper. Go ahead and write down 5 things that you will miss about being pregnant…even if you laugh at that suggestion…go on and try anyway. Perhaps you realize how extremely grateful you are for actually being pregnant in the first place. Maybe it’s the feeling you get when your little one kicks. Then go and write down 5 things that you are so looking forward to about becoming a mama this time around. Just think about those things for a few moments.
  2. Positive affirmations can be an incredibly powerful tool to help create a positive mindset. And it is your mind and your hormones which will control much of your labour! So sit comfortably, close the eyes and focus on your breath. Every inhale, fill the lungs and the whole body with fresh oxygen. With every exhale, let go of any tension in the body. Focus on deepening the breath in and lengthening the breath out. When you are comfortable, repeat these two affirmations daily: 

"As my baby’s birthday draws close, I become more and more relaxed.

I understand that the more relaxed I stay, the easier pregnancy and labour will be."

3. Practice visualizing the positive birth you desire...whatever that birth may be. Before you go to bed every night, I want  you to take 3 big deep breaths in through your nose and long breaths out through your mouth. Allow your body to rest in a comfortable position. Visualize yourself in labour at home, practicing your breathing, your yoga and whatever other tools you have been working on. See yourself moving slowly with every breath, during each contraction. Feel how confident you are. Feel how in control you are. Visualize yourself arriving to hospital, feeling confident, calm and relaxed. How does it smell, what are you wearing, who are you with? Visualiztion is a very powerful tool that professional athletes use to create their winning experience. This is perfectly achievable for you too.

4. Move! Don’t get yourself all stiff and achy in those last few weeks, so stay supple! Even though you may feel whale-like, keep moving! As well as being amazing from your physical and mental well-being, moving around will help get your baby into a good birthing position. Strong walking, yoga and swimming are all fabulous choices for the heavily pregnant lady. Exercise will also allow those natural happy hormones, endorphins, to flow. 

5. Have fun! Whether you spend time with your partner or other children you may have, just understand that you will be extremely tired for those first few weeks and you probably won’t have much quality time to give to your nearest and dearest…so do it now! Do all those simple things that you won’t be able to do in the early days of babyhood…catch a movie, go out to dinner, go for a quiet walk and a cuppa somewhere. Remember, the more relaxed you are, the easier you will find your birthing experience.

6. Squat :) Squatting with your knees lower than your hips will allow baby to move down deeper into the pelvis. Make sure to watch your posture too and avoid slouching back into your chair. Remember hips above your knees.  

7. Do your perineal massage daily…it has been proven to reduce tearing and the need for episiotomies.      

8. Address any concerns you have. Whether it be financial, how you will cope with being at home more, confidence as a mama…anything at all, just make sure to talk it all through with someone close to you so there will be nothing to hold you back from bringing this gorgeous baba into the world. 

9. Read – you won’t have time to for a very long time to come!

10. Have sex! Sperm is the most concentrated source of prostaglandins (the substance given to you in one form of induction), therefore helping a woman’s body to go into labour naturally.

So there you go – 10 enjoyable challenges for you to undertake in those last couple of weeks of pregnancy. I hope you enjoy them!

Here is a video from Facebook Live I did which will talks about what to do in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and also shows you 2 exercises to focus on which will help get baby into a good position AND bring them deeper into the pelvis.

Please do share this post with your friends who might find it useful. What other tips have you to make those impatient moments a little more interesting and fun? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you would like further info on the 7 - Week Prenatal Online Program, please take a look!

Big love x

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 known for her very practical & non-judgmental approach to pregnancy and the crazy times of motherhood. Check out all her communication at NurtureMamas.com, and if you are in Ireland, her local business MumandBaby.ie