One of the things we recommend to our clients is that they plan some special activities for the time when they start to feel particularly distracted by their eagerness for Baby’s arrival. For example, we always suggest a special date to celebrate the arrival of your estimated due date. It’s hard to not get emotionally focused on this date, even though the average gestation for babies is around 41 weeks. We think it’s helpful to prepare for your “due date” to come… and go. Many of our clients want to let labor start naturally, so it’s good to be prepared for that to be as late as 42 weeks. Make a plan to keep yourself busy and fill your waiting days with activities that promote oxytocin, good fetal positioning, and relaxation.
As you're reaching full term, hopefully you’re off work and you can take the time to enjoy this time to nurture, nourish and pamper yourself! You deserve it! Try alternating movement with rest and keep up with hydration (aim for a gallon/day) and nutrition. Anxiously wishing for labor and over-focusing on warm up contractions will add unnecessary stress. It’s not difficult to fill your days with movement, rest, hydration, nutrition and joy, although it may require a mental/emotional shift.
As I write this post, Kersti is 41 weeks pregnant with Baby #2, affectionately called Squish. We’ve had an absolutely lovely time practicing what we preach in regard to keeping busy and distracted as we wait for Squish to come to the party. From family-vacation-day to massages and floats to daily walks to different places (often involving favorite foods), Kersti has filled these last couple weeks with joy and rest. It’s helpful that she has a partner and local family and friends who are able to support and/or join in. Invite your tribe to help you find joy in waiting.
Here is our list of things to do while waiting. I’ve checked off the ones Kersti has done herself while we wait, mostly patiently *wink, on Squish’s perfect timing.
MAKE IT SPECIAL
Family-vacation-day √ – Can your partner take a day off for you to plan a special vacation day together?
Hotel night – Escape to a special hotel or local air bnb for a night or two. Might be especially nice if you have out of town guests in your house. *Bonus points if you swim.
Family park play √ – Explore a new park. Vasona has paddle boats. *Bonus points for walking to the park.
We had lunch at Sweet Peas in Los Gatos, then walked .5 mile to Bachman Park for play at a novel neighborhood park and then down Santa Cruz Ave where we stopped for gelato!
Nap! √ – ALWAYS a good choice. *Bonus points for outside in the sun. Double bonus for sustained contact with the earth.
Labor ready massage √ – Referrals: Mari Freitas (in home) 650-245-8290 / Julie Leffmann (in home) 408-529-8031 www.withmyowntwohands.net or at Verde Touch Spa www.verdetouch.com
Myofascial Release with Wendy √ – Relax while Wendy invites your connective tissue to “let go” and find more balance. www.southbaybirthservices.com/bodywork
Acupuncture √ – a relaxing choice for most people that can also nudge labor along. We like www.numoacupuncture.com (they have night and weekend hours).
Float √ – The Float Station in downtown Campbell will help you get out of gravity in a whole new way.
Spinning Babies™ Preparation √ – Three Sisters™ found on www.spinningbabies.com may help Baby engage and Rebozo Sifting and Sidelying release feel soooo yummy.
Listen to a mindfulness or hypnosis tracks √ – We love the GentleBirth app, check out the free trial. *Bonus points for diffusing some Clary Sage essential oil while you breathe in deep relaxation for body and mind.
Binge watch your favorite Netflix show √ – Remember to rest smart by lying on your side, sitting on your ball, or sitting backwards in a chair. *Bonus points for comedy that make you laugh out loud.
Watch your wedding video (or other videos of happy/romantic occasions) with your partner.
We even got to do some wedding dress and flower girl shopping, complete with an ice cream trip! K is 40+5 in this picture and having off an on contractions – so the happy shopping was a great distraction.
Hiking – A Google search will turn up so many easy access trails in the south bay. We love the easy 2 mi loop up to and around the farm at Rancho San Antonio County Park.
Dancing √ – Get your groove on! *Bonus points for family dancing. Double bonus for sexy dancing. Dancing on the ball also counts!
Too bad you can’t hear Flo Rida and Violet singing Low, lol!
Yoga and stretching
Swimming – Floating and gentle swimming (avoid the kick done with breaststroke as it’s not good for the pubis symphysis. Swimming is also good for helping you maintain amniotic fluid levels.
Walking at the beach
Walking the golf course – For non-golfers, “Foot Golf” is a fun alternative available at Pruneridge golf course in Santa Clara.
Walking to coffee in the morning, meals out, frozen yogurt/ice cream, etc. √√√
All the walking…
Walking to get groceries to make a special meal or dessert √
Walking to the library √
Walking at night before bed √ – *Bonus points for barefoot under the full moon.
Entertainment √ – You might not want to buy tickets in advance, but perhaps last minute seats to a concert or a show? (We got last minute tickets for Disney on Ice)
Live music, theater or a fun movie location – *Bonus points for parking some blocks away from your destination.
Game night – YOU get to choose the games!
Creative Arts √ – Color book? Affirmations? Go to Michaels and find a fun, crafty project.
Kersti did water colors with Violet and then wrote her affirmations on them and displayed them with twine and clothes pins.
Work on a family photo album, scrapbook or project – *Bonus points for learning more about your family tree and the birthing women who came before you.
Nest √ – Decorate and clean and fold all those tiny onesies.
Cook favorite meals or bake favorite desserts √ – *Bonus points for cooking naked with your partner.
Garden – *Bonus points for incorporating deep squats or hands and knees (with a few cat-cows thrown in for good measure!)
Shower with your partner *Bonus points for sex
Extended hugs (20 seconds or more) and/or slow dancing √
Remember to alternate movement and rest. Choose activities that promote oxytocin (joy, family, intimacy), good fetal positioning (walking, bodywork, yoga), and relaxation (all the naps!) *Note: Some of these ideas are also good for early labor.
What were your favorite things to do while waiting for Baby?