I’ve been there. I know how you feel. Your care provider gave you a “due date” and now it’s come and gone. What’s a mama to do? I’ve complied a short list of things NOT to do and to DO during this waiting time….
1. DON’T just start pushing! Clearly this is a joke and although tempting, simply won’t work. Labor has to start and your cervix will dilate (open) and efface (thin out) and when you are “complete” you can push your baby out. Hang in there!
2. DON’T sit around bummed that you’re still pregnant. Go on about your life. Stay busy. The days seem long and pointless if you mope around your house wondering why baby hasn’t come yet. (I know from experience, unfortunately.)
3. DON’T listen to induction talk. I know that you are tired of being pregnant and ready to meet your baby but remember that babies always come out! This is such good news! Don’t feel pressured by to get this show on the road. Being induced greatly increases your risks of needing further interventions that may have not been part of your birth plan. Be patient.
4. DON’T go on a 5 mile hike to get labor started. Sure, walking and being active is good during pregnancy and even in early labor but if you aren’t used to long hikes then you run the risk of wearing yourself out before labor has been begun. There is no way to know how long your labor will be or when it will begin so becoming exhausted and sore before you even start is not recommended and runs the risk of needing interventions.
5. DON’T vent about being overdue on social media. Let’s just not open ourselves up to everyone’s opinion about what you should be doing to get your baby out of your body.
Now some things that are good TO DO!
1. DO enjoy this time! Don’t look at me like that. I know, I know. Your ankles are swollen, your back hurts, and you can’t sleep. I’ve been there….six times. But try. There’s nothing sweeter than a mama with a bun in the oven doing life as she waits for that exact moment when baby signals to her body that she’s ready come earthside. Pregnancy is really a very short time that you get to hold, nourish, and love your baby in such an intimate way.
2. DO take care of yourself! Get a pedicure, get a massage, shop for you (not baby!), or go grab some lunch with a friend. Don’t forget about your needs during these last weeks/days.
3. DO let the emotions flow! Cry, complain, journal, whatever you need to. There are so many crazy hormones and emotions rushing through our bodies (well, always, but specifically during pregnancy) and sometimes they just need to be freed! So do it! It’s good for your emotional health and that’s good for labor. Some women find they go into labor after a good, hard cry! Let the tears flow, mama, if that’s what you need!
4. DO date your husband! *wink wink* It will be awhile before you get to date again so do it now! Have fun together. Life is about to change (for the better!) so enjoy just being with one another.
5. DO get a pep talk! Sometimes we just need someone to remind us why it’s good to wait for baby, how his lungs are developing and his brain is growing during these last days. Call your doula or sympathetic friend who can lift your spirits and put things back in perspective.
Much love to you, mamas! Your baby will be here before you know it!
Written by Cheryl Amelang, a member of our Headquarters team, trainer, and childbirth educator.