Personally I don’t like referring to the date a baby is expected to be born as the ‘due’ date. It puts so much pressure on the situation and expectation that the baby WILL be born on that particular date. If baby doesn’t arrive on that date then what? …Waiting, anxiety, increased stress? The gestation period for a baby is around 39 weeks. Some arrive before that, some arrive later. Setting parents expectations (based on average statistics) to one day out of potentially a 3-4 week period is not necessarily helpful, and, in my opinion, wrong.
So, I’m going to call it the ‘guess’ date. Babies after all will be born at a time that the body determines is right. OK so there are exceptions (and sometimes medical reasons), but on the whole, a baby and your body know when it’s time to start making moves.
Once you’ve stopped working, you then have extra time – it’s best to think of that as a good thing, rather than being bored and just waiting waiting waiting. There are always things you can do with yourself that will give you a much more positive final few weeks of pregnancy. Take time to get your head and physical surroundings truly ready. Any last minute preparations (building the cot, painting etc) should be left to your other half or friends (though I’d recommend these are done much further in advance) – this is now time for you to fully relax and connect with your little one.
As long as you are physically capable I say you should MOVE as much as possible. The strategies I teach to my pregnant clients involves a lot of pelvic mobility, breathing, pelvic floor exercises and mental preparation for birth and beyond. Walking is a perfect exercise; as you get to move your body, and be outside in the fresh air (and hopefully the sunshine too). There’s no reason why any activity you’ve been during pregnancy should stop in the final few weeks – as long as it is safe for you and your baby.
If you have a freezer make sure it’s stocked up with batch cooked meals, and anything you can put to use which will save you time later – a good one is bone broth or stock to be used as a base for stews, soups or risottos.
Make sure you are comfortable – this goes for when you are sleeping, sitting and walking around. If you’re not, then look for ways to remove tension in your muscles. Having a pregnancy massage will go a long way towards improving your physical and emotional states.
The most important thing is that you enjoy the time – if you don’t already meditate, learn to. Meditation isn’t necessarily sitting chanting phrases while staring at a candle. You can practice mindfulness in many ways, so it’s worth finding a way that suits how you’re wired. And remember to breath deeply – it works wonders for calming you and reducing stress levels.
- Specific core strengthening and postural exercises, essential to support your growing baby and protect your spine as your centre of gravity alters
- Our specific functional approach to training for pelvic floor muscles, essential to support the weight of the growing baby and prevent problems with continence
- Postural correction, including skilled hands-on massage treatment for soft tissue release, postural realignment and mobilisation
- Education into the physiology of your body so you understand your how it changes during pregnancy
- Strategies for relaxation, visualisation breathing techniques, preparing the mind and body for a positive birth
- A safe and effective post-natal recovery programme tailored to your individual needs