While the first few months of pregnancy can be challenging with morning sickness and exhaustion, it is the last month that makes women truly moan and lament. By the final month of pregnancy, that is 36 weeks and on, you’re carrying a full-sized baby, more than a few extra pounds, five pounds of water around each ankle and you’re sporting some serious heartburn, aches, pains and occasional cramps. It’s certainly not easy, but you can make it easier on yourself while you wait to get to motherhood.
Get Shoes with Support Flip-flops are very popular with soon-to-be mothers. While the loose thong sandals are perfect to slide your swollen feet into without bending down for laces and such, these shoes often don’t give your feet enough support. Rather than buying inexpensive flip-flops to survive the last weeks, opt for sandals that have a built in arch support, or loose slides that have arch support as well. Protecting your feet during this, the heaviest part of pregnancy, will help prevent some of the back pain as well.
Lay Down Often That nesting instinct tells you to get busy cleaning up and cleaning out. Indulge the urge to a point, but once you have your house in tip top shape, lie down on your left side to do just about anything else. Lie down to work on the computer, to watch television, to pay bills, to read books. Lying on your left side increases blood flow to all of your body and encourages your baby to wiggle about and kick which is fun, too.
Deal with Details Put together a checklist of all the things you really wanted to get finished before becoming a mother. Technically, many women are concerned term around 37-38 weeks, and more than a few babies come at 36 weeks. Make that list now and make it a point to check things off daily to be sure you have all your mental ducks in a row and your mind is as clear as possible moving into motherhood. For most moms-to-be this includes making a list of things to take to the hospital. Be sure to include your cell phone charger and camera.
Wash and Prepare Your nursery looks lovely most likely, but have you actually prepared it for the arrival of the baby? All clothes, blankets, burp clothes and bedding should be washed in a baby-safe detergent before they come in contact with baby’s sensitive skin. Go through the nursery again with a real eye for cleanliness and readiness. Do you have diapers ready to go? Where are the sensitive wipes? Do you have bottles in the right place? And what about those tiny socks – are they washed and ready? You might be out the door at any time in labor, only to return with a baby who needs a clean diaper, a warm bottle and socks. Better be sure they are ready so you can sleep at night now.
Talk About It This is an intense time for soon-to-be mothers. It’s the point where things become very real, very fast and it can be overwhelming. Use a journal, message boards, blogs and, of course, your best friends and partner as a sounding board for all of your questions and concerns. Your partner might not realize what a peak hormonal and stressful condition you’re in, so be sure to explain that you’re not joking about anything you feel a need to discuss right this minute – even if it’s participation in children’s choir and theories on spanking four years down the road. Hammering out parenting philosophies and other details will actually help your mind be at more ease about the impending arrival.