At about 30 weeks I made a list of everything I wanted to get done before baby came. I wanted to prepare, as I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to do most of the things I normally get done in a day. Here are some of the items I did before hand that was actually helpful.
Freezer meals – the hype is true. It was so much easier not to worry about what to make every night. Start small and do a couple meals a day for a week or two and you will feel better. I don’t love some of the pinterest blogs that have 50 meals in a day, that’s too much. I also made different healthy muffin recipes and froze them for snacks to have out for whenever I felt hungry.
Cleaning crew– it was a good idea to have a cleaning company come in a couple weeks before baby. It wasn’t like I didn’t have to clean at all after baby but it did help with only having to do very little in the first few weeks.
Haircut and color – I might not get my hair cut as often as others so going this chore before the baby came was a good way to keep it off my to do list in the few months after baby was born.
Addresses for birth announcement – I got together all the addresses of the family and friends I wanted to send baby announcements to in the few weeks before baby came. I printed them out on labels so all I had to do is stick them on the envelopes. Perfect time saver.
Stock up on house hold items – I took a day a couple weeks before baby’s due date to stock up on items around the house like COFFEE, laundry detergent, toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, pads, diapers, wipes, shampoo and conditioner. If you don’t have time to do this, usually it’s easy enough to find friends or family to do a shop for you in the first couple weeks after birth.
Look into/ Contacted Newborn Photographers – Most newborn photographers like having your session 7-14 days after your baby is born. I didn’t really know how a lot of people felt up to taking photos such a short time after birth yet alone doing all the research just days after birth. Once we decided on a photographer I contracted her to let her know of the date and find out what to do next. I specifically wanted my photos out of the house so I mentioned my preferences at this time as well.
Drinking a sip of water after ever contraction. Sometimes I would throw it up but it was good to try to get hydration. A hydrated cervix is a happy cervix
“low-sugar” Electro light drinks like coconut water and Ener-C
Urinating every 30 mins or more often in early labour when I left I needed to.
“Mood” Lighting – Keeping the lights dim. Closing me eyes during every contraction and really focusing on controlled breathing.
Essential Oils – Diffusing essential oils to help with relaxation and stress
My Birth Partner – Having my husband there to support me through contractions and be on the same page as to what I wanted to accomplish. Words of encouragement are a huge motivation.
Moving into Different Positions- squatting, child pose over birthing ball, laying on my side, leaning against my birth partner, lunging up the stairs and leaning against the shower wall
Bath/ shower – The hot shower on my back helped during contractions for my back labour. The bath was good to get into different positions that were hard out of the water due to pain or the heaviness of my pregnant body.
Inspirational music. I played Christian music during my whole labour. Some songs that always help me through rough situations are below.
Oceans – Hallsong
Sprit lead me where my trust is without boarders let me walk upon the waters whenever you would call me. My faith will be made stronger in the presences of my savior
He Said- Group 1 Crew
He said I wont give more, more then you can take and I might let you bend but I wont let you break. I wont ever let you go., don’t you forget what he said.
Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli
Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Let us become more aware of your presences.
On December 28, 2016, I reached my 34th week of pregnancy with only 42 days till my due date. Baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. My sweet niece that is now 5 years old was born at 34 weeks and I think back at that 5lb baby and I cant believe that is was it rocking and rolling inside me.
Sleep has become a challenge as finding a comfortable position is harder then ever. Muscles are feeling tight and sore in many areas of my body and when people say that February is so soon I can’t seem to agree wen I am laying a wake at 3am. Perhaps this lack of rest is our bodies’ way of preparing me for the many nightly wake up calls that are rapidly approaching.
Breathlessness. This baby seems to like pushing against my lungs, diaphragm and rib cage. There really isn’t anything you can do however, f you’re pregnant for the first time, your baby is likely to drop down into your pelvis around 36 weeks, this is when the breathlessness might ease. The only other thing that I find works a bit is holding your hands over your head when you try to take a big deep breathe.
Nesting. I want to get everything clean, put away and organized. I know this is a normal part of getting ready for your little one but I’m sure I don’t need to fold the same sleepers 5 times. Some say an increase in the amount of adrenaline coursing through your system around 37 – 39 weeks of your pregnancy probably contributes to this final frenzy, but the emotional factors are just as strong and its productive, But don’t be upset if the nesting urge doesn’t strike you at all. That’s perfectly normal, as well, and doesn’t at all indicate a problem.
Most people know that you need to be completely informed about all your pregnancy care options but did you know that you have labor and delivery options that need your knowledge just as much?
When I comes to labour and delivery most people seem to expect their prenatal care provider to inform them of their option and what will work best for you, but shouldn’t you know what’s best of you and your baby? In todays society it seems there is still fear and anxiety around labor and delivery, especially with natural care, labour and delivery options. Fear and its associated stress can also cause more serious problems that may contribute to both early and late deliveries, smaller babies, a higher risk for an emergency Cesarean section. Why not get out there and find the information that can save your labor and delivery from the horror section of recaps?
Most women who have there births in the hospital think that the nurses or doctors will tell you how to labour properly and they know best when it comes to happy mom and baby, but why? You know your body and baby best, don’t you? Most hospital practices are meant as a general for everyone but you can have a say in how you want your experience to be. Here are some things that most women don’t know:
Did you know you could turn down the lights in your hospital room? The main hormone that helps you to labour effectively is called oxytocin. It shapes the frequency, length and strength of your contractions, and works best if you feel calm, safe and relaxed.
**Labour Partners – Even just being near your wife during labour can help with natural flow of oxytocin. Want to be more helpful? find out how your partner likes to be touch while experiencing their painful contractions and use supportive language.
Did you know you could limit vaginal exams? Stress and anxiety make your body produce fight-or-flight hormones, such as adrenaline. Vagina exams can make your body feel vulnerable and actually stopping the oxytocin flow and in turn slowing down your progression in labour.
Hospitals only look at dilation as progression but did you know that other factors are just as important? Hospital staff will offer you medications and C-sections based on failure to dilate in the labouring hours but there are other questions you can ask to determine for yourself if you are progressing in other aspects. Before you make a decision you can ask, has my effacement improvement? This refers to the thinning of your cervix; if it has improved then yes you have made some progress. What is the station of my baby? This refers to the depth of your baby in your pelvis, if you baby is deeper, then yes you have made progress. Has my baby moved position? This refers to the position of how you baby is facing.
Of course everyones main focus is health baby and mom, if your baby isn’t reacting poorly to the contractions then you are safe to say that you want to continue to labour natural before having interventions.
Did you know most moms go to the hospital to early? Most parents are eagerly waiting for the day labour begins but you will labour better in your home environment. Most women show up at the hospital only 2cm dilated, most are thinking they need to be at the hospital to be monitored and this is a safer environment for labour. Your labour will slow once you are at the hospital due to many factors that your body does automatically. As a general rule, you don’t need to travel to your place of birth until contractions are 4 minutes apart; lasting 1 minute and it has been that way for 1 hour. Telling signs from the mother includes mom in the zone and non-verbal, moaning in the contractions, losing modesty (clothes are coming off) and she has no desire to eat anymore.
In doing the early labour at home you can progress you labour nicely with a better chance of avoiding hospital intereventions.
Did you know that hydration and urination are key? A hydrated cervix is a happy cervix! During labour the cervix is the largest muscle in your body and its working very hard to push your baby down into a good position. Reward your self with a drink after every contraction. This can be a simple sip of water or you can go for a low sugar electrolyte options like coconut water or Ener-C packs.
During labour a women wont feel the need to pee so partners need to be there to remind her go to the washroom every 30-60 mins. Think this is excessive? Maybe but can you imagine the pain of a full bladder being pushed on by a baby and your cervix? Plus most women are happy to avoid having catheters inserted when its discovered how full your bladder is but you can’t urinate on your own due to baby’s position.
By being a little more informed about your choices during labour, you could make decisions that you feel informed in turning your delivery story into a positive memory.
After having conversations with my husband, I found out that he thinks I know whats going 100% of the time. He was under the impression that I know the changes my body is going through and I know what to except. This is NOT TRUE so here are a couple things I feel the dads-to-be need to know.
We Are Just As Confused as You Are… No matter how much we wish we could help you understand what is happening, more often than not we wish we knew ourselves. Pregnancy runs us through the wringer—physically, mentally, and emotionally. So no, we don’t know why one day something is appetizing and the next we cant look at it. We don’t know why one minute we feel good and the next we feel huge. And yes, sometimes we need to pee even when we just came out of the washroom.
We Are So Tired … Even though it looks like we’re doing nothing, our bodies are doing a crap-ton behind the scenes. We’re growing an entire person. We hate feeling tired and exhausted and suddenly needing to nap at two in the afternoon. Add older kids with a second, third or forth pregnancy and you might start to understand why we’re left feeling a little run down.
Every Pregnancy Is Different… Regardless of what you’ve heard or experienced with pregnant women, every pregnancy is unique. Even with women being pregnancy for the third or forth time. Some women get odd food cravings but some women don’t even like thinking about food. Some women will bite off your hand if you try to grab a french fry and some women, like myself, will happily share. So no, we aren’t all crazy about food.
We Can Feel Insecure … Even though we are so excited about our little one, we can feel insecure about our bodies and abilities along the way. One day we could feel great in a fitted shirt showing off our baby bump and the next we could just feel huge. Try to be as understanding and supportive as you can even when you don’t get what’s going on with us from on minute to the other.
We Need You To Go With The Flow… I never know how I’m going to feel from day to day. I don’t know if I’ll want to do some crazy cleaning around the house or if I’m going to want to lay in bed all day and watch Netflix in-between naps. Pregnancy is suppose to help prepare us for motherhood—those frequent nighttime bathroom breaks prep us for night feedings and that morning sickness we battle gets us well-acquainted with bodily fluids—it also prepares you for fatherhood. The best thing you can do is learning to go with the flow to prepare you for the baby that will soon make days crazier.