You know your estimated due date, but we know that is not an expiration date. It’s an estimate, a date given based on averages. Will you have your baby before or after that EDD? When the magical dates comes and goes you may find yourself feeling as if you will be waiting for baby forever.
So, how do I wait patiently for baby to be ready? I need something to do, something to focus on!
Lots of people will tell you to get out there and walk, walk, walk. Dance, and squat and bounce up and down on your birthing ball. Eat pineapple, eat shellfish, eat something spicy. And since you’re probably feeling really romantic (insert eye roll) how about a roll in the hay?
Well, yes, walking is good for your heart and your body in general. But you do have a big physical event coming up. So make sure you aren’t wearing yourself out. Dancing and squatting – same idea. Don’t strain yourself. Eating is good, sex can be good, but you may or may not feel like doing much of either.
So what do I recommend for while you are waiting for baby? Let your heart smile! Whatever makes you happy, whatever makes you smile, makes you laugh, makes you feel loved and content.
Celebratory meal and birth team treats.
If you love to bake or cook, take a stroll through the grocery store, grab some ingredients and get that apron on. Do people still wear aprons? Consider baking some bread, or muffins that can be frozen and pulled out during labor to thaw. Think of a casserole or lasagna that you love, and make a batch of each. Freeze them and stick one in the oven to be finished as a celebratory meal when baby arrives. Your birth team will love to celebrate with you, or enjoy some goodies with you while you labor. You can also bake or cook while you are in labor. Baking or cooking can take your mind off of labor, and make your heart happy.
Movie and popcorn and a snuggle on the couch.
Gather together a dozen of your favorite movies. Movies that make you belly laugh, or that make you cry with joy. Pop some popcorn and snuggle up with your favorite person, or furry friend, and enjoy. Spending time each day to kick back and watch a favorite can help you relax. If you are in labor, keep the flicks running. A good release of emotion can help labor progress, and helps with pain management. Snuggling just makes everything better.
Make encouragement notes for yourself.
You don’t have to be artistic! Write or type out some words or phrases or encouragement, pieces of scripture or quotes that make your heart smile, and will be a good reminder and source of encouragement while you are in labor. The act of finding the words, and creating the pages can help you prepare and feel more at ease with your upcoming labor. You can put them in frames around the room, or tape them to the wall. When you are in labor, spend time going from page to page, thinking on the words, soaking them in.
Write a letter.
Get out the pen and paper and write a letter to the baby you will soon be holding in your arms. Tell them how you’re feeling – even the frustrating parts. Tell them what you think they might be like, or what you wish for them. Put a date on it – but don’t seal the envelope. If you are waiting for baby, add a new paragraph each day until baby arrives. Talking through these thoughts can be a good emotional release and bring joy to your heart.
Whether you are waiting for baby or in labor, pamper yourself. A facial, a massage, a pedicure. These can be done at your favorite spa, or at home. Don’t forget a hot cup of tea, and relax.
Your doula can help you with additional ideas, and might even be up for some baking or pedicures! Ask a friend over, make plans with your partner and do something that makes you happy. When you feel very happy, or when you have a good emotional release your body releases oxytocin. It’s the love hormone, the hormone that makes us feel good inside. It also has an effect on baby, and on labor. So whatever makes your heart smile while waiting for baby, go for it!