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Maybe it’s because they don’t know that the average baby comes somewhere between 2-8 days past your due date, depending on which study you look at.

Maybe it’s because strangers in the grocery store didn’t read that labor is started by proteins in your baby’s lungs.

Whatever the reason, it can be disheartening to have people draw attention to the fact that your due date has passed and you are still pregnant. This weird bit of limbo, where you’ve been told you could have your baby “any day now” for weeks, and yet you know that it could still be another week or two before you are holding your sweet baby in your arms.

But what if you thought of this time differently?

What if you looked at this as the last few days of enjoying your family as it is before you add one (or two or three!) more?

What if you really soaked it in? What would it look like to ENJOY these final days of pregnancy? How would it feel to:

  • Go on one last date night with your partner without needing to find a babysitter who knows how to take care of a newborn (pro tip: use a postpartum doula when that day comes!).
  • See an art gallery without strapping a baby to your body or pushing a stroller.
  • Get a pedicure and a manicure.
  • Enjoy reading a book uninterrupted (unless, of course, you already have small children!).
  • Curl up on the couch and watch a movie (bonus points if it’s either really funny or really sappy; both laughing and crying promote the release of oxytocin, an important hormone for labor!).
  • If you have kids, take them on a parent/kid date! Go to the museum, take them to a coffee shop and let them get a drink and play a board game, go see a movie together.
  • If you don’t have kids, meet up for a friend date!. Go to the coffee shop, get together and chat, play some board games, whatever is an enjoyable way to bond. Friend dates become more challenging with a baby; take this time to let your friends know they will continue to be important to you even if you don’t see each other as often as you would like.
  • Have friends over! Do something easy, like a potluck, or have everyone bring an ingredient and make a stir fry. Really good friends may even think to bring a meal for your freezer for after baby!

The days of pregnancy limbo can be physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging. A lot of people look for ways of inducing labor naturally at this time, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But my hope for you is that by choosing to see each day as an opportunity to connect with someone important in your life (whether it’s your partner, your kid(s), your friend(s), or yourself!) that the days are easier to bear. These days are short, and before you know it, you’ll be meeting your sweet baby (or babies!) earthside.

xoxo,
-Kate

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About Kate Herzel

Kate Herzel is the co-owner of Heartland Doulas alongside Stacy Ash, and together with their combined 20 years of experience and 7 doulas, they help people have really amazing birth and postpartum experiences. In her spare time, Kate enjoys cooking with her kids, brewing beer with her husband, and entertaining for her friends.