I've noticed a trend amongst my doula clients... when they reach that magical 40 Week Due Date on their calendars, they feel dissappointed or stressed that their baby hasn't made it earthside yet.
(I'm not going to go into the reasons for why it's okay to go past 40 weeks or how to talk to your provider about that... I'm saving that for another post).
But, to stay sane after you hit that 40 week mark, there are many things I recommend my pregnant clients do:
1. Don't go overboard trying to "naturally" induce (unless you have a provider who has given you a strict deadline and you feel the need to do so to avoid a Pitocin Induction, if you are hope to avoid such). I know so many of you are tempted to walk up the tallest hill in town. Or have sex 100 times a day. Or drink 20 gallons of red raspberry leaf tea. Or do a million squats. Sure, all of these things will help prime your body. But, LISTEN TO ME: Your body will not go into labor until it's ready. And that's OKAY! (In fact it's a GOOD thing for baby!).
Plus, stressing and focusing on all of those induction techniques may physically and emotionally wear you out so much so that when labor does actually begin, you may be super exhausted.
2. Focus on enjoying your family at the size it is right now. If this is your first baby, you'll never again be a family of just you and your partner. Soak that in. Enjoy it. Do special projects together. Take special pictures. Go on lots of dates. If this is your 2nd+ baby, have precious alone time with your other child/children. Buy some non-toxic super safe watercolor paints and have them paint on your belly. Or go for a walk. Just breathe it in.
3. Keep busy if that helps you; relax if that helps you. Some moms (like me) need to stay busy to be calm. Some moms need to stay not-busy to help them be calm. Find that place and do it. If doing 100 freezer meals helps, do it. BUT DO NOT OVERWORK YOURSELF. You will need energy for labor. Please remember this!
4. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Did I mention that you'll need energy for labor? I think so! It is so important that you are sleeping and resting a ton, not only to store up energy for the labor but also for after baby is born.
5. Go on a Social Media Hiatus. Don't log onto Facebook or check Twitter or Instagram until after your baby is born, because people will hound you will messages and comments like, "Have you had that baby yet?" or "How long are they going to 'let you' go before inducing you" or "Aren't you worried your baby will be too big". You don't need the added stress! Just don't even go there.
I hope those tips help!
If you need a Knoxville Doula or a Chattanooga Doula (or any area in between) fill out the form below and I'll get back with you ASAP with more info!