It’s the final countdown to your due date, at last!
If you’re anything like me you’ll feel much better if you can get on and organise your life in these final weeks so that you feel at least a bit prepared for the chaos that’s about to take over!
There are lots of things you can do that aren’t too strenuous or time consuming. These things are aimed at making your life a whole lot easier once your baby arrives.
The last thing you want to be doing is stressing in the first days after your baby is born. You need to get to know your baby and focus on this huge adjustment in your life.
So, here are the things you should be doing in the final weeks leading up to your due date:
Check your hospital bag
Your bag should be packed before the final month, just in case! If it’s not, get it done as soon as you get a few minutes. You never know when you might have to go into hospital for check ups or monitoring, like I did several times in my final weeks of my first pregnancy. I even had to do one overnight stay due to high blood pressure.
If you want advice on packing your bag, check out my hospital bag packing post full of tips on what you need and how to organise it.
Get some lasagne, shepherd’s pie, curry, casseroles and whatever else you can think of to stock your freezer. This will really help in the early weeks with your little one.
The last thing you want to be doing is stressing about what you’re going to eat for dinner.
Check your essentials
Make sure you are well stocked up on things like toilet rolls, cleaning products, and essentials like that. You don’t want to be running to the shops for these items when the baby has arrived.
It’s a good idea to sign up for the online grocery service from whatever supermarket you normally use. These have been amazing for me when I’ve been too tired to make it to the shops. You pick a time slot and the shopping comes to you!
Organise the nursery
Make sure all of the essentials are at hand. Get nappies ready by the changing mat, along with wipes. Get clothes out of their packets and folded in drawers or on shelves.
This isn’t vital, but give it a tidy and make it look nice. I loved sitting in the nursery in the build up to my first baby arriving. You’ll also find it a much nicer room to be in when you’re feeding in the middle of the night if it isn’t littered with boxes and toys.
Wash bottles and get a pump
You may want to sterilise them again before giving them to your baby, but get them out of their boxes and washed first.
All bottles come with instructions on how to wash them thoroughly before their first use. Most suggest placing in boiled water for a few minutes. You can always put them in the dishwasher if you have one.
The pump is a tricky one. They are expensive and if breastfeeding doesn’t work out, you may regret buying it. On the other hand if you’re determined to give breastfeeding a go they can be amazing at helping you build up your supply in the early weeks. I recommend the Medela Swing pump.
Have a plan for what to do when you’re in labour
If you have older children, who are they going to stay with? How will you contact them? Make sure you make all the arrangements with whoever is going to have your older child before labour kicks off. You may end up in a hurry to reach the hospital.
Also have an overnight bag packed for your older child or children. You may want to include a few treats or new pens/colouring books in this to distract them.
You can read more about how to handle introducing your toddler to a newborn sibling in my post here.
Be ready to get out the door at the drop of a hat
This includes having your hospital notes somewhere you won’t forget them, preferably in or with your hospital bag.
It can help to have a urine test pot at home. This is useful if you have to go for a last-minute appointment for monitoring or any other concerns. The medics will always want to test your wee. If you’re anything like me though, you can’t perform on cue. Have it at home so you can wee before you leave and hand your wee over when you arrive.
Spend time with your other children
Plan a few low maintenance trips out to the park or to a local zoo. Take them somewhere fun and enjoy your time with just them.
The baby will take up a lot of your attention and you will feel less guilty about that if you make some extra effort now. Do remember not to overdo it though, you still need to look after yourself.
Get some gentle exercise
It’s a good idea to have a walk every day. Don’t overdo it but keeping fit will help when it comes to labour.
Also it’s never too early to start doing your pelvic floor exercises. Get used to doing them now (simply tighten and release 10 times a few times a day) as you will also need to do them after delivery.
Get early nights and put your feet up whenever you can.
Why not get a manicure or a pedicure? Do something that makes you feel good. Soon a lot of your time and energy will be going into caring for your baby and it will be a while before you can take time for look after you properly.
I hope these tips help and you enjoy the final weeks of your pregnancy!