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What to do & not do while waiting for baby

By September 05, 2017 ,

When I went on maternity leave at 36 weeks, I was convinced I only had a week or two before baby made an appearance. All the women in my family had had their babies around the 38 week mark, so, I'd follow suit, surely?

Surely not, as it turned out.

Little one arrived at 40 weeks + 3 much to my dismay. That meant I had over 4 long weeks of maternity leave with no baby. I did things I should have done and plenty of things I probably shouldn't have. Here's what I got up to.

Pregnant woman wearing white holding a white baby's sleep suit


For some reason I thought it would be a great idea to watch One Born Every Minute on a loop, courtesy of All4. In hindsight this wasn't a good idea at all. I terrified myself, I changed my birth plan every other episode and I freaked my other half out my making him watch it with me each evening too.

The first birth I watched on that show is etched in my mind for life. I can still see the faces of the mother and father and out of all the couples I watched during those 4 weeks, they're the only couple I vividly remember. I cried watching her labour and birth and not because of how beautiful it was watching this lady bring a brand new life into the world. No, I cried for pure selfish reasons, because I was scared and there was no way that I could do what that women had just done.

The next thing I did, which I definitely shouldn't have done was Google every sign of impending labour. Doing this, I convinced myself at least twice a day that I was definitely going into labour and that baby would be here within 24 hours. Alas, not a single one of the 'signs' I had were signs of labour. In fact my actual labour started pretty quickly and when it did start, I KNEW it was labour.

So what should you do in the weeks before birth?

Sleep, rest, relax and bounce, that's what.

Take as many naps as you can. I found I slept better for periods during the day when my other half was at work than at nighttime when he was here.

If you can't sleep, rest. Get as comfortable as you can, wherever works best for you. I spent a lot of time in the bath reading. One morning I got up at 4am and had a bath because I just couldn't relax in bed. Paige Toon's books definitely helped me escape during those last few weeks of pregnancy. If you've not read them, I'd definitely recommend them.
Multi coloured gym balls stacked on a metal shelf
Get a gym ball and bounce. I picked this one up from Argos for £7.99. These are meant to help baby get in the optimum position for birth. My little one was in the right position when I went into labour, but whether it had anything to do with the ball or not may have just been a coincidence. Nonetheless, I found the gym ball was the only place I could comfortably sit on some days and on others I was in sheer agony on it.

What did you do whilst waiting for baby to make an appearance? Is there anything you wish you had or hadn't done?

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