Sleep like you have never slept before! Get into your old teenage habits and turn off that alarm or press snooze five times too many - why? Because you can - soon, you can’t.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy escape, but try to get away, use some annual leave before baby arrives and spend some good, quality, relaxed time with your partner or friends. Even though trips with your little one will be INCREDIBLE, they will be tricky at times and not so 'relaxing'. Spend time sun-bathing without sand being thrown at you or have a nice meal at a restaurant without having to breastfeed mid-meal!
Could possibly be the last thing you feel like doing, but it helps. With everything. Carrying your baby to term, surviving labour and post baby recovery. Having strength and stamina is a huge advantage. Exercise doesn't need to be intense, but make it consistent, buddy up if you need to. Walks, swimming, yoga, and prenatal pilates are my personal faves during pregnancy!
4. Take photos!
Pre-bump, growing-bump, big bump. You will honestly at some point miss your bump and it is amazing to look back and see what your body achieved. It could even make you feel better about those stretch marks or newly acquired squishy bit - because seeing what your body has accomplished is amazing!
While you’ve got it, flaunt that bump ladies! I was so nervous about growing and showing my baby bump first time around! Not wanting attention or comments, even though I loved being pregnant it was hard to enjoy the beauty that is pregnancy at times. All bumps little, big, high, low, hairy, stretch marked - are amazing...you have a mini you growing inside you!
Some baby items are expensive if you are wanting to buy new. Cots, bassinets, capsules, car seats, strollers and breast pumps are all higher ticket items so when a sale pops up - take advantage - even if you aren’t due for a while.
Pre-pack a hospital bag and ‘survival kit’ for your partner/birth partner! You don’t want to be caught out having to pack a bag when you should be focusing on labouring. When doing this it’s a good idea to find out what you do and don’t need when it comes to nappies/wipes/pads etc at your hospital or birthing centre so you don’t take unnecessary items.
If there is one in your area, I can’t recommend pre-natal yoga enough! Learning to breathe properly and learning to talk yourself through labour and trust your body are both fundamentals that may just be what help you through.
Correct stretching, body alignment and pelvic floor exercise help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and will help with incontinence and postnatal recovery.
8. Read up
Got some spare time in the evenings? Read up on breastfeeding and baby sleep, what’s normal, what’s not, what might help.
Whether you are looking to birth at home, at a birthing centre or in hospital , make sure you have checked them out with your partner or birth partner. Being familiar and comfortable with the birth facilities, environment, staff, visiting hours, distance to hospital, proximity to home, food, policies - and most importantly drop off and parking!
Although we are made to give birth and nurture our babies - it can be tough going! The early days particularly when you are sore from giving birth and getting used to the full change in life you experience in an instant. Add baby blues and possible difficulties into the mix and you may feel overwhelmed, emotional or lonely.
Remember these feelings are all completely normal but it is important to surround yourself with support - take a nap or shower when you can for your mental health. Before baby arrives it is a fab idea to do some prep - stock the pantry with good food and make a few purchases for yourself - nice shampoo, some nice breastfeeding clothes, a nice face wash, nail polish - whatever will help you feel more human!
Written by Laura Lucas
Director, Milkbar Maternity & Breastfeeding
*this post has been provided by and shared with permission from Laura, you can read the original article on the Milkbar website HERE.