Even though my son’s due date was in January, I was certain he would be in my arms before the new year. I couldn’t possibly wait any longer for him to arrive, could I? I was busting at the seams (literally…) to meet my child and as 40 weeks of gestation came and went, I became frustrated and joked that I would be pregnant forever.
I spent a lot of time waiting and, honestly, not always truly savoring the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Sound familiar?
I have spent some time thinking about what I might do differently with any future pregnancies and crafted a list of strategies for staying sane after baby’s anticipated arrival date. *Note: Some of these ideas may or may not be feasible if you already have kiddos at home AND I would love it if other mamas share their ideas too.
20 Ways to Stay Sane Past Your Due Date
1. Splurge on a prenatal massage.
2. Start looking for like-minded parenting groups and activities (baby wearing, baby yoga, natural parenting forums) so you will be prepared when you have questions, need support and/or are looking for ideas for getting out of the house with your little one when the time comes.
3. Eat lots of fresh, juicy pineapple. Dip it in melted chocolate for extra fun. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which is great for digestion and possibly even ripening your cervix.
4. Write a letter to your baby. Be sure to thank your baby for teaching you patience.
5. Now, write a letter to all of your friends and family members letting them know that you feel wonderful and will update them with any news about your little one’s arrival. Be sure to emphasize that texts and emails every 5 minutes are not necessary. Really.
6. Perfect your lactation cookie recipe and make a few batches
to eat for the freezer.
7. Cook a fancy, elaborate, colorful and nutritious meal for yourself. Find your inner chef. Eat the meal slowly and relish every bite. This many not happen again for a year or two. *Tip: Rumor has it that Eggplant Parmesan is a meal that can induce labor naturally (we can pretend right?).
8. Take a prenatal yoga class or two or three.
9. Go to a fun movie by yourself. Be sure to sit by the door due to the likelihood of multiple bathroom breaks.
10. Practice guided meditation to stay relaxed–or to help you take a nap.
11. Get a pedicure.
12. Take a long walk. Take your phone with you. In case.
13. Put together a thoughtful thank you package for your doula, midwives and/or other health care providers.
14. Ask your midwife or health care provider about evening primrose oil. Just ask.
15. Color! Find an adult coloring book with beautiful, relaxing designs.
16. Take a warm (not hot) bubble bath with lavender. Set a calming mood with candles, a book of beautiful birth stories and your favorite tunes.
17. Watch your favorite movies about pregnancy and birth. Be sure to include the silly ones so you can laugh to yourself about how unrealistic they are.
18. Go on a special date. With your other children. Your partner. Your best friend. Soak up some quality one-on-one time with these folks before your new arrival.
19. Reminisce. Spend some time looking through your old baby photographs, your partner’s or those of your older children.
20. Remember how wonderful it is that your baby is taking his or her time to grow and develop. Babies born just a few weeks early have an increased risk of poor health outcomes (1) as research now shows an infant’s lungs and brain are not fully developed until 39 weeks (2). So while you may have swollen ankles, utter exhaustion and extreme moodiness (like I did) it may actually pay to wait!
Photo Credit: Richard Leeming via Flickr.com