For those making the wise choice to avoid induction, the last few weeks of a pregnancy can feel like months. Why does time seem to slow to a stop towards the end of pregnancy? Of course, new parents are eager to meet their babies and alleviate some of the discomforts that occur towards the end of pregnancy.
When I have a doula client becoming impatient, bored, or frustrated, I share a few tips that can make the last weeks of pregnancy a bit more light hearted and fun. Babies come when they’re ready, but there is nothing stopping you from being creative and cherishing “the wait”.
Fun and creative tips:
01. Wrap your belly up with a big bow, like a present. Slowly unwrap the bow and tell yourself and your baby that you are mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to meet him or her.
02. Do a bellycast! Have some girlfriends over, share a special moment with your significant other, or have one professionally done. As you wait on baby, decorate your bellycast. One beautiful idea I have been seeing a lot of lately is the idea of a “belly bowl”…similar to a belly cast, but slightly different. With a belly bowl, you do not cast the breasts or arms/hands… just the belly. Once the cast is hardened, you can sand it down, shape it into a bowl, and decorate it as you wish — some are even covered in textures such as copper! When baby arrives, the bowl makes a fabulous photo op. Place baby inside of the belly bowl and snap away with your camera! It can also be used to hold diapers, burp cloths, cute baby booties, etc.
03. Have a birth “blessing”. Again, invite some girlfriends over, close family, or have a private special moment with your significant other. Have a beautiful journal on hand for attendees to write their advice for baby or special messages for baby. Gather some beads and string and have your friends make a necklace or bracelet for you to have at the birth. Ask your circle of loved ones to surround you and blow bubbles on you, or sweep you gently with long feathers, all the while sending you good thoughts and vibes for a light and airy birth experience.
04. Have some professional maternity shots done. This need not be expensive if you are on a budget–ask around for a photographer wishing to expand their portfolio.
05. Try art! Draw on your belly with henna, use non-toxic ink or paint and make a guess as to the baby’s arrival date. Draw an arrow pointing head-down, perhaps with a message of “This way out”. One of my clients was due on Halloween, and her husband drew a spider web on her belly while she was in early labor. Be creative — trace your older children’s hands on your belly.
06. If you are crafty, try crocheting a baby cap, making a nursing cover, a baby bib, or use iron-on patches on some plain burp cloths. Creativity need not be perfect. Enjoy the simple act of creating something handmade.
07. Make a grocery list of your weekly items and then copy a few times. When friends or family offer to run to the store for you once baby arrives you can simply hand them the list without needing to specify necessities.
08. Make a list of errands, household chores, or meals you would like. When someone offers to help or says, “What can I do?” you will have an easy task already for them!
09. Cook and freeze a few meals ahead. Make some cookie dough and freeze it! If you have other little ones, they will enjoy this activity with you and then you will be prepared for a sweet treat without starting from scratch.
10. Even if you can’t reach your toes, fill a bowl with warm water and some yummy smelling bubble bath, salt scrub, or other type of soak. As you sit and relax, feel at one with your baby by knowing that just as your feet are relaxing in warm liquid, so is your baby relaxing in warm liquid. When you are finished soaking your feet, pull them out of the water, feel the change in sensation as they leave the warm water and feel the cooler air hitting your skin. Imagine how your baby will feel moving out of your body, out of the cozy liquid warmth of the womb and feeling the air as he or she draws the first breath, ready to be cradled in your arms.
Remind yourself every day that you are waiting on baby for a reason.. the health of yourself and your child. Stand in front of a mirror and congratulate yourself for making a wise choice. Babies come when they are ready! Enjoy the last moments of carrying them safely inside of your body…for they grow so quickly!
Kimberly Sebeck, all rights reserved.