You are in your 37th week of pregnancy and you are ready to have your baby. If it is your first child, you may be feeling all sorts of emotions about meeting your baby for the first time, giving birth and just the overall unknown of becoming a mother. Or, if this is not your first pregnancy and possibly your last, you may be having mixed emotions about what comes next.
What comes next will be happening within days, weeks or possibly longer if you become overdue in your pregnancy. No matter what your feelings are at this point, your body maybe winding down and wearing out. Mentally you may be ready to deliver or you may be trying to cherish every moment you have left with this wiggly, unmet being that is kicking and poking you from inside.
The key to finishing out the rest of your pregnancy without burning yourself out is to take it one day at a time. It really is that simple. Take the last few weeks (or days) of the pregnancy to embrace your beautiful, growing and tired body … one, single day at a time. Pretty soon, the baby will be born and your once round belly will be a soft spot for your baby to lie. Following are four tips that can make the difference between your feeling amazing or feeling run-down before your big day.
- You are officially considered full term if you are in your 37th week or beyond. Celebrate! This means it is safe for you to deliver and all of those sleepless nights because of leg cramps and heartburn will be a thing of the past. Even though you will have your body back which might mean sleeping on your tummy again, it’s important to continue to get your sleep because once the baby arrives, sleep will be a thing of the past.
- Drink up. Whether you decide to breastfeed, formula feed or do a little bit of both, it is important that you continue to drink plenty of water. Your body has just gone through a major overhaul and there is nothing as important as keeping yourself hydrated through the post-delivery time.
- Grace. Give yourself grace to be human. If you have other children at home, you are probably exhausted and beyond tired when it comes to taking care of others. Hang in there. The end is almost near and even though you are tired now, you may be even more so once the baby comes. Give yourself plenty of grace to get back into the swing of things.
- Take it easy. The nesting stage has probably worn off by now. An easy way to stay balanced in these last few weeks of pregnancy is to take it easy. Don’t expect too much out of yourself as far as housework goes. If the kids want to play at the park but you are just not feeling up to it that day, it’s OK, get out some coloring books and let them use their imaginations. Taking it easy when you are this far into the pregnancy is better for everyone. A happy, rested mommy equals a better mommy.
Just because you are about to deliver does not mean you cannot enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Winding down without wearing out and finishing up without burning out should be every new-mama-to-be’s mantra.
By Meagan Ruffing
Meagan Ruffing is a freelance-parenting writer. She wrote this article during her 37th week of pregnancy while she sat in bed and rested in anticipation of the big day.