The weeks leading up to your due date are an exciting and overwhelming time. You may feel a combination of conflicting emotions, from overwhelmed and nervous to excited and impatient. This is all perfectly natural. Taking certain steps to get ready for your baby’s big arrival date will help you feel more calm and in control. They’ll also ensure that you’re fully prepared for whatever comes your way throughout your labour and delivery.
- Make sure you’re happy with your healthcare provider. The care you receive during your labour and delivery can have a huge impact on your overall experience. Make sure you’ve looked into the available obstetricians in melbourne and have found someone you feel totally comfortable with. They should be experienced enough to help you feel confident in their abilities, but also have a bedside manner that’s reassuring and positive. If you’re not happy with the specialist you’ve been seeing throughout your pregnancy, consider finding someone you can trust to eliminate those last-minute jitters.
- Use relaxation techniques. Going into labour feeling anxious and scared will lower your pain threshold and heighten your feelings of discomfort. Relaxation is crucial, but it definitely takes practice. Use this preparation time to work on your deep breathing techniques, and to visualise the process of birth in a positive, calm way. You may find hypnobirthing CDs or classes helpful – they aim to get you into a totally relaxed state so labour and delivery is as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
- Stay active. While rest is certainly important during the third trimester, staying totally sedentary can make labour more difficult. Try to stretch frequently and join a prenatal yoga class to keep your muscles warm and flexible. Getting out for walks will keep you feeling fit and strong, and will help get labour started once your due date arrives.
- Know what to expect. Educating yourself on the process of labour and what you can expect when the process begins will make the whole experience less intimidating once it arrives. Do plenty of reading and research, and watch birth videos to prepare yourself for your big day. Talking to other mothers about their labour experiences can also help you learn what to expect; just keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, and that their negative experience won’t necessarily happen to you.
- Pack your bags in advance. Packing your hospital bag may seem silly if you’ve still got a couple months to go until your due date, but you won’t want to rush around looking for items to pack once you’re in labour. Get your bag ready and waiting with everything you need, from your spare phone charger to changes of clothes, important documentation, and essentials for your baby. Make a checklist of items that you can refer back to, and double-check your bag regularly to make sure nothing important has been removed.