When sleep is impossible, strangers start saying “any day now!” (constantly), and your hands & feet are swollen to the size of a novelty sport hand ☝🏻 - you know it’s time for baby to arrive!
Oh yeah, Mama, I feel ya. Only six short months ago I was exactly in your shoes (or flip flops, if your feet are anywhere as big as mine were 🙈)
Once that nine month mark (or full term) hits, many of us are not only ready to be through with pregnancy, but are so ready to meet our little babes 👼🏼
But, alas, babies come when they’re ready...
Try to take comfort in that. It means your body and their little bodies are working together 🤝 to determine the *exact* optimal birthing time!
That said, I believe Mamas truly are 50% of that determination. There are ways that you can help to prepare your mind and body (and spirit) to encourage b-day along.
👇🏼Here are some things that worked for me second time around (and my little guy arrived one merciful week early!):
☕️ Raspberry leaf tea. This is all about helping your uterus contract and prepare for birth.
Make sure to chat with your doctor or midwife, but many women choose to take this throughout the 3rd trimester not only in the hope of bringing on labour but also to strengthen the uterus.
I recommend going to a true bulk dry good store, like Balance Botanicals to ensure you get the real thing.
Bonus: you can continue to drink raspberry tea leaf with thistle postpartum to help bring your tummy in (though patience really is the most important gift you’ll give yourself on that front).
🏃🏿♀️ Walking is key! My pelvis was in such bad shape going into my second birth that I couldn’t really walk, but the morning before my first baby was born I walked 5k!
I got this jolt of energy and the walking helped distract me from the contractions that were starting. If it is accessible to you, I really recommend movement (squats even!) to help bring on labour.
🍜 Spicy food. Heartburn be damned - great excuse for some takeout Indian!
💆🏻♀️ Acupuncture. This is a HUGE one for me. About two weeks before my son came, I was feeling a lot of anxiety. As much as I was ready to be done with pregnancy, I wasn’t ready at my core to welcome the birth process.
I had been going to acupuncture to mitigate anxiety throughout my pregnancy, and began the shift to cervical ripening at term.
Then I got hit with a really sharp sense of fear. What if this second pregnancy wasn’t as good as my first? What if this baby *is* too big, like they keep warning (he wasn’t)?
So I went in one more time and explained how I was feeling. I told them to LEVEL UP! When I left the session that day, a sense of calm washed over me - I even called my doula and told her baby would be here soon (three days later, it turns out).
[If you’re Vancouver based, I highly recommend Poke Community Acupuncture on Kingsway. It’s community based, meaning you share in a room with others and charges on a sliding scale so it’s accessible to all]
🍷 🛀🏽 A glass of wine in a bath. Of course talk to your doctor/midwife, I’m just sharing what I did personally.
Days before my son was born, after a full term alcohol-free pregnancy, I did exactly this: I relaxed with a small glass of wine in a (not too warm) bath.
I think this is so much about letting go and allowing your body to relax.
🧘🏼♀️Meditation. This was a critical & daily practice for a Hypnobabies birth, but there is no reason for any Mama not to participate too - regardless of birth plan!
I purchased an extra hypnosis track from the formal program called “Come Out Baby” which helped to address any last fears (our mindset plays such a significant role in this time) that may be holding me back.
But, even just carving out some quiet time for yourself to focus on breath will help. And there are many meditation apps out there too (I’m liking Simple Habit these days; there are tons of great free options available).
🤱🏽 Overall, whether we can speed labour along or not, it’s so important to feel aligned on all fronts: physically, mentally and spiritually.