Registered nurse, midwife and childbirth educator Lynne Bluff says these handy tips will help you prepare for your baby’s arrival.
As your pregnancy progresses into its final stages, you can be faced with various physical challenges – simply standing up can become a process on its own – so, it’s important to always take care of your health and fitness levels, and prepare for the arrival of your baby.
A few tips for those last few weeks and days of pregnancy:
- Make sure you are eating healthy to keep up your energy levels for the hard work of labour ahead.
- Rest during the day. You never know when you might go into labour. If you are tired when labour starts, you start at a disadvantage. Rather start labour feeling refreshed with high energy levels.
- Stay active so you keep up your fitness levels.
- Make sure your bags are packed and ready. Keep them with you if you go far from home.
- Make sure you have discussed your birth plan with your doctor or midwife, as well as the hospital where you will be delivering to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Practice your skills learnt at childbirth education classes together with your birth partner.
- Make sure you have a lactation consultant’s number saved in your phone in case you need one during the early days of breastfeeding.
- Consider attending a breastfeeding course – knowledge is very empowering and helpful.
- Know your baby’s normal movements. Your baby should move about 10 times in two hours. A quicker, but as reliable way to tell, is three kicks in an hour.
- You know your baby is fit and healthy by feeling him move, but remember he will be sleeping at times so he won’t move 24/7. If you can’t feel your baby moving, have something sweet to eat and drink and then do what generally gets your baby moving – like taking a bath or lying down. If you are concerned that your baby isn’t moving as well as usual, or is moving more than normal, contact your caregiver or the labour ward at the hospital. Towards the end of pregnancy, your baby may move less, but with bigger movements.
- Spend lots of time communicating with your partner as you prepare for labour and your new journey as parents.
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