I will give you fair warning. I mention orgasms. I mean, I mention them a lot, actually, but in this specific instance I mean I am going to mention them here, in this piece. Go ahead and snigger and get it out of the way. I might also use some mild swear words.
Maybe your “due date” is approaching. Maybe it’s come and gone, and you’re still here, still pregnant. Maybe you’re fed up of being pregnant. Maybe you have been booked for an induction and maybe this is a source of relief for you (finally!!) or maybe it is causing you anxiety. Maybe the world and his wife are asking you, “Have you had that baby yet?” and I am here to tell you it is okay to want to hit those people in the face with a jumbo box of baby wipes.
I know. I get it. This stage of pregnancy can be hard. Do not feel guilty if you hate it. There is no such thing as the Pregnancy Police that go around scolding naughty women who don’t savour every last drop of pregnancy, down to the last second.
That said, there are ways to make those final days more bearable, with a particular view to making timely spontaneous onset of labour more likely.
Some people want to avoid induction. This post is for you.
Some people have consented to be induced and are just a few days away from it. This post is for you, too.
Basically, if your pregnancy is almost over, this post is for you.
Every time someone tells me that they are so close now, and so tired/fed up/anxious…. that they can’t wait for the induction, or they are dreading it…. I always say the same things. In the interest of lazi- erm, efficiency, I’ve decided to put them all here.
1. If at all possible, prioritise rest, relaxation, recuperation, pampering etc for the next couple of days.
2. Try a fear release. I was skeptical, if I’m honest, but I was amazed at how much it helped.
3. Ask your partner or a friend to do some bump sifting to release trapped fluid or tight ligaments. It also just feels good.
4. Stay hydrated. Eat yummy things, because why the ffff…flip not.
5. Take gentle walks. Go easy – no sense wearing yourself out at this stage!
6. Lots of orgasms.
7. Binge watch all the things on Netflix. If you have a birth ball to sit on, so much the better. Feel free to fidget. I beleive cake is mandatory.
8. Better yet a movie that will make you cry your eyes out (release!) or belly laugh (oxytocin!)
10. “Talk” to your baby, even if that sounds or feels crazy.
11. Do something that makes you feel ready – go over your birth plan, do some finishing touches in nursery if you have one, make sure your birth bag is packed and labour playlist compiled. Do you find yourself nesting? (I wish I did!)
12. Do whatever makes you feel good – swear, get your hair/nails done, meditate, have sex if that is still a viable option for you.
14. Intimacy is your greatest tool for releasing oxytocin, and potentially your best comfort. This does not have to be sex. It could be long hugs, slow dancing, massage, shared meals. Dim the lights. Speak softly.
15. Right now, you are literally at your most creative. Distract yourself by writing (journal, blog, story, poem), drawing, painting, photography. These things are also helpful if you have a long latent phase. I think of them as “last minute memories”. Think of showing them to your little one a few years down the line. “When I was pregnant with you…” Start a project. There is some twisted universal law that says the more involved the project is, the more likely that labour will get going once you’ve made a start on it.
16. It is possible, or even likely, that labour has begun already, it’s just not making itself felt quite yet. Remind yourself of this.
17. Repeat after me: My body is working beautifully. I am ready. I am safe. I am already opening. My cervix is like butter left out in the sun on a hot day.
18. Slow down. Pause. Smell the roses. When you feel rushed or stressed, your adenalin levels are high, which is not conducive to labour starting or progressing efficiently. Breathe gently.
19. If you are feeling resentful, grumpy, weepy, restless, lethargic… well it sucks, I know – but it’s okay to feel those things. There is ebb and there is flow. Allow yourself the ebb. These are often the first (un-noticed, unsung, ignored) symptoms of early labour.
20. Be mindful of your positioning – sit up and forward on your seat bones rather than sofa-sitting, rest on your side rather than your back, etc. Rotate your body. Dance if you feel like it.
21. Sod literally everything else. Be selfish. You don’t have to do anything for anyone right now, this is (should be) **your time**. You are on the brink of a bloody miracle, during which you will give it your all. So get your diva pants on and TAKE for a little while, entirely guilt free.
Good luck! Happy birthing xx