When a woman is only a week away from giving birth to her little one, there are a lot of recommendations as to what she should do to prioritize the health of her baby and herself. Once a woman hits her third trimester, carrying that baby is not only exhausting, but also filled with anxiety.
The baby is coming in one week whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you are ready or prepared. Of course, when moms-to-be are only a week away from meeting their newborns, it is a very exciting time for them.
But that excitement should not prevent the mother from being safe and cautious.
While we hope the hospital bags are packed and the nursery is fully decorated, there are so many things that might even seem ridiculous for a hugely pregnant woman to try and do. During this final week of pregnancy, it is normal to feel a flood of emotions that are all over the place. Remaining in the right head space is beyond important when preparing for the arrival of your newborn baby. That is why understanding these 15 things that women should not do the week leading up to labor is particularly important.
15 Get On An Airplane
According to Self.com, flying on an airplane in your third trimester is always risky, even if the airline allows it. Flying later in pregnancy could cause you to develop a clot or go into early labor. If women do go into early labor on a flight, they may experience complications and will not have the proper medical staff and technology to properly care for them and their baby.
While some airlines don’t let pregnant women fly after 28 weeks since that is the start of the third trimester, most doctors agree that after a woman is 36 weeks along, she definitely shouldn’t get on a plane.
Khloe Kardashian took a lot of heat when she flew to Cleveland on a private jet near the end of her pregnancy. She knew she was too pregnant to be going back and forth from L.A. to Cleveland, and one could argue that a private jet is a little safer, but the risks of delivering in the sky without a proper medical team are still clear.
If a pregnant woman is concerned about whether she should fly or not, it is a good idea to speak with her doctor, but if she is close to her due date, they will say that it’s best she keep her feet on the ground.
14 Stray Too Far From Your Hospital
This one goes back to another reason why traveling in late pregnancy is not a good idea. Doctors don’t want women who are close to delivering straying too far from the hospital or their designated birthing spot. This is because if a woman suddenly goes into labor and isn’t near a trained medical team or a hospital, she may experience complications that could harm her or her baby.
Those complications may have been easily treated if she were in the right hands.
According to Parents.com, the ideal time to travel when you are pregnant is during your second trimester. This is because the second trimester is typically when women feel their best, have the most energy, and all the risks are relatively low. Since most pregnancy and labor complications will occur after 34-36 weeks, many doctors don’t like their patients to stray too far.
Doctors want to be able to monitor the woman and her baby and make sure any problems that arise are properly being treated. Of course, the idea of traveling or even going on a babymoon before your little one arrives can be exciting. It is simply advised that you do this before you are in your final weeks of pregnancy.
13 Stop Counting The Baby's Kicks
As pregnancy starts to come to an end and labor and delivery are fast approaching, it can seem okay not to stress so much about every little kick you feel from your baby. When you were first expecting, it’s likely that each and every little flutter from your baby was an exciting moment. The fact that there really was something inside of you that was growing and developing was a surreal feeling. And, as your baby grew, every kick or movement was a way for you to make sure that everything was okay and that your baby was doing just fine in there.
When it comes to the third trimester, some moms may start feeling the final stretch and not focus on the normal kick patterns as much. This is something that moms should not do. Every mom-to-be should continue to track each and every kick up until delivery because this will allow them to see if something is wrong.
According to Countthekicks.org, every baby is different and has a different pattern of kicks. If the baby suddenly changes the number of kicks they normally did in an hour there could be something to be concerned about. So, even through that pregnancy brain, keep tracking those kicks.
12 Lay Flat On Your Back
It might sound nice to come home after a long day and just collapse on the couch. Pregnancy can take a lot out of a woman, and the idea of putting her swollen feet up and just relaxing usually sounds nice near the end of her pregnancy.
According to Parents.com, pregnant women should start adjusting to new sleeping positions early on in pregnancy. After a woman is 20 weeks along, it is advised that she does not lay on her back. This is because when the belly is up, the weight of the uterus presses on and could compress a major blood vessel called the vena cava.
If this blood vessel is compressed, a pregnant woman may disrupt blood flow to her baby. She may also start to feel nauseous, dizzy, and short of breath.
Towards the end of a woman’s pregnancy, the best way for her to sleep is on her side. The left side to be exact since that allows the most blood flow to reach the baby. However, sides don’t make a huge difference and it’s best to do whatever feels the most comfortable for you. But, the rule stands that lying or sleeping on your back the week before labor is a huge no-no.
11 Take On Intense Workouts
So, by the ninth month of pregnancy, most women are feeling pretty huge and are itching to get back to their normal selves again. Of course, most doctors will say that doing moderate exercise during your pregnancy is safe and normal for most women. Doing intense workouts the week before delivery is not a good idea.
First of all, it could cause you to go into labor before your baby was truly ready to come out.
It could also leave room for you to injure yourself since pregnant women in their third trimester are usually advised to take it pretty easy.
According to Girlsgonestrong.com, the third trimester usually causes women to feel more fatigued. They may need more recovery time in between workouts and maybe a bit achier. It is also important to let your body be the guide.
If your doctor has cleared certain workouts for you to do, and you feel great doing them that shouldn’t be a problem. The important thing is to listen to your doctor and if they say something isn’t safe, then you shouldn’t be doing it right before labor. And, if you are feeling overly exhausted or sick for long periods of time after working out, it is likely that you shouldn’t be doing that.
10 Eat Too Much
Those pregnancy cravings can really get the best of us throughout our nine months, but near the end of pregnancy, it can get even worse. Some women miss the delicious foods that they stopped eating in order to prioritize the health of her baby. In the week leading up to labor, it is easy for women to want to cheat a little bit and have that burger and fries or that slice of chocolate cake simply because she feels like she’s been so good for so long before that.
Another thing that pregnant women often do is overeat to the point of being in pain. Everyone always says they are eating for two, but that does not mean they need double the portion size for everything.
According to Livestrong.com, a pregnant woman in her third trimester only needs an additional 450 calories to account for her growing baby’s nutritional needs. Overeating during pregnancy is not only bad for the woman but it can also be dangerous to the baby. So while giving into pregnancy cravings may be okay once in a while, overeating is not.
Overeating may lead to too much weight gain or even gestational diabetes. As well as heartburn and discomfort. But, it could also cause your baby to have a high birth weight which could really complicate labor and delivery.
9 Wait Too Long To Pee
It is fairly common knowledge at this point that pregnant women usually have to pee a lot more than everyone else. With all the changing hormones and all the extra weight in your uterus pushing down on your bladder, it only makes sense. When you add in those kicks and jabs that your growing baby might throw at you, it can make it feel like you have to pee every 5 minutes. This can be extremely inconvenient for a busy mom or even a working woman. Who has time to run to the bathroom like that? And, the worst part about it all is that despite feeling like you need to go, it often seems like hardly anything comes out when you do.
This might cause pregnant women to want to simply ignore the urge to pee and postpone it for a little while so she can get more things done.
Unfortunately, this is not a good idea and can actually cause problems later in pregnancy.
According to Parents.com, pregnant women are especially prone to lower urinary tract infections because of an expanding uterus crowding your bladder. By holding pee unnecessarily, it can make this even worse. So, it’s best to empty your bladder every time you feel the need.
8 ‘Wait Out’ Irregular Symptoms
There is no doubt that a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes once she finds out that she is pregnant. Some of these symptoms can feel very weird but are likely normal side effects of growing a baby. It is always advised to ask your doctor about things you might find odd. Most of the time, women are more prone to ask questions in their first and second trimesters because it’s all still new and exciting. Often times women feel like they have so much to learn about this whole pregnancy thing.
By the time the third-trimester rolls around and you are preparing for labor and delivery, it’s easy for some women to feel like they have this pregnancy thing down.
Sometimes they may assume their irregular symptoms are just something that will pass, but this is not something women should do in the week before labor.
According to Healthline.com, prenatal care is super important in the third trimester because if complications occur, they are more easily managed if detected early. That is why you should never ignore an irregular symptom in later pregnancy because it could be a complication that needs to be addressed. So, while you may feel like a pregnancy pro, don’t ignore those symptoms.
7 Deprive Yourself Of Sleep
You will be getting such little sleep once your baby actually arrives that it is extremely important to try and catch up on your sleep before you actually deliver. I know it may be exciting to stay up and enjoy those last few nights of true solitude before your life changes forever, but trust me when I say that you will wish you had that time to sleep once you give birth. Of course, it can be extremely difficult for women in their third trimester to get comfortable enough to sleep.
This could be nature’s way of preparing you for how little sleep is to come. But, it is still important to rest, prop your feet up and try to truly unwind.
According to Momjunction.com, your baby bump might be the main thing causing you to not sleep comfortably. But, it is still important to try. Don’t just stay awake and assume that you won’t be able to sleep. If your body really needs that shut-eye, you will get it. So give yourself some time to fall asleep. Make time to rest throughout the day. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep because you will truly be starting out motherhood without your full energy.
6 Miss A Doctor’s Appointment
While missing a doctor’s appointment here or there might not have seemed like a big deal or the end of the world, when it gets to the third trimester, these doctors appointments are very serious. According to Medlineplus.gov, once a pregnant woman hits 36 weeks, she will start having a doctor's appointment every single week until it’s time for her to deliver.
This is because it is vital for doctors to monitor the mother and the fetus more frequently. It is normal for women to experience heartburn, back pain, low energy, and fatigue during this time. And it is also important for these symptoms to be monitored. During these appointments right before labor and delivery, women get weighed, measured, blood pressure taken, and urine samples are tested.
All of these things are extremely important which is why a woman who is a week away from delivering should not miss one of these doctors appointments. Things can change very quickly at this stage in the game which is why heavy monitoring is so important.
Some women may need to change their diet, others might need to increase or decrease exercise levels. Some women might need to have that baby right away because of complications detected. That is why these informational appointments should not be missed at this point.
5 Start Pumping Milk Too Early
Some women want to get a head-start on pumping breast milk so that they ensure a solid amount is available once their little baby arrives. As most of you probably know, breastfeeding is not so easy for all new moms. And, it can be an extremely frustrating and stressful thing for new moms. You want so desperately to feed your baby, and yet you simply aren’t producing the milk that you need. In order to combat this fear, some women choose to start pumping their breast milk early and storing it for later. While there are some women who have done this without issue, it does pose some risks to pregnant women.
Nipple stimulation of any kind can trigger early labor. According to Parents.com, pumping is not recommended during pregnancy. The breast stimulation will release oxytocin which is a hormone that causes uterine contractions during labor.
Even if you are only a week away from labor anyway, it is important not to do anything that will cause that baby to come before it is ready. As most things with pregnancy, it is better to be on the safe side than it is to do something that could cause harm to your baby.
4 Stress About The Birth
I know this one might not be something you can control as much, but as an expecting mom who is just about to go into labor, it is vital that you don’t worry and stress constantly about the birth. Of course, the idea of being ripped open down there is not super appealing, and it is totally normal to be nervous about the entire birthing process.
If you have a solid plan in place, there is really nothing else you can do. If stressing doesn’t lead to anything productive, then there is no point. It will simply cause your baby to feel that same anxiousness that you feel.
According to Pullingcurls.com, labor pain is best faced when there is a plan in place. It is important to be aware of what will happen in the delivery room as well as some ideas that you have practiced that will help you get through the pain. Being aware and knowing what will happen to your body makes the birthing process a little easier. So, instead of stressing and causing harm to your baby, simply turn that stress into productivity. Start doing research. Start practicing what you will do during delivery. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be.
3 Forget About The Diet
As I mentioned earlier, it can be easy to feel like you’ve stuck to your diet for this long and start cheating a little here and there. As labor and delivery start approaching, the food a pregnant woman eats will directly affect that baby.
For example, when my mother was pregnant with my older brother, her doctor actually advised her to go eat a bunch of sugary foods because he wanted the baby to start moving and shift positions. This just goes to show that different foods have different purposes and at this point, it’s always best to listen to your doctor.
Perhaps your doctor is advising you to eat healthy foods for a specific reason. Or, you simply need to remain on your diet for the health of your baby. According to TimesofIndia.com, a well-balanced diet is extremely important throughout all stages of pregnancy.
It’s not good for women to just throw their diet out the window with one week to go because when people go crazy with food, it is almost always not well-balanced. I know it can be hard and the cravings for bad food are growing with each day leading to labor. However, eating healthy will give you and your baby a good amount of energy which you will need. While ditching your diet might sound nice at the moment, it is not something that is beneficial, especially at this stage of pregnancy.
2 Shave ‘Down There’
Alright, so this one might be a little awkward, but when women know they are going to have a crowd of doctors and nurses looking down at her private parts as she gives birth, it is totally normal for her to want to shave down there and make it look more presentable. The truth of the matter is that doctors and nurses really don’t care what you look like. That is not their concern at all. They are focused on delivering a healthy baby and making sure you remain healthy as well.
Shaving down there might actually be bad for a woman’s health because of the fact that she will be delivering in a hospital.
According to Todaysparents.com, shaving your pubic hair is not recommended past 36 weeks gestation. Recent research has shown that it can increase a woman’s risk for infection, especially women who end up needing a c-section. And, after having a baby and possibly a surgery, the last thing a woman needs is an infection that could have been preventable. There has been new research regarding hair removal and surgical infections, and “significantly fewer infections occur with clipping, depilatory creams or going au naturel than with shaving.”
1 Second Guess Your Name Choice
So for about nine months now you and your partner have had this one perfect name picked out for your little bundle of joy. Perhaps you have even painted the name above the crib or embroidered it on a few blankets.
Second-guessing your name choice in the week before you are about to meet your little baby is not the best idea. It can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you loved the name for most of your pregnancy, the chances are you will probably still love the name once you meet your child. Picking out a name is a big decision and can be a huge responsibility. It makes sense that parents would want to take that role seriously.
However, if you don’t have another name that you both love, this second-guessing might just be nerves. According to Babyandbump.momtastic.com, it is normal to second guess your baby’s name towards the end of pregnancy because this is a lifelong decision. Some women suggest coming up with a backup name that you both love and then deciding what seems more fitting once your baby is born.
Other women have actually changed their baby’s name within their first year old simply because it was a “now or never” type of thing. Ultimately, don’t stress either way. If you decide you don’t like the name, just pull out the baby name books and start searching.
References: Self.com, Parents.com, Parents.com, Girlsgonestrong.com, Livestrong.com, Parents.com, Healthline.com, Momjunction.com, Medlineplus.gov, Parents.com, Pullingcurls.com, Timesofindia.com, Todaysparents.com, Babyandbump.momtastic.com, Countthekicks.org