With only half a month left before the bun comes out of the oven, mom will definitely be pumped about starting a whole new chapter in life. Yay! There's going to be a new addition to the family! Mom probably cannot wait to finally meet baby face-to-face and give him or her cuddles and kisses.
And yet, with all the happy feelings, she will also have worries about how to bring the baby up the right way in this challenging world, feel drained from all the sleepless nights, and perhaps even feel sad that her old way of life can no longer be maintained. All these sentiments! So overwhelming!
Not only will mom have to deal with a surplus of emotions, but there will also be a long list of things to tick off before the arrival of the little one. And it will be a race against time for mom to get them all done because once baby makes his or her grand entrance, life for mom will never be the same again.
So when the day of labor looms near, moms will have to make sure they have done all that they set out to do because when the last 15 days finally arrive, the list of things that moms want and can do will immediately become so pint-sized one would need a microscope just to see what is left. And the list of NOT-to-dos will only grow. Here is but a fragment of the list of things that should be avoided during the final countdown (cue Europe's "The Final Countdown" and screaming fans).
20 Jetset Around The World
While restrictions about flying for pregnant women vary from airline to airline, almost all airlines would restrict women who are less than 3 weeks from their due date to fly. According to Dr. Will Milford of Brisbane, Australia, the restrictions placed by airlines has more to do with reducing risks to the airline than to the mom to be. Moms are not more likely to go into labor or break their waters while flying. What the airline worries about is a mom giving birth on the plane and obviously, the chances of that increase as the due date gets closer. Not every airline carries a George Clooney lookalike waiting to help deliver the baby and then swoop mom off her feet you know.
19 Stray Too Far From The Hospital
Remember the story about Little Red Riding Hood and how she strayed away from the path to Grandma's house? Well, she got into trouble, didn't she? The same ( well, okay, something similar) might just happen to us if we try to get 'smart' and try to sneak too far from the hospital when the due date draws near. Instead, what we should do would be to stay as near to the hospital as possible in case the baby decides to say hello to the world a little earlier than planned. So no long drives or overnight stays at the remote countryside or a rendezvous to any place far from the hospital. Stick ourselves to the hospital door like glue if we can. Of if we really need to travel far, make sure to have someone accompany us or see that the place had good phone reception. One can never be too careful with having a baby.
18 Change Birth Plans
Last-minute changes are usually never a good thing, especially when one is heavily pregnant and not exactly emotionally and rationally stable. So let's not do something rash and regret it halfway through labor shall well? Changing a birth plan is a big thing. Not only will the financial cost of birthing be affected, but we also need to factor in our spouse's and family's feelings as well. How would they like it if we suddenly opted for a water birth when no research has been done on it the past few months? Or if we suddenly decided to give natural birth a try after having signed the C-section papers with our doctor? We ourselves might just freak out when the actual day comes.
17 Ignore Irregular Symptoms
Perhaps we ran to the OB at the very drop of a pin during the first two trimesters only to find out that all those weird feelings like the way your throw-up looked, hard stools, bulging veins, and more are common symptoms of pregnancies. So when the last 15 days roll around, we might feel like we've seen it all. Moms would feel like they are professionals by now, even giving and exchanging advice with other moms to be. While this is not wrong (in fact, trading information with other moms is very much encouraged), ignoring symptoms be it new or recurring ones could ultimately lead to some complications down the line. So during the last leg of the race, do not be shy to bother the OB more than you already have. These annoying calls and visit might just turn out to be important.
16 Sleep On Your Back
According to whattoexpect.com, pregnant women should avoid sleeping on their backs by the end of their second trimester. Heads turn and eyes tear up. But why? We love sleeping on our backs. Well, according to the website, by laying flat on the back, the ever-increasing weight of the fetus and uterus will press upon a major vessel called vena cava. Now, this important vessel is responsible for supplying circulation back to our heart from our lower body. And by suppressing the flow, backaches, hemorrhoids, and dizziness can ensue. The bad circulation can also affect flow to the fetus and reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. (Quickly turns to the right side.) And oh, many people suggest that sleeping on the left actually promotes better supply to the fetus. Eyes roll. Don't care. Continues to sleep in the position most comfortable. Zzzzzz.
15 Hold Your Pee
At the end of the third trimester, the size of our bladder would have been so compressed due to the ever-growing size of our fetus that we would probably need to visit the bathroom every hour or so. But say we have a household to run or urgent deadlines to meet at work, leaving our posts to urinate might just seem trivial. We tell ourselves to hold in the pee for 5 minutes, which then turns into 10 and then 15. If we keep delaying our need to urinate on a regular basis, one of these days we might just get an accidental trickle or two for all to see. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. One of the lamest things that can happen is getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) which left untreated can affect the kidney and snowball into early labor and low birth weight for our baby. It's no joke. We dug through an article from Am. Pregnancy to get this detail. So ladies, if u need to pee, just go and pee.
14 Lift Weights
Did you know that the center of gravity of your body changes as your pregnancy grows? According to babycenter.com, the shift in gravity in our bodies will more often than not catch us off guard, thus increasing the likelihood of tripping and falling. And we all know how bad a simple fall can be for moms to be. So do yourself a favor, and avoid lifting heavy items (which contributes to the ever-shifting center of gravity) whenever possible. The site also notes that lifting objects heavier than 20 pounds leads to higher rates of loss, back problems, and pre-eclampsia. (Drops bags quickly and calls for the spouse to do all housework from now on.)
13 Start Pumping Milk Too Early
Moms to be might be pumped up to well, start pumping milk. After all, practice makes perfect, right? And doesn't the early bird get the worms? Unfortunately, in the case of pregnancies, the answer is no. Having a head start won't necessarily give us the desired results. According to breastfeedingusa.org, antenatal milk expression (AME), a fancy name for expressing milk before birth are beneficial only to pregnant women with gestational diabetes. Try that on a normal healthy mom to be and one might just end up with the possibility of inducing labor a wee bit too early. Apparently, the stimulation of the nipples while pumping milk plays a role in the release of oxytocin which in turn affects cervical ripening and finally the induction of labor. Not exactly the outcome we all hope for.
12 Go For Dental Checkups
Remember the flick 'The Dentist'? The attendance record for dental clients probably dropped by half after the movie came out. And moms to be should opt out of dental checks too during the last 15 days before the due date. Not because of any influence from movies, but because no heavily pregnant women in their right mind would want to drag themselves out of the comforts of their homes and drive across town just for a teeth grinding (pun intended) session. Plus imagine having to lie flat on our backs while the dentist scales our teeth or perform cavity fillings. Ugh. And our sentiments can be backed up by the Am. Pregnancy which supports moms late in their third trimester to avoid dental checks at all costs. The safest course of action would be to put off any dental checks until after the birth of the baby.
11 Stop Counting Kicks
With so many things left to do before D day, we might just forget or opt out from counting fetal kicks. But know this, counting kicks can literally be a lifesaver for our babies. According to a paper published by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, fetal kick counts are a reliable and almost direct indication of the baby's health. By keeping track of their movements, we will be able to know if something is amiss. And while baby's movements might have slowed down slightly (due to the limited space in their cul de sac), always remember to keep track of every jab, high kicks and karate punches that the baby pulls.
10 Binge Eat
We've been extremely well behaved the past few months, eating like a bird as and when necessary and never indulging in any of those scrumptious but sugary sweet, oily and reflux-inducing meals. But we're almost at the very end of our food imprisonment. Surely we can start piling on our favorite snacks now? After all, we'll need all the energy we can get to push our baby out during labor right? (Silence) Right? (Even more silence). The fact is we are still pregnant. In fact, we are now heavily pregnant and this adds to even more reason to watch what we eat. We don't want to spend the last two weeks in reflux misery. That would be a bad way to end our pregnancy journey.
9 Skip Visits To The OB
Yes, we will be tired. Exhausted beyond reason even. And yes, the list of things to do will be extremely pressing. Perhaps we are still finishing the final touches of baby's room, and maybe we haven't bought the diapers yet. But let's not forget one other important thing. The visit to our obstetrician. We might resent having to visit them so regularly now (medlineplus.gov states that a weekly visit is necessary after 36 weeks) but all these checkups with the weight measurements, BP checks and measurements of the abdomen and urine samples are necessary to make sure that all is well with both mother and baby. Things can suddenly take a drastic turn during the last two weeks (this author personally had a big surprise when she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia 6 days before the due date). So for the love of your child and yourself, please do not ever skip a visit to the OB.
8 Marathon On TV Shows All Night Long
We know that we probably won't even get to touch the remote when the baby comes out so let's whip it out right now and finish off all our favorite Netflix shows that's been on our 'To Watch' list. We'll marathon them the whole night through if we have to. Who doesn't want to miss Littlefinger finally getting his just desserts at the hands of the Stark family? (A chorus of cheers echoes). While all these wonderful shows can be very tempting and extremely entertaining, watching them into the night (or all day long) might do more harm than good to our health. We are already physically tired from the backaches and urges to pee every other hour, so let's just rest as much as possible, shall we?
7 Forget To Check Insurance Plans
While our forefathers (and mothers) probably bore kids with low expenses, parents nowadays have to pay a hefty bill for the delivery of their babies. And the fact is, many of us are from middle-income families (to those who live the luxurious life, we really envy you) and paying for the delivery bills can really add up. So please check your insurance plans before checking into the hospital. See if they cover for overnight stays with premium coverage or if we have to fork out some of our own cash. The insurance plans will make a whole lot of difference whether we want to stay in a twin share room with other snoring moms or enjoy the luxury of having a whole room to ourselves.
6 Get Lazy
Toward the end of the pregnancy, moms may be so exhausted they just want to laze around the whole day. And while getting sufficient rest is of utmost importance, crossing the line to the 'lazy' zone may not be a very good thing to do. Slacking off means that we don't get to exercise our muscles and this, in turn, can affect our physical strength during labor. Now before we start jumping off the couch and hitting the treadmill, keep in mind that this is really the last 15 days, so while it is vital that we move around, we can take it slow. The website whattoexpect.com notes that a slow 10-minute walk or simple yoga will suffice to give us a much needed physical and mental boost in preparation for D day.
5 Start Planning For Vacations
We've all had that friend who could somehow travel solo or go on romantic getaways with their partners even after giving birth to 3 babies. And then there are other friends who seem to have a great time going on vacations to exotic places with their 2-month-old babies. Heck, if these moms can do it then so can we! Let's start planning and buying those air tickets now while there's a sale going on. But wait a minute there... Hold your horses for a moment. Know this: Just because they can, doesn't mean that you can. Okay, maybe you can too but let's not be too hasty and plan too far ahead. Having a baby is not as simple as it seems. There will be days when they won't want anyone else but us, or days when they might be down with the flu and just want to cuddle up in their comfy little cot instead of being dragged around the ancient ruins of some temple or take selfies with mom and dad at Niagara Falls. So let's take things slowly, shall we?
4 Isolate The Family
It takes a village to raise a child. There is no further truth. And isolating family members especially when the due date draws near is never a good thing to do. This is especially so for moms who already have children. Moms may be tired and feel withdrawn (a common symptom for moms to be) but if we withdraw from everyone, especially our young ones, they will feel unloved and unwanted by mom. Questions will be raised. 'Doesn't mommy want me anymore?' And our family too will be worried, thinking that maybe they have done something wrong. As tired as we may be, try to include them in our pregnancy journey. Encourage them to take part in counting the fetal kicks, helping to decorate the baby's room, and choosing a present for the baby. After all, a family that plans and plays together will stay together.
3 Fall In Love With Sashimi
Ahhh, sashimi. Don't you just love how these thin and tender slices of raw fish melt in your mouth? The feel of its juice oozing out as we gingerly chew on the meat and how easily it slides down the throat. Dip them in soy sauce and dab on a little bit of wasabi and it would be heaven on earth! But wait! What about the rumors concerning pregnant women and raw fish? Well, the myth has been debunked by babymed.com which states that pregnant women can eat raw fish provided that they are properly cleaned and contain low levels of mercury. But just to be on the safe side, please avoid anything and any food that might cause pregnancy complications, especially during the last two weeks before the baby comes out.
2 Do Intense Workouts
Workouts are a wonderful way to help build up our stamina and strengthen our bodily muscles. However, when the last two weeks before the due date comes, we should start reducing the number of intense workouts that we normally enjoy. During these last few days, we would be feeling lethargic from all the sleepless nights and body aches so much so that extreme exercises can actually do more harm than good. One might accidentally pull a hamstring or a nerve somewhere, trip and fall or even get into early labor. So let's just play it safe and if one really cannot miss the gym, then please take it slow and do not overdo it.
1 Obsess Over Every Parenting Article You Come Across
Veteran moms and moms to be worldwide always become anxious to do what is best for their babies and children. We look to our family, friends and even pregnancy and parenting articles for advice. And the world is literally filled with books upon books and articles upon articles on birthing, baby soothing, breastfeeding, and parenting, so much so that sometimes moms can get confused. The answers to the seemingly endless questions are, well, endless. While these articles are meant to aid parents in bringing up their children, they can sometimes induce more anxiety than reducing them. So the best way to deal with this is to read all the books and articles with a grain of salt. Don't take them too seriously. In the end, you are the mom. And you call the shots. Trust your instincts and go with the flow.
Sources: babycenter.com, whattoexpect.com