My daughter just turned nine months old a couple of weeks ago and I could not help but look back and reminiscence about my final weeks of pregnancy. Oh !What a roller coaster journey the whole nine months are ! More than the distinct and sometimes discomforting changes that you undergo as a woman, it is perhaps the most tumultuous time mentally with your hormones playing truant. This feeling is exaggerated as one nears the finishing line. The second half of the third trimester for most part leaves you with a “I am almost there but not quite there” feeling . You sense and know that your life will change completely but are not really sure how you feel about it. It seems like things will soon be out of control and it is time to take stock and be ready for becoming a parent.
Somewhere around this time, the nesting instinct takes over. You have this uncontrollable urge to clean and tidy up to get ready for the arrival of the little one. You will also try to hold on to the last bit of peace, quiet, relaxation and also want to attend some social events before the due date. You might feel like you have a zillion things to do before giving birth and barely anytime to do them in! This is when you experience the magical surge of energy aka “nesting” when you want to create your perfect nest. Here are my top nesting and resting tips for your third trimester
1. Indulge and Pamper Yourself
This is the time to make yourself happy and give yourself the chance to rest and relax. A day at the spa or a day out with friends or a picnic with family can be a perfect way to unwind and relax. My due date was in the first week of January so I celebrated with a New Year party at home with friends and family and danced to my hearts delight. I also liked to get my hair done regularly and watched a lot of movies. Be indulgent and do not fret about making some unreasonable demands on your partner 🙂 This is your time and it will not last – the focus of attention will soon shift to a little person and so you are unlikely to have too much “ME” time once your little one comes into your life.
2. Nesting by creating your own Baby Area/Nursery
The strong maternal urge to create a protected, decorated baby ready zone can be a great way to channelize your energy during the final stretch. I was lucky to be surrounded with talented people who helped create the perfect environment for a baby at home. An aunt helped paint an old cupboard with beautiful, colourful animal art for the baby. We created a whole new room for the baby. I must confess that while the room was being done up, I had a few hyperactive moments worrying what if I had an early delivery and the mess at home was not cleared up! That is nesting for you. Blame it on the hormones…sigh.
3. Pack the Hospital Bag in Advance
I was perhaps the most relaxed when I had packed my hospital bag 🙂 This is an important activity and puts the mother to-be at ease. Your nesting instinct might urge you to pack the hospital bag as early as 4-6 weeks before your due date. That is perfectly ok. Pack things that are likely to comfort you during your stay at the hospital such as your comb/hair accessories or your favourite music or the clothes you want to wear on leaving the hospital. Always carry an extra change of clothes and toiletries especially your nursing wear. Most hospitals share a checklist of items you must pack for yourself and the baby. Carry all your medical records and your insurance papers – in my case i discovered that my blood group which I thought was AB+ was actually A+ (carry reports that indicate your blood group)!!! For the baby, carry 4-5 outfits/onesies, 1 bathing towel and 2-3 small cleaning towels, baby wipes, pampers/nappies, couple of pairs of socks, winter wear (sweaters, jacket) for winter babies, 2-3 wraps/receiving blankets and cotton bed sheets
4. Shop for Yourself
This is the part about the nesting phase that I loved the most – Shopping ! You are likely to be home-bound for 3-4 weeks after your baby is born so it is best to shop in advance for post delivery nursing clothes and nursing care products (breast pads, nursing pillow, comfortable maternity inner wear etc.). You might have several visitors in the weeks after child birth so stock up on some comfortable and chic outfits !
5. Stock up on Diapers
Sorting out your diaper supply is very important. This is the one item that you use up very very quickly especially in the first 6 weeks when your baby is pooing 3-4 times a day and has multiple wet diapers. I found it easy to order my diapers online and since I had a preferred brand in mind I had pre-ordered stuff so that at any point I had a 2 week supply. It felt good to be prepared ! Tip to keep in mind – newborn diaper size lasts for 4-5 weeks before you will switch to the more comfortable small size so do not order more than 4 weeks of supply. In the first week, you might be using 12-15 diapers a day and then perhaps by week 4 will come down to 9-10
6. Enroll in a Pre-Natal & Breastfeeding Class
The last 4 weeks is an excellent time to prepare yourself and your partner for the actual birthing process. A pre-natal class is a great way to actually seek guidance from a professional expert as well as interact with other to-be parents and share concerns, pregnancy tips and checklists 🙂 I particularly found the tips on breastfeeding and baby care useful and would recommend a pre-natal class to all first time mommies to be.
7. Plan to get Help
Managing with a newborn and tending to the spate of visitors can be tiring. Do plan for family to help out and pitch in with chores. Seeking the services of a house help can be very useful and needs to be planned in advance.
Lastly but most importantly, SMILE LADIES – you are soon going to be a MOTHER and trust me when I say this from my experience of the last 9 months – motherhood is a blessing and your life is going to be far more fulfilling than ever when you hold that little bundle of joy in your arms 🙂