7 activities to occupy yourself with when you’re ready to pop!

‘Overdue’ is a term often used incorrectly. Many mums-to-be think they’re ‘overdue’ once they hit 40 weeks. This is not true.  You are not ‘overdue’ until 42 weeks. This varies from hospital to hospital and country to country.  As someone who’s had 3 ‘late’ babies I am definitely of the mind that some people take 42 weeks to make a baby (me being one!).

Here are the international NICE guidelines on pregnancies over 41 weeks:

NICE Guidelines

Personally, from my own experience and looking at the countless mums I have worked with, I believe babies come when they are ready . They don’t have a calendar in there you know! These are tips for things you can do to occupy yourself at the tail end of your pregnancy.  They might help things along if baby is ready.  Whatever happens, sit back and enjoy the last few days of your pregnancy.  It is only ever a few days!

1 Reflexology

It feels like a lovely relaxing foot massage and a great reflexologist (like our Una!) will know exactly the right points to press to get labour going sooner rather then later!

2. Acupuncture

Proven to help babies get into an optimal position for birth and to help the cervix ripen. You’ll come away feeling great and baby will be packing up and getting ready for the journey after a couple of sessions with Kevin Callan or Sam Taylor.

3. Massage

Always a treat and can be done by your other half or you can leave it to the professionals! A good hard massage of the shoulders can push those labour buttons if baby is ready to go.  It also gives you a nice burst of oxytocin and endorphins  – labour fuel!

pregnancy bump4. Relaxation

If you’re tense and stressed baby might have difficulty moving down into the pelvic cavity so do your best to relax and trust your body and your baby to know the right time and the right place. Try practicing relaxation – progressively softening your whole body with your breath.

5. Yoga & Gravity

Once baby’s head is engaged gravity becomes your new best friend.  You might feel a lot of pressure but that’s good. Remember, the pressure of baby’s head against the cervix helps it to soften and open so all those yoga postures you’ve been practicing will have a real bonus now.  Keep active and take walks too – just not to the point where you’re exhausting yourself.

6. Sex

I know you mightn’t feel like it now….but do it for the team! You’ll get a big rush of oxytocin and semen contains prostaglandin. Yes that’s right, the stuff they induce you with (obviously that’s a synthetic version!).  Its free, its easy(‘ish!) and you’ll probably make someone else’s day too.

7. Nipple Stimulation

If you just can’t bring yourself to go the whole way nipple stimulation (and/or clitoral stimulation) will have a pretty similar effect. You’ll get that all important oxytocin and endorphin rush that just might set you on your way.

If its not too late, it’s always good to be deliberately vague about your ‘due date’ from the start.  Say you’re baby is due ‘some time in October’ or ‘in November’ rather then giving a date. This will hopefully keep everyone from driving you mad at the end of your pregnancy.

If you would like to learn more about preparing yourself and your partner for the big day why not look into our popular Preparing for Birth Partner Workshops? And for more on avoiding induction check out our (FREE!) Baby Led Labour Workshop.

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