I’m in the final stretch of pregnancy at just over 38 weeks. People have asked if I’m miserable and ready to be done yet and I think miserable may be a bit harsh but I’m ready to be done whenever.
I think I’m treating my body and baby well at this stage and giving us the optimal experience that I possibly can. I’ve learned to embrace body changes and love when baby Finley moves.
I feel ready, not at all nervous yet. I feel well prepared thanks to my healthcare provider team (chiropractor, Chinese medicine doctor, and massage therapists) and birth team (midwives, doula, hypnobirthing instructor, and breastfeeding instructor).
I know my blogs have taken more of a turn surrounding pregnancy but it really is an incredible part of my life that should be embraced and if I can share with other moms-to-be then that makes me feel really good. My intention is always to share what has worked for me, but never to judge someone if they choose otherwise.
So the blogs that follow this leading up to the birth will likely be about pregnancy and birth.
I always sit down and just write whatever comes to mind so I cannot tell you what October will hold and if I will be blogging at all in the coming months with the new baby, but I always promise to come back.
Today I thought I would share how I am preparing for birth in the last few weeks. Most importantly is staying comfortable and stress free. Our bodies work so much better in labor and delivery when we are relaxing and haven’t been tense.
1. Seeing My Healthcare Team Weekly in the Last 4 Weeks- I see my chiropractor weekly to make sure my entire body is aligned and to also do any Webster Technique to work the Round Ligament that may be tight. If this ligament is tight it can restrict movements for baby because they have less room in the uterus to move around.
I see my Chinese medicine doctor for acupuncture to help facilitate blood flow to the uterus and relax my body. If Finley were in a less than optimal position acupuncture could help her flip, as could chiropractic Webster technique.
I see a prenatal massage therapist and our structural integration therapist each week now. It may not be necessary to do both but I do because prenatal massage focuses on pregnancy and relaxing.
My structural integration therapist is deeper tissue, although not like it was prior to pregnancy. This helps separate fascia and helps alleviate any sticking of muscles and fascia which can still be occurring because I lift weights and my body has experienced so much change.
We attend prenatal yoga once a week as well to really get us in the zone for birth.
2. Food and Supplements- When I was in to see my Chinese medicine doctor this past week she recommended a list of things to do and not to do. She recommended avoiding spicy and pungent foods as well as damp foods like peanuts.
This helps the body from becoming overly damp and hot, who needs to be overly hot when you already are pregnant? I do have some peanut butter in a shake about twice a week but tend to avoid it otherwise. It was a little tough giving up salsa but my body has responded well to it.
At my midwife’s recommendation I have added alfalfa into my diet regularly in supplement form to assist with clotting after labor as it contains a natural source of Vitamin K. I also will start to add Raspberry Leaf Tea to tone the uterus from time to time.
I have had a thing for dates the last few months and it turns out that eating 6 dates a day is supposed to help in labor as it has oxytocin like effects, so now I eat them daily. This also helps with digestion because it has fiber in it.
3. Purchased Essentials for Me for After Birth (Must Read!)- I purchased my nursing tops, nursing bras, and nursing sports bras as well as a belly bandit. I prefer the nursing tops from Target because they are comfortable and affordable.
My nursing bras I actually went and got fitted for which I highly recommend because I would not have purchased the right size. I spent a little more in this category to ensure they were right for me. I got mostly bras without underwire as they say that underwire can possibly cause blocked milk ducts and mastitis. I purchased plenty of disposable and reusable pads to put in my nursing bra for milk leakage.
I love the bamboobies ones as they seem soft. I got my nursing sports bra from La Leche League (thanks Jessica for the recommendation!) as I wanted proper support for when I return to workouts and still the accessability to nurse as I know I will be working out at home in our home gym for awhile.
I also did quite a bit of research on the belly supports and how they help with pushing any fluids out as well as helping your body return faster to its original size (or close to it).
It fits like a girdle and should be put on daily even starting as soon as hours after delivery. Belly Bandit is what I chose to go with, will see how it works out :).
4. I Made Postpartum Cold Pads & Essential Oil Concoctions- The postpartum pads aren’t talked about as much as I think they should be as they help any swelling go down after birth quicker.
I simply purchased extra heavy pads, put aloe vera, witch hazel, lavender, and geranium drops in them and then resealed the pads in their packages and put gallon bags of them in the freezer. It is pretty simple to do.
I also made sure I had several essential oils on hand like basil and black pepper for pain during labor, clary sage and myrrh for contraction help, lavender to calm me, wild orange to energize me, and frankincense for anxiety.
I made a couple of mist blends for the different stages of labor as well as a perineal support balm for during labor and a mist to spray on my lady parts after birth. There are also mixtures for sadness, edema, after pains, and hemorrhoids that I have essential oils on hand for in case I need them.
I did make some home made sanitizer and germ sprays as well as making sure there are oils on hand for baby remedies like bonding, cord stump care, sore bottom, and so forth.
5. Continued Daily Practice- I continue to do my daily yoga flow, cat-cow exercises, breathing practices, visualizations, affirmations, walking, and workouts. I also apply belly oil/salve twice a day to my belly, breasts, butt and thighs to continue to prevent stretch marks. I sit on the exercise quite a bit if I sit at all which I love.
A few things we will add in this week are perineal massage (yes, it is weird but look into it as it may help prevent tearing during labor) and every few days Rebozo technique. I encourage you to google this or take a look on Spinning Babies website to ensure you can do it and how to properly do it. Our doula/prenatal yoga instructor has worked with us on this. It feels awesome in the last few weeks!!
6. Our bags are packed- I packed a diaper bag and bag for myself and husband so we are all set. I know there will be things to add but at least I know I grabbed the right diapers and clothes for baby Finley as well as shower stuff and a change of clothes for me. 🙂
This was a longer blog post, my apologies, but I so wanted to share. If there are any questions about anything, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com
Thank you for reading!
With much love & gratitude,