You wouldn't think of running a marathon without training first, and the same goes for preparing your body for the physical challenge of giving birth.
'If you're fit and well, you'll have more strength and stamina for labour,' says antenatal teacher Gill Perks, who runs Gentle Birth antenatal courses.
'Try to exercise daily - anything from brisk walks and swimming to a regular yoga class,' she advises.
From 35 weeks, it's also important to maintain good posture to help your baby into the ideal position for birth.
'Sit upright and slightly forward with your knees below your hips,' says Gill.
Try sitting on a birthing ball while watching TV, and lying on your left side will also help encourage your baby to shift into the correct position.
As your due date approaches, you should also:
- Eat well and get plenty of rest
- Practise your breathing exercises - your antenatal teacher or midwife should be able to advise you about this
- Gentle squats will help strengthen your legs for labour. Use a chair or exercise ball for support
- Take up pregnancy yoga to keep your body flexible
- Massage your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) with olive oil to improve the skin's suppleness and prevent tearing.