Just 5% of babies arrive when they’re due, so don’t get too obsessed about the date.
One week to go
- Stock up the freezer with home-cooked or ready meals.
- If you’re driving to the hospital, do a ‘dummy run’ so you’ll know how long it takes and you won’t get lost!
Your due date arrives…
…but there’s no sign of your baby. Don’t worry – it’ll happen soon, one way or another. Most hospitals won’t let you go more than 10 to 14 days overdue, as it’s thought the placenta becomes less efficient after this time. Your midwife may suggest a membrane sweep: she’ll sweep a finger round your cervix (neck of the womb) during an internal examination, which may kick-start labour. If this doesn’t work, she’ll discuss induction, which may involve – breaking your waters, or using prostaglandin pessaries or an oxytocin drip to get things going. You’ll be given a booking-in time at hospital.
Natural ways to get things moving include acupuncture, nipple stimulation, eating spicy food and having sex (semen contains the hormone prostaglandin, which can help to kick-start labour).
Your other to do list
The baby clothes are washed and packed away and the freezer is full of meals. So now’s the time to invest in some me time, because all too soon it’s all about a little tiny newcomer…
- Join a pregnancy yoga class and meet other mums-in-waiting.
- Curl up with a good book and have a peaceful afternoon nap.
- Get a pedicure, ready for that moment when you’ll be once again able to see your toes!
- Buy a really nice, loose outfit to wear after the birth – you’ll still have a swollen tum and you’ll be sick of maternity clothes.
- Enjoy a quiet afternoon at the movies.
- Turn your bathroom into a spa and have a long exfoliate, soak and moisturise session.
- Get your hair done – think chic but low-maintenance.
- Gather together your new NCT friends and give yourselves a baby shower.
- Get a boxset of the TV series you wished you had watched.
- Upload your MP3 with playlists to suit you and your baby – a nursery rhyme sing-along, soothing sleep sounds and much needed energy tracks!