That last month of pregnancy seems to last forever, but here are some practical things you can do to prepare and keep yourself busy before baby arrives.
There’s a viral meme going around that says, “Each month has an average of 30-31 days, except the last month of pregnancy, which has 1,453 days.” When you’re in third trimester, you know you’re in the home stretch, but you might feel as though the clock is ticking backward. It’s so hard to wait out those last uncomfortable weeks!
Luckily, there are a few practical things you can do to prepare for baby’s arrival and keep yourself busy (and distracted!). Consider adding these five things to your end-of-pregnancy to-do list.
1Communicate to family and friends how you want to announce the birth.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson many families learn the hard way: If you don’t specifically ask them not to do so, family and friends may jump on social media and announce your baby’s arrival before you are ready to share the news.
Avoid this common pitfall by talking to family and friends before the birth, and ask them not to put details and photos online until you’ve had a chance to share the news yourself.
2Stock your freezer with meals.
These last weeks before baby makes an appearance may be your last stretch of totally uninterrupted free time for a while. You can make life postpartum a little easier by preparing and freezing meals for a quick and easy dinner later on.
There are endless options online, including meals specifically for the slow cooker or pressure cooker. Any prep you can do now will save you time and energy later on, so stock up as much as you can!
3Make a list of what to pack in your hospital bag.
Knowing when to pack the hospital bag can be tricky, as baby may reasonably make an appearance anytime between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. It helps to ask your mom and grandma for their experiences; if your mom gave birth to you 10 days after her due date, you probably won’t be having a baby before 40 weeks.
Your bag doesn’t need to be completely ready to go, as many women finish packing their hospital bags in early labor, but once you’re in third trimester you’ll want to make a checklist of items to pack and keep an overnight bag handy. That way you’ll know exactly what you need to pack when the time comes.
4Figure out how to install the car seat.
Ah, car seat installation, the bane of modern-day parents. If you feel like you need a degree in rocket science to figure out the instruction manual, you can find a car seat technician with this handy search tool to inspect your car seat and help with installation. You can also find videos online walking you through how to install any brand of car seat on the market.
5Write a letter to your baby.
When you stop to think about it, awaiting your little one’s birth is a special time, even if the heartburn and backaches sometimes make you forget it! Writing a letter to your baby is a wonderful way to remember how you felt and what you were thinking in the days leading up to the birth. As your baby grows up, this letter will be something you both enjoy reading, a reminder of the love you’ve had for each other since the beginning.
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Dear baby, pregnancy is better when I remember we’re in this together