How to be Productive at the End of Your Pregnancy
March 8, 2016
If you’re currently in your third trimester, especially at the end of it, you probably read the title of this post and laughed. “Yeah, right,” you think. “Getting up and down the stairs is about as productive as I am these days.” I hear ya. Because even battling the trip up and down the stairs was a battle for me. A battle I didn’t always win, to be honest.
But even from the comfort of your cozy pillow-covered bed or couch, there are plenty of things you can do in anticipation of the arrival of your baby. Hopefully a lot of the major purchasing and assembling has been finished at this point, but there are always a few odds and ends that can be tied up during those last few weeks. Here are a few ways to keep that motivation going until the big day arrives, that don’t involve strenuous activity.
Sewing is great because you can do as much or little as you want at a time. Spend a few minutes cutting out a pattern, then take a break. Sew a few pieces together, then take another break. Or wait until tomorrow. Or the next day. You can do it at your own pace and having an end-product that you made yourself, whether it’s for your new baby or not, will give you a huge sense of accomplishment and pride, and increase your motivation to do even more. There are some awesome free beginner tutorials on Pinterest, just do a quick search for “beginning sewing projects” and you’re on your way!
Plan for the memories
Use this free time to set something up so that all of the pictures you take organize themselves for easy sorting and printing. My favorite service for this is Chatbooks, oh how I wish I’d known about it before my babies were born. All you have to do is sync your Instagram account or Facebook photos and they’ll automatically fill up a book with your pictures. You can even filter them by a specific hashtag so only those photos will go in. I do this with a hashtag for my son and daughter’s names and their ages. Then they ship them to you and you have an awesome little book of memories you don’t have to pull out your phone to see. There are several different services like Chatbooks you can choose from, but I think you’ll find once baby arrives it can be difficult to remember to do this, and to go back and try to track down pictures from certain events or time periods. For now, if you just create albums on your phone or Facebook to organize the pictures as you take them, or choose a hashtag to use to sort events, you’ll save yourself a lot of future time and frustration trying to sort through pictures.
Line up your after-care
If you have a family member coming to help out, you can make a list of the most important things you’ll need help with around the house. Chances are they’ll come in and ask, “how can I help?” And you might have a hard time thinking of where to start. So make a list now of the things that are already difficult for you to accomplish. For me, vacuuming was hard postpartum for a while. If you do not have family coming, look into hiring someone from a cleaning company to do some housework for you once a week (or more/less depending on your circumstances and preferences) to help keep things under control. Believe it or not, this is pretty important. Keeping your home in order will help you recover both physically and keep you in check emotionally. If you begin to feel overwhelmed by mounting housework on top of learning to care for a newborn you may notice the baby blues creeping in or even postpartum depression setting in. Take the time now to establish a plan for keeping your home in order.
This might be the most productive thing you can do. For reals. You thought you were getting no sleep while pregnant? HA! The first week or so with a newborn will have you wishing you were getting as much sleep as you are during pregnancy. You might be one of the lucky ones who’s baby learns to sleep well early on, but for many of us that’s just not the case. And sleep deprivation is not your friend. So rest up now. You will not regret it.
Take in the baby-free time
The day before my first was born, I called a friend and said, “I don’t even know what to do. I’m being induced in a few hours and I just don’t know what to do before I go in.” And, being a mom herself, she told me, “just go grab some food, and sit in your quiet, undisturbed house and take it all in. It’s the last time you will ever have to just sit and be for as long as you want.” And I did. I just sat on my couch and meditated a little bit. I thought about the closing of this chapter, the kid-free chapter, but also about how excited I was to have toys and blankets and pacifiers everywhere. I prayed and talked to God about my feelings and worries, and I just took in the silence and the moment. And it’s true – I never got to do that again. There has always been a little cry or voice that has needed me at some point, toys or blankets or books piled next to me on the couch, bottles that needed to be washed, or crib sheets that needed to be changed. Things changed a few hours later, but I’m glad I took time to appreciate the life I had lived before I had children, but also to acknowledge how ready I was for my baby to come. It was the mental preparation I needed. After that, I was ready, and my beautiful daughter came the next day, and my life has forever changed for the better.
Use your time wisely. It’s precious. You don’t have to spend it worrying or packing or decorating. Preparing for your baby is not just physical, it’s also emotional and mental. Get your partner on board and make every moment count before your baby comes. And of course, every moment after as well.
How did you spend your time during those last few weeks of pregnancy?
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