It can seem like forever when you’re in the last few weeks of pregnancy and you’re waiting for labor to start! You’ll appreciate Leigh Ann’s tips for things to do while you wait for labor to begin!
Guest post by Leigh Ann of Intentional By Grace
Dear First Time Mom Who is Waiting on Labor Start,
You are almost there! The day you have been waiting for since you found out you were pregnant, and you’re eager, oh so eager, to hold your baby in your arms.
You’re tired of imagining that little nose and tired of guessing whose eyes your baby will have. You’re tired of having someone else tie your shoes and tired of running to the bathroom every five minutes because a certain little someone decided to use your bladder as a punching bag.
You’re ready to meet your baby. Ready to stop wondering when labor will start. Ready to be a mom of a newborn. Ready to start healing. Ready to just.be.done.
I get it.
The last few weeks of pregnancy can be really hard.
You’ve spent the last nine months meticulously eating healthy foods, taking the best supplements for you and your baby, and researching everything pregnancy and baby related so that you can make the best possible choices for your family.
You have your birth plan written out, your bags packed or your home birth supplies gathered, and you’ve done every possible thing including deep cleaning the garage and shaving your legs one last time – just in case.
The last weeks of pregnancy can be a trying time for any mom. No matter how many times you’ve done it, the last weeks are just hard.
But Mama, know this: You are not alone. You will not stay pregnant forever. Mamas all over the world have been right where you are, and we want to encourage you. If you’ll let us.
7 Things You Can Do While You’re Waiting on Labor to Start
1. Put on your patience hat
Most women are “done” being pregnant by the time they are 34 weeks (sometimes sooner!). You will be counting down the days until you are considered full-term, hoping that soon after you’ll start active labor and have it over with. You will be tempted to do everything in your power to induce labor right now.
Mama, put on your patience hat as we say in my house. Choose to cherish this season of pregnancy. Choose to wait upon the Lord. Your baby will come when he or she is ready. Don’t rush your baby or your body. I promise you that you’ll regret it if you do.
Being a ticking time bomb is hard. It is so hard. But don’t give up. You’ve come this far. Your due date is just a guide. It feels really important because you’re worn out and ready to have your body back, but it’s not. You will not be pregnant forever. I promise!
2. Guard against complaining
Because the last weeks of pregnancy are hard, we are tempted to complain incessantly about what ails us. It’s normal. Totally normal.
But just because complaining is normal doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to guard against it. Pregnancy is hard work, and sometimes, it doesn’t feel like such a gift. But the Word tells us to “do all things without grumbling or questioning” (Philippians 2:14). All things does not exclude pregnancy.
When my heart turns to grumbling and complaining, it’s because I desire comfort and ease more than I desire to selflessly serve another – in this case my child. I desire for others to feel sorry for me. I want them to swoon over my discomforts. I’d like my husband to take over the dishes for the evening or for my son to stop asking for me to play with him.
Mama, we can tell others we are in pain, we can ask for help, we can be honest about how we feel, but we can do it with a spirit of grace and gratitude instead of a spirit of complaining and bitterness.
3. Keep supplying valuable nutrition to you and your baby
When you’re waiting for labor to start, it’s tempting to slack off your good nutritional habits. It’s tempting to just hit the drive through instead of making yet another pregnancy super food at home.
Mama, it’s more important than ever to keep giving your body valuable nutrition. Labor is hard work. Your body needs all the nutritional stores you can give it.
For the third trimester, foods that are high in Omega-3 fats are pivotal since your baby’s brain is rapidly developing. Eating fish is the best source, but a good cod liver oil supplement will do the trick as well.
4. Turn your phone off
When you’re waiting for labor to start, some well meaning friends and family members will “check on you.” Don’t feel like you have to answer every single message. You don’t need to update them with every contraction or movement. You don’t need to feel pressured to “move this thing along” or be reminded that “you look like you’re about to pop.”
It is completely okay to turn your phone off so you can concentrate on taking care of yourself and your baby.
5. Enjoy your spouse
Your lives are about to forever be altered. This season will be gone before you know it – this sweet season of just the two of you. Soon you will be parents – wonderful parents. And soon your attention will be divided and consumed by the demands of a newborn.
Spend what energy you have each day enjoying one another without the need to get a babysitter.
6. Make final preparations
If you haven’t already made final preparations for your baby, then do it while you wait. Below are a few ideas.
- Pack your bag for the hospital
- Gather your home birth supplies
- Stock your freezer with meals
- Print off scripture memory cards for labor day
- Read encouraging birth stories
- Read a parenting book
- Wash your baby’s clothes
- Create a nursing station
- Make a Nursing Mama Tincture
- Install the carseat
You probably already have your own list, but use this time as your wait for labor to start to make any final preparations.
Take advantage of the nesting instinct, but also take plenty of time to just rest in your final weeks. You never know when you will go into labor, and your body needs all the rest it can get.
Soak in an herbal salt bath to ease the aches and pains. If you have swollen ankles, put your feet up and sip some tea made from dandelion root. Don’t feel guilty about resting. Resting is not idleness. Rest is a gift. So take plenty of time to just rest!
I know this is your first time to experience pregnancy and an impending labor. I know you don’t yet have a baby to hold while you wait. I know that you’re eager and excited. I know that you’re tired and worried about labor.
Will it hurt really bad? Will I need an epidural? Will I really be able to have a natural birth? Will I be worried about modesty? Will my husband be okay? Will I …
Dear Mama, this too shall pass. You will look back on these last days and weeks with amazement at how fast it really did go. Or not. And you won’t even care.
Let me tell you something, New Mama. You will do great. You will make it through this. You will quickly forget all the aches and pains the minute your new baby is laid upon your chest. Every single moment of this pregnancy will be worth it all in that one single moment when your life changes forever.
You will see your baby’s face. You will stroke that soft belly and kiss those sweet toes. Soon. Very soon. Just not right now.
So hang in there. You are almost there. And remember this: you are an amazing mom! Don’t let anyone ever tell you any different.
What tips would you give a first time mom as she waits on labor to start? Are you a first time mom waiting on labor? What are you doing while you wait?
Leigh Ann Dutton, author of Live for Him: A Grace-Filled Look at Planning, is the wife to the man of her prayers, Mark, and mama to two loveable little boys, Samuel (born in a birth center) and Timothy (born at home). She takes joy in spending her days creating memorable moments with her husband, conducting kitchen experiments, researching every natural alternative known to man, and making her little boys laugh. She does it all by the grace of God.