I'm a chocolate-loving nutritionist, pre & postnatal coach, doula and let's face it- total birth nerd 🤓. I'm here to help you cut through mommy-marketing and pinterest perfection to confidently cultivate a pregnancy and postpartum experience you totally love.
Okay mama. You’ve done the math and uncovered the lie. Pregnancy isn’t nine months, it’s closer to ten. 40+ Long weeks of baby building fun. And perhaps you’re over it. So now you’re looking to take things into your own hands and prepare your body for labor because you’re also over people asking you “you had that baby yet?”
First things first, send those folks to this website. They’ll get the hint.
Here’s the deal: Babies arrive on their own schedule. The average gestation for first time mamas is 41 weeks + 1 day from your last missed period. So now, you feel betrayed because that due that was a lie. I promise you won’t be pregnant forever. Due dates are really estimates. It’s like you know you’re about to go on a trip, sometime soon, you just don’t know when your flight leaves. So your bags are packed and the schedule is cleared for this whole month. STRESSFUL analogy, sorry!
10% gave birth by 36 weeks and 4 days after ovulation
25% gave birth by 37 weeks and 3 days after ovulation
50% gave birth by 38 weeks and 2 days after ovulation
75% gave birth by 39 weeks and 2 days after ovulation
90% gave birth by 40 weeks and zero days after ovulation
The most important thing is to stay connected with your provider and with your growing baby to make sure everyone is happy and doing their thing.
I started getting really anxious in my first pregnancy around 37 weeks. I had this feeling she would arrive any minute. My body was certainly doing a ton of prep work, but little did I know I had a full four weeks to go before Edith made her way earth-side. At 40 weeks, I was convinced I’d have to take her to college in utero, so we went to the beach.
Here are a few things you can do in those final days and weeks of pregnancy to give your body and baby the hint it’s time to vacate. These things can also be done during labor to continue progress.
3 Ways to
Prepare Your Body for Labor
Practice deep hip-opening stretches
These stretches help open up the hips and encourage proper alignment in the pelvis. If you’re feeling particularly tight, it may be helpful to see a body worker like a massage therapist or chiropractor. Choose one that is trained in working with prenatal population.
Schedule in Some Sexy Time
What gets the baby in, can also get the baby out.
For real you are probably not going to want to have sex for some time after the baby arrives, so uh get it in now. Sex is not only good for partner bonding and intimacy, it’s actually helpful to kickstart labor. Orgasm releases oxytocin, that feel good hormone. Semen also has prostaglandins which can help soften the cervix. Not in the mood? Nipple stimulation is another good tool to use (and can be used during labor as well to move things along).
No, I’m not suggesting you start doing burpees or head out for a long run (uh ouch) but movement can help encourage baby to move down into the pelvis and get in position to move on out.
Go for a long walk
Lunges or squats
Curb-walk. Walk with one foot up on a curb and the other on the road. The uneven shifting side to side helps is move baby further down in the pelvis. It’s good to do this with someone else, just in case you start to fall.
Gently bounce on a yoga ball. (Also keep this around for early parenting, this is the only way our daughter would fall asleep)
But remember, the baby will arrive. I promise. You will not be pregnant for ten years, though I know it 100% feels like that right now. By focusing on creating feelings of love and safety to get that oxytocin flowing and encouraging optimal positioning, your body and baby will make the magic happen. As always, connect with your midwife or healthcare provider to develop the best plan for you and baby.