Pregnancy is a pretty amazing time, but it can also be stressful. The final weeks of pregnancy are probably the most exciting and nerve-wracking. Then, finally, you’re almost ready to meet your little one, but there’s still much to do.
A report by Macrotrends states that the birth rate increased by 0.09% in 2021 to reach 12.012 births in every 1,000 people. The birth rate in the previous year was 12.001 births for every 1,000 people. More deliveries occur every year, so it’s time to prepare for this lovely time.
There’s a lot to think about during the final few days of pregnancy, especially if this is your first baby. It can be stressful but don’t worry. This article got you covered with these seven last-minute preparations.
Pre-Arrangements for Ambulance
Check whether an ambulance service is available in your area. If there’s no local service, consider making arrangements for private transport. If you live in an area where ambulance services are readily available, consider making arrangements for private ambulance transport.
For example, suppose you don’t have friends or family to help you. In that case, it can be worth hiring someone specializing in transporting expectant mothers during labor. Some of these specialized ambulances offer the option of traveling with your doula or birth coach on board.
Find out if you need to call 911 or not. Asking someone who doesn’t know may be confusing or misleading. It might be best to call the hospital and ask them directly or have a friend or family member do it.
Find out the procedure for calling an ambulance, including where they pick up babies, if possible, and whether or not you need to bring a birth plan with you when they come.
According to IBIS World, around 23,004 private ambulance businesses in the US employ approximately 202,859 specialists. Thus, finding an ideal private ambulance service in your area won’t be difficult.
It is the final stage of your pregnancy. Your body has done a lot, and it’s time for rest and relaxation. It is also when you start preparing for the arrival of your baby.
The nesting stage can be divided into two parts. Physical preparation includes ensuring that everything in your home is ready for the baby, and mental preparation includes getting yourself ready to become a parent.
It’s a natural part of pregnancy that most women experience. However, it can also happen after the birth of your baby when you are adjusting to your new role as a parent.
Packing a Hospital Bag
You should pack all the essentials for your baby’s first few days, including diapers, wipes, formula, or breast milk. In addition, you may want to bring a couple of outfits for your baby so that you can alternate between clean and dirty clothes.
If you are staying in the hospital for more than one night after delivery, think about packing some items that will make it easy on yourself when it comes time to leave. Some of these include bathrobes, toiletries, underwear, and pajamas. Also, pack some books or magazines that will help pass the time while waiting for discharge instructions from your doctor.
Several things will come in handy once home from the hospital, like comfortable clothing and shoes. Also, consider packing sanitary pads or tampons. Pads are easier to use, but tampons might be more comfortable since their size can accommodate vaginal swelling after birth.
Making a Birth Plan
A birth plan is an important tool that you can use to give your wishes and preferences regarding the labor process, as well as the postpartum period. It will help you decide what type of medical interventions you’d like to have during labor, delivery, and post-delivery care.
Before writing them down, you should discuss your wishes with your doctor or midwife so they know about any pertinent medical history. For example, if there was a previous miscarriage or stillbirth.
You may also want to include information about what pain relief options appeal to you during labor. It’s also helpful if family members know their role during this time so they won’t feel excluded from the process.
Preparing for the Unknown
You can’t predict every minute detail of your labor, so it’s important to be flexible and ready to respond when the situation changes. You may want to consider leaving work early or taking time off if you don’t know how long the process will take.
Prepare yourself for the unknown, but don’t let that scare you into constantly changing plans. If you change too much based on what might happen, like adding a last-minute C-section, you could miss out on some important opportunities and experiences with your baby. Just because something won’t go as expected doesn’t mean it needs majorly fixing.
Remember, your body knows what it’s doing. Trust in nature’s design and let go of expectations about how things should go down at home or in the hospital. Instead, focus on supporting whatever happens during labor and life.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
They are often mistaken for real labor because they can feel mild. However, Braxton Hicks contractions are not painful and do not cause significant changes to your cervix. A report from NCBI states that they can start from the 6th week of pregnancy but are usually felt only after the second or third trimester.
These contractions are a natural body process to prepare you for actual labor pains. However, they should not be misunderstood for the starting of labor pain. They are also known as false-labor pains.
You can feel Braxton Hicks contractions in the lower abdomen, but they don’t cause pain. They may or may not be regular and typically come and go without warning.
There are certain signs that you should look out for, as they might be indicative of pre-labor. These include:
- Cramping in the abdominal area.
- Backaches and other pains in the lower back and pelvis.
- Increased urination with a need to go more often than normal. This can be up to 10 times a day.
- Nausea and vomiting are usually worse after eating or drinking something.
- Sweating, hot flashes, or chills.
- Change in appetite, either feeling of fullness or decreased hunger.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor about what could be causing them. It could just be normal pregnancy stuff or mean that labor’s on its way.
Father’s Last-Minute Preparations
As the father of a newborn, you might be anxious about what’s to come. The good news is that you have plenty of time as a new dad to prepare for everything. Here are some last-minute preparations:
- Prepare your partner for delivery by reminding her that it’s normal to feel nervous and scared during labor. Remind her not to be afraid to ask questions or ask for help from medical professionals at any time during the process.
- Prepare yourself emotionally and physically for the baby’s arrival by walking through key moments in your head and physically.
- Prepare your partner emotionally by watching for signs of postpartum depression or anxiety so they can get treatment sooner rather than later.
- Prepare yourself physically so you can participate fully in caring for your newborn. For example, you don’t want him/her getting hungry while he/she waits on daddy.
Preparing for the Final Days
Now that you’ve made it to your final week of pregnancy, the time has come for you and your partner to prepare for what lies ahead.
If you are like most women, you will be exhausted. It is normal to feel fatigued at this point in your pregnancy, so ensure you are well-rested during these last few days. If possible, get plenty of rest in advance since labor can take its toll on both mom and baby.
It’s also important to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for childbirth as well as physically. Remember that labor is usually unpredictable. You may not know how long it will last or how much pain it will cause until the moment arrives.
The best way to deal with this uncertainty is by being open-minded about what might happen during labor and delivery. Be prepared for all possibilities so that you won’t panic or become stressed out beyond reason if one occurs unexpectedly.
The last few days of your pregnancy are an exciting time for you and your family. You’re in the home stretch now and can start preparing for the birth of your baby. It’s important to know what to expect during this period to take care of yourself and prepare for labor when it comes time.