Here it is week twenty-nine. You are so close but yet still so far away from having your baby. As you get closer and closer to your estimated due date, you may be feeling more anxious. If you are a first time mom, you may be really excited about finally becoming a mommy. Are you ready? Motherhood is fast approaching, and the closer it gets to your due date, the more anxious you may feel. Some moms are more anxious about labor, breastfeeding, and some of the other unknowns than they are about motherhood in general. You hear the horror stories from other moms, and it may leave you feeling unprepared. In this week’s newsletter, we are going to talk about some of the fears you may be having about childbirth, breastfeeding, and motherhood.
What Is Going on with Mom & Baby
Baby is the size of an acorn squash!
Baby: Baby’s crown to rump length is around 27 cm (10.6 inches). Your baby weighs about 1300-1400 grams (2.8-3.1 pounds). Your baby has rhythmic breathing now, but her lungs are not fully mature. Your baby’s eyes respond to light now and her bones are fully developed. Your baby is running out of room to move around. She is still kicking around, but you may not feel her doing somersaults anymore.
Mom: As you get further along in your pregnancy, you may be feeling more uncomfortable. Your back may be hurting, and you may feel short of breath. Walking is a great form of exercise during pregnancy. It will make you feel better, and being physically fit may help your body prepare for labor.
This Week’s Pregnancy Checklist
- You should be preregistered for your hospital by now. If not, preregister this week.
- Make a list of addresses of people to send birth announcements to.
- Talk to your partner about your maternity leave and when you plan to return to work.
- Review your birth plan.Find out the visiting hours and visiting policy for your hospital.
- Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.
How Bad Is It Really?
Childbirth Horror Stories
You may have heard horror stories about childbirth that may have left you feeling, well, scared. Try not to let the stories scare you. You are going to have your baby, and you can go into it feeling scared, or you can keep an open mind. We aren’t going to lie to you and tell you that labor doesn’t hurt, but we will tell you that lots of women have babies and leave without a horror story to tell. Keep in mind that the moms that have bad experiences may be more vocal than the ladies that don’t. Moreover, for every bad labor story, you will find that there are countless more stories of beautiful and joyous experiences.
There are a lot of pain relief options when you go into labor. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your feelings on handling pain. When you arrive at your hospital or birthing center, talk to the staff right away about how you plan to approach pain relief during your labor. Be assertive. If you do not want to be in any pain, tell them. If you would like to avoid having an epidural or pain medication, speak up and ask for support. We will be discussing childbirth options more in upcoming newsletters. You won’t be able to know what childbirth will feel like until you actually experience it, but you can start preparing yourself by learning as much as you can about it.
Breastfeeding Horror Stories
If you think the childbirth stories are scary, wait until you start hearing the breastfeeding horror stories. Breastfeeding has become a big subject of debate amongst mothers. On the one extreme, you have the moms that love breastfeeding and claim it is a piece of cake. However, if it was so easy, why the horror stories? Right? The truth? For most women, breastfeeding is easy. Many moms find breastfeeding completely natural and can’t understand what all the fuss is about.
Some women do have problems getting started with breastfeeding, but with support and practice, most breastfeeding obstacles can be overcome. If you are worried about breastfeeding the best thing you can do is take a breastfeeding class or talk with a lactation consultant. A lot of hospitals have a lactation consultant on staff who will be available should you need help with anything once your baby arrives.
Oh No, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Do you ever look at your belly and think “oh boy, what have I gotten myself into?” Of course, you are probably still excited about your baby’s upcoming arrival, but most pregnant moms have at least a couple moments of mommy panic. Worrying about your baby, what kind of mom you will be, or how your marriage will be changed is normal. Life after having your baby will be different but nothing you can’t handle. Most moms go through a transition when they become a mom. At first it may all seem overwhelming, and then gradually somehow you will get into a routine and get used to being a mommy.
How to deal with mommy panic:
Simplify your life: If you are having a lot of stress in your life because of the upcoming baby, try to see what you can cut down on in your life. If finances are worrying, work on a plan to simplify your budget.
Practice using stress relievers: You probably know a lot of ways to help with stress. Exercise, warm baths, and relaxation techniques are great stress relievers. They may not take care of the long term stress you are feeling, but they may give you a short term break from stress.
Talk to other moms: If you are worrying a lot about being a mom, talk to other moms. Sometimes other moms can be your best support system. Everyone was a first-time mom once. Ask your friends for advice and support.
Focus on the positive: Daydreaming about your baby is a good thing! It is okay to take momentary breaks from reality and just dream about your baby. He or she will be arriving shortly. Think about how much joy you will have when you see his or her smiling face.