On Your Mind
You're likely tired but happy as you pack and prepare for the big day. Just remember the
Tired of Being Pregnant
When your cervix hasn't budged and your due date has come and gone, you may be tempted to try one of those sure-fire homemade labor inducers that every pregnant woman hears about. Castor oil, herbal concoctions, spicy food, breast massage, and sex are just a few methods bandied about in pregnancy chatrooms everywhere.
Unfortunately, some “natural methods” might only succeed in making you nauseous, while others can pose a real danger. Even if you're embarrassed, you need to run these by your doctor or midwife before taking matters into your own hands. A good provider will listen and won't laugh, letting you know what's safe and what isn't.
Massaging the areola and gently rolling the nipple mimics the action of a nursing baby and stimulates the natural release of oxytocin, which triggers uterine contractions. Several clinical studies have shown that this method can be useful in labor induction and also helpful in reducing postpartum hemorrhage.
Irritable and Anxious
As sleep gets more and more elusive and your discomfort ratchets up, you may find yourself easily provoked. The best short-term solution to keeping your cool? Stay clear of encounters with people you just know will irritate you (whether they mean to or not), and ask your significant other to be the point person on all “Anything yet?” questions.
First-time moms may find themselves overwhelmed with anxiety now that birth is so near. Take a deep breath, go over what you learned in childbirth class (repeatedly if it helps ease your mind), and talk with your partner or labor coach about ways to relax and get past the anxious feelings. It's perfectly natural to be fearful of the unknown, but don't let fear wrest control of your labor from you.
Even if you have been through pregnancy already, you might still be anxious about baby's arrival. Perhaps you're following a different kind of labor and birth plan, or you're concerned about how your other child will react to his new sibling. Again, talk it out with your partner, ask your provider any questions that are still on your mind about labor and delivery, and remember that you've been through this once and you'll make it through again.
Excited and Happy
How could you not be excited? You're finally going to meet the little one you've known only through kicks, hiccups, and grainy ultrasound images. Will she look like you? What will you do when you get to hold her for the first time? Relish these final days of exhilaration and anticipation — they are unique.