Plan the months leading up to your delivery – and yes, have fun too!

Pregnancy can be a very stressful time, because you know your life is about to change. But then stress is really bad for you and the baby, so instead of focusing on how your life is changing, why don’t you keep yourself distracted with some other things? Here’s what you can do in the months leading to your delivery, both for practical, sensible purposes as well as for fun! 

Pamper Yourself

Pregnancy glow aside, keeping yourself in top shape doesn’t come easy. The shape of your body is already changing, and it can be scary to suddenly not fit into old clothes. Take a break from worrying about turning into a frumpy aunty and pamper yourself. If your doctor gives you a go ahead, call that beauty therapist home and get yourself a mani-pedi. You could also get a massage because that would help release feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin to lift your mood. 

Plan a sleepover

You won’t feel like a girl in a long time again. So it’s time to get all your best friends over and plan a night of girlie fun. Line up rom coms, get some cake ready, bring out the scariest story about your mother in law, and prepare to have a fun night with just the girls. 

Go shopping

A lot of people believe that it isn’t good to buy stuff for the baby before the delivery. If you believe this too, don’t buy stuff for the baby. But if you don’t believe in this, start shopping for the baby. Buy a nice diaper bag that goes with your style. Like a onesie? Pick it up. If you are sure you don’t want to shop for the baby already, go shopping for yourself. Pick out the shoes you will wear when you start walking around with the baby. Buy the concealer you want to wear for your first photo with the baby. There is nothing more relaxing than some retail therapy. 

Treat Yourself

You may not be able to wear high heels now, but you will in a year or two. You will ruin a super expensive lacy bra now because you are lactating, but you will be able to wear it soon. If you like it, go buy it. Even if you can’t use it now. Going forward, every purchase you make will be done with the baby in mind, and you’ll often skip some purchases and buy something for the baby instead. So go treat yourself now! From designer maternity wear to shoes you’ll wear three years later - if you can afford it, you deserve to buy it for yourself. 

Go babymooning

Sure you can’t go trekking in the Himalayas or even diving in the Andamans, but a short, safe holiday you can take. Check with your doctor about safety precautions and go on a babymoon with your husband. This might be your last chance to go on a stress-free holiday in a long time. 

Plan dates

It doesn’t have to be about rose petals and champagne (in fact, don’t even think about champagne). But you both have to realise that once the baby comes, you won’t be able to go on these dates without worrying about the little tyke at home. So plan a few dinner dates or movie dates. Enjoy the last few weeks of being just the two of you. 

Plan the D-day

Do you have plans for the D-day when your baby arrives? What are you going to do if the husband is at work? Will you wait for him to come get you? Do you plan to ask your neighbouring aunty to help? When will you call your mom? When the first labour pain starts? When your contractions are just a few minutes apart? Are you comfortable with the idea of an epidural? Plan out the day down to the last detail. But please remember the actual day might not pan out the way you thought it would, so be flexible too. Having a plan will help with some of the things, so might as well plan all of it. 

How much help do you want?

So it was just the two of you, and now it’s the three of you. Then there’s two sets of mothers. So five. Count in maids, sisters in law - and the number keeps growing. Think about how much help you need in the beginning. If you don’t want both your mother and your mother in law there at the very beginning, tactfully tell one of them to come after the other leaves. Don’t hurt them by saying you don’t need them, but be firm about how much help you want. 

Manage your work leaves

Some mothers take maternity leaves at the beginning of their pregnancy. Some take it during the pregnancy and some prefer to take it after the baby is born. Make a careful decision about when you want to apply for the maternity leave and have a chat with the company HR about it. Before that, read up about India’s maternity leave rules and be informed when you have the chat. 

Read up about hacks

Did you know that a regular massage with olive oil can help you with stretch marks after delivery? Have you seen videos about how to do your eye makeup in 5 minutes flat? Did you read about how to get rid of cradle caps in a baby? You have the time to read up now, so instead of reading up on the horror stories some moms put out about their baby’s poop and epidurals, read about the hacks that can make your life easier once the baby arrives. 

Make a list

Start making lists of all the things you will need in the hospital and after when the baby arrives. Put in everything from your own toothbrush and Vitamin E night cream to the newborn’s diapers and swaddles that you need to buy. As you get closer to your date, start filling out a bag. You never know when your baby just decides one day that it wants to get out of your womb. 

Talk to your husband

Prepare your husband about what to expect when the baby arrives. Learn how to swaddle and put on diapers together. Tell him that you are in this together and he has to be involved in the care of your child as much as you are. Tell him your expectations, tell him your fears and reassure him that it’s going to be fine even when the baby comes

Enjoy ‘me time’

You won’t really have any after the baby comes. So seize the day - have yourself some quality ‘me time’. Listen to the music you love - you will only sing nursery rhymes and lullabies for a while in some months. Watch movies - you won’t have time to finish a movie at a stretch later. Read that book you wanted to - keep aside the mommy book you were told to read. Enjoy the rains and the hot onion fritters. 

Get organised

You won’t be able to put everything in order when your baby comes, so might as well start now. If you have to file your taxes next year, put everything in paper and organise them in neat folders. If you want to make space for the baby’s toiletries near the bed, put away your decorative candles and photo frames. 

Make a baby book

It’s fun to organise all your milestones into a fun scrapbook. Prepare your baby’s scrapbook with milestones that start from your pregnancy. Put fun things in it - the first time your baby kicked, the first time you start noticing your bump. Find fun, creative ways to put these down. It’ll be fun to look at all this years later. 

Go have your baby

You are the best person to prepare yourself for motherhood. You are the best judge of how to plan your pregnancy in a way that is sensible, and yet, fun. So go have fun, and then, go have your baby! 

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