Week 36: Time to think about what kind of household help you might need after baby arrives.
The baby may soon be changing positions to descend lower in your pelvis. Try sitting with your hips higher than your knees to increase comfort, ease your breathing, and help the baby find the optimal fetal position for birth.
When you feel Braxton Hicks contractions, take a moment to practice the slow, deep breathing that you'll use in labor. Try to relax every muscle in your body.
Breathing becomes easier but walking becomes harder as the baby descends lower in the pelvis.
Think about putting together a postpartum plan of who will help take care of you and the household in the first 2-6 weeks after baby's arrival. Ask yourself these questions: 1) Who will support me at home; 2) What are the tasks I'd like them to do? 3) What should they not do? 4) Any difficult conversations on the horizon?
Expect changing relationships between your parents, friends and partner. Recognize that change is healthy and normal. A variety of emotions can accompany changing relationships: Pride, sadness, confusion and anxiety. Keep the lines of communication open and clear by identifying what you need and asking in a clear, specific manner.
Becoming Parents Program
Reaching out and widening your social circle during parenthood is important and enhances your mental health. Try connecting with other new parents through your childbirth education classes, hospital new parent groups or co-op preschools, often offered through area community colleges.
The most important thing you can give your newborn is skin-to-skin contact. You can start immediately after birth. Unwrap your newborn and keep him naked (with a diaper) between your unclothed breasts. This position comforts baby as well as increases his ability and interest in nursing.
Yes, doulas wax poetic about Ina May's books. There is good reason. She knows what she's talking about. Just go check out the reviews on Amazon and buy this book (or get on the wait list at your local library).