Week 37: Time to think about how you'll parent your newborn. Remember, there is no such thing as spoiling a newborn. Respond to your baby's cues to build trust and a solid bond.
If you are birthing outside your home, consider what you'll need to take with you to feel safe, calm, peaceful and comfortable.
Newborn babies are incapable of manipulating parents and it's impossible to spoil newborns with too much holding. Human babies are very immature at birth, with a brain that's only 25% of an adult brain. They have reflexes that guide their behavior and basic needs that need to be met consistently by responding to baby's cues and cries.
You may be feeling hot, heavy, swollen and hoping you'll deliver early. Remember that the most important developments, like lung maturity, develop last. Try to enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy as much as you can and remember that babies are born when the time is right for them to thrive outside the uterus.
Many women spend the last weeks of pregnancy in a flurry of activity trying to create the perfect environment for baby. Please remember that your baby won't care about the color of his room or if the crib is assembled. Try to get as much rest as possible and enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy in ways that will make sense to you (watching movies, walks in the park, talking to relatives about their births, etc..)
Spend time this week identifying where you'll get breastfeeding support after baby has arrived: Your local La Leche League? Your hospital lactation consultants? Friends who have successfully breastfed their babies? Have the phone numbers on hand so you know who you can call no matter the time of day or night.
La Leche League
One key element of successful breastfeeding is to keep baby and mother together as much as possible the first week postpartum. Family and friends can take up the household tasks and errand running in order to support mother and baby.
Spend time this week practicing deep relaxation exercises. Find a comfortable position and use pillows to prop and support your body. Begin by picturing a pleasant image. Then, begin focusing on your breathing. As you slow your breathing, explore your pleasant image and see how loose and limp your body can be.
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
This is a really cool book for understanding how a homebirth midwife works. It's a little technical but each chapter has a special section for parents to help understand the choices and information detailed in that chapter.