Ready to read? Waiting anxiously for baby can mean hours of worry, intrusive and unhelpful thoughts, and tons of emotions to weather. Check out some fun and productive ways to pass the time while you wait for your sweet baby to arrive that prioritize your mental health and actually help you transition into motherhood.
Hey, mama! If you’re impatiently and anxiously waiting for your baby to come, I feel you. To this day, I can remember the emotions I felt in the weeks leading up to my son’s birth.
Let me give a little background. My son was due on September 16th, but I was hoping to manifest him coming a few weeks early. And truthfully, this was simply because I’m a super impatient person, and was pretty dang ready to be done being pregnant.
Well, wouldn’t you know that my son decided to hang out an extra week past his due date, and that I would have to be induced. Stubborn like mama. 😉
While spending 3 weeks on maternity leave before baby had even arrived, I had ample time to sit around in my thoughts, reorganize the nursery for the 400th time, and marinade in my anxiety about what giving birth would be like.
Honestly, I was just so done. Every day that he didn’t come felt disheartening and frustrating, and each Instagram post of someone with the same due date with their brand new baby (who came early, by the way) brought out envy and despair like I’ve never felt. I kept thinking, “when is it my turn??”
Gosh, I wish I had a resource of how to productively pass the time and avoid going crazy when I was ready to pop. So, ta-da! Here is a list of my best ideas for things to do while waiting anxiously for baby to arrive that honor your mental health.
Things to Do While Waiting for Baby
#1 Take Your Partner on a Date
It is imperative that you and your partner are well-connected emotionally before your baby arrives. Pregnancy hormones can make a mama less than sweet, so show your partner some love by taking them on a little reconnection adventure.
Go out to eat, plan a walk at sunset to just talk, or grab some candy and popcorn for a stay-in movie night. Either way, the focus needs to be on connecting with your spouse before the baby comes. Use this time to talk about your feelings about birth, dreams for the future with your little family, and also be sure to spend some time talking about things outside of the pregnancy. Sky’s the limit!
#2 Declutter or Organize the Nursery
While you won’t know what you’ll readily need or which products you’ll actually use until the baby arrives, you can use your best judgement to organize your nursery. Find space to store travel gear, larger sizes of clothing, and other supplies for when your baby is older. Only have the items out that you will need for the next 3 months at a time.
Check out some lists on Pinterest to be sure you’re prepared, and if you’re missing anything, Amazon Prime!
Here’s a place to get you started. Be sure the changing table has the most-needed supplies: diapers, wipes, diaper-rash cream, diaper pail, booger-sucker, etc. Stock your breastfeeding station: nipple shields, nipple cream, snacks, a big water bottle (trust me), your Haakaa, breast pads, etc.
#3 Make a “Last-Minute Addition” Hospital Bag List
By now, you should absolutely have a hospital bag packed (if not, move that task to #1!). However, many items don’t make it into the bag until the last minute. Be sure you have an easy-access list, like one on your phone or stuck to your bag, so that you can add these items in your rush to the hospital when the time comes.
Some items we had to throw in last minute:
- phone/device chargers
- camera + battery!
#4 Find Birth Supports
I’m not talking about your partner, although they are in theory a great support! Birth is a whole experience, and you want things to be as comfortable and as stress-free as possible.
Download some birth affirmations to print out and bring, search for a birth music playlist or create your own, or listen to a podcast on some ways to stay strong mentally during birth. Some people also respond well to essential oils or other scents. I used a lavender blend oil when I gave birth, and diffused it in a little portable diffuser. It was great!
#5 Do a Puzzle
This might just be me, but I got extremely bored on maternity leave. And all anyone ever told me was, “enjoy it now, sleep while you can, and everything is about to change.” Honestly, these phrases just made me an anxious wreck. And they certainly didn’t help with my boredom.
Going from working full-time to staying at home all day was definitely a transition (that now most of the world can understand because of quarantine!). I quickly found myself needing to pass the time. I spent hours bouncing on a pregnancy ball doing several 1,000 piece puzzles over the course of my 3 week pre-baby maternity leave. If you’re not a puzzle fan, find a mindless game on your phone or iPad, like Solitaire or Yahtzee. Sometimes, what you really need is a distraction.
#6 Read About Positive Birth Stories
My anxiety about birth was through the roof. I had heard horror stories of fourth-degree tears, multi-day labors, and botched epidurals. I was desperate for my birth to be a good memory, and not something I would need to work through in therapy later.
Thankfully, I am pleased to say that I ended up with a positive birth story that I can share! In fact, my birth went a lot like other positive stories I’d read in my preparation. If you’re not a reader, you might search birth vlogs on YouTube. It was so nice to have a visual of what I could experience, from the way the room looks to the sequence of events. Fun fact: I still watch them and reminisce on my son’s birth!
#7 Meal Prep
I am positive Zach & I didn’t need to cook for nearly 6 weeks after we had our son. Part of this was due to my days of meal prep (and the other part was our amazing friends and family who brought us all kinds of goodies. Thank you all!!).
The last thing you’ll want to be doing with a newborn is also figuring out how to cook dinner every night. And if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll be ravenously hungry all the time! I am so grateful that I’d spent the time prepping so I could spend more time with my cutie baby than using my last ounces of energy cooking from scratch.
#8 Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been a hot topic in recent years, and while it’s valuable in everyday life, I believe it’s even more important to practice before giving birth. First, what is mindfulness? Simply put, mindfulness focuses on being present with yourself in the current moment and having self-awareness of your thoughts and needs. If you do anything, this is the ultimate thing to do while waiting for baby.
If you’ve read any of my other content, you know I love a good meditation session. Even 5 minutes before bed can help you become more in-tune with yourself or shut your mind off for sleep. Yoga is another great way to be in the present moment, and there are even poses can help that baby drop into position. Try some of these!
Mindfulness can help you work through some of your anxieties and fears leading into motherhood, too. It can give you the opportunity to recognize your thoughts and calm your nerves. Deep breathing can also work to calm you down and lead to a more positive mindset going into birth. You got this, mama!
#9 Discuss Your Birth Plan
Going over your best hopes and desires for birth, especially with your birth partner, can help ease your nerves and improve your confidence. Making sure you and your partner are on the same page on how to advocate for yourselves can lift some stress.
If you’re a visual person, there are many birth plan worksheets online for free that you can download and fill out together (try this one!). They cover things like pain management, people and numbers to contact when the baby arrives, and who is cutting the cord. Just having the discussion can help you feel a little more in control going into the unknown.
Put your feet up, mama. Remember that your body was made to do this, and the baby will be here before you know it. I know it feels like you’ll be pregnant forever (I felt that way, too!). It is all worth the wait, I promise.
If you need some self-care ideas, read: Self-Care Ideas for Moms.
Try some of these things to do while waiting for baby to come, and let me know through the contact page what helped!
Join the group of amazing women through their journey into motherhood and beyond. You know you want to!
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