Eight Things to do in the Last Four Weeks of Pregnancy
As I approach the last month of my pregnancy, I rely on lists to keep my life straight. Putting together a nursery, cleaning the house for guests, and building a layette, all while trying to finish up assignments for work and prepare my body for pregnancy, leaves me with less time and more need for organization than ever before.
Since most babies are born between Week 38 and 42 of pregnancy, here are a few things you may want to get off your to-do list around Week 37.
- Select baby‘s clothes to go home. This can be a challenge if your due date lies during the change of season. I may be compulsive, but I‘m packing long-sleeve, short-sleeve and blankets. Also, because clothing sizes vary so much under 12 months, I‘m packing outfits for both Newborn and 0 to 3 months. Newborn typically fits babies 5 ‘ 8 lbs., while 0 to 3 months will fit babies weighing 6 ‘ 10 lbs or slightly more. Obsess much?
- Pack your hospital pajamas and outfit to go home in. Again, if it‘s during a change of season, pack a few things. It‘s easier to take things out of your bag in that “keep busy time“ when you feel the first contractions than sorting through drawers, closets and laundry for something to wear. Don‘t expect to leave the hospital at your pre-pregnancy weight. Pack comfortable clothes with elastic: Something that fit around your fifth or sixth month, with room for error, should work (or so I‘m told). I have a comfortable pair of pants from Target, not maternity, that has fit me through my fourth month until now, so I think I may be safe with those.
- Pack toiletries for the hospital.
- Install the car seat in the middle back seat of your car. According to recent research, 80 percent of car seats are improperly installed. Call 866 SEATCHECK for a list of places to go, locally, that can help you install the car seat. Before you install the car seat, double check that your model has not been recalled by calling 888/DASH-2-DOT (888/327-4236).
- Set up baby‘s place to sleep. Many infants won‘t go straight into a crib, but will spend time in a bassinet or cradle in mom and dad‘s room, first. If the nursery isn‘t picture-perfect yet, don’t stress. Your new family member won‘t care. Make sure the baby has a safe place to sleep and clean linens, washed in gentle detergent. Skip the fabric softener dryer sheets.
- Prepare your body for childbirth by continuing to practice your Kegels and taking daily walks. Chances are, you‘ll have plenty of opportunities to practice Kegels while running to the bathroom “just in time,“ anyway.
- Compile your mailing lists (email and regular post) and select your birth announcements. I‘m putting this last on the list because you can certainly wait until you‘re home to complete this task. Although I can‘t order the announcements, obviously, until baby is born, it gave me a sense of accomplishment to pick the pattern. And it satisfied my nesting instincts enough to stop me from shopping for another adorable purple onesie we don‘t need!
Experienced moms, help me out. What do I need to add to this list?