40 Things To Do for 40 Weeks of Pregnancy

The excitement (or anxiety) that occurs when that test is positive can only be understood by those who have experienced pregnancy, surrogacy, adoption, etc.  No matter your parenthood journey, there is a limited time before a baby arrives.  You only have 40 weeks (give or take) to grow (help grow, or watch him grow) a perfect little bundle of joy! We have complied a list of the 40 To-Do’s you should check off throughout your 40 weeks of pregnancy:
  1. Take a birthing class: No matter what your view of birth is, take a natural birthing class.  You may learn something inspiring, or you may learn how to handle labor if your birth plan does not pan out.
  2. Educate yourself on pregnancy, labor, and caring for a newborn: Spend more time reading then decorating.  (Little tidbit: average pregnancy is 41 weeks 1 day, NOT 40 weeks.)
  3. Eat whole, healthy foods:  The placenta is a sponge, not a filter.  Provide healthy fats, lots of protein, and plenty of unprocessed foods for your growing little one.
4. Sleep whenever possible: As you grow, sleep becomes hard. Take any opportunity to sleep (or rest).  This also relates to labor; sleep in early labor to save your energy for active labor and pushing.  (Invest in a great maternity pillow! 5. Don’t be afraid to change doctors or midwives until you feel supported and happy. 6,  Exercise regularly: This keeps weight in check, eases labor, helps body rebound quicker, and keeps you healthy.
  1. Attend a la leche league or nursing support group to learn everything you can about breastfeeding:  Being prepared is the first step to a successful nursing journey.  (And MAN are those LLL leaders knowledgeable!)    Visit  LLLI.org to find a group near you.
8. Daydream of the future: Tea parties, soccer, family vacations. 9. Choose a short list of names:  Going into labor with a shortlist allows you to meet your baby and learn which name truly fits her. 10. Use a good moisturizer to prevent or limit stretch marks. 11. Take lots of baths or showers (or float in the pool):  Water will help you relax and take some of the weight of pregnancy away – if only for a brief moment. 12. Care for your hair through all the crazy hormones (during and after baby):  FYI, you *MAY* lose a lot of hair post-partum. DO.NOT.FREAK. 13.  Know what you want and prepare for the unexpected:  This goes back to being educated. Know your options, rights, and find a trustworthy birth team. 14.  Pack your bag (even for a home birth on the off chance you could be transferred) 15.  Plan a nursery or space for baby (even if it won’t be used much): This is part of nesting. Go for it! 16.  Sleep with a humidifier to help keep you from getting the pregnancy stuffy nose (also great for when baby arrives) 17.  Ask for support from others: You will hear 100 opinions, but yours is what matters.  Ask others to respect and support your journey. 18.  Create a how to help list for family and friend when they visit: Think laundry, dishes, dusting, meal prep, even holding baby while you shower. 19.  Drink lots of water (water intake directly related to amniotic fluid levels) 20.  Eat healthy fats -avocados, good oils, nuts. The brain is 60% fat and is developing quickly. 21.  Look into the crazy things you swore you’d never do (homemade babyfood, cloth diapers, placenta encapsulation, chiropractic prenatal care, etc) – after truly learning about it all, your views may change (or not – but knowledge is power) 22.  Write a birth plan and actually discuss it with your doctor or midwife. 23.  Know every common procedure that will occur during labor to you and after labor to baby – and learn if you want it done or not (yes- it is all your choice!) 24.  Buy your car seat before your water breaks. 25.  Research baby products and invest in quality not quantity. 26.  Record Baby’s heartbeat in a heartbeat animal 27.  Others’ stories are just that: theirs. Don’t let them scare you. Write your own story. 28.  Don’t be afraid to say no – no thank you to baby hand me downs or in-laws staying for a month to help… Or to a pushed induction or others input on your decisions. 29.  Get a pedicure, lots of them. Spoil those pregnancy toes. 30.  Invest in a few flattering pieces of maternity ware and nursing ware. 31.  Take as much maternity leave as you can get and enjoy every moment. 32.  Talk to the baby, nickname him/her 33.  Document the journey with photos; you will want them 10 years from now. (Document baby through photos as well!) 34. Turn off social media and tune into your family as it is growing (we know it’s addicting, but try to be present in the moments and not play them out online) 35.  Be prepared for the critics, nay-Sayers (I don’t think you’ll make it a week cloth diapering) and those who will bring you down. Stand strong and believe in your self – and seek others who will build you up. 36.  If you look/feel swollen, immediately check your blood pressure (pre-e symptom). 37.  Go on dates and enjoy being together with your partner. 38.  Have a baby shower/sprinkle/celebration/blessingway for yourself and this baby. 39. Pamper yourself with a massage and even a babymoon if possible. 40.  Love your ever changing body: You are growing life! Motherhood is exhausting in the greatest way possible. Your heart grows and so do your abilities. Congratulations on your pregnancy. May you have a happy and healthy nine months!
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