It's that time of pregnancy where you are either too anxious about when the baby will finally be here (everyone is asking "is the baby here yet?", "can you feel the labour setting it?" or re-checking with you again and again about your "EDD") or you start feeling so settled in the pregnancy and wish that it would last a little while longer :-) After all, it’s beginning to get a little comfy (you've gotten used to the aches :P) and you can feel the reassurance of the baby moving around certain times of the day, plus daddy-to-be is showering all the love and attention on you.
There are certain tell-tale signs of labour setting in that are hard to ignore. So here is how you can prepare for the baby and notice the signs of labour from 35th week onwards.
Preparing for the baby
- - Pack your bags and the baby's bags separately. When the baby is born, its ideal to hand over the bag to the nurse so that they can decide what the baby needs to wear. The hospital maintains a certain level of temperature hence the baby may require sweaters, socks, cap and mittens. Its best to leave it to the NICU staff as they are experienced in getting the baby comfortable. Detailed list of items to carry to the hospital will follow soon.
- - You may need to check with your organization on what all documents you need to submit to the hospital for medical claims.
- - Prepare a template for announcing if it’s a boy or a girl. All the daddy needs to do then is to put a pic and the date of birth (for if you like mentioning the weight and height as well).
- - Organize your home in such a way that when you return from the hospital, you know exactly where your things are. Some of the things that we may forget are:
o Baby mattress, cover sheets and blanket. If you intend for the baby to co-sleep with you, getting a net bedding is also a good idea as using mosquito repellants around the baby is not good for the baby and sometimes leads to congestion.
o Always have spare diapers ready. You may be surprised with the number of diapers that you will be pulling out in the first 2-3 weeks. Hence always keep a pack of 48 extra diapers for newborn size handy. If you are planning to keep the baby on cloth nappies through the day, the first month may see you using around 20-30 nappies a day.
- - Don’t leave items like towels, toiletries etc for the last minute. Check with your friends what products they used in the first month, and get those. Of course, no need to go overboard and stock up on everything. In the first 10 days, you may need to only sponge bath the baby hence keep soft muslin cloths handy.
- - It’s best to avoid using wet-wipes on the baby. The extensive use of diapers and then wet wipes is too harsh for the baby’s soft skin. Hence keep a stash of cotton handy, so that everytime you need to clean the private area you dip the cotton in luke warm water and squeeze the excess water from it before applying it on the baby.
- - Stop listening to unwanted advice from people who are negative. Few people may want to build up the stress and anxiety and comment
- In case shopping for the baby is not allowed beforehand (according to some traditions) then build an Amazon wish-list which you can order as soon as you come back from the hospital.
Signs of labour
All that anxiety and no sign of the baby showing up? Well, there are a few signs that indicate the onset of labour:
• You may feel a cramp type of pain in the abdomen. The kinds you feel at the start of periods. This may be accompanied by back pain as well.
• You may suddenly feel lighter on the tummy. It’s actually called “lightening”. The heaviness of the baby’s weight goes away and you start feeling more comfortable, or as if the baby has gone higher/or dropped lower. Whichever way it is, it does make the mommy more comfortable to move around.
• Of course water-breaking is the most obvious sign
• Bloody vaginal discharge or the mucus plug breaking loose
• Few days of diarrhea or nausea for no apparent reason
• Nestling instinct. One may feel like confining themselves indoors all of a sudden, and getting things huddled together for comfort.
All the best!