Pregnancy
36 weeks and 6 days pregnant

Your baby will be able to recall and recognize the frequency and pattern of the most familiar sounds he hears within the womb – your voice. Also, you might have noticed that loud noises may startle your baby during these final weeks.

If you’re lacking in energy, try carb loading. This is also an effective measure in the days leading up to labour.

The idea behind carb loading comes from endurance athletes, who get 70 per cent of their calorie intake from carbohydrates for three days prior to a big event. This enhances muscle uptake of fuel so that muscles are fully loaded with glycogen, the form in which carbs are stored in the body. If you’re feeling tired, and especially prior to being active, ensure you take on plenty of carbohydrates.

In the days before your due date, base meals on carbohydrates, so that this food group provides up to 70 per cent of your total calories. Include cereal or bread for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and include pasta, rice, or potatoes at dinner.

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A jacket potato is a great mini-meal, providing you with carbohydrates. Try different carbohydrate foods in the run-up to labour to see which suit you best.

Maternity leave offers a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the birth of your baby.

  • Take time to rest . While it may seem like the optimum time to rush through a long “to-do” list, it’s important to conserve your energy for the birth, and the weeks afterwards.

  • Prepare your hospital bag , or anything you may need for a home birth.

  • Make a list of everyone you’d like contacted after the birth.

  • Put together some natural remedies to help you through labour and its aftermath. Good choices are the homeopathic remedies Arnica 30c, for bruising, pain, and to encourage healing, Kali phos 30c for exhaustion (during and after labour), Calendula 30c for healing after an episiotomy, other stitches, or a Caesarean, and Aconite 30c for shock and trauma. Lavender oil can be sniffed during labour to relax and calm, and don’t forget your Rescue Remedy, which will be invaluable.

  • Prepare a few freezer meals . There can be nothing better than having a prepared, healthy meal to hand when your arms are full with your new baby, and you lack the time and energy to get dinner on the table.

  • Sort your baby’s new clothes into sizes, so you don’t find yourself scrabbling through piles to find something that fits.

  • Get ahead by preparing your birth announcements – address and stamp envelopes, or design something that can be sent via email, so that you only need to slot in your new baby’s photo and details at the last moment.

  • Get a manicure, pedicure, or massage . Not only will time be tight after your baby arrives, but money may be, too! Take the opportunity to lift your spirits and feel your best.

  • Produce something creative — paint your baby’s nursery, cross-stitch a little pillow or picture, make a cot bumper, start a scrapbook, or simply write a letter to your baby to put in a keepsake box. These personal touches are satisfying, and will be treasured for years to come.

  • Catch up with friends and family for lunch . It may be some time before you feel like going out again once you’re getting used to being a parent and enjoying your new baby in the comfort of your home.

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