Here you are at 36 weeks pregnant, waddling everywhere you walk, tired, excited, and emotional. What should you be doing now in the later stages of pregnancy?
The benefits of rest during pregnancy
You should rest as much as possible in this stage of pregnancy, this is so that your body can prepare for the labor and birth of your baby. You can get the much-deserved sleep that you will most likely not have for a while after having your baby. Your body will have gone through so so much growing your tiny little poppy seed into a huge watermelon. You deserve to lay on the sofa, put your feet up, watch some soaps or your favourite TV programs. If you feel like a nap then take a nap, this is your time to get as much sleep and rest as possible.
Later on in pregnancy during the last few weeks, you may discover pregnancy yoga. I did this when I was around 32 weeks pregnant. You can connect with your baby and your body on another level, you will have a trained yoga teacher who will only make you do poses you are comfortable with. Yoga can help you to make other mummy friends, bond more with your unborn child, it can help relieve back pains or other body pains that are a complaint during the later stages of pregnancy. It can help calm your nerves if you have a planned C-section, induction, etc.
I found yoga really relieved my back pain and pelvic pressure it was a great experience, as well as I, met another pregnant mother who had done pregnancy yoga from around 20 weeks.
Pack your hospital bag
You are nearly there, nearly full-term which means your baby could make an appearance any day! How exciting! Most pregnant women will pack theirs and their baby’s hospital bag at around 36 weeks. You will need a few pairs of knickers if not a pack! As after having a baby you will bleed a lot, even after a C-section.
Period pads, breast pads, 2-3 changes of clothes, snacks, comfy shoes/socks and some things to keep you entertained. You may be at the hospital for a while especially if you are in for an induction. If this is the case then I would recommend you bring a few more changes of clothes, toothbrush, hairbrush, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
For your baby. You will need 10 nappies, 1 packet of cotton balls, nappy cream, 4-5 baby grows, 3-4 under grows, mittens, car seat, formula milk, and bottle (if not breastfeeding) a hat and a small blanket for comfort.
hospital bag checklist
The hospital bag checklist for mum should include all of the following. These are just the basics and you may want to bring a few other home comforts to the hospital as well, just in case you have to stay for longer than expected. Let’s take a look at what you will need to pack.
This is pretty self-explanatory but you shouldn’t skip this. Food and drinks are always important for energy. More so, spending lots of time in the hospital can be extremely boring, my happiest times were when people came to visit me, as they had brought lots of snacks with them. It helped me not worry as much about everything and to focus on the tasty snacks instead.
2. Magazines or books
This is again simply because hospitals can be extremely boring. Not to mention that you will be sitting around waiting a lot of the time. A nice book can really combat the boring waiting feeling, the magazine that I took with me was mainly because of the crosswords, quizzes and trivial things inside that kept me entertained.
These are needed because after you have had your little one. it is likely that you will be bleeding, a lot. Some hospitals will supply them but not all, so it is best to have your own just in case. Remember that babies come at their own time, so expect a long wait.
Pregnancy is hard enough without the stress of worrying about leaks To help you through each stage of your pregnancy, we offer maternity pads for women. Suitable for prenatal and postnatal stages, this pack has a total of 30 pads for you to use. They’re designed to be extra long and cushioned to provide you with protection and comfort throughout your day to day life. Each pad is also kind to delicate skin, being made of super soft materials that will not cause any irritation or discomfort when used. The materials used are fragrance free and can be easily disposed of after use.
Due to their comfort, they can also be used at night and whilst you sleep if you have any worries. Should you need them for use at the hospital, you can also pack some in your hospital bag (or leave them with your partner) for use when required. These maxi pads with wings can also be used immediately after birth to give you that extra peace of mind and confidence whilst you rest. Available to individuals located in the UK, you can buy these maternity pads directly through Amazon. They have received many great reviews due to their comfort and ease of use.
Have at least 3 days worth of clothing so that you can get changed after using the shower facilities. That’s if they have show facilities of course. Also, you don’t know how long you will have to stay in for as it depends on the situation, having a baby can be unpredictable at times. A dressing gown is used by many mums-to-be and mums for comfort when staying at a place that is different from home.
Whilst it is optional after you’ve had the baby you will be so happy that you brought it with you. When they are crying on the mother and baby ward, you will most likely walk around in your dressing gown. This is perfect for trying to help them soothe. Comfortable knickers are to be packed due to the fact that everything down there will be a bit sore and sensitive.
You will need these because of your milk supply. It will come through a few days after you have had your newborn. Your breasts may leak milk, and if you do not want all of your tops getting wet these are a must.
Shampoo so that you can wash your hair if you have to stay in longer than expected. After a couple of nights in the hospital, you will want to try to feel good about yourself.
7. Toothbrush & paste
Toothbrush, and paste is a must have, after one day of not brushing your teeth, it can make your mouth feel horrible. If you have to stay overnight, without toothpaste, you will want to leave. Don’t forget to take these things with you when you go into labour. You should pack them in a suitcase or large bag one month before your due date as babies can come at any time.
Get the last of the baby bits
It is such an exciting and nerve-racking time waiting for your baby to arrive. Making sure you have everything can be stressful. By around 36 weeks pregnant you need to make sure you have everything you need. Make sure certain items are set up ready for baby or are on its way to your home. Your Moses basket should be set up, baby clothes put away nicely ready for you to grab when your baby needs a change of clothing.
It should be set up somewhere easy to get to for nappy changing. You do not need a cot or cot bed until the baby is around 6 months so you do not need to hurry to get one just yet. Baby pram/buggy is essential if you are not going to be using a carrier so you can get out and about with your baby.
What will I need for my baby?
Checklist for the baby should include at least 5 baby grows and under-grows. Pre-made infant formula milk if you are planning to not breastfeed. Plenty of Muslins to wipe babies milky mouth. Breast pads for when your milk comes in. If you have a preferred type of baby bottle you can bring these into the hospital with you.
A dummy is completely optional. Some parents choose to as it can help them soothe their crying baby and it can also prevent cot death. Cotton wool should be used to clean their bum in the early days. This is because commercial wipes can contain harsh chemicals and newborn babies skin is very sensitive.
Pack essentials for the season
Hospitals can be quite cold, so I would recommend bringing a few hats, and hand mittens as the baby can scratch their face. Also, baby booties can be helpful. Jackets and snowsuits depending on the time of year. You should have nappies however it is likely that the hospital will provide them during your stay. But to save them providing them for a long period of time pack some of your own choices. Newborns go through around 12 nappies a day so I recommend you buy a few packs.
A breathable blanket to keep baby warm and safe. Most hospitals do provide a blanket but they have to be left at the hospital for other newborns so bring one that you can wrap them in for leaving the hospital. The last item is the most important, the staff will not let you leave without a car seat.
This can be brought to the hospital when you go into labour. Alternatively, you can have someone take it to you on the day that you are leaving. This is probably the best choice as it is less to have with you, making travel a little easier. It is a good idea to check through your baby hospital bag before you leave to make sure nothing is forgotten as you could be in the hospital for up to a few weeks depending on the birth situation such as having a cesarian section.
When you and your partner bring home your new baby the last thing you want to be doing is cooking. So you may end up buying take away foods that are not nutritional enough especially if you will be breastfeeding baby. Preparing dinners and freezing them in bags or freezer-safe dishes can be very beneficial to you and your partner. Having healthy snacks that will boost energy such as raw fruit, veg and crackers can be helpful also.
Good meals to make and freeze
- Beef cannelloni
- Shepherds pie
- Butternut squash soup
- Tomato soup
- Chicken and vegetable soup
Something I wish I had taken part in when pregnant is antenatal classes. My midwife went on at me every week telling me which ones I could attend, yet I ignored them. I didn’t attend one class, so I didn’t know what to expect from labor other than what I had seen on tv birth programs. When I developed pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks pregnant, I was in and out of the hospital. I didn’t know much about the condition and I would have known more if I had attended the classes.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide on things to in the later stages of pregnancy, I hope you take my advice and enjoy the rest of your wonderful pregnancy. Take it easy and embrace the changes that having a newborn brings.