Six Things to Do Six Weeks Before You’re Due

You’re in the final trimester, six weeks before your due date. Here’s my suggested six things to do to help prepare you for birth and baby:

  1. Water break. Keep drinking lots of water, Mama. But also, prepare for your bag of waters to break. I covered my mattress with a shower curtain and then my sheets. I also stocked my car with a spare towel or two in case my water broke while I was out and about.
  2. Eat dates. This is the time to increase your date consumption. Multiple studies that eating dates four weeks before your due date could decrease the amount of time and strain in labor. Dates are also a powerhouse food, packed with nutrition. (Stay tuned for a date smoothie recipe!)
  3. Self-care. Take care of yourself, Mama. Go get a hair cut, massage, or pedicure. Take a walk, lay out in the sun. Take a nap. Take lots of naps. Take a nap every day. Did I mention, take a nap?
  4. Date night. Go on a date with your Babes. The weeks and few months after having  a baby are precious and consumed with taking care of your little one. Make time for your #1 team mate and enjoy each other’s company.
  5. Create a birth plan. Now’s a great time to work on your birth plan! Imagine what you desire your birth to look like and be on the same page with your medical team.
  6. Speak life over yourself and baby. Tell your baby how excited you are to meet them! Speak life over the labor process, trusting that God created your and your baby’s bodies. I personally enjoyed reading other’s positive birth stories to help build my faith.

What things did you do to prepare in the weeks leading up to your labor, Mama?

Creating A Birth Plan

I’m a planner. I always have been, and always will be. A lot of it plays into my desire to be in control.

Giving birth was no different. I was confident I could convince my body to not give birth until after spring break so that I could coordinate Aiden’s arrival around the school calendar. I was even more confident that I would not give birth to Lillian until after my Babes returned from a work trip, haha. Thankfully Lillian came before Daddy left for his trip.

I discovered very quickly that I couldn’t control the details of when I would give birth (or anything about the labor process.) Buuuuut I found it beneficial to have a birth plan drafted up so I and my midwife would be on the same page.

Here’s a list of questions to help you think through when drafting up a birth plan:

Who? Who do you want present during the labor process, and when you deliver your baby? Do you want a doula? Family members? I personally wanted my amazing birth coach-my husband- and my midwife. That’s it. I knew I needed to be in the zone and didn’t want a lot of bodies in the room.

What? What do you want or not want to use while in labor? Yes or no to pitocin, epidural, fetal monitor, IV? What do you want immediately after giving birth? Delayed cord clamping, skin to skin with baby, etc.

When? When do you need to contact your midwife/doctor? When do you need to head to the hospital/birth center? These are important questions to ask your health care provider as your due date gets closer.

Where? Where do you want to give birth? In a tub, on the bed, on a birth stool? I was determined to labor and give birth to my first in the birthing pool, and I did. With my second, I couldn’t have gotten off the bed to transition to the pool if I wanted to.

Why? Why should you draft up a birth plan? In the heat of labor it be easy to make decisions based on your emotions. This tool is a way to communicate with the people on your birth team how you desire your birth process to play out.

How? How active do you want to be in labor? Communicate that you want to move around, or have freedom to try different positions. How dark or light do you want the room? How loud or quiet?

I would suggest having your easy-to-read birth plan drafted up by 36 weeks in your pregnancy and share it with your birth team.

I found this resource to be helpful as it uses pictures to communicate your birth preferences.

The key word in “Birth Plan” is plan. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, as I went into labor at 38 weeks with my son, and 36.5 weeks with my daughter. Once you make your draft, take some time to surrender your expectations and desires. Trust that the One Who created your baby has got great plans for you and your baby!

What was in your birth plan, Mama?


Prenatal Care (Pregnancy Series Part 2)

Hey Mamas! Today I want to talk about the many different ways to take care of you and baby as the blessing grows inside you! Here’s a list of my top ten things I did during the duration of my pregnancy. Both I and baby were healthy and strong as a result.

  1. Multivitamin: Take a multivitamin daily, Mama! Your baby is growing organs and needs these vitamins! I found that eating prior to taking my vitamin made it easier to swallow and didn’t trigger my gag reflex early in my first trimester.
  2. Nutrition: Both my midwives recommended following Dr. Brewer’s diet, which is high in proteins, grains, and fat. I aimed to eat 80-100 grams of protein a day. This was a hard target to reach when I first began. Prior to being pregnant with my first child, I was vegan. I found keeping a food journal to log my protein intake was super helpful. It is possible to reach this goal. I made sure the foods I put into my body were high in “protein points.”
  3. Fluids: Drink up, Mama! Lots of water! During my second trimester, I started sipping on  Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to help strengthen that good ol’ uterus and pelvic floor. Some sources recommend waiting until the second trimester to ingest this tea, as it could increase chances of one’s uterus contracting.
  4. Chiropractic care: I didn’t do chiropractic care with my first pregnancy because it wasn’t in our budget. We made it fit into our budget for my second pregnancy! This helped baby girl be in proper position, and Mama didn’t have to push as long for second baby. I highly encourage you to seek this out! Make sure your chiropractor uses the Webster technique. If you’re looking for a chiropractor in the Jupiter area, check out mine here.
  5. Doctor/Midwife: I love how many choices we have today. Midwife or Doctor? Home birth, Birthing Center, or hospital? You get to choose, Mama! Be sure to make those prenatal visits a priority. Your provider will be a wealth of knowledge and hold you accountable with blood work, nutrition, baby’s growth and development…hearing baby’s heartbeat was always my favorite part of each visit!
  6. Exercise: No excuses, Mama! Exercise helps keep you and baby healthy. A good rule of thumb to follow is make sure you can have a conversation while exercising. This ensures that you and baby are getting enough oxygen. I ran the day before I had my son and the morning of having my daughter. Having this outlet during pregnancy helped prepare me to be strong during the labor process. Always listen to your body. I did lots of modifying!
  7. Pelvic floor: Giving birth and pushing that baby out is the marathon of all marathons for your pelvic floor. Let me introduce you to your new best friend, the kegel exercise. I did a wide variety of kegel exercises recommended in the back of my Bradley Method book. Some examples are: the elevator, holding for various amounts of time…I also upped my squats. Google “pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy” and a ton of options will come up!
  8. Coconut oil: A jar of coconut oil sat on my bathroom counter as a friendly reminder to rub it on my belly after showering each day. I began this as soon as I knew I was pregnant to create a habit that was set in place as my belly visibly grew. This helps prevent stretch marks, and I would always talk and bond with the baby as I rubbed it in.
  9. Relaxation: Practice relaxation with your birth partner. Before bed, my Babes would talk me through relaxing the muscles in different parts of my body-my face, my arms, my legs…This is a must, Mama! The more you practice, the better you’ll become. One needs to know how to relax when in labor. For me, it was super helpful to visualize myself at the beach and listen to my Childbirth in the Glory tunes.
  10. Sleep: Obviously the quantity of sleep you get is very important, but when pregnant one must also consider the position in which you sleep. Sleeping on your side is the recommended sleep position when preggo. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs.

That’s my list of ten for prenatal care. How are you taking care of yourself and baby while pregnant, Mama?

Information found at the following sources:


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Books to Read (Pregnancy Series Part 1)

I am currently surrounded by friends that are pregnant or recently had babies. Whoop whoop! While I am no expert on pregnancy and giving birth, I did a LOT of reading and learning with my two pregnancies. I want to dedicate this series to the Mamas-to-be in my life!

From an educator standpoint, I highly encourage people to be life long learners! In the season of pregnancy, giving birth, and preparing for the marathon of a lifetime-motherhood- I think the best gift you could give yourself and your children is to be informed. Here is a list of books I highly recommend reading during your pregnancy with a short summary. The majority of these books can be found at the local library. I have a few on my own bookshelf, so feel free to ask me to borrow some!

  1. Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth: This is what I would call the Bible of pregnancy books. It’s easy to read, has short chapters with beautiful illustrations, is jam packed with information, and includes yummy recipes to try during your pregnancy. This book that is just what the title claims. My personal favorite feature is “What’s going on with Mama and baby” at the beginning of each chapter. Genevieve is the writer of one of my favorite Mama blogs to read.
  2. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: Ina May is the mother of all midwives. Her book holds positive birth stories from other Mamas and all the wisdom that comes from her numerous experiences leading women into beautiful birth experiences.
  3. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: I found this book to be a great review of the class my Babes and I took, Husband Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method. If it’s your first baby, I highly encourage you to take a birthing class that is a good fit for you and your partner.
  4. Supernatural Childbirth: This was a refreshing read for me with my second child. This book includes prayers for health over the baby growing inside your womb, encourages you to speak life over your child, and claim a great labor and healthy baby.
  5. The Birth Partner: Don’t be intimidated by the length of this one, Mama. My biggest takeaways from this book were: (1)The stages of labor and (2) Being able to voice to my husband what I needed when I was in the zone. I would process out loud what I was reading with my Babes to reinforce and inform him of what I learned.
  6. The No-Cry Sleep Solution: I love the gentleness of this book. The author encourages each Mama to look at their personal goals and needs regarding their baby’s sleep. She reminds you that every baby is unique and normalizes the night wakings of children up to two years old.
  7. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Let’s be real, Mamas. Breastfeeding can be harder than it looks. While this book is another loooong one, it was full of lots of helpful tips and gave me the “head knowledge” before I embarked on my breastfeeding journey. I did hire a lactose consultant for my second child, and it was worth every penny. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help!
  8. Childbirth in the Glory: This audio was a game changer for me during my second birth. I listened to this near the end of my pregnancy (if I could go back, I would listen to this my entire pregnancy!) and it kept me going during the labor process. This includes instrumental music, prayers, and scripture to speak over you and your child and your birth experience.

What books or audio did you find most helpful to read/listen to during pregnancy, Mama?


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