You’ve got through first trimester hell. You may (or may not in our case) have been dying to announce your surprise to the whole world and its dog. Well, if you’ll listen let me tell you why the first question you will have coming at you from the masses is the biggest one to avoid answering…
1.The ‘due date’ is a phallacy
The first bit of information to digest is this… the due date is a load of bulls**t!! Yes, it’s the one bit of information that we feel most in control of (did I mention that most of us hate birth because it’s the feeling of the unknown and loss of control?!) so we love to grasp onto it. BUT… lets think about it… every woman is ‘due’ on the same day exactly 40 weeks from conceiving?? Doesn’t sound right does it? Do all the apples fall from the tree on the same day? Or even after exactly the same amount of days? NOPE. The ripe fruit falls from the tree and of course why would a baby be any different. Each of us is a complete individual, our cycles, bodies, sizes, health are all different. Baby is actually due anytime from between 37-42 weeks. So a baby born at 38 weeks isn’t early for example! Worst part of this of this deceit?… it was invented by a MAN!!! *eyeroll*. Typical right.
2.You’ll be pestered
Trust me when I say add on another 2 weeks. If you are “due” end of July, tell people it’s the middle of August. If you’re due middle of August tell people end of August. You get the picture. Of course there will be some babies that will come before that! You don’t need to only think that baby will arrive after D day, but it is best that other people think that. The main reason being that it will for sure reduce the feeling of wanting to punch people in the face every time you hear someone say, “any news?”, “feeling any twinges?”, “oh you’ll be early you’re massive!” etc etc. And you most certainly will get a barrage of these comments as soon as babes D day has been and gone. The best comment… “oh its a lazy boy!” W. The actual. F??? The truth is, if you’ve already told people your due date- don’t worry, no one except your Mum will remember!
If you mentally prepare yourself that baby can come at any time and there are higher chances of it coming AFTER 40 weeks (first baby average is 40+8), you will feel WAY more relaxed than if you were sat waiting twiddling your thumbs. Many women finish work or wind down at 38 weeks and spend the next week getting everything prepped, only then to be thinking ‘what now?’. This, what I can sometimes only describe as ‘emptiness’, is really common especially if you are someone that is not used to sitting back and are always on the go. What happens is that it creates an anxiety around waiting and that will mean your body is in the stress/fear response system, where every twinge leaves you thinking ‘THIS MUST BE IT!’. You won’t go into labour if this is the case. By being really open minded that baby can and may come after the 40 week mark it will put less pressure on yourself and you can release and let go of that control factor. This is a really important tool we teach in the full Hypnobirthing course.
4.You’ll never get the time back
It sounds negative but it’s more about embracing where you are exactly at that time and having gratitude. This will make the point above much easier to take on board and will contribute to building up loads of Oxytocin which is exactly what you want for labour to start! Do things you wouldn’t normally be doing with a baby; go to the cinema, get your nails done, out for a really fancy dinner and get dressed up, have a girly night in, get intimate with your partner, (I know, I know you may or may NOT feel like sexy times but again…oxytocin!!) have a lavender bath. Slow things down and take. your. time! Do this by actually planning out your days between 39 and 42 weeks. Plan one small thing in each day obviously including some birth preparation and some lovely breathing techniques! It’s ALL about the feel good factors!
5.Pressure of intervention
Of course this blog isn’t about hiding your due date from your care providers. But unfortunately women do face pressure for baby to make an appearance even before you have hit the 40 week mark. Quite often midwives will book in your sweep ready for 40 weeks and it feeds a culture of anxiety around baby going past that date and what it will mean for the birthing mother. However if you feel calm and confident and informed you will be more able to feel better equipped at dealing with the pressure medically to force baby to arrive when actually everything is all good and well. Of course sometimes medical intervention IS needed and that is totally ok but what if babes actual dates are 10 days out? That’s 10 days worth of big developmental milestones you are stopping baby from having…As I go through with all of my Hypnobirthing clients, it’s important to always weigh up the benefits and risks for yourselves and make informed decisions. But certainly being open to baby coming at past 40 weeks will most certainly help you relax and call in all of the Oxytocin needed to birth positively when baby is ready!
So I say lets sack off the due date, it’s all about the due month…
How did you feel about being ‘late’? Or are you anxious about it? Join my closed Facebook group Gigi + Pickle Empowering Birth Experience to help you remain calm and relaxed throughout your whole pregnancy!