40 Things To Do While 40 Weeks Pregnant - Birth Doula in MO: Rolla, Fort Leonard Wood, Jefferson City, Waynesville, St Robert, St James, Dixon, Cuba, Salem

You've waited 280 days for this day!  

It's here!  You are 40 weeks pregnant.  

While you wait (anxiously, excitedly, nervously...), take time to invest in yourself with 40 things to do while you're 40 weeks pregnant.  

Distract, prepare and enjoy yourself!  Grab a buddy, or take some precious alone time, it's up to you.  Cost effective (aka FREE!) options included - look for the *.

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  1. Journal. Document this time in your life, and don't be afraid to be honest. You don't have to share it anyone else unless you want to.*

  2. Enjoy some ice cream, froyo Italian ice, shave ice … whatever kind of frozen treat you love, let it caress your tastebuds.

  3. Take a nap. Enough said.*

  4. Prepare freezer crock pot meals in advance for when baby arrives. Here are 31 recipes that require no cooking in advance. Just buy your ingredients, assemble, and freeze! Invite some friends over for this one - they'll be glad to spend time with you, and after all, many hands make light work!

  5. Watch a sunset - I have a blog post coming about this soon, but after living in Hawai’i, where they are KNOWN for their epic beauty, I can tell you, a sunset is beautiful anywhere you have the mindset to enjoy it.*

  6. Go for a hike. Moderate movement like walking can be a way to maintain your endurance without exhausting you in your last days of pregnancy. Need suggestions? Download the All Trails or Yelp app to search for trails close to you!*

  7. Go to a movie! Especially when it's hot and humid - soak in the A/C, prop your feet up (those reclining theater seats are GENIUS!) and enjoy a flick with your best friend or daddy-to-be. Remember - your pick!

  8. Unpack your birth bag. Yes, unpack! I recommend having those who will be with you to support you at your birth pack it. At the beginning, they will be the ones accessing things there for you. It will save you from having to explain to them where something is when you need it.*

  9. Go shopping! What are some last minute needs? For you, for baby?

  10. Write a letter to your baby. Think about a time in the future you'd like to give it to them, and tuck it away in a safe place until then. *

  11. Capture this special time in your life with beautiful maternity photographer by Shallin Blue!

  12. Have a dance party! Invite your bestie over (like Meredith and Cristina on Grey's Anatomy) and dance your way into labor.*

  13. Get a prenatal massage. Every part of you - mind, body and spirit - will thank you!

  14. Prepare postpartum 'padsicles' for your comfort when you arrive home.

  15. Receive a prenatal Chiropractic adjustment. It's not too late! Having proper alignment, including your spine and uterine ligaments, can be a huge help during your labor and birth. Who do I recommend? Any Doctor of Chiropractic in your area that is certified in the Webster Technique. Read more about Chiropractic during pregnancy and the Webster Technique here!

  16. Buy a peri bottle - less than $2.50 at your drug store, it will be a relief and help to you while you heal after your birth.

  17. Bake your favorite cookies, or better yet, make energy balls to snack on in early labor.

  18. Take a long bath or shower.*

  19. Go a date with your special someone - you don't know when your next one will be!

  20. Create birth affirmations. There are many website (including mine!) who offer quotes and phrases that are there to encourage, inspire and empower you during your pregnancy, labor and birth. Get creative with them too! Make posters, collages and note cards with them. Look at them, memorize them, share them with your birth team (so they know what words most encourage you to remind you of during your birth!) and add them to your "must bring" list of your birth bag.*

  21. Schedule your newborn photography session with Shallin Blue!

  22. Print out extra copies of your birth plan. Most hospitals ask for a copy to keep with your patient chart. You'll want to make sure you always have a copy, and extras for your birth team - nurses, doula, OB, midwife, etc. *

  23. Meditation - it can be a great way to relax, unwind and practice control your breathing before labor. I highly recommend www.fragrantheart.com. She has free, guided meditations for many scenarios, including pregnancy. Never done it? Give it an honest try. Five to ten minutes is all you need!*

  24. Who lifts you up? Who makes you laugh? Invite them over for tea, or go out to lunch with them. Surround yourself with people that inspire, nurture and love you.

  25. Get a pedicure!

  26. Are you military? Utilize the Arts & Crafts Centers and MWR. If not a military family, find a paint your own pottery place, a paint and sip class (non-alcoholic sipping only!), or a favorite Pinterest craft to explore.

  27. A favorite treat from our Hawai’i like was Dole Whip ... yummy deliciousness! If you aren’t in Hawai’i or Disney World, **some** frozen yogurt places offer it, or make it at home! Better yet, it can even be dairy free!

  28. Drive around your area, stopping to take pictures, walk around, visit a store or farm stand. I love taking the time to stop at the places I’ve always wanted to, but never have the time, or new spots I’ve never taken the time to appreciate. Soon you will be devoting your time to caring for a sweet bundle of joy, so now is YOUR time to care for yourself.*

  29. Make a date jar for things for dates to do once you're settled after baby arrives. Color coat the jar for free dates, minimum expense dates and splurge dates.*

  30. Curl up with a good book.*

  31. Buy a kite and take it flying on your favorite beach. Snap a picture, and do it again in a year with your little one, this time with them flying the kite!

  32. Go to the a local historical society, museum or cultural center to learn something new. Many have days that are admission free!*

  33. Color! Did you know they make adult coloring books? Buy a coloring book and crayons, markers or colored pencils.

  34. Get takeout and have a beach picnic. Then, go for a walk. Toes in the sand, Pacific ocean tickling your feet.

  35. Download a contraction timer app.

  36. Have a homemade pizza and movie night. Collect your favorite toppings and make individual pizzas.

  37. Practice breathing techniques - deep cleansing breaths (slow deep breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth), belly breathing (putting your hand on your tummy, inhaling and pushing it out as you inhale) and feather breathing (short, quick breaths, as if you had a feather in front of your mouth and you were blowing it away from you).*

  38. Sit under the stars.*

  39. Pin things you'll need in the future on Pinterest - homemade baby food recipes, DIY crafts for Christmas gifts using baby hand and footprints, or at home exercises with baby once your approved for exercise after birth.*

  40. Take a deep breath, look around you and enjoy this moment! You've spent the majority of the past year growing a sweet, precious life inside you. You did it! Be proud of yourself and know you are going to be an excellent mom to your little one.*

The doula and photographer behind Shallin Blue wishes you a safe and blessed birth experience!

For more informative and fun links and blog posts to read while you await your little one, please like Shallin Blue on Facebook!


(Sadly we moved from Oahu in December 2017. I am grateful for our time in Hawai’i and am now happily serving Central Missouri as a Birth Doula & Birth Photographer in Rolla, St. James, St Robert, Waynesville, Fort Leonard Wood, Salem, Licking, Dixon, Cuba, Newburg, Jefferson City and more; at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and Phelps County Regional Medical Center.)

May It Be Infinite While It Lasts - Rolla, MO; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Jefferson City, MO Birth Doula & Birth Photographer

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I follow Liz Gilbert on social media, author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” A few years ago, when she shared the terminal illness of her partner, Liz received thousands of comments in support, empathy, encouragement and love.

As I scrolled through the beautiful sentiments readers from all of the word had for Liz, I found myself in awe of a space that was uplifting in someone’s deepest pain. Social media isn’t typically known for this, and despite the circumstances, actually, in light of, I took a decent chunk of time to read through them.

One of these comments included a line from a Brazilian poet, Vinícius de Moraes, that loosely translates to “may it be infinite while it lasts”. 

Infinity in a finite amount of time of space. It blew me away. I had never thought of it that way, but I know I had lived it. Feeling the weight of an eight month deployment looming heavier and unbearable on my shoulders (and let’s be honest, my chest too - that feeling doesn’t take your breath away but hinders it completely, feeling like you can only take shallow breaths that just keep you alive for weeks and months on end) had felt that way.

I tried to savor and soak in as many moments as I could, that fall of 2012… the Old Spice/Tide Sport scent of his sweatshirt, the stride of the way he walked, the sound of “I love you, so much”, the way his eye wrinkles appear when he laughs, the surrender of letting it all go, found only in embrace of his hug, but wondering if the last embrace in that Army motorpool at Fort Drum was the last one I’d ever feel. I know what it’s like to scratch and claw at a finite amount of time and try to make it last forever.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to live that way. More often than not, too often even, we find our minds watching two kinds of movies -  that of our past, and that of worries concerning about the future.  While it is imperative to take accountability of what has happened and to mentally prepare for what lies ahead, there is a great amount of wisdom in marinating in this moment and permitting yourself the grace to be in the moment, to let is be “infinite while it lasts”.

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
’Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
’Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
’Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?’
— Job 38:1-11

Friends have silver bracelets with scripty fonts that say “breathe” and “thankful, grateful, blessed”, but this line, thankfully translated to a famous author on Facebook, resonated with me so profoundly that I had Beckett Metal make it into a ring for me, worn on the middle finger of my dominant hand. I didn’t want everyday life to allow me to forget the moments that could be made infinite. I need only allow myself stop and make it so, and remember it is because of the One, the Creator, who is infinite is all ways and all things.

DONA Certified Birth Doula and Professional Birth Photographer serving Central Missouri including Rolla, St. James, St Robert, Waynesville, Fort Leonard Wood, Salem, Licking, Dixon, Cuba, Newburg, Jefferson City and more; at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and Phelps County Regional Medical Center.