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.)

Doula Self-Care Via My Favorite Summer Salad – Rolla & Fort Leonard Wood, MO Doula

Doulas have to be on their game when it comes to self-care. 

We wake up in the middle of the night to “the call”, potentially working 24+ hours serving a client.  We shove snacks in our mouths here and there during a birth, getting nourishment when we can.  And then, the next client may call not long after we’ve gotten home, showered, and tried to rest from the first birth. 

While I'm surely not complaining because I am truly passionate about what I am called to do, it can leave me feeling tired, hungry and depleted sometimes.  I actually drove one of my dearest doula friends from one hospital to the next as another client went into labor as the first was pushing!  She was my doula and is a rock star!

Doulas have to be conscience of our own well-being so we can best serve others.

One of the ways I try to do this is by making healthy choices when it comes to what I eat.  I have been incredibly blessed to have been raised by a mother who cooked all of our meals from scratch.  She always had dinner ready when Dad got home from work each night, and we sat around the table together, sharing about our day.

As we got older, my sister and I learned to cook by cooking with alongside mom.  We honed our skills by tasting along the way and going through the whole process of recipes from start to finish.

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Is this soup too acidic, or does it need some lemon juice to perk up the flavor? 

What herb, seasoning or taste is missing from this dish? 

How do you make this gravy or soup thicker?

I still call my mom (and my sister!) to ask questions, but thankfully, from all the love and knowledge my mom has poured out on me, I have confidence in the kitchen and enjoy preparing yummy meals for my own family.  Thank you, Mom!

This salad has been my go to this summer, and it’s super easy!

 

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Summer Green Bean Salad

  • 1 package frozen green beans (fresh is great too, but I love the petite frozen green beans from Aldi’s for convenience)

  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (I love cherry & grape tomatoes for this recipe, but any fresh tomato will do)

  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin

  • 6 strips of bacon, cut into bite size pieces, cooked, reserving the rendered grease (vegan friends – you can omit the bacon & rendered fat and sub ¼ cup olive oil)

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ teaspoon: onion powder, garlic powder, & black pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh or dried herbs that are excellent to add when you have them: cilantro, basil or parsley

  • Garnish with shredded Parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes.

Cook greens beans to package specifications, or fresh green beans until tender.  Cook bacon in separate pan. Combine green beans and bacon WITH rendered fat into large bowl.  Add tomatoes, onions, seasonings, balsamic (or olive oil if making it vegan).  Toss well until coated thoroughly.  Serve with garnished Parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes.  Enjoy!

This is simple and delicious to take to picnics, potlucks, game nights, tail gates, or as a side dish to your favorite family dinner.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!  Please feel free to share with someone who you think would love it too.

...They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts...
— Acts 2:46 (NIV)

 

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.

What Should I Ask My Doula? Frequently Asked Questions... and What to Ask Instead!

What questions should I ask my {future} doula?  

While I experience different questions in a doula consultation, many of them are the same.  

Here you'll find questions I get asked the most frequently - and ways to obtain more bang for your {answer} buck!


Frequently asked question #1: What organization did you train through?  Are you certified?

Training, education and knowledge are essential to any professional.  As a birth professional, it is imperative to stay relevant on current, evidenced-based information.

But, it is important that your doula know HOW to implement this information for the benefit of you, the client.

Ask this in addition to the above:  What aspect of your training will best help you support me as my doula?


Frequently asked question #2: How long have you been a doula?  How many births have you attended?

Both these questions get asked frequently.  While I think experience has tremendous value, I don't believe numbers necessarily communicate worth or ability.  

Does a new doula lack the ability to serve you well?  Does a seasoned doula who has attended hundreds of births have the ability to put their personal birth views aside to serve you in an unbiased manner?  

Ask instead:  How will you serve me my doula? Do you have testimonials from previous clients I can read?

In my own way, I'm trying to say - don't just look at the numbers.  I believe both new doulas and seasoned doulas have their own strengths to offer as your doula.

Additionally, hearing previous client testimonials can allow you insight to those who have been satisfied with their service as a doula.


Frequently asked question #3: When will you join me when my labor begins?

Your question should immediately be asked with this question:

Doula: "When do you want me to join you?"

You should discuss when you feel most comfortable having your doula join you AND which methods of communication are best to get in touch with one another.  

I am highly in favor of having a second phone number to reach your doula (if possible) if you are unable to reach them on their primary number.  Additionally, you should have the number for your back up doula as well.


Frequently asked question #4: What is your fee for doula services?  In what situations would you offer a refund?

Ask this instead: What services does your fee provide?  When can I view your contract?

By rephrasing from "What is your fee?" to "What services does your fee provide?", you as the client get more information as to the services you are investing in.  

Your doula should discuss this and more with you:

  • How to communication with your doula: how, how often and when (do they offer contact only during business hours for non-emergent needs?)

  • How often you will meet with your doula during your pregnancy and what happens when you meet (learning more about you, you preferred comfort measures, birth preferences, birth plan and more!)

  • When your doula will go on call for you

  • When and where will your doula meet you when you are in labor

  • How long your doula will stay with you during your labor and birth

  • Will your doula have a back up doula? In what situations would the back up doula be called? Do you get to meet / talk to the back up doula?

All these items should be covered in your contract.  Trust me, you want your doula to have a contract!  It communicates to you what you can expect from your doula and what happens if those expectations are not met by either party.


Frequently asked question #5:  Have you worked with XX provider at YY hospital / birth center?

Ask instead:  How will you work with my spouse/family member/midwife/obstetrician/nursing staff as part of my birth team?

Your doula is exactly that - one member out of many on your birth team.  Your doula should be there to support your birth choices and facilitate healthy communication between all members of your team.

Your doula should never speak on your behalf - this is not their role.  

What you can expect from your doula is resources to help you get the information you need by providing evidenced-based information, or presenting the question for you to ask by saying something like, "Did you have a question for Dr. X about the risks and benefits of Z intervention?"  


Finally, here are some questions you can anticipate your doula asking you:

  • What are you looking for in your doula?

  • What aspects of your birth are most important to you and as your doula, how can I best support you through them?

  • Who will be attending your birth?  How can I best support them?


Are you interested in hiring a doula for your birth?  GREAT!  Are you interested in hiring me?  Even better!  Find more information about how to hire me as you birth doula and how my services can benefit you HERE.  

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.