What is one sure thing that is happens to a soon to be mother that transcends location, age, situation? "The Nesting Period!" Amy Rawson delivers her tips for making the most of this time.
Amy Rawson

Channeling that energy
During this mysterious time of pregnancy, women have been known to scrub imaginary germs off tiles with a toothbrush, reorganize the foods in their cupboards alphabetically, repaint and wallpaper the new nursery, only to mysteriously end up repainting and wallpapering out into the rest of the house.

Here are a few good ideas for channeling that nesting energy so that when the baby does come and you need to rest, you will be able to pat yourself on the back and reach for a ready made meal.

Pack that bag
First of all, get your bag ready for the hospital now. Who cares if it's a month early? That is one less thing you need to worry about and there is a sense of security in knowing all you have to do is to GET to the hospital. For an even better precautionary step, put the bag next to the front door. When you start feeling out of sorts and as if you aren't getting anything done, you can see that you at least have the hospital packing finished. Trust me, it is soothing.

Be sure to pack a little goodie bag for yourself in there. You will really appreciate having a soap that doesn't audibly suck the moisture out of your skin, like the hospital stuff does and I have never met anyone yet who WANTS to smell like a medical institution. A five star organizational tip is to get the travel sized stuff from the store. You can fit it all in a ziplock and if you forget something or it disappears at the hospital, it won't be such a hardship.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you won't need things to pamper yourself with at the hospital. You will appreciate being able to run a (real) comb through your hair and put on a little lipstick -- if not for any other reason than to remind yourself that giving birth is not a medical procedure and you are not sick.

Pamper yourself
Now, after you are ready to go, think about taking steps to make the house ready to come home to. You are not going to want to go shopping for a couple of weeks. Make sure you are 1 can, bottle, and jar ahead on all your cleaning stuff. There is nothing more frustrating than having someone say, "sure, I will do your dishes." Then finding that you are out of dish soap! Next, buy yourself some fancy, exotic bath toiletries. When you do get a chance to finally shower, you want to make it seem as luxurious as possible. Be warned, however, that you may not actually be able to USE the new toiletries for a while so make sure they are pretty to look at as well.

Make meals ahead
For meals, I can't recommend cooking ahead highly enough. First of all, get yourself a couple of packs of the foil pans from the supermarket. Then, a month before you are due starts making simple meals to put in the freezer. Everytime you make dinner, make extra and put it in the foil pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Take a piece of masking tape and write what the contents are and cooking instructions in case you get lucky and someone offers to heat it for you.

Even if you don't normally do a lot of one dish meals, you will appreciate being able to just remove a frozen something or other in the morning and heating it up that night. Then, as an extra bonus you can throw the pan away! For those of you who are thinking, "convenience foods!" let me just say one thing. Even buying some powdered mix is not easier than turning on the oven and putting a ready made meal in. This is the ultimate in convenience! Not to mention that post partum is not the time to start eating junk food.

Some of you may think you can just order out for every meal. Well, you can but it's mighty expensive and you want your partner home with you and the baby, not out fetching the chicken wings.

Consider throwaways
Don't forget the paper and plastic. Now is not the time to consider becoming an environmentally conscious home. Get yourself some paper plates and cups. You are not going to have the time or energy to wash dishes or fill the dishwasher. Unless you are especially blessed, your husband will probably help clean the kitchen for you but it is just as draining to have him ask you questions from the kitchen every step of the way. We all know that it is just easier to get it yourself than to try to explain it to him. Not to downplay how hard they will want to try and help, think of getting the paper and plastic to help HIM to help you!

A diaper service? Plan ahead.
Check on getting a diaper service. Unless you are using disposables, a diaper service is quick, easy and really inexpensive. If you call and set up the service before the baby, all you will have to do is have someone call them when you go into the hospital and they will start sending the diapers. Even if you only use the service for a month or so, it will be one less thing you have to worry about and it feels like a little spoiling for mom as well (Hey, we take what we can get!)

A nest for you
The extra burst of energy that we all feel right before our babies are born is our body's way of preparing for the new arrival, it is kind of like Mother Nature's way of saying "Hey, you better get ready, 'cause things as you know it are about to change!"

With a little planning, you will save yourself from having to deal with the little inconveniences that arise while learning to function with a brand new baby. If you are going to nest (and you are!) why not make the nest as comfy for yourself as you have made it for the baby?PregnancyAndBaby.com

Tags: nesting trimester

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