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What to do on mat leave before baby arrives?!

(115 Posts)
fl0b0t Sun 18-Aug-13 19:19:02

Hi all
I've got 4 days left of work and am getting a bit worried about what people DO on maternity leave before their baby comes? I have a feeling my baby will be late- it's due 17th Sept and I finish work this coming Thursday.

I'm a pretty active person (thought getting more tired and swollen by the second) and worried about being bored- especially if baby is very late! Obviously I know that I'll be slowing down anyway, and that once I've pottered about the house and watched a bit of telly that will be time killed, but I'm so used to doing stuff!

So far my list includes:
-do hypnobirthing (try it)
-swim/walk/cycle (one a day if I can)
-touch up paintwork around the house
-cook & freeze meals
-photography and art
-Bumps & Babies groups

I have already packed hosp bag (had a couple of trips away so had to be prepared), baby room is finished and I think we're pretty much prepared. I do have a few friends with children I can meet up with too.

Anyone got any bright ideas?

(ps I know that relaxing and enjoying my last few weeks of being just a person, not a mummy is really key too)

thanks :-)

ecofreckle Sun 18-Aug-13 19:27:31

I went twenty days over so had lots of time on my hands. Plan a creative birth announcement, make some bunting for the nursery and make an album of your pregnancy. And, do do and do again your hypno birthing practice and some yoga. Worked for me! ENjoy your time.

KeepTheFaithBaby Sun 18-Aug-13 19:28:17

I pottered a lot. Batch cooking was great! I did enough to last us a month! I met up with friends for coffee too.

Personally I had an irritable uterus so I tried to put my feet up. I would also do stuff like stock up on household goods (loo roll, toothpaste etc) because you won't want to pop out to buy them. I didn't get to watch films for the first three months so I'd watch anything you think you'll enjoy! smile good luck with the birth!

Crannog Sun 18-Aug-13 19:28:41


I took lovely long naps in the afternoon.

craftycottontail Sun 18-Aug-13 19:30:17

I found it difficult to do much! I had a list similar to yours but just got exhausted and too big to sit at my sewing machine in the last couple of weeks.

I really wish I'd got a haircut and done something really relaxing like a facial - those things are so much more challenging to do with a baby in tow! Also just enjoy vegging out with your favourite book / box set / netflix series or something - uninterrupted time will be a luxury once your baby is here.

I had a feeling of aimlessness in those few weeks - it sort of feels like limbo, just waiting for your baby and I found it a challenge to get my mind into a new pace, not being constantly driven my to do list at work. But if you get that feeling don't worry, it soon passes when your baby arrives!

Hope you enjoy it, it's a special time )

RobotHamster Sun 18-Aug-13 19:30:57


PickleSarnie Sun 18-Aug-13 19:31:56

Sleep. Sleep. Then sleep some more.

Then when you're finished sleeping, go back to bed.

Gonnabmummy Sun 18-Aug-13 19:32:22

Anything you want! That's the best bit! I tried to make plans but usually I just couldn't be bothered the day i intended to do them.
Just take each day as it comes and do what you want.
I visit family more even just for an hour, gets me out and breaks up the day.
Lots of mumsnetting and reading about labour and newborns, smiling at your baby's things and getting all excited smile

windywoo26 Sun 18-Aug-13 19:34:17

Relax and treat yourself with stuff like massage, facial and haircut. Sleep as much as possible and perhaps batch cook. I need to clean this time round and my time off when DS1 is in nursery will be my only chance. Might be the last chance to deep clean the house for years!

Polyethyl Sun 18-Aug-13 19:35:00

I went to the cinema/theatre/opera/concerts a lot! My last chance before babysitters became necessary. I saw loads of great stuff - and bump kicked out of time throughout don giovanni.

Acceptableinthe70s Sun 18-Aug-13 19:45:30

Oh the luxury of being on mat leave with your first before baby arrives - no toddler(s) to run sound after while you're heavily pregnant! With my first, I used to:

yoga classes
Wash baby's clothes
Watch films/TV
Nap everyday
Shopping - for clothes for me and baby
Met ith other nct mum friends for coffee
Researched all the baby groups around in preparation

Now it's running after 2 year old whilst overdue at the park/ soft play/ museums not resting or sleeping at all!

fl0b0t Sun 18-Aug-13 21:43:11

Sounds like some great ideas! I've called it my "Can do" list rather than "to do" so I don't feel I have to do it all, and can just do the fun/easy/relaxing things!

enjolraslove Sun 18-Aug-13 22:10:33

Definitely hair cut- pedicure if you like them, I did shopping for presents and cards for the first few months too so that I wouldn't have to dash out and get things in week 2

childcarehell Sun 18-Aug-13 22:13:43


for me too

roweeena Sun 18-Aug-13 22:19:35

Do bloody nothing whilst you can!

SuffolkNWhat Sun 18-Aug-13 22:37:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KeepTheFaithBaby Mon 19-Aug-13 06:30:47

Actually I couldn't sleep, I was so uncomfortable. So don't stress if you can't.

JollyHappyGiant Mon 19-Aug-13 06:38:12

Batch cooking is def up there. And cinema.

I'm 38+4 now and really feeling the tiredness but can't sleep as much as I'd like due to being the size if a whale uncomfortable. It means I can't do too many tasks in a day so I'm trying to spread things over the week smile

googietheegg Mon 19-Aug-13 06:42:53

I'd get some vinylux nail varnish so your toes are nice!!!

Figgygal Mon 19-Aug-13 06:53:11

I finished 2 weeks before due date then DS was 2 weeks late it drove me crackers!! I mainly went out for walks, shopping, read books while I could and as it was winter bedded in with the tv. Glad I read plenty as didn't again for a long time grin

Queazy Mon 19-Aug-13 06:58:06

I had a massive to do list and was worried I'd be so bored. Two weeks in and the time has gone SO quickly! I've cleared out stuff, cleaned up then repeated the cleaning after decorators have been in, had a pregnancy massage and a pedicure, met up with friends etc. I only sleep about 4-5hrs a night max, and can't seem to get comfortable in the day, so I've been really slow. I'm just so glad I'm not at work - my bump is huge and I'd never had lasted the commute!

Don't try to plan too much. I have a pile of unread books, haven't watched daytime TV and have only done hypno CD every 2-3 days and somehow the time has still passed quickly!!!


ceebeegeebies Mon 19-Aug-13 07:05:21

I had 5 weeks at home and it was bliss smile 7 years later I still look back at that time as a wonderful time!

I slept a lot, watched daytime tv, did my nails, shopped, went out for lunch and ate lots of cake

I also started a winnie the pooh cross stitch sampler for the nursery so I spent a lot of time doing that. I had almost finished it when I went into labour and I never picked it up again. If DS1 had been a day later, I reckon I would have finished it blush

BranchingOut Mon 19-Aug-13 07:06:56

Go to the dentist, hairdresser, beautician.

Randomly leave the house with no notice and no preparation!

Catch up with friends.

BrianTheMole Mon 19-Aug-13 07:07:46

Sleep, and lie around a lot doing nothing much at all.

Go to the card factory and buy two years worth of birthday cards and stamps. Something else you won't want to pop out and buy. They also do thank you cards in case you want to stock up on them.

Gracie990 Mon 19-Aug-13 07:11:51

Movies, reading, batch cooking ( I cooked two months of food, all portioned into bags ) it is the best thing I did.

I bounced on a ball a lot and walked the dog. It's boring really.

Learn to crochet by watching you tube videos. Size 4 hook and double knit wool is all you need.

Book a cleaner to deep clean the house.

Same with a gardener to tidy the garden.

See if Milk and More (or another milkman) delivers in your area.

Set up some favourite shopping lists with my supermarket, or tesco.

BetterWithCheese Mon 19-Aug-13 07:46:38

I read the whole Girl with a Dragon tattoo series. I'm not sure I'd recommend this though, as when I was out of it during my looonnnnggggg labour I was convinced that I was in the books and it was all a conspiracy hmm. My lovely in-laws also came and took me out for little walks and lunch every day which was ace.

I think this time I'll definitely get haircut and pedicure.

LondonLancashireRose Mon 19-Aug-13 08:04:04

Definitely batch cook, it was a life saver when DS wouldn't be put down of an evening!

I got my hair cut at a swanky salon - you can often get a bargainous standby rate if you just phone in the morning and see if they have a space.

Also daytime cinema feels so luxurious!

I would also say go out in the evening with your DP as you won't be able to again for a while. We went to the theatre and ate out as many times as we could afford

KeepTheFaithBaby Mon 19-Aug-13 08:34:41

I also found having a printer, HP print designer and photo paper meant I could print off personalised thank you cards without leaving the house! I used a cute photo of DD and people really liked them. Also meant if I ran out I could easily get more.

Tubemole1 Mon 19-Aug-13 08:54:14

Cleaned the house because there would be no chance to do it after the birth.

ratqueen Mon 19-Aug-13 09:03:35

Ooh card buying is a good thought Peppermint.

I've been on ML forever and have never found it a problem thinking of things to do, but I'm a fan of pottering. Making some new friends through ante-natal has helped latterly. The school holidays irritated me a bit though as the lovely swimming session plus coffee I was treating myself to changed time and it's now too early for me.

Having a stash of books helps, and things on record/DVDs.

However, I have often felt rubbish and unproductive and done nothing much (partly due to not being able to sleep) and that's OK too.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Aug-13 09:13:29

Sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep

What Suffolk said, x20.

Mayanbob Mon 19-Aug-13 10:35:29

I sleep, bath, sleep, bath, read, crochet...

Having become nocturnal recently I now batch cook at night.

Monka Mon 19-Aug-13 11:05:27

I would get the house organised and the baby stuff ready in the first week. Get some freezer meals prepared and your first home delivery list organised. Then feet up with some activity like a short daily walk and catch up on any telly or books and meals out with friends while you still can.

I left work at 36+1 and am now 41+4 waiting to be induced. Had loads more time off than expected as baby is overdue but I will never get this time back again so have enjoyed it especially with the lie ins in the morning. My first two weeks of mat leave went really quickly as spent all my time doing a spring clean as didnt have the energy to do much while I was working. Enjoy your spare time!

MrsRachelLynde Mon 19-Aug-13 11:07:36

Sleep. Have lots of lovely warm baths. Yy to the card buying thing.

Have you got any house admin to do? Make sure all your bills etc are up to date. I forgot to defer my student loan, then dd arrived and I had loads of letters and a fine to pay.

Tailtwister Mon 19-Aug-13 11:08:47

Sleep, sleep and sleep some more! Watch films, potter about town and meet people for lunch. Have your hair cut, facial, massage etc. Look at all the tiny baby clothes.

Batch cooking is good too. I find cooking quite relaxing and it made me feel like I was doing something.

I didn't have any mat leave really before my 2 were born. DS1 came early (37 weeks) and I was due to stop at 38. I worked up until my due date with DS2 and he arrived the following day.

rootypig Mon 19-Aug-13 11:18:47

Lots of fab suggestions here. Definitely stay active, it will help with the birth. Have some lovely dinners with DP, cinema, sex.....just take lots of time for the two of you it won't come again for a while

Batch cooking for sure. I also did a big Internet shopping list of yummy food for after the birth, you'll probably be starving! If you can afford it, lots of pampering.

In terms of preparing for after the birth, if you are planning to breast feed I would find out what support there is locally, lots of women need some help and having the number to hand will make it easy. I'd also find a local sling library to take LO to when you're ready.

Buy a little bottle of lavender oil for your bath post birth, only about £3 in the chemist, it soothes aches, aims and stitches like no other.

AngelaOxford Mon 19-Aug-13 11:19:23

Obviously, try and sleep as much as you can, and if that's really difficult try and rest as much as possible. Catch up with friends and family, find the best park in the city/town and take long, relaxing walks, read books, cook...

And since this is your first (isn't it?) just try to enjoy this time, because once the second one is due, the first one will still be around and presumable walking and running and talking and so on, so you it will be harder then! ;)

rootypig Mon 19-Aug-13 11:20:24

Aches and pains!

TheBleedinObvious Mon 19-Aug-13 12:28:38

I had 4 weeks off.

Slept, cleaned, watch tv, shopped online, made international phonecalls/skyped friends abroad in different time zones.


Theatre matinees.

Met up with a couple of friends and dh in London on their lunch breaks. Wandered around the shops beforehand.

oscarwilde Mon 19-Aug-13 12:30:58

Spending time in a pool is good for swollen ankles and just that general heavy feeling.
I had a feeling I would be late too. Really late, induced and all that stuff. Waters broke within 12 hours of leaving work, both times at 39 & 37 weeks.
Still haven't gotten near my wish list.
They'll take off nail varnish if you need a CS and it might be some time before you get back to a salon so avoid the gellish type manicures unless you want to watch it grow out. Yuk smile

If you plan to BF, visit the BF pages here, Kellymom.com and do other searches for typical BF problems, behaviours and indications for things like tongue tie, how to persuade a reluctant baby to feed, improving your supply etc etc. Symptoms of mastitis and PND It could make all the difference to your first few weeks if you have any difficulties.

Meal/Recipe planning is really helpful too. Make a 14 day meal plan of foods that can be quickly cooked (you won't want batch cooked meals every night) and eaten with just a fork grin by you and DH in the evenings plus quick and easy lunches for yourself. It will make the shopping and the "what do I need to do while junior is asleep for 5 mins" brainstorm all the easier when you are averaging 4-5 hrs sleep a night.

oscarwilde Mon 19-Aug-13 12:34:50

Sort through your clothes. All my pre-mat clothes were still in boxes when I came out of hospital and a few weeks later post CS I had to rummage through them just to find that most were not suitable to BF in, and I hadn't a hope of getting into the trousers for a while yet. Off to the shops with a newborn in tow.
You may not "snap back into shape in 4 weeks". It's worth digging out clothes that are a bit roomy, good for bfing in (if you plan to) and making sure you have a couple of warm cardies at the ready if the weather turns quickly. One of those "capsule wardrobes" the mags are always on about smile

funnyperson Mon 19-Aug-13 13:18:46

-haircut, facial, pedicure, all good for morale and actually essential for new baby photos and the last chance before breast feeding takes over
-concerts, theatre, opera, ballet (last time for 10 years without a baby sitter needed)
-see friends
-(ignore parents as that relationship will do overtime when baby comes) and see all your friends your own age
-if you have that sort of a job, go on a work related course. it is quite nice sitting around learning stuff and good for baby's brain. good for your brain too.
-knit a baby jumper with a french or danish pattern just so you can say you did it and because it is fun.
-smock a romper/dress for the same reason.
examples of baby cardigans/knitting
examples of baby smocking

MrRected Mon 19-Aug-13 13:20:18

Op - cycling @ 36 weeks????


TallulahBetty Mon 19-Aug-13 13:21:57

I went on leave with 3 weeks left. I did nothing apart from.food shopping, watching daytime TV, walking (difficult but necessary with SPD) and sleeping. I'm glad I made the most of doing bugger all as I was induced unexpectedly after 2 weeks.

fl0b0t Mon 19-Aug-13 13:26:07

Some amazing suggestions, thanks all!

Sleeping is definitely not going too well at the moment (waiting for baby to drop a bit as I have awful indigestion, acid reflux and discomfort- plus getting carpal tunnel so when I turn over in bed my hands really hurt!), so although lots of people have told me to sleep a lot... I can't!

Also- I love the idea of having nothing to do- but I know in reality I get bored very easily and "doing nothing" won't be something I enjoy!

rootypig shock sex?! I can't work out the logistics of that!!

fl0b0t Mon 19-Aug-13 13:27:30

MrRected I know some people think I'm mad but pre pregnancy I cycled a lot so really the few flat easy miles a week I'm doing at the moment are barely noticeable! smile

bemybebe Mon 19-Aug-13 13:28:00

clean the house. you will NEVER have a chance again (14mo here)

bemybebe Mon 19-Aug-13 13:28:50

and cinema...

I ended up 6 weeks on my own before DD arrived because I had so much accrued anual leave to take, by week three I was going stir crazy.

I filled time by going for walks, mooching around the shops, washing all the baby clothes and bedding, cleaning rather obsessively to relieve the boredom and watching absolute shit on tv grin.

This time round I am going to try to work up to 38 weeks and encash any accrued leave instead, DD will be in school then so I will ahve the school run to break up the days at least smile

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Mon 19-Aug-13 13:51:49

You could get super organised and buy all your Xmas presents ahead of time.
I know it's only August but Xmas shopping with a newborn doesn't sound like fun, even on Amazon

Pachacuti Mon 19-Aug-13 13:56:42

Drink HOT cups of tea/coffee -- you're unlikely to manage much more than lukewarm for a while.

We're in London so I went to lots of matinee plays/shows via the half price ticket booth. And films.

If you have any big heavy books on your to be read list that you won't be able to read while bfing for fear of clonking the baby on the head, read them now.

PedantMarina Mon 19-Aug-13 14:02:29

Yeah, what Suffolk said...

rootypig Mon 19-Aug-13 14:53:37

Ha. Trust me, if you think it's difficult now, wait til you have a baby!

I cycled until my due date, it is actually the easiest way to transport a heavy load - on wheels grin

oscarwilde Mon 19-Aug-13 16:06:10

Start researching /downloading application forms for nursery's/CM's and schools especially if you live in London....

TheHattifattenersBarometer Mon 19-Aug-13 16:07:18

Batch cooking.

Making shopping list on Ocardo so you can press the ORDER button when you are so sleep deprived you cannot think straight.

Sitting in silence with a book and a magazine.

Go to the cinema.

Have as many lazy lunches out with friends as possible.

Enjoy as many lazy Sundays with your DP/DH as you can, lie in bed until noon then go out for a late Sunday lunch.

Drive in the car with the music on LOUD (if that is your thing...babies like a bit of volume but you can't have it on full).

Gather all the things that you will need next your arm chair when you return home with your baby: tissues, lansinoh, burp cloths, lip balm (basically everything that you need so that you don't need to move when your baby is asleep on your lap).

And sleep, lots.

mrspaddy Mon 19-Aug-13 17:01:47

I have had six weeks off... Every inch of house cleaned... Bit of a pain, could start agin. Curtains washed, charity collection sacks sorted.
Wardrobe organising was a big one.. Really tore into it.. Was ruthless and have sored clothes for nursing and until weight loss happens!

I practised baking, lemon drizzle cake etc.

Up cycled a chair for nursery. Love it.

Watched my first box set.. Not usually Tv fan.

Sorted years worth of teaching resources, wedding keepsakes etc.

Made photo books online.. Great to get them done from the sofa ....

Mooched about.. Coffee shops etc.. Bliss

Month worth of dinners in freezer.

niffernaffer Mon 19-Aug-13 17:42:46

They're right you know. SLEEP!!!! Anyone who has had a child will tell you this. You won't get it back for years.......................

hooochycoo Mon 19-Aug-13 18:51:19

do anything you've been meaning to do but haven'y got round to as you won't have the time again for a few years at least

go out after pm at night with your husband FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON

sleep late

go to adult only places

hooochycoo Mon 19-Aug-13 18:57:02

oh and don't bother shopping for your new baby and spending time making things for them, doing up the nursery. spend some money and time ON YOU on decadent things, nice make up, clothesoutifts sorted, capsule wardrobe for next year that you feel good about
, enough toiletires for a year or so, getting your hair done. because soon everything will be about the baby, you'll have baby clothes and things coming out your ears, the things that you spent weeks making and buying and thinking about will be covered in baby poo and puke and grown out of in a sleep deprived instant. and you will be lucky if you manage a shower and a couple of wees a day, let alone looking in the mirror, putting on make or anything for yourself. personally, with a four year old and a one year old, i do my mascara on the bus and use pound shop shower gel, because the kids need shoes and i haven't got time to get three people looking respectable in the morning so i'm the one that gets left out.

rootypig Mon 19-Aug-13 18:59:05

MrsPaddy shock! Can you bottle ome motivation and sell it to me please?

dogindisguise Mon 19-Aug-13 19:02:08

All the above.
Read up about babies and parenting so you have a vague idea what to expect.
If you have a sling practice using it with a doll or teddy.
Research local baby and toddler groups.

dogindisguise Mon 19-Aug-13 19:06:07

I wasn't working for most of my pregnancy with DS1 and didn't do half this stuff. Still have photos from 13 years ago that could do with going into albums.

mrscog Mon 19-Aug-13 19:29:05

I did all the usual cleaning, mooching, visited lots of family and friends etc. but most of all I enjoyed doing hobbies i'd abandoned years ago - piano, drawing, painting etc. I also read a lot, and watched lots of films I'd wanted to see.

It was one of the best 6 weeks of my life! I really don't understand people who say they were going crazy with boredom - really? no hobbies? do you not read? watch films? what would you normally do in your spare time?!

I also did 5 hours of vigorous gardening in a fit of craziness at 39 weeks and did my back in so much that it hurt more than the labour once I was in labour. I would recommend being careful if you do any sudden bursts of activity!

flowersinavase Mon 19-Aug-13 19:40:24


Eat without a little person attached to your boob.


Pee on your own.


Take public transport without it being a huge mission (and without getting daggers from everyone else).


Have sex.


Plan for people's upcoming birthdays/Christmas. Write cards, buy and wrap gifts. Then all you have to do is send them out and people will think you're The Most Organised and Competent Mother Ever.

Playdoughcaterpillar Mon 19-Aug-13 19:42:10

Hypnobirthing is good for making you fall asleep!

butteroneverything Mon 19-Aug-13 19:48:22

I did lots of 'grown up' things in the evenings - meals out, tgeatre, concerts, cinema. Caught up with friends already on mat leave. A bit of batch cooking for the freezer, cleaning, sorting out baby's room. But the nicest thing I did was sort all our years of photos into albums and made photobooks of a couple of special holidays/honeymoon - I think that's what I'm most pleased I did now.

Phineyj Mon 19-Aug-13 20:09:19

Bit of a boring one, but...sort out your finances (especially if you are self-employed or have to do a tax return) as I promise it will be the last thing you have time for once LO arrives!

Also, if there are any friends you haven't seen in a while, especially ones without full time jobs, get in touch now as you need reasons to get out of the house post-baby and catching up over coffee is nice during the day.

lorisparkle Mon 19-Aug-13 20:56:29

I really wished I had had time to get all the meals sorted out for the first month or so and bought lots of things that I could prepare and eat with one hand for in the day.

I did get my hair cut before all three of mine were born which was fantastic.

My first was born on the Tuesday and I finished work on the Friday so I did not have any time to get organised - a big mistake!

Just enjoy!

chickieno1 Mon 19-Aug-13 21:04:39

Good tip about the cards!


Night out with oh

Meet friends



My twins are nearly 11 months old this is what I miss...

Having a daily shower in peace
Cooking dinner at my leisure
Wearing make up
Doing my hair
Meeting friends for lunch/dinner/coffee
Going to the hairdresser/beauty salon
Going on holiday
Weekend lay ins
Going to the loo in peace
Wearing nice clothes
Having time to dress up and get ready (now I am lucky if I get to brush my hair)
Brush my teeth without having to sing to 2 babies

This should tell you what to do before you have no time for yourself smile

ButteryJam Mon 19-Aug-13 22:46:15

Seriously enjoy. Child and stress free days will never come again!

Pachacuti Mon 19-Aug-13 23:06:54

Call up your DH/DP at lunchtime and say "Hey, do you fancy doing [insert almost anything that involves leaving your house] tonight?" and then go out and do it. Because you won't be doing anything that spontaneous again until your baby is old enough to leave home alone...

littleblackno Mon 19-Aug-13 23:17:22

watch tv/ box sets/ films.

cinema (alone is good!)

bikini wax (vain i know)

clean - everything... nesting

batch cooking - was a running joke that there was sooo much food but noone was allowed to eat it!

hair cut

pee alone, have time in the shower, meet friends for lunch/ dinner.

get paperwork/ bills/ finances etc all in order

enjoy the peace!
walk around the shops looking at babies thinking "I'm going to have one soon!!"

ZingWantsCake Tue 20-Aug-13 01:06:57


jammiedonut Tue 20-Aug-13 09:29:28

Rest. Not because you'll need it when baby is here (what a crock of shite, I'm off to visit the sleep bank to take advantage of all that rest I got at 36 weeks), but because you'll need it. Labour is hard, mentally and physically and your body needs to be in tip top shape to get through it okay. Listen to your body, if you can swim, fantastic but if you need to sleep go for it. I had so many good intentions on maternity leave but as soon as I stopped working 50 hrs a week my body gave up, and I spent a good week on the sofa under a duvet. I didn't even think I was tired, but obviously I needed it. I couldn't actually sleep at night you see, and really had to stop myself planning a day full of activities on 2 hours sleep whilst carrying an extra three stone of baby stuff.

Cheeseatmidnight Tue 20-Aug-13 09:35:11

Don't plan too much - as time goes on you will need to rest! I did lots of pottering, shopping, catching up on tv series I have always meant to watch.

I did have spd though so movement was difficult

LePamplemousseMousse Tue 20-Aug-13 10:08:11

Honestly, rest as much as possible. Just do one small activity per day (like a bumps and babes in the morning), and spend the rest of the time sleeping, watching box sets and doing very low-energy enjoyable things for yourself, like making photo albums and painting your nails (things you won't have time to do for a while after baby comes).

I wish I could go back in time and give myself that advice before my first baby was born! I was doing lots of exercise and loads of social things and generally zipping around saying silly things like 'no, no, I don't need naps...'. What a fool. I had a two day labour with no sleep or rest, and didn't manage to 'catch up' on lost sleep for over six months. I was wrecked.

I'm now expecting DC2, and this time I'll be doing precisely nothing once I finish work apart from taking to my bed with my Kindle every minute DD is at childcare! You may roll your eyes at this (I would have done in my first pregnancy), but trust me grin

fl0b0t Tue 20-Aug-13 11:14:38

Some great ideas coming in still- though I still find it a bit painful people telling me to sleep (which I would dearly love to do, barring acid reflux, carpal tunnel, wriggly baby and generally not being able to sleep) or do nothing. I do not enjoy doing nothing- I'd rather be at work!!!

Paperwork and finances are a great idea!

gingertessa Tue 20-Aug-13 11:31:48

OP I was in your position exactly a year ago - I'm getting nostalgic! My DD was due on 8th September and born on the 20th, so I had more time on my hands than I expected. You've had some great advice already, and I did most of the things suggested (especially batch cooking, resting, listening to the natal hypnotherapy CD, walking and watching tv) but what I loved most was the pedicures. It felt like such a luxurious treat as I'd never had one before but when I got to the stage where I couldn't reach or see my feet I decided it was a good idea. My midwife complimented me on the colour of my toenails when I went in to have DD smile

If you end up going overdue my advice would be to tell everyone you know not to ask you about it. I got irrationally infuriated by people asking me if I'd had my baby yet; I remember one text from a friend which said "so where's this baby then?" to which I replied "In my uterus."

peanutMD Tue 20-Aug-13 11:35:13

I made 2 Weeks worth of food then the freezer broke when I was in hospital lol

Monkeyandanimal Tue 20-Aug-13 11:44:08

buy all your xmas presents early. and make sure you are sorted for birthday cards, thank you cards and gifts for birthdays and other people's new babies for next while, as pps said. get a haircut. dental checkup. Its a pain to do these with a baby. enjoy your free time! do everything on your to-do lists! i still need to to my wedding album from 2008 and haven't had time since i had kids.

oscarwilde Tue 20-Aug-13 12:52:07

One last one. Bit of a downer too I'm afraid. A very high percentage of women are made redundant/encouraged to pursue other roles/change their mind about returning to work while on maternity leave.

While you are still in the office, if you can find the motivation I REALLY recommend updating your CV and your Linked In profile if you have one, take copies of your recent appraisals and note your achievements (especially any stats or figures which you will totally forget while you are off). ENSURE you have a written appraisal before you leave and take copies of any work or business contacts that you would like to have if you start in a completely new firm 12/24 months from now.

I can't tell how strongly I recommend this. It is really stressful being made redundant on mat leave and so nice to have this stuff at your fingertips if you have to do At Risk interviews or interview elsewhere.

Put in writing how much contact you would like to have with the office and if you are interested in KIT days (and after what date) for training or whatever. Keep reminding them you will be back, even if you don't intend to be. You never know that your circumstances won't change.

ZingWantsCake Tue 20-Aug-13 13:08:14


you wanted ideas and advice.
I have 6 kids and my advice is to rest as much as you can.
but if that's painful for you I'm sorry.

have a great mat leave running around, but don't be surprised when that baby comes and you'll feel like you've been hit by a truck...

(yes, I sound bitchy and unsopportive because it irks me when people ask for tips then criticise the answers.
if you want to join the "due anytime" thread I'll be mighty supportive thoughwink )

fl0b0t Tue 20-Aug-13 13:26:55

Typical MN response there, cheers zingwantscake- you're the exact reason that people are terrified of mumsnet!

Seriously, if I could sleep I would. I'd sleep for a week because I'm about to have a baby (just the one thanks, not 6) and may never sleep for the next 6 plus years. However, (oh look this appears to be me repeating myself) I'm suffering with heartburn and acid reflux when I try to lie down, SPD, an entire lack of ability to sleep in general, and wake up a number of times during the night with carpal tunnel symptoms. Which isn't very condusive for sleeping during the day or at night. I am currently incapable of sleeping. However, lets ignore that and just say I'll spend the next 3-6 weeks asleep as it will make zing feel better. I'll spend any waking hour watching shit box sets and spending my statutory maternity pay on pedicures (hell knows I won't have one of those for the next 18 years until baby starts university.

Sadly, as usual, the elite parent club can't answer the question actually asked or bother to read it, they have to stick a special elite parent club oar in...... and assume that everyone is the same as them.

gingertessa- Looky a useful answer, thanks!! I will very much be telling people not to bother me as I feel that baby will be overdue! I've been telling people baby will probably come "in September" to save people having a fixed date in their head!

oscarwilde - ~blink~ are you telling me to use my last few days at work to update my CV as they won'thave me back?!

KarmaBiatch Tue 20-Aug-13 13:49:39

oh fl0b0t, get yourself some ranitidine (sp?) it works wonders for heartburn as it actually reduces the acid rather than just mask it smile

also, get some reflexology done, but make sure they know not to touch the bit between your heel and ankle bone as it could bring on contractions, but seriously, it will work wonders for your aching body.. trust me!!

I'm sorry you're suffering, I'm 31 weeks and barely getting 30 mins of sleep a night at the mo due to a wriggling baby who thinks its fun to kick my ribs and punch my hips as soon as I lie down!

would you enjoy a dip in the pool to relieve some weight temporarily?

or, have a bath with a good book.. you won't be able to do that for a while smile

sending hugs

fl0b0t Tue 20-Aug-13 13:58:56

Cheers Karma- swimming is high on my list- I'm a "local resident" member at the local pool so get cheaper swimming. Found it to be very enjoyable so hope to get down a couple of times a week if I feel up to it! smile

Is ranitidine a prescription drug? I've been at the gaviscon tablets (can't stand the liquid) but when you need one after every swig of water it gets a bit boring! smile

goodasitgets Tue 20-Aug-13 14:02:16

Instead of a present for baby (because I knew she would get loads!) I paid for my friend to have a pregnancy pamper - she said it was fab before the birth
They did a leg/foot massage and pedicure while she sat and drank tea and ate cake grin
So that's my recommendation!

KarmaBiatch Tue 20-Aug-13 14:05:58

not sure if its an otc drug or prescription in the uk, but maybe ask them pharmacist before going to your doc to get it?!

it has been my best friend for the last few weeks grin

fl0b0t Tue 20-Aug-13 14:07:58

goodasitgets I've had a friend offer to come around and do me a foot massage and pedicure post baby! How amazing!? :-) Can't wait to take her up on that!

Cheers karma smile

KarmaBiatch Tue 20-Aug-13 14:10:39

oooh.. just another thing to add quickly.. take photos of your bump on a daily basis, I've been told that its amazing to look back and see how your bump makes the drop in the last couple weeks smile (it also proves to your kid that they were not adopted when they become a teenager and scream 'must be adopted' heheh)

LongTailedTit Tue 20-Aug-13 14:25:14

A bit hmm at your OTT response to Zing...

Anyway! Just adding my tuppence - I got a whole three days of my four weeks maternity leave as DS decided to show up rather early! I really hadn't expected that and was completely caught off guard. I wish I had been a Scout - Be Prepared!
However, it sounds like your house is ready and you've got most things prepped, well done! Mine was a tip, I was supposed to get it all sorted in that 4 weeks... Ha.

Anyway - things I most wished I'd done were read a few baby sleep books, as by the time I needed them I had no time to read. Things like the No Cry Sleep Solution etc, would have been so much easier to take in without a baby screaming in my ear (literally, DS was a Velcro baby).
Also I wanted to do a baby journal and photo album, these things got left by the wayside in those early months, and can't really be backdated.

If you find yourself stuck on the sofa cos you're physically exhausted but frustrated - try putting a family tree together for your DC. It takes a fair bit of effort, but you'll at least be 'resting' at the same time. smile

I hope the baby moves down soon and eases your discomfort.

Ranitidine can work wonders, do ask your GP for help.

LongTailedTit Tue 20-Aug-13 14:25:43

Ps yes it's def prescription in the UK.

Cakebaker35 Tue 20-Aug-13 14:42:57

It absolutely flies by so just enjoy the quiet, peaceful time and doing stuff for yourself. Relax, read, cinema, some batch cooking definitely and a hair cut all good. I was a week early despite being sure I'd be late so mine went all too quickly.

ZingWantsCake Tue 20-Aug-13 14:45:08


take my advice or don't, but don't be offended by my honesty! it is meant to be helpful and my response is hardly why people afraid of MN (and most of what you said does not describe the type of person I am).

I'm sorry you can't sleep, PSD is a bitch.
if you have it I'm not sure about long walks and breast stroke swimming is definitely a bad idea.

I don't know if you have tried osteopathy yet, it did help me a lot.

I know you are anxious to get things done, but please don't overdo it.

I wish you a lovely time for these last few weeks and a quick and safe delivery of your baby!

fl0b0t Tue 20-Aug-13 14:48:54

Cheers all.

macthecatsmum Tue 20-Aug-13 15:46:36

Get a haircut. when i was having my twins it was something i forgot about until the last minute-then couldn't get an appointment. I didn't manage to get it done for 6 bloomin' months. and go for a pedicure-i couldn't reach my feet so it was bliss (DH can't even cut his own toenails without chucking, so he was useless).

oscarwilde Tue 20-Aug-13 15:47:07

Nah - but 6/12 months is a long time to be out of the office. Assuming that you want to return either because you love your job or financially need to [if you have no intention of ever going back then please do ignore me you lucky thing], then it's a really good idea to write down all the stuff you are good at professionally just before you leave work, or when you are at home in the first few weeks.

I kid you not, if you have to sit in an interview 12 months from now and someone asks you about your "recent achievement", you will not be able to remember a single thing except reciting The Gruffalo in the dark/removing and cleaning up a poo explosion without transferring it onto you etc etc.

If you are unlucky enough to be one of the many people on here who's employment goes south while on maternity leave you will be really glad that you took the time to prepare yourself for interview/start your own business while you had the time to do it without the stress of doing it while juggling a small child and a brain which is still mostly engaged grin.

I know it's not what you started this thread for so sorry but I wish someone had told me not to count on a return just because I was told I was a valued member of the team

Torrorosso Tue 20-Aug-13 15:47:15

Widen your social circle of people you can socialise with after the baby is born.

I didn't do this, and was crawling up the walls with boredom and frustration - going from a busy, stimulating job to being at home with a demanding baby and no adult company almost drove me mad. I was back in work very quickly as a result!

Looking back, if I'd had more people I could socialise with, it would have been easier and more enjoyable.

LongTailedTit Tue 20-Aug-13 16:17:05

Ooh and if you have an NCT or other baby-class group, set up a Facebook group page - one of our lot did this and it was a lifesaver, esp in the early days when we didn't know each other well enough to call around to see who wanted a catch up.
We still use it loads two years later, seeing who's around for a meet up or to pick each others brains on stuff.

fl0b0t Tue 20-Aug-13 19:06:54

I'll definitely have a think about work stuff- though my funding currently continues to March 2015 (I work for a charity) so I feel pretty confident! smile

Good idea about the mummy friends- I'm working on being a bit too forwards with all new mummy-to-be friends I meet!

shufflehopstep Tue 20-Aug-13 19:19:53


Wake up.


Go back to sleep.

Crocky Tue 20-Aug-13 19:29:42

You say you can't sleep because of discomfort but it may be that you can manage short naps easier when you are no longer working. So make sure that you give yourself some time each day just to relax and breathe and do not a lot.

hooochycoo Tue 20-Aug-13 19:57:31

oh and if you want to breastfeed, read up as much as you can before. I was amazed after my first baby that noone ad told me to stop worrying and 'the birth' and 'the stuff' and start learning about breastfeeding. pretty much as soon as your baby is in your arms it all becomes about breastfeeding constantly and there's unfortunately not much good support in the nhs unless you are lucky. i'd reccomend having a good read of kellymom and a look at around this site and at these videos and find out where your nearest breastfeeding clinic, breastfeeding support group and lactation clinic is. That way if you are one of the unlucky ones who encounters problems, you will have some knowledge and be empowered to seek correct information and support when you are sleep deprived, in pain, hormonal and desperate. Not setting you up to fail here, you may encounter no problems: i didn't first time round. but if you are unfortunate enough to need help, prior knowledge is power.

shufflehopstep Tue 20-Aug-13 21:14:36

Definitely have a haircut - you want to look OK without too much effort if you're in the hundreds of photos that people want to take of the baby.

Just enjoy doing ordinary things like nipping out in the car to get something from the shop; having a quiet read; sitting in the garden.

Good luck flowers

sleepcrisis Tue 20-Aug-13 21:26:30

I had a few sessions of acupuncture in those last couple of weeks. I wholeheartedly recommend it. And then when you go overdue get them to try and get baby moving! It was unbelievably relaxing.

kiwik Wed 21-Aug-13 05:58:24

I didn't have any with DC1. Left work on the Friday expecting two nice lazy weeks of maternity leave, and instead gave birth on Saturday morning.
No time to laze about with DC2, as DC1 was still a toddler.
DC3 was prem, so I was still working when I had him, and DH had to phone work to tell them I wouldn't be back for a while.
I'm finishing at 6 months this time, and keeping the nanny on, so I can have some time to myself. So looking forward to it!

cuppateaanyone Wed 21-Aug-13 19:48:08

I spent a lot of time worrying about things I couldn't control like the birth etc. I wish I had spent those last weeks seeing more friends, dinner with my husband, reading books, a pedicure and sorting out online grocery shopping....the haircut is a v. Good idea.

fl0b0t Fri 23-Aug-13 11:55:56

cuppatea that's a shame sad Got lots of things on my list now!

Day one of maternity leave was today. I had a lie in, then washed up (slovenly housewife didn't do it last night!), then sent a few admin-y emails before having a visit from a friend. I took him out cycling to show him how to get to the forest (and left him there to have a ride... not in a weird "left him in the woods alone" kind of way) and came back. I'm now chilling out before considering reading Hypnobirthing and planning to meet with some mumsnet friends next week smile

lucamom Fri 23-Aug-13 12:35:50

Pinterest is your friend here-cuppa, feet up, laptop/iPad on.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Fri 23-Aug-13 12:48:35

I watched Pointless and Take That DVDs.

forevergreek Fri 23-Aug-13 13:14:43

Also think of things you really like to do now, and research how you might be able to do them with baby

Ie: dh and myself both like running. So I spent about 2 weeks ( way too long!) researching running buggys/ trailers/ devices etc to use once baby was 6 months.
We also swam lots so I found out which pools locally were the warmest and we started going there with baby once born. One swims, one stays with baby in pool/ change and then swap over.

Both of these have been key for us and we still do now 3 1/2 years later, with ds1, and now ds2 also. ( although had to upgrade to a double jogger after all!)

forevergreek Fri 23-Aug-13 13:16:28

So from your last post, maybe look up baby seats for bike!

fl0b0t Fri 23-Aug-13 13:42:23

Forevergeek some v good ideas. What I end up buying for baby on bike does depend a little on finances as I'd like to buy a new bike :-) Clearly don't have enough already!

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