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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 :-)

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.

PeppermintCreamsSaga Mon 19-Aug-13 07:17:00

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, 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 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...

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