Congrats! Someone you love is nearing their dude date and staring childbirth in the face! They’ve spent weeks dealing with nausea, heartburn, back pain, and a slew of other unpleasantries. And, hopefully, you’ve spent these close-to-40-weeks, more or less, helping them endure the trials and tribulations of pregnancy. Your work isn't done yet, though. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can help during the last week of pregnancy. I guarantee you, the pregnant person in your life will appreciate it
In retrospect, I wish I’d made a list of things my loved ones could have done to help me when I was pregnant with my son. Those last few days of pregnancy were filled with anticipation and restlessness, so a little reassurance via a few nice gestures would've been more than beneficial. Plus, I was having trouble getting around by that point, and having even more trouble remembering all the things I needed to accomplish before my baby arrived. Hell, I don’t think my partner and I had assembled all the nursery furniture a week before my due date. I know we definitely didn’t have enough diapers (apparently, there's no such thing as too many diapers).
Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much help as I would have liked or appreciated, so many things were left undone by the time I went into labor. Trust me when I say you do not want that to happen. So, how do you help out someone on their last week of pregnancy? Well, here's a start:
Help Them Pack Their Hospital Bag
I know some soon-to-be moms are ahead of the game and have that hospital bag packed weeks, if not months, in advance. But for the rest of us procrastinators, prepping the go-bag is something anyone can help with. Let the pregnant person create a list of everything she wants and/or needs, and then boom: you’ve got your task! Just put those items inside a bag, preferably in order of importance so the new mom isn’t having to dig deep for her toothbrush. Mission accomplished.
Give Them A Massage
If you’re the partner, you can definitely always offer up a massage. A simple foot rub, back massage, or even a quick five minute hand squeezing can feel amazing, especially when you're heavily pregnant.
If you’re not the partner, or a qualified massage therapist, feel free to get the mama-to-be a gift card to use at the nearest spa, ASAP.
Watch Their Favorite Shows With Them
It’s not like you can go ice skating or hiking when you're 39 weeks pregnant (at least, most of us can’t). So feel free to come by with some DVDs (or more likely, your Netflix password) and enjoy. Just make sure to let the pregnant person pick the shows.
Take Them Out Of The House
If the parent-to-be is feeling a bit of cabin fever, and they’re up for leaving the house (and medically cleared to leave the house, as in they're not on bedrest), get them out of the damn house. Dinner at a small, quiet restaurant could be nice, or maybe just a drive along the beach or through the mountains so they can experience some nature. Anything to remind them to chill and enjoy these final moments of kid-free life.
Cook & Freeze Them Some Meals
Frozen meals are a godsend to new parents. If you know what the family enjoys eating, definitely cook some of their go-to dinners and send them packaged, frozen, and ready to be used whenever cooking dinner feels like an impossibility. Or, if you’re truly awful in the kitchen, set up a Meal Train or drop off some gift cards.
Clean Their House
Some folks are particular about who cleans their home (and how it’s cleaned), but others? Well, not so much. If the mom-to-be is cool with you coming in and cleaning up, by all means do so! Whether it’s taking trash out, loading and unloading dishes (nearly impossible with a big pregnant belly), or doing some of the harder, deep-clean stuff (like bathroom) it will all be incredibly helpful.
Listen To Their Concerns
At the end of the day (and at the end of the pregnancy journey), all a pregnant person wants is to talk about childbirth and what it will be like to care for their baby. They might have worries, concerns, legit fears, or they might simply be excited. Either way, if you can come by or call or even text and let them know you’re around to listen, they will undoubtedly appreciate the effort.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.