14 things to do before you give birth

Your life's about to change – big time. Make the most of your last pre-baby moments and indulge in some sex, shopping and serious pampering.

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Your life's about to change – big time. Make the most of your last pre-baby moments and indulge in some sex, shopping and serious pampering.

Making time for yourself will soon be the last thing on your mind so the last few months of pregnancy can be a great time to savour your independence and treat yourself a little. It's also an ideal opportunity to sort out any unfinished business before other priorities take over. We've come up with 15 of the most important things you should do while you're still a calm and collected mum-to-be…

1. Get pampering
Pretty soon, you’re going to struggle to find the time to have a shower and get dressed every morning, let alone paint your nails or shave your legs. So why not treat yourself to a haircut (go for something low maintenance!), a leg wax, or a manicure? Or, if you’re having trouble reaching your feet, treat your tootsies to a pedicure. It’ll help relax you and will mean you’ll start mummy-hood feeling fantastic.

2. Curl up with a book
Post B-day, an afternoon on the sofa with a good book will be nigh on impossible, so get down to the bookshop or your local library and make the most of the peace and quiet. And even better, a novel you can’t bear to put down will make those 2am breastfeeds seem much more appealing.

3. Go on a babymoon
Having one last baby-free holiday with your partner will give you the chance to spend some quality time alone. Whether you choose a week in the sun, a plush spa, a seaside hotel for the weekend or just a romantic dinner together, make sure you hold hands, kiss, cuddle and generally act like teenagers – it’ll give you something nice to remember when you’re arguing about who’s the most sleep deprived!

4. Girls just wanna have fun…
If your bump’s so big you waddle and you’re just plain fed up of waiting for your baby to put in an appearance, why not invite the girls round for an evening to take your mind of it? Okay, so you can’t drink wine and end up going out and dancing until dawn, but you can gossip, paint each other’s nails, eat chocolate until you feel sick and sing along to Dirty Dancing… who cares if you’ve already seen it 50 times?

5. Ditch the alarm clock
Who said lie-ins had to be reserved for Sundays? Before breakfast in bed becomes a thing of the past (for anyone apart from your baby that is!) make the most of having as much time as you like to sleep and spend some long, lazy mornings reading the papers covered in croissant crumbs.

6. Get your finances sorted
Okay, so it’s not as much fun as pampering yourself, but you’ll be grateful you took the time when you’re too tired to think straight. Get all your bills switched to direct debit and sit down with your partner to sort out a (realistic!) budget, so you don’t get a nasty shock a couple of months down the line when you’re on maternity leave. It’s also worth making a will – putting your financial affairs, and who you would want to be your child’s guardian, down on paper will prevent all kinds of problems, should you or your partner die.

7. Dig out the duster
Make the most of your nesting instinct and give the house a good spring clean; you’ll be glad you did when you’re too tired to so much as look at the Hoover. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and try to keep the harsh cleaning products full of chemicals to a minimum.

8. Get jiggy with it
If you’re still feeling up for it, a quick tumble between the sheets with your partner can help bring you closer together – and it’ll help tide you over until the stitches and sleep deprivation stop taking their toll, too!

9. Get cooking!
It sounds silly, but making double portions of everything you cook now, and freezing the leftovers, will be a lifesaver after the birth. You can pop your homemade delicacies into the microwave on those evenings when you’re too tired to even open a tin of beans… and it’s healthier too! And while you’re still able to meander round the aisles without interruption, make sure you stock up on tea, coffee and biscuits for the endless stream of visitors who will want to meet your new little bundle.

10. Decorate the nursery
Okay, so she won’t really care whether there’s jaded floral wallpaper in her room or not for the first few months, but you will, and we guarantee when your baby’s arrived you’ll never get round to doing it. So get decorating while you still have time to coo over cute fluffy mobiles and matching bedding.

11. And while we’re on the subject
It’ll help to get the nursery, and the rest of the house, organised before you bring your new bundle of joy home. It’s amazing how much space baby kit takes up, so having a ‘home’ for all the bulky stuff will help stop the house looking like a bombsite before your baby’s a week old. IKEA do some ingenious storage solutions if your house is more compact than cavernous… Stock up on the essentials too – you’ll get loads of cute onesies in the first week, but you can guarantee well-wishers won’t come armed with cotton wool, maternity pads and nappies!

12. Dig out the glue and scissors…
If you're feeling super-duper organised, you could make your birth announcement cards now — then all you have to do is stick a photo of your newborn on when she arrives. For the less creative mum-to-be, there’s no shame in popping to Kikki-K and buying some instead, (plus some stamps), and addressing the envelopes beforehand while you can still find your address book.

13. Do lunch, darling!
Get out and about and meet as many friends as you can while you only have to remember your handbag and the door keys. When your newborn arrives, slinging on your coat and dashing out of the house at a moment’s notice will be a thing of the past. It’s also a great way to check out local cafés and restaurants to see which is the most baby-friendly.

14. Remember remember…
Start a pregnancy diary and record your thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears. Then, when your baby's born, you can add all the must-remember info like her weight, when she cut her first tooth or when you got the first long-awaited smile (that wasn’t wind!). You may think you’d never forget a thing but trust us: lack of sleep can do very funny things to your brain!

12:0AM, May 9th 2013

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