This is a particularly busy time of the year for maternity services. Its 9/10 months post christmas parties and holidays! In the last few weeks of pregnancy it can feel like your baby will never come. The commonly experienced heaviness worsens as the day goes on. The questions and curiosities from Wendy in the supermarket to well meaning friends and relatives ‘Still here?!’, “No baby yet!” etc etc. It feels like a roller coaster – days where you quietly enjoy the last days of pregnancy to days of feeling fed up and teary. This is the time to remember that there is a whole lot going on inside your body – an orchestra of internal pharmaceutical peaks and troughs of relevant hormones required to birth your baby.  This is a period of transition for you and your baby – described as zwischen in germany, meaning in between. You are in between your world as a woman to the world of motherhood and your baby is effectively in the departure lounge! There is a spiritual shift happening for both of you and zwischen does not last forever. It is tempting during this end of pregnancy phase to expedite the process with a vision of holding your baby. Sweeps, induction etc are all on the horizon and very tempting. Remember your baby is aware of the world he / she is entering. Scientific research understands that it is the babies lung maturation that triggers the labour… so don’t prod and poke if he/she is not ready.

Instead CONNECT.. Connect with your body and tune into the softening and energy within and how it is changing. Connect with your body through massage, yoga, warm bath. Connect with your thoughts – fears and hopes, simply acknowledge them. Connect with your baby  – remember your baby can hear you, sing speak stroke. Tune into your babies rhythm and invite your baby into the world when he is ready – you are embarking on this journey together. connect with your partner if you have one. Embrace this vulnerable time and allow yourself the time to be loved, cuddled and caressed – anything that connects you will increase the flow of the hormone of love and connection – oxytocin – the hormone of labour and birth. Connect with your sisters, mothers, aunts and female friends. Perhaps you would like to consider a spiritual baby shower where you can honour your babies time in the womb and your body for the wonderful home it has created. During this time prepare to say goodbye to the life as the woman you have been up until now and welcome this new phase of development as a mother of this baby ( important for all mothers not just first timers).

Have faith in your body to birth your baby when your baby is ready. An estimated date of deliver is just that estimated! Don’t rush your baby – start as you mean to go on – motherhood is all about patience and understanding.

Whatever you do, however you spend the end of your pregnancy remember to connect – don’t rush these last days – look at the apples on the tree – when the fruit is ripe it will drop.

Ripe Gala apples are ready for picking at an orchard in South Haven, Mich.