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37-40 weeks

You are now in the final weeks before the birth and your baby is fully formed. It is at this stage that your baby may begin to move so that their head is within the pelvis as it is preparing to be born. The movement of the baby should make things more comfortable for you. However you may feel increased pressure on the abdomen and that this makes it uncomfortable to eat. If so, it can be easier to eat little and often rather than having big meals. It is also important to keep your fluid intake up so remember to drink plenty of fluids as your needs are higher during pregnancy.

Preparing for the birthday!
Once your contractions start there can be a quite a long wait before you are ready to go to hospital so you will need to make sure you keep your energy and hydration levels up. Below are some healthy snack and small meal ideas you could try:

  • Sandwiches, wraps or bagels – using wholegrain or wholemeal varieties, adding a source of protein such as tuna, chicken or cheese and some salad.
  • Some fresh fruit or vegetables – good ideas for snacks include raw vegetable batons, pots of fresh fruit, or fruit that requires no preparation like apples, bananas, pears or satsumas.
  • Pots of salad (try to make sure it contains some starchy carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes or cous cous as this will help maintain your energy levels, also include a source of protein and some fruit or vegetables)
  • Fluids – as well as water try liquid foods like soups or drinks like smoothies or milky drinks that provide energy and nutrients as well as water.
  • Ginger – this can help if you are feeling nauseous, try ginger flavoured teas or drinks.
  • Jellies with added fruit (see recipe idea)

 

When the time comes to go to the hospital, it is also a good idea to pack some snacks in your bag. Although it is unlikely that you will be able to eat while you are in labour, they will come in handy after the birth, especially if this happens in the middle of the night when the hospital will not be providing food. They may help to keep your partner going too! Below are some snacks and drinks you could pack.
  • Dried fruits, nuts and/or seeds
  • Crackers, crispbreads and oatcakes
  • Popcorn -choose versions with less added salt or sugar
  • Fruit loaf
  • Teacakes or fruit scones
  • Ambient pots or tins of fruit in juice
  • 100% fruit juice or smoothie cartons
  • Water (still or sparkling)


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