Keeping Yourself Distracted and Passing the Time

by Rallie McAllister and Jennifer Bright Reich

cover of Top Tips from MdMommiesIf your due date comes, and then goes, you might feel disappointed and frustrated. Know that this isn't at all under your control! Try to make the best of it and keep yourself as distracted as possible.

If you're able, one thing that you could do now to pass the time that might also help you in labor is doing squats. Hold onto a sturdy chair or lean your back against a wall and squat down with your knees apart. You could do this as many times as you like, as often as you'd like, several times a day.

Energy and brainpower permitting, maybe you could work on your scrapbooks or baby book or catch up on some reading or spending time with your partner, friends and family.

Medical Moms Share Their Tips

My first son was two weeks late. That's not uncommon for a first preganancy. Passing their due dates might make some women crazy, but I loved being pregnant. I felt so blessed. For me, going past my due date gave me two more weeks to enjoy myself.

- Lauren Feder, MD, a mom of two sons, a nationally recognized physician who specializes in homepathic medicine and author

My first daughter was born about a week after her due date. When my due date came and went, I really just wanted her to come. I was exhausted. Plus, I was so anxious to meet my baby. For better or worse, I had my work to distract me.

- Ashley Roman, MD, MPH

My son was born two weeks late. I remember every day seemed extra long. I tried to keep myself busy at work during the day, and I was grateful when people didn't remind me that I was still pregnant. It was much harder at night, though. Because I wasn't distracted like at work, I felt all the reflux, back pain and other complaints.

- Karen Heald, MD, a mom of four boys and a board-certified family physician in private practice outside Atlanta, GA

At the end of your pregnancy, take it easy, but stay busy. I felt my absolute worst on the weekends. Every weekend, I would threaten to induce the baby with some herbal rememdy. But once Monday came, I'd be okay. The downtime let me feel every single ache, pain and struggle to breathe.

Get your rest on the weekends but to at least one fun baby thing, such as registry shopping, to distract you. Remember: On Monday, it will go away again.

- Tyeese Gaines Reid, DO, a mom of one, an emergency medicine resident physician at Yale new Haven Hospital in Connecticut and author.

Your due date is actually plus or minus two weeks. I was so miserable at the end of my pregnancy that two weeks before my due date, I decided to go on a brisk walk to try to bring on contractions. I wanted that baby out!

I went for a long walk in my neighborhood with my dog. My neighbors must have thought I was crazy, this big pregnant woman ready to burst, huffing and puffing, walking a tiny little dog. I trekked up a long hil and all the way back home, never feeling a single twinge.

Unfortunately, it did nothing to speed my labor along and my baby arrived two weeks later, on her due date.

- Sharonne N hayes, MD, a mom of two and the director of the Women's Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN

My son was a little overbaked; he was born a little late. During that last week, I really wanted my pregnancy to be over. I had my suitcase packed and I was ready to go. Every day I woke wondering, "Is today the day?"

The last few days of pregnancy are hard. I was excited, but I was also very tired. I was so ready to go into labor. I had so much apprehension about the delivery and becoming a mother.

I tried to distract myself by taking long walks. That really helped me. I kept telling myself, "Just keep on walking, and it will happen."

- Elissa Charbonneau, DO, a mom of an 18-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter and the medical director of the New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland, ME

Excerpted from The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth

Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH is a board-certified family physician and nationally recognized health expert. Her syndicated newspaper column, Your Health, appears throughout the US and Canada. Dr. McAllister has been the featured medical expert on more than 100 TV and radio shows. She has three sons.
Jennifer Bright Reich is co-founder of Momosa Publishing. She is a writer and editor with more than 15 years of publishing experience. Jennifer has contributed to more than 150 books and published numerous magazine and newspaper articles. She has two sons.

Copyright © Rallie MaAllister and Jennifer Bright Reich. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.