My last month of pregnancy is now beginning. In my previous pregnancy I was one week overdue. Because of this I believe that I am not in as much of a hurry to get everything prepared as I was at that time. I know that is not the way to think as all pregnancies are different. I should be expecting this little one to make his entrance any day now. Still I am finding it hard to get started. I thought because of this I would write this post on what to expect in the final month of pregnancy, what to do to prepare for the big day and also offer some helpful tips to make the transition a little smoother.

The final month: What to expect

Baby will make his grand entrance.
Don't rely totally on a given due date. Babies can either arrive early or late. Either way baby will soon arrive.

- During this last month baby will be growing at a fast rate. Continuing to have good balance in quality food and selection is as important during this last month as it was in the previous months.
Tip: Eat dates. Consuming dates during the ninth month of pregnancy can help to avoid the need for induction and can help keep labor progressing once it begins.
I love dates and was not aware of this before!

- You may feel more tired during the the last month.
It is important to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. 

Try having an extra nap during the day. If that is not possible then at least ensure that you make time to sit with your feet up and relax for several short periods throughout the day.
Tip: Try having a warm bath or shower in the evening. This will help relax your muscles and ease tension. 

- There may be an increase in aches and pains especially in the back area. 
Tip: Use a hot water bottle to help provide relief. 

- Urination will most likely become more frequent. This is due to the baby pressing down on the bladder.
Tip: Try to consume more water during the daytime hours and less water before going to sleep at night. 

- Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming on more stronger and frequently. When this happens, especially in the final month you may start to confuse these pains with real labor.
Tip: Drink some water and lay down. Changing positions is often enough to stop Braxton Hicks. If the pain does not go away than you could be in real labor.  

- Milk may or may not start to come in. If it does it may occur when you least expect it.
Tip: Keep a pair of nursing pads handy in your purse

What to do in the final month

- Protect your mattress. A large baby waterproof change pad or waterproof crib sheet will do.

- Do any cleaning around the home that needs to be done. Just do not overdo it!

- Pack your bag.
Tip: contact hospital ahead of time to find out exactly what you may need. Some hospitals provide maternity pads, diapers, and toiletries whereas some don't.

- Keep the laundry down to a minimum by trying to wash a load each day.

- Prepare a few meals ahead of time and freeze them if you have room. 

-Stock refrigerator with milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Tip: Choose vegetables that can be eaten raw including tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots. 

-Stock pantry with healthy snacks including peanut butter, oats, almonds, and raisins. 

- Check baby supplies. Sometimes overlooked are items such as thermometer, baby nail clippers, hat and scratch mittens. 
Tip: Purchase one single baby bottle with teat just in case there are issues with breastfeeding. Baby formula companies often give away baby formula sometimes with a free bottle and teat. Even if you intend to breastfeed, sign up anyway to have it on hand just in case. 

- Wash all new and/or used baby clothes to be worn in the first few months. 

- Finalize child and/or pet care arrangements.