Exercise, especially walking and swimming, stimulates circulation, strengthens your body during late pregnancy, and gains you precious sleep. If you haven’t incorporated walking or swimming into your pregnant life yet, it’s not too late. Walking is a great exercise for any trimester, and even during early labor.
If you can, choose a beautiful place for your walk—a park or a natural setting near your home or office. Make a ritual out of your walk—consider it a time to be with yourself during these last few months before the baby joins you.
Start with a small goal. Go to this special place once a week for 15 minutes, then increase the time to two to three times a week for 30 minutes each. Perhaps you can walk for an hour once each week? Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and take your time. Amble. Stroll. Once you get in the habit of walking, it will become easy to find the time.
Painting Your Fears Away
Fears may resurface any time during pregnancy, and art is the perfect medium to address challenging emotions. Gather together five small sheets of paper, an envelope to hold them, some inexpensive finger paints, and several large pieces of finger painting paper.
Choose some open-ended time when you won’t be interrupted for awhile. On the small pieces of paper, write down five things that you are afraid of at this time in your pregnancy. Use just a few words or a title that signifies the fear, then fold the papers and place them into an envelope.
When you’re ready to paint, draw a slip of paper at random from the envelope. Paint your interpretation of this fear with the finger paints, using a large piece of finger painting paper. Hang it to dry. Paint another. Paint as many as you like.
Let the paintings dry for three days. Look at them as they dry. Then take them down. Place them in a fireplace, a wood stove, or a pit outside, and burn them. Don’t stand and watch them burn. Turn and walk away as soon as they are in flames.
Come back later and gather some of the ashes in a small container. In early labor, throw the ashes to the wind. As you do, consciously throw your fears away and surrender to the birth as it comes.
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Home and A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter on parenting, activism, and healthy living.