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What to do while waiting for labor?

As the due date approaches, expectant parents often find themselves eagerly anticipating the arrival of their baby. However, the waiting period can sometimes feel long and filled with anticipation. The good news is that there are many productive and enjoyable activities you can engage in to pass the time and make the most of this period. From window shopping to creating a labor playlist, meal preparation to self-care activities, let’s explore some ideas on what to do while waiting for labor.

Window Shopping and Online Browsing

One activity that can help pass the time and also be fun for expectant parents is window shopping or online browsing. Take the opportunity to explore baby stores and products, both in person and online. This can give you a better idea of what’s available in the market, help you research and compare prices, and create a wishlist for your postpartum needs.

By browsing baby stores, you can get a sense of the different options for essential items like cribs, strollers, and car seats. You can also explore other baby products such as baby monitors, diaper bags, and breastfeeding supplies. This way, you can make informed decisions and be well-prepared for when your little one arrives.

Creating a Labor Playlist

Music can be a powerful tool for relaxation and motivation during labor. Creating a labor playlist filled with your favorite songs can help create a soothing and positive environment in the birthing room. As you wait for labor to begin, take some time to select calming and empowering songs that resonate with you.

Choose songs that evoke positive emotions, bring back good memories, or have lyrics that inspire and uplift you. Consider selecting a variety of genres, from soothing instrumental tunes to energizing songs that pump you up. Organize your playlist in a way that makes it easy for you or your partner to navigate during labor. Having a well-curated playlist can enhance your birthing experience and help you stay focused and relaxed.

Meal Preparation

Preparing meals in advance can be a great way to minimize stress and ensure you have nourishing food available after the baby’s arrival. Use the waiting period to make some meals and freeze them for later. This can be especially helpful during those busy early weeks when you’ll be adjusting to life with a newborn.

Research and print out easy, healthy recipes that you can make once the baby arrives. Look for meals that are simple to prepare, require minimal ingredients, and can be made quickly. Consider options that can be easily reheated or consumed cold. Having a collection of recipes on hand will save you time and energy when you’re adjusting to a new routine with the baby.

Self-Care and Relaxation

While waiting for labor, it’s essential to prioritize self-care and relaxation. Take this time to engage in activities that help you unwind and recharge. Consider taking relaxing baths, practicing deep breathing exercises, or even indulging in a prenatal massage or spa treatment.

You can also explore gentle exercises that are safe during pregnancy, such as prenatal yoga or swimming. These activities can help alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing and keep your body relaxed and prepared for labor. Additionally, practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you stay present and reduce stress and anxiety.

Packing Hospital Bag

One important task to tackle while waiting for labor is packing your hospital bag. This bag will contain essential items for both you and your baby’s hospital stay. Check with your healthcare provider or maternity ward for any specific recommendations they have regarding what to pack.

Essential items to pack for yourself include comfortable clothes, toiletries, important documents, and any necessary medications. Don’t forget to include items that can make your hospital stay more comfortable, such as a cozy robe, slippers, and your favorite pillow. For your baby, pack some diapers, onesies, receiving blankets, and a going-home outfit.

Learning and Preparing for Breastfeeding

If you’re planning to breastfeed your baby, taking the time to educate yourself and prepare can make the process smoother and more enjoyable. Research breastfeeding techniques and positions, attend breastfeeding classes or workshops if available, and gather the necessary breastfeeding supplies.

Understanding the mechanics of breastfeeding, learning how to latch properly, and knowing what to expect in the early days can help you feel more confident when the time comes. Having breastfeeding essentials like nursing bras, breast pads, and nipple cream ready will also make the transition easier for both you and your baby.

Connecting with Your Partner and Loved Ones

The waiting period before labor provides an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your partner and loved ones. Engage in activities that allow you to bond and make lasting memories together. Plan date nights, take walks in nature, or watch movies that you both enjoy.

This is also a good time to discuss birth plans and preferences with your partner. Talk about any concerns or fears you may have and express your wishes for the birth experience. Make sure to involve your partner in the preparation process, and discuss how they can support you during labor and the postpartum period.

Final Preparations for the Baby’s Arrival

As the due date approaches, use the waiting period to make final preparations for the baby’s arrival. Wash and organize baby clothes, set up the nursery, and ensure you have all the essential baby gear ready. Installing the car seat and practicing proper use is also crucial for the safety of your newborn.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the features of the baby gear, such as the stroller or baby carrier, so you can use them confidently once the baby arrives. It’s also a good idea to have the contact information of your healthcare provider, pediatrician, and any other necessary support services readily available.


The waiting period before labor can be a mix of excitement and anticipation. Instead of simply counting down the days, use this time to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the upcoming birth. Whether it’s window shopping, creating a labor playlist, or practicing self-care activities, these productive and enjoyable tasks can help you feel more confident and ready for labor and the arrival of your baby.


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