What should I eat in the last few weeks before birth?
If this is your first baby (though not necessarily confined to the first) you may experience backache and bouts of painful contractions that last for hours, or even days, before proper labour begins. Rest as much as possible between contractions, keep hydrated & don't forget to eat. Good energy levels will be needed when labour starts properly.
The last days of pregnancy are an in between space, not your old self and not quite the mother you are about to become. Impatient for the birth, thoughts often turn to ways of bringing on labour. There is no sound evidence that any of the circulating ideas, like eating spicy currys, actually make any difference. The soundest advice that midwives or doulas will give you will be to take short walks.
These last days are a distinct biological and psychological state – caused by your hormones playing an extraordinary symphony, put your trust in nature and believe that the age old process will work. In most cases the baby will start the process of birth when he or she is ready, meanwhile focus on hydrating your body and eating deeply nourishing foods in preparation for labour, here are three of the best:
A 2011 study in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology concluded that women who ate 6 dates a day for 4 weeks leading up to their due date were significantly more dilated and more liable to go into labour spontaneously . Researchers found that dates have an oxytocin effect on the body.
Red raspberry leaf tea
There are no conclusive studies to prove its effectiveness , however, raspberry leaf tea is a firm favourite herb amongst pregnant women. Herbalists have recommended it for centuries to support respiratory, digestive & uterine health particularly during pregnancy. Two cups a day is suggested in the last trimester
Alfalfa contains high levels of vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting. Drinking alfalfa tea or taking alfalfa tablets during the last trimester of pregnancy will decrease the chance of hemorraging. A mother’s vitamin K status is important as it supports a baby through breast milk. Alfalfa is also used to increase milk supply
Giving birth should be your greatest achievement. Not your greatest fear.
- Jane Weidman