We would like to be able to analyse the basic traffic on our website, e.g. number of visits and page views. To do this we need to place a cookie on your browser (details here). Please indicate whether you are happy for us to do this. Thanks!
menuBrowse the site

articles, blogs & news

What to do if you're overdue


When you’re pregnant and approaching your due date or ‘over due’, it can be quite stressful. Perhaps you’re facing pressure from your caregivers to be induced or maybe you’re being asked what feels like 100 times a day if you think your baby will come soon, which just reminds you constantly that no, there is currently no sign of the baby!

There are plenty of old wives tales on how to get labour going, from eating pineapples and curries to drinking aloe vera juice, but there is limited truth or efficacy in most of these. Actually, to go in to labour, your body needs to produce a hormone called oxytocin. And this is only produced when you are feeling calm and relaxed, not when you are stressed or under pressure.

Emma Anderson-Brown runs Fuel for Mama and offers Hitchin-based hypnobirthing courses, pregnancy relaxation and birth preparation sessions.

Here are my some of her favourite ideas of things you can do to destress and chill in and around Hitchin to enjoyably pass the time until you get to meet your baby:

Get out for a gentle walk in nature

We’re lucky to be surrounded so many gorgeous outdoor spaces, from Oughtonhead to Purwell Meadows and Hitch Wood to Barton Hills- the list goes on, and we’re spoilt for choice. When we’re in green spaces, we’re naturally more relaxed as our brains are dealing with far fewer potential threats and less stimulation such as traffic or noises from other people. As such, we tend to associate things like nature, countryside or birdsong with relaxation. Furthermore, as we head into summer, a trip to Hitchin Lavender will provide not only a delight for the eyes but also the nose, as many people associate the scent of lavender with calm and relaxation.

Meet a friend for a (decaf) coffee

Hitchin is bursting with delicious delis such as Halseys and the Little Deli and cosy coffee shops like Hermitage Road, Fussey and Baer and Hitchin Coffee Lab. Grab your funniest friend and catch up over a cuppa, because being with friends and in particular, laughter encourages oxytocin production. Make the most of this time you have now to catch up with people and enjoy a tasty treat or two. It sounds cliched, but it might be a while before you can enjoy a hot drink and interrupted conversation. On this note…

Make a bucket list of things you might not be able to do with a baby

If you’re overdue, I find it’s helpful to think of this as bonus time and make list off all the things you might not be so simple to do for a few months with a newborn and aim to do one of these every few days, so you have things planned to look forward to.  Some ideas might be going for a drink at The Vic with your partner, catching a film at the Broadway Cinema, going for out for a romantic dinner (so many options here!).

Practice relaxation

This might seem a strange idea, but it’s important that in labour, you can stay relaxed so that you produce oxytocin to keep your contractions going. Spending time now listening to mindfulness tracks, favourite calming songs or if you have done hypnobirthing, listening to your audio relaxations means you will not only feel tranquil in the moment, but you will also build an association with relaxation so that you can listen to these tracks and quickly find your calm when in labour. Pregnancy relaxation sessions can also be a great way to deeply relax and to learn new techniques which you can use in pregnancy and labour.

Prepare for birth and build a positive birth mindset

You’ve probably packed your hospital bag and written your birth preferences (if not, those are good things to do soon) but now is a great time to prepare for your birth if you haven’t already. The Positive Birth Book is a fab one-stop shop book to help you feel prepared for birth, but the more reading you can do, the more informed and empowered you will be. You can also spend this time reading positive birth stories or watching positive birth videos, so that you’re surrounding yourself with other people’s great experiences of birth. If you’ve done hypnobirthing, now is the time to be practicing all the techniques you will have learnt to help you relax and to strengthen the positive mindset you will have been creating. It’s never too late to do hypnobirthing and I offer ‘crammer courses’ aimed at people late in pregnancy to teach you the essentials you need ahead of giving birth to not only help you to relax, but to feel equipped to make decisions that feel right for you, so you have a more positive experience of birth (no matter how you give birth).

Treat yourself and indulge

A little bit of TLC and self-indulgence should make you feel good and therefore get your oxytocin going. Need some inspo? Perhaps you love having your nails done, now can be a great time to do this, and for some people it’s a good way to retain some of your pre-child self (especially as they can last for a number of weeks). Pregnancy massage is an obvious choice, although a little more expensive, but you’ll often find it’s worth it, as this should help you to feel wonderfully calm and relaxed. Check out Mama Baby Bliss and the Yoga Shed for some amazing pregnancy massages- they both also offer pre-natal yoga sessions, which can be a great way to dedicate some time to yourself and aid relaxation.

You can find more details about Fuel for Mama on Emma's website here.

Photo credit for main image: Kate Vincent Photography

Share this article:  Twitter Facebook