A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

5 Things to Do Before You Go Into Labor

So you’re in the home stretch. You’ve printed out the checklists, oohed and aahed over all your shower gifts, and fought about names. Now you’re sort of just...waiting. The last few weeks of pregnancy are a tightrope--on one side, you don’t feel like doing much at all. On the other side, you have to do all the things because you could go into labor at any second and what if the baby’s room is the wrong shade of gray?

Whether you’re trying to do a million things or just stocking up on sleep, here’s 5 things I found essential to cross off my list before going into labor.

1. Get a pedicure, massage and maybe even bikini wax. While I'm not a huge fan of the whole “get a blowout and bring your makeup” idea (sorry, but a blowout doesn't last me ten minutes on a day where I'm not pushing a baby out of my hoo-hah), I do think you should feel good about yourself when everyone’s snapping pics of you and the new babe. And feeling good means something different for every mama. I remember being in the delivery room staring at my gnarly toenails like “Really? On the day where my toes are framing about a million faces, this is how they look?” My mom tribe also recommended getting a prenatal massage, a haircut (especially a low-maintenance one) or even trimming things up (ahem) down there. We bet you could use some pampering at this point in your pregnancy, plus a pre-hospital spa day might help keep your head in the game, you know, like a well-groomed quarterback.

2. Deep clean your kitchen. It'll be a while before you have the luxury of spending more than an hour on anything once the little one gets here, so take advantage of the relative calm (and that nesting urge!) and empty out the fridge and the cupboards. I'm a bit of a germaphobe on a good day, but I was ten times worse when I thought that every surface in my house was going to spread some incurable illness to my newborn. Once your fridge is clean and empty, you can restock it with pre-prepared, freezer-friendly meals. I made about six weeks worth of pasta sauces, mac & cheese, and stews and it saved my whole life.

3. Go on a date night. Even if this isn't your first child, chances are you've gotten used to it just being the two (or three, or six) of you. A new baby will definitely demand all of your attention for a little while. Get dressed up, take advantage of the (relatively lower) cost of childcare, and go try that new restaurant you've been curious about. Or check out a concert, or go bowling—or anything that wouldn't be as much fun with a stroller.

4. Pack your bags. Labor can strike at any time! Ok, kidding. Well, kind of. While most first time moms actually go past their due date, and even a sizable number of second and third time mamas, I felt like a ticking time bomb as soon as I hit 37 weeks. Having my labor bag packed in advance made me feel much more prepared. It didn't help that I left it at home the day they decided to induce me, but at least my husband didn't have to run around looking for anything.

5. Run your errands. Trust me when I say that you will not have time to run around doing all the things you normally do once that baby gets here, and that's if you even feel like leaving the house. Here's the big one: return all the things that you didn't want or got duplicates of at your shower, because once you come out of that new baby fog you're likely to be past the return window. Then put as much of your life on autopilot as you can. I scheduled deliveries of groceries, diapers, paper towels, trash bags and all the other household goods that I knew we’d be likely to run out of.

Finally, enjoy the countdown! It's almost time to meet that baby. And if you don't get around to everything, don't worry. It will still turn out perfect.

Photography by Amy Frances for Well Rounded.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:

The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.