Get organised before birth – 11 weeks to go

Whether you’re going on maternity leave at 11 weeks or at the eleventh hour, here’s how to get organised before the birth


Find some café society

Whether you’re new to an area or know it inside out, it’ll all change when you’ve got a baby in tow. Use your free time to walk down your high street and look out for parked buggies and breastfeeding mums, so you’ll know the places to head to.


You can check our Neighbourhood section to help you find local cafes in your area.


Fill up the freezer

“Whip up some of your favourite meals in advance and freeze them so they’re ready and waiting after your due date,” says health visitor Angela Davy ( “You’ll need carbohydrates and protein after the birth to keep your energy levels up, so meals like lasagne and stews are perfect.”

When it’s time to decorate the nursery, choose chemical free paints

Nursery makeover

“You’ve got plenty of time to style your nursery, especially if you know the sex of your baby,” suggests Angela. “Getting this sorted can help you feel settled. But sometimes paint fumes can affect you, plus you’ll need to stay clear of ladders as your bump alters your balance, so it’s best to get someone else to do the majority of the work”. Your role should be design consultant!

There’s plenty of exercise you can do during pregnancy – find what works for you

Me-time treats

“If you’ve got plenty of time before b-day, make sure you spend as much time looking after yourself as preparing for your baby,” says Angela. “Pregnancy massages are a real treat, but also try and fit in some more social activities. Pre-natal yoga and pilates will not only keep you in great shape for the birth, but will also help you make some fellow mummy friends for afterwards.”


Mum’s story

“I started my maternity leave eight weeks before Niamh’s due date and got some much needed me-time. I met up with my NCT friends, booked in a few massages and read for pleasure a lot as I knew I wouldn’t have time afterwards.”


Anna Hargreaves, 34, from London, mum to Isla, 2, and Niamh, 8 months

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