Advise Me

10 Tips for Coping With Emotions as Your Due Date Approaches

In the final weeks of your pregnancy, you might feel a whirlwind of emotions. As the due date approaches, it’s totally normal to feel a mix of excitement, anxiety, nerves and a strong urge to prepare your nest for your little one’s arrival.

Navigating this emotional rollercoaster requires patience, self-care and support from loved ones. With the help of Rebecca Rivera, a certified nurse midwife for Banner Health, we’re here to talk about the ups and downs in the final weeks of the third trimester and some strategies for coping.

Understanding the emotional ups and downs

During the final stretch of pregnancy, you can experience a wide range of emotions, including:

Physical discomfort

Are you over being pregnant? The final weeks of pregnancy often bring a host of physical discomforts, like back pain, swelling, problems sleeping and Braxton Hicks contractions that can affect your mood and well-being. You may also start to feel self-conscious about your body.

“Many pregnant persons experience exhaustion and pelvic pressure in the last weeks of pregnancy,” Rivera said. “This is a common phenomenon related to the increase in weight and the gravity of pregnancy on the pelvic floor.” 

Anticipation and excitement

The countdown to your due date may bring a sense of anticipation and excitement. You may find yourself daydreaming about meeting your baby, holding them in your arms and how your life will change once they arrive. Each passing day feels like a step closer to the moment you’ve been waiting for.

Anxiety and worry

Along with anticipation, it’s common to experience anxiety and fear as the reality of childbirth looms closer. Concerns about labor and delivery, the health of the baby and the uncertainties of parenting can stir up a range of emotions. You may lie awake at night, going over everything in your head.

“When pregnant persons feel mentally stressed or unwell, they often experience more physical discomforts,” Rivera said. “This can be because they are dealing with the pressure of caring for another human being while struggling to care for themselves.”

Impatience and nesting instinct

In the last trimester, the nesting instinct kicks into high gear. Engaging in nesting activities can provide a sense of accomplishment and help distract from feelings of impatience. 

“A pregnant person wants to provide a safe and supportive environment for their coming child,” Rivera said. “Even during pregnancy, it is imperative that they feel they are protecting their child.”

How to manage end-of-pregnancy emotions

As you navigate the final weeks of pregnancy, remember that it’s okay to feel all the feels. From excitement to nervousness to impatience and nesting, your emotions are valid and part of the journey. 

Here are 10 tips for coping with all these emotions and staying mentally healthy during the final weeks of pregnancy:

Stay connected: Reach out to your support network, whether it’s your partner, family, friends, or community resources. Share your feelings and experiences with those who understand and can provide comfort and reassurance.

“If you don’t feel supported within your own family or friend circle, there are many free programs to help support you during and the early weeks after pregnancy,” Rivera said.

Practice self-care: Take time for yourself to relax and unwind. Whether it’s a warm bath, practicing prenatal yoga or simply curling up with a good book, prioritize self-care.

Stay active: Gentle exercises like walking or swimming can help boost your mood and reduce stress. Just be sure to listen to your body and take it easy – you are carrying precious cargo, after all!

Mindful breathing: Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can help you manage stress and anxiety. Close your eyes, take slow, deep breaths and focus on the present moment to find inner peace and calm. 

Stay informed but trust yourself: Trust your instincts and ask for help when unsure. 

“Ask as many questions as possible during your prenatal visits, and take childbirth and parenting classes,” Rivera said. “Take the advice you agree with and politely disregard the advice you don’t. There are many ways to do the same thing and you have to do what you think is best for your family.” 

Prepare your birth plan: Taking control of your birth experience can help with anxiety and uncertainty. Discuss your preferences with your health care provider and create a birth plan that aligns with your values and desires for labor and delivery.

Embrace the moment: Instead of focusing on the due date and what-ifs, cherish the final weeks as a time of anticipation and wonder. “Focusing on the things you can control versus the things you don’t have control over can help,” Rivera said. Write in a journal, take photos, enjoy date night or simple moments of intimacy with your partner and organize the nursery or baby clothes.

Stay hydrated and nourished: Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious meals to fuel your body and keep your energy levels up. Choose healthy snacks like fruits, nuts and whole grains to keep hunger at bay and maintain stable blood sugar levels.  

Get plenty of rest: Prioritize sleep by creating a relaxing bedtime routine and a comfortable sleep environment. Listen to your body and nap whenever you feel tired.

Seek professional help: If you are struggling with overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression or stress, don’t hesitate to seek help and support. A therapist or a Banner Health specialist who specializes in prenatal and postpartum mental health can provide coping strategies, emotional support and guidance.


The last weeks of pregnancy can be a mix of excitement, anticipation and occasional stress and anxiety. By focusing on your health and well-being, you can navigate this final stretch with confidence and grace. Remember to be kind to yourself, listen to your body and don’t be ashamed to get support as you prepare to welcome your new arrival.

For more related blogs, check out:

Behavioral Health Pregnancy Women's Health