You're about to introduce the most time-consuming 'project' you've ever worked on into the equation, so maternity leave is the perfect time to indulge yourself and do things before the birth of your bundle of joy.
Apart from keeping yourself in condition for your baby's sake during pregnancy, in the months before the baby is born you should pay special attention to your teeth, skin, breasts and blood circulation.
1. An expectant mother can get so involved in her coming baby's welfare that she forgets to look after her own teeth. During pregnancy, it is very important to do this, and to have a dental check. See Health Section, Dental Surgeons.
2. Many expectant mothers worry about being left with permanent "stretch marks" on the skin after childbirth. It is possible to help the skin to stretch more easily during pregnancy, and so reduce the chance of permanent marks afterwards. Oil and massage techniques starting in the fifth month of pregnancy are beneficial. See Pregnancy & Birth Section, Massage & Complimentary Treatments
3. To keep your breasts in condition throughout pregnancy, you will need a well-fitted bra and a routine of care for breasts and nipples. Get used to handling your breasts and nipples before you have a baby to feed. See Pregnancy & Birth Section, Breastfeeding
4. When you stand still the downward pressure of your baby may interfere with the flow of blood in the pelvis, and all the way back through the thighs and legs to the feet. This can increase the risk of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. You can reduce the effects of this pressure by moving about. Circulation can be improved generally through light exercise. See Pregnancy & Birth Section, Exercise Pre & Post Natal
5. Very few people are adequately prepared for the consequences of an accident or emergency with their children. It is not just a question of knowing where the plasters are kept, but more a matter of deciding what to do. Parents do not like to think of their child being involved in any mishap, which is why the subject of first aid is often put off until tomorrow. This is a natural reaction but avoiding the subject does not reduce the chances of having to cope with it. See Health Section, First Aid & Safety pg