The 4th Trimester
Updated: Jun 19
Its the time to let your body and mind heal, to take things slow & enjoy the moments of new parenthood. This is the time of healing in which some cultures worship the new Mamas, they don't let them do anything but eat, sleep & feed. In the society that we live in today once the baby is born the focus undoubtably changes to the care of the baby and that is amazing but we mustn't forget about the Mamas, the care & the focus they need too.
I love the introduction in 'First Forty Days' its written beautifully and is very insightful so I am going to share it with you all.
"The first forty days is a period in time unlike any other. Its a short season of life that follows the delivery of your child - an almost six-week long period that arrives after many weeks of pregnancy and who knows how many hours of labour - in which you recover from birth, your baby unfurls slowly into the world of bright lights & sounds, and together you devote yourselves to forging your relationship outside the womb." Heng Ou
It really gets one thinking about the time after, a time we forget to plan for. During pregnancy you're planning for labour, writing your birth plans, shopping for baby, decorating a nursery. The list goes on. But what have you planned for the time after birth, the time of healing and bonding with baby?
During the Covid-19 pandemic when the majority of the country was in lockdown there was some evidence to show that the uninterrupted time at home with baby was hugely beneficial with parents being able to enjoy more bonding with baby, skin to skin and it helped mamas to establish breastfeeding. With little to no interruptions of the doorbell going and visitors to host. Whilst the evidence for this at the moment is only anecdotal one hopes that in time formal research can look at the data in greater detail.
Some suggestions to help you plan your 4th Trimester & top tips from Mamas.
Load you freezer up with some good, healthy nutritious food that helps to promote healing or plan an order from the Food Doula/Cook/Waitrose etc for a couple of weeks after birth when your freezer stock is getting low. https://www.thefooddoula.co.uk/ https://www.cookfood.net/
Don't announce the birth of your baby until you're ready, you could wait a couple of days or weeks before telling people to give yourselves that moment of peace, slowly tell people in small groups. Do what feels right for you.
Let yourself be. Don’t worry about the house, the visitors and feeling the need to get up and out. Eat well, stay in your PJs, cuddle and get to know your new bubba.
Sleep when baby sleeps, trust your motherly instincts, work as a team with your partner, be patient, use kind words about yourself and don’t feel pressure to do things or see people until you are ready.
Skin to skin! Drink loads of water. Use a stretchy wrap.
Another part of the postpartum period can be loneliness. When you're awake in the middle of the night while everyone else is asleep, being a solo parent or your partner has gone back to work and you're on your own most of the time could all be reasons why you may be feeling lonely. When you start feeling like the loneliness is getting too much for you or you are feeling overwhelmed by everything there is support out there, whether that be talking to your friends & family, joining baby groups/wellbeing walks/Mama coffee mornings or getting help from mental health charities. Just getting out of the house for a walk in the fresh air can also help.
I got the inspiration for this blog from reading 'The First Forty Days' by Heng Ou and 'The Little Book Of Self-Care For New Mums' by Becky Hands & Alexis Stickland.