Diary of a New Mama – The 4th Trimester

The 4th Trimester

The 4th trimester. Boy, I wish I knew more about this trimester, and had  planned a little better for it before giving birth. I focused a lot of energy on the first, second, and third trimesters. Looking back, I feel as though the 4th trimester deserved just as much attention, if not more! I only learned about this trimester during the end of my pregnancy. Scrolling through Mom Blogs and Instagram, I saw that some moms had planned for this sacred time.

 


 

Being with your baby in their first three months of life (a.ka. their 4th trimester), it’s as though they are still in your womb.

 


 

Their innate needs and dependency on you is in full force. While at the same time, your body, mind, hormones, and overall sense of self are going through a complete metamorphosis. Putting it bluntly, it is HARD. At least it was for me.

So how does one plan for this trimester, particularly if you are a first-time mom and have no idea what life is like with a baby? I can only speak from my experience, but I would have chosen the ‘lying in’ philosophy. This practice is very popular in many cultures, yet not much attention is given to it in North American society.

 


 

In short: mom and baby spend time together, bonding, and not feeling the need to bounce back. On top of that, it’s all about resting and healing your post-birth body.

 


 

If planned, you can set yourself up for 4th trimester support. 

 


Taking time for skin-to-skin with baby

 

Whether it’s asking family and friends to prepare a bunch of meals for you after birth (there are websites to use, so people can sign up for a meal train). Or, having visitors for limited hours of the day. Or, asking your partner to set aside an hour an evening to be available for baby, so you can soak in the bath. Or, dedicating a certain time of day for skin-to-skin with
your baby. 

 


 

 

The list goes on, based on what speaks to you. You need nurturing, just as much as your babe. For moms-to-be, I highly recommend thinking about your 4th trimester and investing just as much time as you do in caring for yourself through your first three trimesters. Your future self will thank you! And for those who are already moms, but wish they approached their 4th trimester a little differently, it’s never too late to give yourself time to heal your body and ask for support. 

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