We have all heard about the trimesters during pregnancy how each one reflects a different stage of pregnancy and stages of where your baby is and how they are growing and changing. There is another trimester that needs a lot of attention and it is called the Fourth Trimester.
This trimester is considered the postpartum period which is one of the most important parts of labor and postpartum because everything that happens during your pregnancy and labor will play a big part of the postpartum recovery period. How long is this trimester? my oldest is almost 12 and I am still figuring things out. Ideally it is the first 6-8 weeks but you take as much time as you need to heal, rest, bond and connect with yourself and your child.
Here are a few reading items that you can get from amazon that I LOVE and recommend for all new parents or even parents who have had multiple kiddos! You can also find some goodies in my amazon shop for the postpartum period, take care of yourself you are very much worth it!
So let's talk about the fourth trimester for a minute and things you can do and things your partner can do to help make sure that you are being taken care of emotionally. physically and mentally.
Do what is best for YOU and YOUR family at all times
You have to remember that you will always be given unsolicited advice from others and sometimes you have to remember to just brush it off. It is easy to get defensive and snap back but most of the time people mean well but just brush it off or respond with a "thank you" and leave it be. Remember you are doing what is best for you and YOUR family and don't feel into the pressure of others. "Well when I had my baby, I did this, that, I breastfed no matter what, how could you do this. or that" ect ect. Remember those remarks can have a negative impact on a new parent and it easy to think "oh wow maybe I should do that. Maybe I should try harder" no you are doing what is working for you and if something is or isn't working you should do what is best for you. Ultimately making these choices out of the best interest for your child and yourself and family is going to impact how you are emotionally and mentally AND physically.
Brush remarks off do NOT let them get to you even if the intent was good. Do what is best for you and yours and remember that this postpartum period is a period of LEARNING and growth. DO REMEMBER ONE THING it is OKAY to ask for advice on things, you are not supposed to have it all figured out.
Talk about your birth
I cannot STRESS THIS ENOUGH talking about your experiences help so much! Sometimes when we go into labor or before we go into labor we have this "idea" of how things are going to look. I am not saying you shouldn't have some sort of plan but be a little more "open" to the idea of things changing that way when and if things do change you won't be too upset. It is okay to talk about these things after having birth. Your feelings are still valid and you are able to grieve something that did or didn't happen.
It is important to understand that your mindset and feelings are going to be fragile after you deliver that things are going to impact them. TALK about how you are feeling if something did or didn't happen you are still just as strong as ever! Giving birth is HARD work I do not care who you are or how that baby got here your feelings are VALID and you are VALID. Talk to your partner [or birthing support person] about the birth too, ask them how they feel because they have some feelings too and you guys can just share feelings together and it will be great.
Find things that bring you joy
It can be a 20 minute shower when you really get to do that deep conditioner and maybe even sneak in a leg shave OR it could be a walk, sit on the porch with a book, whatever! You have to remember that separating yourself from the chaos of a new role is important. I am not telling you to abandon anything or anyone I am telling you to take a few minutes every single day to do SOMETHING that brings you joy so you can catch your breath! So you can BREATHE for just a few minutes. It is so important to take care of yourself and do a little something. Take up coloring, learn to knit, take a shower, stare at the wall. I do not care as long as you do it by yourself and you slow your breathing down.
Lean on your people
OR family. Lean on someone. It is healthy to talk. As I have mentioned before talking is so healthy and just talking with a friend on the phone or in person is something you need. It is easy to just hang out at home and not go anywhere and bottle up those feelings while lying to everyone around you saying you are fine because you don't want to burden anyone. Sound familiar? Well you need to break out of that mindset and remember you are NOT a burden, you are a real deal person with real deal feelings that need to be talked about.
You can literally just sit and watch the bachelor with a friend and laugh and have a glass of wine and it will increase your mood and help you out in so many ways. Not a bachelor or wine fine? Fine go for a walk around the neighborhood with a friend, take the baby and just TALK. Do not be afraid to open up to the closest people in your life.
Take care of yourself in all different ways
Make sure you are sticking to a healthy [ish] diet. I add the ISH because you don't want to obsess over your diet or what you are or aren't eating. There is nothing wrong with enjoying food but do remember to eat things that are high in protein, high in fiber [for digestion], good for natural energy ect. Food is key when we want to overall FEEL better. Make sure you are getting decent [ish] sleep. I add the ISH because again, newborns
. It is not going to be the same schedule you had before you had your baby so nap when you can! Laundry can wait. Or CALL your friend. CALL your doula, CALL WHOEVER and say "hey can you come do my laundry, do my dishes, feed my cats" WHATEVER so you and your little sweet baby can rest and take some naps. Rested parent is important! Exercising isn't THAT important but moving is.
Go for walks, try yoga, do your kegals for pelvic strengthening, stretch. Take it easy you don't need to start jogging and prepping for a marathon just do something light that keeps you feeling good. Oh and drink more water, I know you probably aren't drinking enough so drink more.
Talk about your feelings...ALL feelings
I am going to be real with you for a second. Postpartum depression is serious. DO NOT feel guilty for being sad, confused, emotional, angry. HOWEVER DO talk to someone. This is so important because if you choose to ignore how you are feeling things have an opportunity to get worse. Talk to your partner, parent, friend, doctor. IT IS OKAY TO NEED extra help.
Never think that something is wrong with you if you feel sad or closed off but remember it isn't healthy to bottle up feelings and stay inside and hide all day. It is super easy to get caught up in feelings but never be ashamed of speaking about how you feel.
Your birth and postpartum period can be a lot for one person, open up and make sure that you are taking care of yourself mentally. If someone asks how you are just be honest, do not brush off feelings to spare someone else of feeling bad for you. If you are sad. SAY it. Angry, say it. Depressed, say it. You are a valid person with valid feelings and you are very loved.
You can also share your birth story here: Create an easy account and start sharing I promise it does wonders!
Remember that every birth and postpartum journey will be different for everyone but always remember one thing, you are strong and capable and important and you should take care of yourself and always speak how you feel.
USE our public forum, post whatever is on your mind! If you want or need someone to talk to EMAIL me I am always here as well. Take care of yourself and yours.
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