4 Ways to Survive the Fourth Trimester
Pregnancy and childbirth can feel like a rollercoaster ride. It’s also an experience that ends with even more demands on your body, time, and mind. Fortunately, The Homemaking Wife has the tips you need for surviving the fourth trimester— and maybe even enjoying it.
Pregnancy and childbirth aren’t easy, but here are my favorite 4 ways to survive the fourth trimester and take great care of you and your new baby!
Plan for Postpartum
There are many things about pregnancy and birth that you can’t predict, but you can certainly prepare! One way you can plan for postpartum and the fourth trimester is by shelving as many responsibilities as possible from your due date onward. Reducing your workload before your due date shifts tasks to others in time for your departure.
Ideally, you’ll have a long and well-planned maternity leave, but upon your return, ease into things by taking on fewer duties. Also, if you haven’t already, make sure you choose comfortable clothing – in fact, make comfort a top priority! You’ll have plenty of challenges ahead so you’ve more than earned the right to feel at home.
Help Your Newborn Adjust
One challenge of new motherhood is needing some TLC while caring for a newborn. Many new moms feel like they’re doing something wrong in those early days, but being a newborn is just as tough as becoming a mother.
Maintaining the mindset that you’re helping your little one adjust to life outside the womb can make the sleepless nights and tears (both yours and the baby’s) a bit more manageable.
There are practical steps you can take to ease the fourth trimester for your newborn that are mutually beneficial, too. Babywearing to keep your infant close to you is a simple way to keep connected and calm, notes La Leche League.
Swaddling helps many babies to sleep more soundly, especially in the early newborn stages. Napping when the baby sleeps is another priceless piece of advice, and hopefully, doable thanks to help at home.
Ask for Help When Necessary
Between your infant’s needs and the changes happening to your mind and body, you have a lot on your plate! The best tip for surviving the fourth trimester is to simply ask for help, whether at home or anywhere else. Asking for help at home could mean requesting that your partner take over some household duties. You might ask friends to bring meals over or sign up for meal service to make meal prep easier.
If you plan to nurse, lactation advice from a certified professional can be another invaluable support, notes the American Pregnancy Association. Lactation consultants can offer advice on relieving dry, cracked nipples, help adjust your baby’s latch, and even give tips on pumping milk as necessary.
Reaching out if you feel overwhelmed by your baby’s needs is another must-do. Not all postpartum parents experience depression, but it’s something to be aware of. Knowing your limits and tapping out for someone else to take over for a bit can be a mental health help!
Take Care of Your Body
Giving birth is natural and normal, but it’s also an intense physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual experience. Surviving the fourth trimester requires giving yourself some grace, kindness, and room to heal in every way.
Getting rest, eating enough nutrient-dense calories (and hopefully a few vegetables), and drinking plenty of water are cornerstones for a healthy postpartum period. But so is letting go of expectations about how quickly you might “bounce back.”
Your body is unlikely to return to its pre-baby state in every way, especially when it comes to physical postpartum body changes like changing breast size, metabolism, stretch marks, and healing of any tears or incisions. These changes don’t make it any less beautiful (or functional), but embracing your new body may take time and patience.
Going easy on yourself in the early days of your infant’s life is a must. Spending less time on work and other responsibilities and slowing your overall pace are the best means of surviving the fourth trimester. Focusing on your baby also means plenty of opportunities for bonding as you learn and grow together.
4 Ways to Survive the Fourth Trimester Notes
My personal favorite tips here that I can’t stress enough is to not only show yourself kindness and grace as you navigate all the changes going on in your life and body, but not being afraid to ask for help. Never be afraid to ask for help! You are amazing and your baby will be too! If you’re expecting, please share so my readers and I can celebrate with you.
4 Ways to Survive the Fourth Trimester Discussion
Have these tips helped you? Are you getting ready to welcome a new addition to your family? Are there any tips you would add based on your own experiences during the fourth trimester? Let me know! I would love to hear more helpful tips from all of the beautiful mothers out there.
The Homemaking Wife is here to help celebrate every woman’s journey. If you have any questions, please scroll down to fill out the comment form!