5 Tips for Surviving the Fourth Trimester for Moms
Thank you to Ergobaby for sponsoring this post on surviving the fourth trimester. All opinions are my own.
After 9 months of anxiously waiting, the day finally comes to meet your new baby. After an overwhelming labor and unpredictable delivery, you hold your child in your hands with a sigh of relief, because pregnancy has ended and your baby is here! But it’s only the beginning, and the first few months, aka “the fourth trimester,” can be quite an adjustment that many moms aren’t fully prepared for.
What is the Fourth Trimester?
The fourth trimester of pregnancy is the 12-week period immediately after you have your baby. While not everyone uses this phrase to describe it, every mom will definitely experience it. This time includes a lot of physical and emotional changes for both baby and mom.
A baby in the fourth trimester must adjust to living outside of the womb. A mom also undergoes a lot of adjustments with her changing body and finding a new normal as you care for a tiny human.
Before birth, babies experience warm soft walls, lots of motion and loud sounds from blood pulsing through the uterus. When they come into this world, they experience cold, quiet, hunger and lots of other things for the very first time.
This is why the fourth trimester can be so challenging because babies are learning to adapt to their new environment, just like moms are learning how to care for a new baby.
Tips for Surviving and Thriving during the Fourth Trimester for Mom
Some moms will say the fourth trimester is the hardest. While there are certainly a lot of struggles during pregnancy, labor and delivery, nothing compares to those first few months with a new baby. Here are five tips for new moms on surviving the fourth trimester.
Stock Up on the Essentials
Before baby makes her big arrival, it’s important to stock up on all the necessities. There are tons of lists out there on what to buy for baby, but what about mom’s needs? Here’s my full list of postpartum must haves for moms.
In addition, being mindful of your body changes and having in-between clothes is important. Nothing beats a good pair of stretchy leggings and a few comfy nursing shirts or tank tops. It’s also a good idea to prep some easy freezer meals and stock up on household essentials such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, paper goods, etc.
Wear Your Baby
There are so many benefits to baby wearing. First, it strengthens the bond between parent and baby, as you maintain a closeness throughout your day, especially during the fourth trimester. Baby wearing decreases risk of SIDS and flat-head syndrome. Also, as a mom of more than one kid, it allows you to be “hands-free” to get stuff done while still holding the baby.
I absolutely love the Ergobaby Embrace baby carrier. This cozy newborn carrier is designed to keep baby close in that fourth trimester and combines the coziness of a wrap with the simplicity & comfort of a structured carrier. It’s also compact and folds down easily to toss in a diaper bag or stroller basket for easy transport. This carrier can be used for a newborn (without the need for an additional insert) and for an older baby as well so it truly grows with your child.
Take Care of Yourself
Birthing a baby certainly takes its toll both emotionally and physically. Surviving and thriving in the fourth trimester relies heavily on taking care of yourself as you learn to also care for a new little one. Some important things to consult your doctor on include:
- Exercises to repair your pelvic floor
- Working with a physical therapist (if needed) to help engage and strengthen your core
- Seeking help for any signs of postpartum depression
Set Yourself Up for Successful Sleep
Through lots of trial and error with my first two babies, I have learned a lot about what really works in soothing a fussy baby. Understanding your baby and learning their cues for hunger and sleep are essential in the first few weeks. Their sleep patterns are constantly changing but two things are always essential for decent sleep: white noise and a good swaddle. Learn more about newborn sleep.
A white noise machine helps soothe a baby and keep every little sound from waking them up. A good swaddle is also essential in keeping babies asleep for long stretches. I love the Ergobaby Swaddler. The unique, escape-proof arm pockets provide an easy, secure swaddle, and the patented “healthy hip” positioner keeps baby comfortable through the night. The fabric is super soft and I love the cute sheep pattern. You can even change diapers without having to unwrap the baby’s arms at night.
Get Extra Rest
Speaking of successful sleep, surviving the fourth trimester requires a lot of rest for mom, too. I know what you’re thinking – sleep with a newborn? They don’t go hand in hand. Sleeping when the baby sleeps isn’t always practical. There are always bills to pay, chores to do, endless laundry to catch up on. However, sleep is essential in those first few months to heal physically and keep yourself mentally rested and able to care for baby. Try to squeeze in as many naps as possible.
Ask for & Accept Help
They say it takes a village to raise a kid and that is completely true. It’s hard to accept help, and even harder sometimes to ask for it. Having a new baby completely changes your world and receiving help from family and friends is essential to keeping your sanity in the fourth trimester. Learn more about asking for help.
Thank you to Ergobaby for sponsoring this post on surviving the fourth trimester. Receive 20% off when you bundle Ergobaby Embrace and Ergobaby Swaddler: http://bit.ly/2SgKAd9