I’m sure you’ve heard about it, the fourth trimester. There has been a lot of talk about the fourth trimester in recent months. The fourth trimester is considered to be the first three months after a baby is born. Basically the time he or she is born all the way to his third month birthday.
This time is called the 4th trimester due to the fact that so many changes happen for both baby and mama during this wild and crazy time.
What happens to Baby during this time?
Babies grow at such a rapid pace during the early months of life. You should expect your baby to
- start lifting his head
- Show a social smile will between 1.5 and 3 months of life
- Smile in response to your voice
- Support upper body with arms while doing tummy time
- Begin babbling
- Stretch and kick when lying down
- Open and shut hands
What happens to mama during this time?
A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy and continues to change postpartum. During the 4th trimester, women should be prepared for
Most of you know to expect some amount of hair loss after having a baby. The great thing is that any of that extra facial hair you picked up during pregnancy should start disappearing. The bad news is your hairline might suffer a bit. I had a decent amount of hair loss around my temples. It has started growing back and no I look like I cut my hair with scissors in multiple places. Oh well…
Yay weight loss! Enough said.
If you are breastfeeding you can expect to get larger breasts postpartum as your milk comes in. Over the next few months, your breasts can become easily engorged and painful. As time goes on and your milk supply becomes established this pain and engorgement should start to diminish.
Postpartum bleeding is normal and should be expected! This type of bleeding is called lochia. For the first few days expect heavy, bright red bleeding and even large blood clots! After that, your bleeding should lessen as the days go on. Bleeding postpartum is completely normal but be sure to call your doctor if you experience bright, red bleeding, after the third day postpartum, blood clots larger than a plum, if you are bleeding through more than one pad an hour, chills, nausea, faintness, dizziness or blurred vision. These symptoms can be a sign of postpartum hemorrhage and can happen anytime within the first 12 weeks after giving birth.
Changes in Energy
Some women feel extremely tired during pregnancy. Or if you are lucky and like me, I feel more energetic now then I ever did before having a baby! My energy levels seem to fluctuate more with work stress than they do with baby stress. Even sleepless newborn nights didn’t seem to bother me very much, I’m not sure why. But I am not complaining!
As your hormones change and fluctuate you might be waking up in the night soaked in sweat. That’s okay though right? It’s not like you are waking up in the night for any other reason!
So, How to survive it?
4th Trimester Tip #1: Find Your Tribe
I can’t stress this enough. Find your mommy and parent tribe! Surround yourself with friends and family that are loving, helpful and supportive! Find the moms (and parents) that cheer on successes, enjoy life, and act happy! I fully believe that happiness and joy are contagious! Avoid the moms that complain! I think complaining can rapidly become a habit and it can be frustrating when you find that you or some of your friends have fallen into that trap. But nothing can make parenting harder than being around moms that are constantly discontent, constantly complain and seem and try to compete for the title of “hardest life.” Take care of your own mental health and find the people that will bring more joy to your life and not more complaining and frustration. Alternatively don’t be the complaining friend! Find the bright side to life and almost overnight life will seem brighter! Please don’t think I am saying that you can’t ever complain. Of course you will have times that you really just need to vent to a girlfriend about something and sometimes that girlfriend will need to vent to you! That is normal! But try to make most interactions positive! Positivity and happiness breeds positivity and happiness!
4th Trimester Tip #2: Have a loose plan for your days
You might roll your eyes at this buttttt hear me out! If you have a general plan for your days and weeks you will survive the 4th trimester so much better. Have a loose plan for household tasks like laundry, cleaning the bathroom, grocery shopping etc. I was one of those obnoxious moms that had a mostly clean and organized house during my 4th trimester. Some might call me out and say that I didn’t have good priorities but I disagree. I don’t function at my best when my surroundings are messy. When things are messy I feel out of control and stressed out. I mean, I can handle toys on the floor, and a pile of laundry but I can’t handle messy kitchens, and hoarder piles.
Having a loose plan for how I would keep our house clean allowed me to enjoy the small moments more with my daughter. In addition if you take care of messes the first time you won’t have bigger messes to deal with later!
4th Trimester tip # 3: Take care of your physical body
This should be a no brainer. We prioritize taking care of our physical bodies the whole time we are pregnant and then sometimes it seems that we just throw that out the window once we have the baby. It is so important for you to continue to prioritize the health of your physical body! Eat good wholesome food, take time to move your body and prioritize sleep! You know the old adage. If you the baby sleep you sleep? Well I don’t agree with that completely, because hello housework, but I do think its true to an extent. Squeeze in a morning nap and/ or go to sleep extra early at night. Desperate Housewives can wait.
PostPartum Tip #4: Take Care of Your Mental Health
You’ve heard of mom brain right? It starts off as pregnancy brain and then morphs into mom brain? I suffered from pregnancy brain and mom brain. Badly. I felt so frustrated that I couldn’t remember small details, and felt, in general, significantly dumber than I did before I had my daughter. As someone who was used to feeling generally intelligent this felt really frustrating. I no longer felt like I was able to keep up with conversations that didn’t revolve around diapers, nursing, and baby carrying devices. While I still feel like this to some extent, it did improve tenfold when I started this blog. Putting thoughts down on paper every day and learning new skills related to blogging seemed to really jumpstart my brain! Find something to help your brain during this time. Find a hobby, read a new book, do something that will help you feel more like the person you were before baby and less like the milk machine you have become.
Interested in starting a blog? Check out my free ebook!
PostPartum Tip #4: Enjoy every single moment
This is the biggest no brainer of them all. Enjoy every single newborn smile, snuggle, and middle of the night nursing session. This time won’t last forever so enjoy every single moment!
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