Mumma's Fourth Trimester

Mumma's Fourth Trimester


The beginning of this journey is all about getting to know your baby. I remember just staring for hours and couldn't believe how we created this tiny little human. I remember not wanting to leave the hospital so terrified how I was going to manage when I got home. But what's so incredible is you do, the body is unbelievable. The endorphins are flowing and are in full super mum mode which keeps you going for WEEKS! I remember not sleeping for the first few days but my body would still be on cloud nine. I always think you are in this newborn bubble for 6 weeks. Then shit gets real the tiredness kicks in and it's time to pull your big girl pants on (literally)

Postpartum. Four areas that I want us to think about when it comes to postpartum or the first six weeks, the first 40 days, fourth trimester, whatever you want to call this time. And the first one is healing. The second one is feeding. The third one is bonding and the fourth point is family adjustment.

So really when we're thinking about healing, if you had surgery, what would you do? You would rest and recover. So why is it when we give birth, do we feel like we are so expected to just get back up and keep going? And when you think about your uterus has just expanded and then after birth you are then  birthing your placenta. Your placenta is the size of a small dinner plate. There is a dinner plate sized wound in your uterus that needs to heal. So that's why you need at least 7 to 10 days of complete rest, of not doing really much to help ease the bleeding, help heal the placenta wound, but then you also need to take it easy, just like you would if you had a surgery, you would call on your support team, you would call on your family or your friends to help you. You would take really good care of yourself. You've nourished yourself with good food. So we really need to be doing that in our postpartum journey too.

So a few things to think about is who is your main support person and how long do you have them around for?

So who's my main support person? How long do I have them for and what will their support look like? So this will be different for everyone, especially if you have other children. So there's all these different things that we need to be thinking about and what gaps need plugging and how can we do that?

And then you can look at, who is in our inner circle? Have you got family that lives  close by? What about some good friends that would be willing to help.Help with  - meals, cleaning, errands etc

Don't fill the calendar in the first 6 weeks, this will allow yourself the time to heal and get to know your new little bundle. So it takes six weeks for a uterus to go back to its size and the placenta wound to heal, but it can be longer. It's about 7 to 10 days for the bleeding to start to really ease and also, five days for your milk to come in, and that's a whole blog in its self. But then about six weeks to establish the feeding. Say no to big events. Enjoy this slow time kicking about in your slacks.

If you're going to give breastfeeding a go I found being a little prepared will help hugely. I personally wasn't with my first or even second, I didn't have the support so i struggled and didn't have the tools to help me on my journey. which is fine. But with baby 3/4/5 I asked around for our local lactation consultant. They will come over after you get home from the hospital with the baby, to lend any support.

So these early days hormones are all over the place and we have no idea what we want or need let alone our other halves knowing. Remember to be clear. having clear communication with each other is so important, then your partner knows how to help you at that moment in time.

And another thing that you can do with your partner is for them to be your protector. So everything, every visit, every message, everything goes through him in the beginning. So when people want to come and drop off a meal, they can message him. When people want to come and visit. They can message him. And knowing this and having these conversations before the birth is going to help set you up for success. This is really important. What is going to be our code word when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I want visitors to leave, but they don't seem to leave but I don't have the confidence or energy to say, I'm exhausted and need to go to bed. It's all about having these plans in place before it happens. And the thing is that if you don't think about it, then you don't know.

So as a first time mum, I felt like I had to host people when they would come over to see the baby. They say they want to check in with you, but we all know they want to come and hold the baby. And I would be there as a young first time mom with a two week old baby and having to feel like I need to host people - I have to get them something to eat, make them a cup of tea. It doesn't sound much, but it really is. We all cope in different ways and until you are in that moment you don't know how you will feel.

So having a plan in place is such a good way because your hormones and emotions are still a bit all over the place for a little while and that's okay. So if this isn't baby number 1 how do you get your little ones involved and help them adjust to having a baby? One thing I did when I was  in hospital, before they came and visited, was to take them to the shop, buy a gift from them, for the baby. So they will choose a gift. And we also bought them a present from the baby. When we go to the hospital. Also remember babies can easily be popped down or pooped into a sling and you can still carve out time for your other children. Its amazing how the second, third…. Just get on.

Next part id love to touch on is food. It's so important, and I get a little bit annoyed at the food that we get offered in hospitals, after we have a baby. All you want to eat is warm, slow, cooked, easily digested foods, your body doesn't really want a cold yogurt and a ham salad sandwich. It wants food to help nourish and fuel  and help replenish all the nutrients and everything that's currently depleted. After you give birth, your body's craving food to help bring that back. So there's a book called The first 40 days that goes into a lot of detail around foods and what kind of foods we want. There's also lots of beautiful services that are available, where you can get postpartum meals delivered to your door that are made, especially for women in their postpartum season.

And then just some final tips as well. What are things that we need help with? Okay, well, we're going to need help with cleaning. We'll probably need help with groceries, with food, with folding, the washing, with doing washing things like that. Write down a list of the things and goes back to what I was talking about at the beginning, what gaps need plugging, write down a list of those things and ask people what you need and they will happily meet you there.

And I know that this is a really hard thing, and I found it even now really hard and knowing how important this postpartum season is and knowing how important it is calling your village and having them help you. But it is so hard because there is such a stigma with needing to be able to do it all ourselves. And I believe that we really need to break this stigma that this needs to be the new norm, that these conversations and this expectation needs to be the new normal of early motherhood. Not of - You just have a baby and you're back at it the next week.

So a little list for postpartum/fourth trimester, What's best to focus on because we really deserve to rest and replenish our body in this time. I hope that this helps, particularly if you are at a first or second time mom or third or fourth, it's not too late to prioritise yourself in your postpartum time. Be kind to yourself. Sending all the love in this crazy beautiful period. xx

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