The 4th trimester
Did you know every mom and baby will have a 4th trimester? We know you have heard of the three trimesters of pregnancy, but what is the 4th trimester?
The 4th trimester is the first 12 weeks following the birth of your baby. This is the time in which your baby isn’t fully ready to be out of the womb and needs support to make life in the big world an easier transition.
Your baby is no longer confined to the warm and comfy space they knew their whole existence; they are in a world with lots of things going on. They now have lots of light around them, breeze and chill on them, quiet times where there is very little sound, times where they are not confined, times where they can’t smell their mom, hear their mom’s voice or their mom’s heartbeat. This can be quite an adjustment. A question that almost all parents will ask is…how can we help them adjust?
+Your baby was used to your warmth, smell and sounds. Wear your baby skin to skin in a soft/tight baby carrier. This will help with warmth, smell and sounds but also with being confined and swaddled.
+Give them noise. A white noise machine will do wonders for your baby’s peace. They love noise and love to sleep to loud noises.
+Keep them bundled well. Your baby’s body likes to be warm and cuddled. Dress your baby in layers so they can stay comfortably warm.
+Keep lights dimmed especially when your baby is overwhelmed (typically at night around 5pm-9pm). This will help them regulate their nervous system.
Don’t forget about you, Mom.
This can be a very emotional time for you as well as you get used to life with this newborn whether this is your first or fourth baby. Babies are unpredictable and all different, we know you’re completely shocked that all babies are unique 🙂
The 4th trimester is the time you are getting to know your new bundle of joy and your new body.
Your body is going through changes AGAIN, and if you haven’t guessed it, yes lots of hormones! You might find yourself crying at commercials again and wondering when you can fit in your pre pregnancy jeans or wondering if your breasts will ever become not swollen.
So how can you make this time go as smoothly as possible?
Some key things to remember:
- REST, your body has gone through a lot.
- Sleep when your baby is sleeping, otherwise you will get overly exhausted
- Take up offers from friends and family to help with things around the house or allow yourself to have a less put together home for a few weeks.
- Don’t rush yourself. It’s not a race or competition to get back to normal.
Take your 4th trimester day by day. GO WITH THE FLOW, a lot of trial and error will go on during this time with your baby. You are learning all the tricks and signals your little one is putting off.
One night they sleep great swaddled and the next they hate it. Maybe they need a different kind of swaddle, maybe they were over tired that second night. Since your baby can’t tell you what is going on it can be a guessing game and a hard one.
This time can be overwhelming for all and it’s okay to ask for help. In fact, Omaha Birth & Babies would love to be there for you through it all. We have certified doulas that know just how to help. If you are looking for a trained professional to gently guide you through this new time in your life, we would be honored to be part of your team.