4th Trimester TipsOn May 11, 2021 by Makingmoms
It’s amazing having a baby then they just let you walk out the front door, no check-ins, nurses to help or family waiting to take you home. With this pandemic, we have another layer of complications to work through, we don’t have the freedom to do what we want, our Mothers, Fathers or in-laws can’t swoop in and save the day. We don’t have friends and constant visitors bringing food, supplies, essentials and breaks…it’s all on you and your spouse. How will you navigate the 4th trimester on your own? Here are some practical tips I have accumulated from experience, clients, and other doula’s and of course Moms.
Be Informed – Infants do not come with any manuals, how-to or instructions but all the stuff we buy for them does. Read all user manuals for any products, toys or anything that is interacting with your baby. Make sure you know how to properly use each of them, don’t assume you know. Even as a Doula, I read the manuals every time, you never know when laws, rules or regulations have changed how they should be used or operated. The same goes for sleep safety standards in your country, province or state. This will vary greatly depending on where you are in the world, no joke.
Multiple Changing Stations – Depending on how your home is laid out, how many levels and how you feel after delivery you will want everything you need close and accessible in the first few weeks of your recovery. This includes Mom’s essentials; sanitary pads, medications, ice packs, water, snacks, cell phone, tablet, activities & hobbies all accessible. This reduces how much you move around in the first 2 weeks especially, remember you have an interior open wound that deserves the time & rest to heal just like YOU.
Meal Prep – Remember this is a short few months, everyone is getting to know each other and where they fit into this new family. Having pre-made meals you just need to heat up makes mealtime one less thing to worry about during this transition. Keeping your bodies healthy and fueled will give you the stamina needed to raise littles.
Self-care – Now don’t bite my head off, I know that may just be a sponge bath and a fresh pair of Depends in the beginning but remember you are still YOU but so much more and that should be honoured as well. What did you enjoy doing? Working out or meditating, reading, singing, talking with friends or going for a drive. What are your hobbies and passions? Make sure to nurture that part of yourself too, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your family any less, it just means you have to find new and creative ways to have some time to yourself. This can be difficult for new Moms because we feel it is our duty to watch our babies 24/7 but it takes a village to raise children and sometimes we have to build that village. Fifteen minutes of quiet can seem like an eternity when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Date night – To be clear the first one might just be in your living room and the baby is in another room or maybe just around the corner, especially if you are in lockdown like Ontario. Then it may be take-out dinner with baby in her room ooooh that will be nice. The two of you were around way before babies and need time to be two, have some intimacy (not talking sex) and share this wonderful but challenging experience together. This alone time is for doing what you both enjoy, maybe video games, scrabble or preparing a nice meal together. It will remind both of you you’re still the two of you because let’s face it; kids are hard as hell and can drive you to the brink of your sanity sometimes.
Share the Experience – Share how you are feeling what you are going through, how you can handle XY & Z, talk or journal about your experience. This helps process the changes, overwhelm and fear that comes with raising littles in a world you didn’t realize was out there. Your partner, close friends or family are here for you especially if they have gone through it already. Parenting is an experience unlike another you will have in this life but the load of that responsibility is heavy and we need others to help carry it. Don’t shy away from connections, community and miss out on the wonderful, confusing, trial and error journey of parenthood.
Let it go, SERIOUSLY let it gooo – The house doesn’t need to be spotless or how others expect it, you don’t need to dress up for company or spend your time organizing when you need to rest. This journey is not about anyone but YOU, your baby and your partner, everyone else can take a backseat. Everyone will have their opinions, judgements and criticisms, but they are not the ones raising this baby doing the hard time 24/7 and trying to keep your sanity are they? No one has the right to tell you how you should walk this journey, do not give them the power to have a say on each step.
You are amazing, superhuman and powerful, you brought life into the world through your body and soul. That is superhuman and even superwoman needs a break or helping hand now and then.