What I learned during the “fourth trimester”

4 Feb


I knew that being a mom wasn’t going to be like the movies. I knew it would be hard. I would have sleepless nights & the baby would wake up at all hours of the night. However, no matter how many documentaries showing a day in the life of a new mom, nor how many mom friends would tell me how hard it actually was would prepare me for the new journey I was about to take on. It’s been said that the first 3 months of a baby’s life is called the fourth trimester. The doctors that stand behind this theory call it that because they believe it takes a baby 3 months to adjust to life outside the womb. So here’s some things I learned during the so called fourth trimester.


1) Nursing isn’t easy.

The nursing classes that I took while I was pregnant made it look like it would come to me naturally, but it totally wasn’t the case.

What really helped me was a nursing support group. Not only did it get me out there to socialize, it made me feel better that other new moms were going through the same thing I was. Not only that, but the encouragement from the moms with older babies was very uplifting, especially in the beginning when I didn’t know which way was up. When I felt like I was going to throw in the towel, I once again sought out the advice of the lactation consultants & that made all the difference.


2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Throughout my working career, I would always ask for help when I needed it. That was the working world. I’ve always felt uncomfortable asking my friends for help simply because they didn’t work for me, so it was all kinds of awkward. Nevertheless, when you have a newborn baby & sleep is a fond memory and the house is turned upside down, asking for help almost comes natural. While I never got comfortable asking friends for help with the dishes, even though they offered, I was okay asking them to help take care of our dog, to bring over some food & or help fold some laundry.


3) The postpartum period is a strange time

You’ve seen it on the news, you heard it in your childbirth class, even the medical staff tells you about the postpartum period before you leave the hospital. It’s a crazy time. Think about it. All your hormones have to regulate themselves after they’ve been out of whack for 9 months. It doesn’t happen overnight. From crying at the drop of a hat to feelings of anxiety coupled with orders from your doctor to avoid large crowds, malls, restaurants & such, it takes its toll. Some of the things I did to cope with the postpartum period sound like common sense, but they were helpful.

A) Shower everyday.

I’m not going to lecture you on hygiene, but you always feel better after showering. I know I’d feel like crap if I stayed in my pjs all day long.

B) Get some fresh air

Cabin fever stinks. We’re told not to perform any strenuous activity during the first 6 weeks of the postpartum period, but walking is a light exercise that’s okay with most doctors. Ask yours just to be sure. Put your little one in their stroller & take a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long one. Just get out there, get some sun, fresh air, & exercise.

C) Invite loved ones over, call them on the phone

During the first three months, all newborns do is eat, sleep, & poop. That’s it. The fun doesn’t start til a bit later. Get some interaction. Invite some friends over, even just to chat. Call your loved ones, Skype. Every interaction helps.

Those are my main things I learned from the fourth trimester. I hope it helps whomever is reading this. Do you have anymore pointers to add? Leave them in the comments.


2 Responses to “What I learned during the “fourth trimester””


  1. What I learned during the “fourth trimester” | Track Pants and a Tot - February 5, 2013

    […] What I learned during the “fourth trimester”. […]

  2. Baby Feeding Supplies | Track Pants and a Tot - May 22, 2013

    […] said it a million times, I had issues with nursing. Although it got better with time, I looked forward to the day Andrew would start eating solids. I […]

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