Its Maternal Health week and it’s important to acknowledge the fourth trimester (birth and the following three months) as a challenging time for many new mothers.
“The emotional labour pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pangs of birth; these are the growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and fear and makes room for sacrifice and love. It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than the event of childbirth—perhaps even more sacred.”
The transition into the fourth trimester is a challenging time for many new mothers and while traditionally women were allowed to rest for 1-2 months post partum and establish breastfeeding now women are expected to get back to normal as quickly as possible. The reality is about 70 percent of women have the baby blues in the first couple weeks postpartum, and about five percent of women will develop postpartum depression.
Don’t expect too much from yourself as you get to know your new little baby you have created and ask for and take all the help you can with cooking, cleaning and caring for others so you can rest. You deserve to be looked after too. Your baby is adjusting to a new and very different environment and is happiest when with you.
A comparison of the 2 worlds your baby has lived in.
As babies are all unique, they will all have their own preference but some techniques that can help to relax your baby are:
- Skin to Skin Contact
- Bed-Sharing – follow the safe guidelines
- Tiger in a tree position
- White noise
- Baby led feeding routine – they have small tummies and need to feed regularly. Seek breastfeeding support and acknowledge that cluster feeding is very normal.
- Bathing in water
- Being outside
And remember the following…
- You are doing a great job
- You are not going to enjoy every minute, and that’s okay
- Babies aren’t good or bad, they’re just babies
- You’ll be confused by your new body
- There is no such thing as “bounce back”
- “Success” is different now
- You are not alone
- Your plans and goals may change
- You are your baby’s expert
- Self-care is not selfish