8 Tips to Help a New Mom Navigate the 4th Trimester
If you’re on the cusp of having a baby, congratulations! This will certainly be one of the most exciting times of your life. However, it can take some getting used after you give birth, and you may not know what to expect emotionally and physically. Today, I've enlisted the help of my friend, Amanda Henderson of Safe Children to share some ideas for helping you navigate the fourth trimester (postpartum) more easily.
1. Think About Comfort
Your body will change quite a bit after having a baby, which should be no surprise since you spent nine months growing your child in your womb. For example, you might be experiencing a larger bust size that you are probably not used to because you have a baby to feed now. This is where having comfortable nursing bras and stretchy clothing can come in extremely handy, not only to assist you when it comes to feeding your newborn, but also so that you feel more comfortable within yourself as your body returns to what it was before. Don’t hesitate to size up to a bustier size so that you can avoid any issues with constriction. And be sure to shop online to avoid in-person shopping as you cater to the demands of a newborn. When you visit preferred online retailers, you can add extra items to your cart like diapers, wipes, paper towels and more.
2. Prioritize Recovery
No matter the way you bring your baby into the world, it will be hard work and require recovery time. Many mothers will endure a c-section in the birthing process, and the recovery for this is significantly different and longer than a vaginal birth. What’s most important is to give yourself time to heal and to not overdo it. Your doctor will guide you through when you can lift heavier items or what to expect on incision care. Speaking of, stock up on soothing skin salve, high-waisted underwear and loungewear that won’t be itchy or too hot.
3. Stay Organized
Since you’re going to have plenty of doctor visits, you might want to digitize your medical records to make them easier to organize and access. Save them as a PDF, then if you need to add any pages, click here for more info on how to easily merge PDFs so that you won’t have to worry about finding the information you need in case you have any questions for your doctor.
4. Prepare for Lack of Sleep
This is an inevitability all new parents face, and each baby is different. Some baby’s take months to learn to sleep through the night, while others can start as soon as six to eight weeks. Knowing that a lot of sleepless nights are in your future, plan accordingly. In the first few weeks, allow yourself to sleep when the baby sleeps. By trying to get laundry, cooking and cleaning done while your baby rests, you set yourself up for worse fatigue. Trade off with your partner as often as possible, and consider hiring a sitter a few days a week so you can enjoy some quiet naps without being disturbed.
5. Take the Time You Need
The first few months after birth are critical to bond with your child so that they feel close to you, content, and happy. To make this easier for both of you, take a step back from work if you can to maximize the time you spend with your little one. If you run a business, you may have to go back sooner, but for the interim, let your clients know about your absence, and maybe consider hiring a virtual assistant to help you out with day-to-day tasks that could be done by someone else until you can return.
6. Make Clothing Your Baby Easier
Certainly, you want to stock up on all the baby apparel essentials, as they tend to grow very quickly in the first few months. Therefore, you might want to consider clothing that can grow with them that is soft and breathable on a baby's skin but also has some stretch to it so that you don't have to buy new baby clothes quite as often. From dresses to rompers to pullovers to bloomers, there’s plenty to keep your little one cozy and cute.
7. Find Low-Impact Exercises
After having a baby, it can be difficult to find time to exercise. However, it is important to get some physical activity each day in order to improve your health and mood. One easy way to do this is to go for a walk in your neighborhood. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that is gentle on your body, making it ideal for postpartum women.
8. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
While you may be relishing the newborn phase, it is also important to take time out for yourself to be the best mom to your newborn. Therefore, don't be afraid to reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just really fatigued. Utilize your partner, grandma, or another trusted loved one to look after your child for a bit while you go to the spa to help you feel better from the inside out.
Following these 8 tips can help you adjust to postpartum life so that you can give your body and mind the time it needs to recuperate and readjust to parenthood.
& Amanda Henderson
Amanda Henderson is both a mom to two rambunctious boys and preschool teacher, so she knows from experience how quickly a situation can become unsafe. She created and writes for Safe Children to educate parents on how to keep their children safe while also having fun.