Tips for Navigating the Fourth Trimester
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
Photo credit: Fable & Fig
Archie turned 12 weeks old last week which means we’ve reached the end of our fourth trimester 💫 I can’t believe we are already here, but I am loving seeing him grow and how things just feel easier.
Some things that I found really helped in our fourth trimester…
Taking it slow and focussing on rest + bonding with Archie. I’ve really embraced the ‘everything else can wait’ mentality and think it has really helped. This means I will usually prioritise napping with Archie or holding him while he sleeps over housework, cooking or work.
Surrendering to this season of life - of course there are challenging times and monotonous days, but I find the more I surrender and lean into mothering the more enjoyable it is.
Not stressing about his sleep. I try and watch for when he’s tired and might try a feed or cuddle to see if he drifts off but if he doesn’t it’s all good and we just get on with the day. This approach is working well for us at the moment, and of course I’m open to changing things if needed in future (we haven’t hit four months yet 😅) but I truly believe all the training I’ve done in newborn sleep and neuroprotective developmental care has had a huge impact. It’s allowed me to support his sleep in a way that feels right for me and my values. And also allows me to rest too when I need it (ie contact naps and safe bedsharing).
Amazing friends and family who dropped us off meals, food and other supplies. You know who you are and I will be forever grateful for your support. We really had the best village!
Taking care of my body as best as I can in this season. I may not have the best diet and I’m definitely eating more sugar than I have in a long time (hello breastfeeding hunger!) but I try to make sure I get in fruit and veg everyday, enough water and some gentle movement (usually a walk or 10 mins stretching/Pilates on the playmat with Archie). Focussing on the little things like having oats or high fibre cereal for breakfast most days instead of white bread and vegemite, soups for lunch and grabbing a piece of fruit when I sit down to feed Archie have all helped. Online food delivery has also made it easier to keep our fridge and pantry stocked with healthy-ish food 😉 my diet is far from perfect but I know I’ll feel better if I’m not just loading up on processed stuff.
Joining a mums group - I can’t even explain how valuable weekly catch-ups with likeminded mammas are. These sessions are one of the highlights of my week. Doesn’t have to be just your regular cafhs group too - there are a number of great privately run mothers groups available.
Having midwifery support over the first six weeks - knowing we were seeing our midwife weekly meant any little concerns could be addressed quickly, and it allowed me to relax knowing both Archie and myself were healthy. It’s impossible to ‘midwife yourself’, and this support was so key for us.
What helped you in your fourth trimester? I’d love to know!
If you'd like to prepare for your own fourth trimester journey join my Positive Breastfeeding + Postpartum Course today!