What is the fourth trimester
The fourth trimester is the least talked about trimester of pregnancy but is arguably the most difficult. It refers to the first 12 weeks post partum, or the first 12 weeks of bubs life. During this time, you are healing from the birth process and the difficulty of growing a human, your bub has been thrust into a cold and stimulating world, and not to mention the sleep deprivation. Babies are often very unsettled in this period, as they are getting used to being earthside.
What do babies need during this time?
- Lots of physical contact- your baby has just spent all of their time inside of you, so they are used to the warmth, movement and noises of your body. Therefore, commonly your baby will only want to sleep or settle on you. Wear your baby and move about as much as you can to help settle them. The fourth trimester is not the time to stress about contact naps, there is plenty of time to introduce good sleep hygiene habits.
- Milk- baby had food on tap when in-utero! Feeding on demand will help baby be more settled and help their tummy adjust to having to digest milk. It also helps develop milk supply.
- Assistance getting to sleep- lots of adults struggle to get to sleep, so why wouldn’t we expect a baby to also need help to get off to sleep. Baby is used to all the noises of the body (your heart pumping, your intestines moving, outside conversations) so it is a shock for them to be expected to fall into sleep with silence.
How can you help baby settle in the fourth trimester?
- Swaying movements
- Warm baths
- Physical contact
How to help a mum (yourself) in the fourth trimester?
- Lots of water
- Whole foods – warm ones especially are nourishing, think soups and stews.
- Collagen to assist in healing
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Offer to take the baby so mum can sleep if you are supporting a new mum.
- Create a village of support and ask for help when you need it.
- Forget about keeping up with the house work, it can wait. Enjoy your baby snuggles.
- See your friendly chiropractor at Ohana to keep your body aligned and healing. Also helps with the breast feeding shoulders and adoring baby neck pains.