Congratulations mama, you’ve done it! 9 months of the most challenging, wonderful, mind-blogging and thrilling journey of your life has resulted in the delivery of your beautiful baby (babies?) and you’ve made it. From keeping hush hush in your first trimester, getting excited in the second to counting down the minutes of your third trimester, but wait a minute, there’s a fourth trimester?!
What is The Fourth Trimester?
Your baby’s fourth trimester starts the moment they enter the world and lasts for the first three months they spend outside of the womb. This is a period of adjustment for both mama and baby as your baby reacts, changes and grows within the world around them.
Trimester might sound like a weird word to describe your baby’s first three months outside of the womb, but consider how crucial their development will be in the next few months. There’s new noises, smells, lights, sensations and sounds to absorb. They’re learning to control their reflexes and react with their senses. Far-fetched from the warmth, quiet and darkness of your cosy, comfy womb.
How to survive The Fourth Trimester
This is a time of massive change and growth in your family and it will take time to adapt to your new arrival. We’ve put together a few tips to help you and your womb-mate adapt to this newfound world around you.
1. Understand what The Fourth Trimester actually is
Trimester 4 is the school of thought that babies are born at least three months too early as otherwise, they would be too big to deliver. Human babies are the only babies who are born without the ability to do anything themselves for a prolonged period of time.
Now is the time to make the most of your newborn’s squishiness but investing in a good sling, a white noise app and polishing up your swaddling skills.
2. Feel free to say no to guests
We understand that this is a really exciting time for your wider family and they’ll be plenty of visitors after a cuddle with the new arrival. But remember, you can say no. If you don’t feel up to it, your friends and family will understand.
3. Learn to accept help
Even if it’s just grandma coming round to pop on a load of washing or your brother-in-law taking the dogs out for a walk, there is no shame in accepting help. Or if you are struggling with breastfeeding, your mental health or with sleep deprivation, there are always ways to ask for help. Always speak to your GP if something doesn’t feel right.
4. Don’t be hard on yourself
It’s totally fine if you get a bit teary for no reason or if it gets to 5 pm and the dishwasher hasn’t been done and you’ve not showered yet. The physical trauma and hormones are going to make you feel a whole lot of things and it’s fine. Let your wonderful newborn be a reminder of how incredible your body is and enjoy these first few months.
5. Enjoy yourself
This might be easier said than done, but you created that little miracle in your arms, so make the most of it! Your newborn won’t stay little forever and time will fly so make the most of milk-drunk cuddles and enjoy the process.
That being said, if you aren’t quite feeling the way you thought you would be sure to speak to seek advice from your GP.
Skincare for breastfeeding
Your boobs go through a lot during pregnancy, but if you choose to breastfeed, post-partum is when the girls can really do with a little bit extra TLC. We have a full boob care guide to help you take care of the twins but we recommend investing in a Nipple Balm to provide a barrier of protection between your baby’s mouth and nipple.
If you’ve found your boobs have become heavy and sore as your milk has come in, try keeping your Pregnancy Boob Tube Bust Cream in the fridge for instant cooling and relief.