Six tips to help you through the fourth trimester
Antenatal classes can help your family prepare for the arrival of your new family member but they cannot cover everything. There is only a small amount of time to incorporate and focus on the vast amounts of information you need to raise a baby.
After the massive undertaking of having a baby comes the reality of your new responsibility and the physical and mental recovery you may need after childbirth. From this day and for the next three months, you enter the “fourth trimester”.
The first three months of a newborn’s life is by and large the most difficult as your little one is learn to exist in the ‘outside world’. In the womb, they had food delivered to them and they slept in a warm, dark and noisy place where they were used to movement. Once they are born, everything changes for you both.
For mum, this time can sometimes feel overwhelming and emotional, especially while your hormones are all over the place.
Here are some quick and easy tips and shared wisdom from other mums to help you get through the fourth trimester:
- Eat regularly: You must make sure you are well nourished, especially if you are breastfeeding. You need to have good nutritional resources for energy to help with healing and to get you through the day. Include good quality protein daily, be it in smoothies or bliss balls that have seeds or nuts incorporated. Consider tahini or coconut oil for good fats. If toast is all you can manage, try and top it with a nut butter and sliced banana or apple. Nut butters are delicious and add in much needed fats.
- Sleep when you can. At least once a day, try and have a nap when the baby sleeps, even for 15 minutes as every bit counts. Night wake ups are difficult to manage. Leave the vacuuming and the dishes – sleep is the most important factor to help with recovery and for your state of mind. Even if you can just lie in the sun for five minutes, your rest is crucial for both you and your baby.
- Drink a lot of water. Water helps with recovery and breastfeeding. Dehydration can make you feel even more fatigued.
- Understand that things might not be as you thought. The birth, breastfeeding, and being at home with a baby – all these things are probably not going to go as you imagined. It might be easier, harder, or just different than your initial expectations.
- Try and leave the house each day, even if you just walk around your garden, house or block. A change of scenery can do wonders when you’ve been inside for days on end.
- Ask for help if you need it. There are so many resources, people and organisations that are here for you depending on your needs. People want to help, especially with a new baby. Keep in mind that having a baby with no help is not the way it used to be. People used to have babies with community and family support, but modern lifestyles can be isolating. It can be lonely at home with a new baby, so lean on people you trust for support. Alongside this, remember it can be beneficial to accept help if you have people that are offering.
- Consider adding an Artemis tea remedy to your daily routine. The added active constituents in Artemis teas can help with all your concerns. Two popular options for new mums are:
- Artemis Breastfeeding Tea, which helps to support milk supply and quality with raspberry leaf tosupport uterine recovery
- Artemis Rest and Relax Tea, as it helps to support your nervous system and manage worrying thoughts and feelings. Artemis takes pride in their high safety profile, meaning you can have this product while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The fourth trimester time is full of joy, wonderment, stress, lack of sleep, frustration, tears and love. It may feel like an eternity, but as the adage says: ‘the days are long, but the years are short.’
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Artemis Ltd, Dunedin.