The fourth trimester is an essential time for you and your baby to get accustomed to life outside the womb. Whether you’re expecting or already a new mom, this guide can help you understand what to expect and how to make sure you and your baby are set up for success.
Know Your Support System.
The fourth trimester can be tough, so make sure you have a solid support system. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and don’t let pride get in the way of asking for it either. Talk to family and friends who offer support, visit postpartum doulas or baby nurses who give specialized advice and support, or join local communities of moms that can provide emotional comfort and helpful tips on everything from breastfeeding to sleeping schedules.
Establish Boundaries and Say “No” to Unnecessary Expectations.
One of the most important pieces of advice for any new mom is to establish clear boundaries and say “no” when it’s necessary. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with family and friends who might come over unannounced or inundate you with unwanted advice. If someone requests something that takes away your valuable time, energy, or other resources, politely explain that now isn’t the best time and suggest another way they can help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help but also make sure you get your own needs met.
Implement Self-Care Rituals.
As a new mom, it’s essential to prioritize your own needs in order to take care of your baby. Find ways to practice self-care and incorporate rituals that make you feel more relaxed, grounded, and connected. This could be as simple as taking a brief walk outside each day, practicing yoga or meditation, or even just scheduling time for yourself each day. Self-care might look different on any given day, but the most important thing is that you honor what you need in order for both you and your baby to thrive.
Take Time for Yourself Every Day.
It’s essential to take time for yourself every day, in order to replenish your energy and maintain healthy mental wellbeing. Think of it as recharging your parenting batteries- when you make sure to prioritize and carve out a few minutes for self-care each day, it will give you the strength and emotional resources that are needed for managing challenging moments with your baby. This can look different from day to day – anything from taking a long bath, setting aside time to read or journal, going for a walk outside – but whatever activity makes you feel relaxed and rejuvenated is what matters most.
Focus on Nutrition & Adequate Rest for Yourself and Baby.
Protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates should be the foundation of your postpartum diet. Eating nutritious meals regularly can provide you with the lasting energy you need to care for your baby, while also helping to balance hormones, strengthen immunity, and improve sleep patterns. Patients should also strive to get at least seven hours of sleep a night – and make sure that their little ones are getting adequate rest as well. Babies require up to 18 hours of sleep a day – so try not to feel guilty about taking time for yourself!