NuRoo is excited to bring you tips for keeping your sanity during the 4th trimester from the ladies at Brilliant Bodies, a New York based doula duo specializing in creative, non-fear based education, workshops and birthing services.
Ash Spivak and Natalia Hailes are “stress-reduction focused” birth doulas and reproductive health advocates. Their company, Brilliant Bodies
, creates innovative solutions to fill gaps in the reproductive health space. To learn more fun facts about the brilliance of your body, follow them
Tips for Staying Sane During the 4th Trimester
You did it! Congrats! And now it all begins…
While we know this is a beautiful and exciting time, we also know how overwhelming and emotional it can be. We really see the 4th trimester as a transition time – not just for baby, but for parents too. There is so much change happening! New hormones, new responsibility, new identity… It’s easy to let stress take over and neglect taking care of yourself. But, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of baby! In fact, in taking the time for yourself, you are actually taking care of your baby as a result. Here are some easy tips that can get you feeling GOOD and can make the 4th trimester a little bit easier.
Image credit: Laura Berger, @_lauraberger_
Ask for Help
Plan your support team before baby arrives! Line up some family, friends or a postpartum doula to bring you food, help around the house (and actually let them wash your dishes, do your laundry and take out the trash), and watch baby so you can have some time for yourself. When they come over, don’t play host! They are excited to be a part of your story and to meet your baby. Let them take care of you, you don’t need to take care of them!
It’s a good idea to have a list of breastfeeding resources ready like nearby lactation consultants and support groups like La Leche League. Definitely no need to suffer on this end. If something doesn’t feel right or is painful, ask for help! The sooner you do, the sooner things will feel better.
Lastly, don’t neglect your pelvic floor! Most countries include pelvic floor care as part of the postpartum healing period. Unfortunately, the United States doesn’t. We recommend finding a physical therapist, pelvic floor specialist or using an app like Bwom
to help rehab and protect your parts!
Image credit: Jean Jullien, @jean_jullien
Nap During the Day
Mindset reset. The little ones tend to sleep more during the day than at night, so when baby sleeps, you sleep too! We know this can be a hard adjustment but you’ll actually get a lot more accomplished if you are feeling more rested. Even if they are short little power naps (try one in the morning and one in the afternoon)- every minute counts!
All new parents can speak to the power of their babies’ cries. While crying is certainly a normal psychological stage newborns cycle through, one of the best ways to keep your baby feeling safe (and protect your ears) is to keep baby close to your body. Babies feel best when they are being held because your scent makes them feel secure. Plus, this helps regulate their breathing, temperature, and heartbeat, which allows them to feel cozy and relaxed. And the good news? You CAN’T spoil a newborn. They are biologically programmed to rely on you until they start having more control over their bodily functions. The best way to keep baby close while still managing to brush your teeth is to wear your baby! We love Nuroo’s pocket carrier
because it can be used from day one (and throughout the 4th trimester) and it has no complicated wraps, straps or ties.
Image credit: @flirtmoji
Find Your Village
You are most likely about to be spending a whole lot more time in your home than you are used to. But when you’re ready, it will be good to get out of the house when you can – even if it’s just for a few moments to breathe! When you are feeling ready to step outside, be sure to move very slowly and check in to see how you are doing physically. Even walking to the end of your block may feel difficult at first! Listen to what your body is telling you, and build up over time. You will notice an increase in bleeding if you are overexerting yourself. Once you’re ready to be out, and about we recommend finding local new parent groups or connecting with other new parents who may be going through similar things. After all, it does take a village!
Image credit: Maria-Ines Gul, @mariainesgul
You’re Still YOU
You are more than just a feeding machine! Create rituals around feedings like listening to your fav playlist or podcast, dimming the lights or sipping your favorite teas. Create time, even if it’s just a few minutes, dedicated solely to you. Get your nails done, go on a walk, eat a yummy treat or take a long shower. It is totally normal to feel some kind of loss during the 4th trimester, postpartum period – like you are losing your identity outside of parenthood. It’s okay to mourn that loss. (They never show that on TV, but it’s real!)
In general, having some major ups and downs in the beginning is to be expected (hello crazy hormones!) But, if after a month or so you still are feeling blue, it’s good to check in with your doctor and find someone to talk to. 1 in 7 women suffer from some kind of postpartum mood disorder. Getting help is a huge first step towards recovery. (And it can happen to partners too!)