Making The Best of Your Fourth Trimester: Expectations VS Self-Care
The arrival of a new baby impacts relationships more than we may have initially thought they would! With yourself and your body, your spouse, your view of yourself in your career or how you fit into your family. We may feel overburdened and overwhelmed- or overjoyed and enthralled. The paternal bond deepens as the mutual understanding in your partnership grows. Working through issues, communicating more and altering expectations of your partner accordingly is essential during the postpartum time.
Thinking you will have everything together by week 3 or week 6 is setting yourself up for familiar. Show yourself some grace- many professionals today say the postpartum period lasts a full twelve months.
Developing sense of complete responsibility and reclaiming your identity as a mother takes time. For some it happens in an instant, and for others it builds gradually. The “race back to normalcy” doesn’t always have a finish line or short cut. Sometimes you need to redraw rethink the entire experience as something without an end point- just a a new beginning.
I am not here to broadly label your postpartum experience “normal” and brush it aside. I am writing this because it needs to become common knowledge that there are so many versions of those first few years or months- and that we need to be there for eachother as partners, friends, fellow birthing people, doulas, professionals, and family.
Life with an infant unfolds differently for everyone. The magnitude of this life event hits us all at once and suddenly- there was not only a child being born but mother’s and father’s and a Family unit! Nurture yourself first- the acknowledgement of your own self care is powerful. When we are in touch with ourselves and our needs we take back that out-of-control feeling that is so frequent in the postpartum period. Lack of sleep, connection, sex, and lots of exhaustion, frustration, and comparison can mess with our physiological patterns. Our circadian rhythm is thrown and we are waking up with a baby multiple times a night- and oh, by the way, we released a powerhouse of mood balancing hormones in our placenta and now our body is trying to find our chi.
My best advice- create your support system. Find your tribe and love them hard. Seek out professionals like consellors, lactation consultants, postpartum doulas. Seek out moms groups on Facebook, la leche league meetings or postpartum mommy meetups! We have amazing resources to help us during this time- drawing together like humankind did in villages and coming together to support the new mother, will shift the postpartum period to be dedicated Care for one and other. And oh- by the way, if you don’t know where to start, reach out to me and I’d be happy to set you up with a support system in the Pittsburgh area. Because you don’t have to have it all together- this is not every mom for herself; and believe it or not, wanting the very best for your family, already makes you supermom!
A few of my favorite books and videos:
Postpartum: A Bittersweet Experience
After The Baby’s Birth: A Woman’s Way to Wellness
Sex, Love and Babies: How Babies Change Your Marriage
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
Mothering the New Mother
My Favorite Wellness Tools:
Jade Roller Beauty : Jaderollerbeauty.com provides amazing high quality gems stone rollers for wellness and skincare. They help to detoxify the lymph system, and for me- helps to relieve awful tension migraines! Use code: JADEBABY at checkout for a discount for our readers!
Epsom Salt Baths and Postpartum Herbal Baths : Epsom salts help with healing and detox, especially after a vaginal birth, baths and herbal bottom rinses can provide such awesome relief! thehappyherbalhome.com/
Postpartum Padsicles : I always make these awesome suckers for my clients! Unfold a dry maxi pad, and spray with aloe and witch hazel! There are a few recipes online with some essential oils if you would like to add them as well! Just ensure they are dilluted! https://prettyprovidence.com/diy-padsicles-postpartum/
I hope these resources help you during your fourth trimester- remember to reach out if you need postpartum support! Golden Lotus Doula Services is here to serve you!
With love & light,