You may have heard of the 4th trimester… But what is it?
The 3 months after birth is often referred to as the 4th trimester. This is the period of time that your baby is adjusting to life outside your womb. There are bright lights, loud noises, and everything feels BIG. No longer are they cocooned tight. Their arms are free to spring outward at any moment (this is called moro reflex).
Change is hard.
You can help your baby get through the 4th trimester by mimicing how it felt to be in your womb. Wearing your baby is a great way to make them feel secure and safe. They can hear your heartbeat, listen to your breathing, and feel your warmth.
Newborns can be rough though.
Nights and days are flipped. Suddenly, baby wants to keep you awake all night, and visitors want to keep you awake all day. Not to mention, your older children still need you!
Days blur together.
No one really prepared me for the 4th trimester, and honestly a lot of it is a faded muddled mess in my memory because the sleep deprivation is just that hard.
I wasn’t getting enough sleep, my nipples hurt, my toddler needed me, and babywearing is the only way I was able to feed myself or use the bathroom.
Then, suddenly, around 6-8 weeks, my baby looked up at me… and smiled. Not a gassy smile, but an honest to God, looked me in the eyes, and smiled at me. My heart almost leapt out of my throat and burst, suddenly all the hard work paid off, and I could breathe again.
She started to sleep more. Her nights turned into nights. She started being more awake during the day. We did side-lying nursing and I napped with the kids during the day.
I let the house be messy.
We ate take-out.
And it was good.