You’ve carried a baby for nearly 10 months, you’ve birthed this baby and now you’re suddenly a mother. The forth trimester can be by far the hardest and if you thought people (strangers) offered you unsolicited ‘advice’ during your pregnancy, just wait. Why is this the hardest part? Well, because we kinda feel like we should know how to do it, shouldn’t our natural instincts take over? My top pieces of advice are exactly the same as with labour.
1) Succumb to it. You’re going to feel tired, sore and emotional. If you need a good cry just have one, if you need a day on the sofa do it..... or if you want a massive glass of wine, enjoy it. I remember when I had Everley one afternoon calling my mum and asking her to come over just to give me a hug. Feeling so low and isolated yet constantly surrounded by people can be overwhelming and we need to just ride those emotions and surround ourselves with the support required to deal with them. Acceptance that the first few months are not easy and you won't be floating on air the whole time like you see in the movies.
2) Accept help, we constantly say ‘I’m fine’ this is a time in your life it’s ok not to be fine. If someone offers to bring over a meal or cake say yes. If a friend will walk your dog or watch the baby while you have a shower, say yes. This isn’t the time to be too proud to take help, the same as when you’re in labour you need someone to watch your toddler or rub your back, you can’t do it all and don’t have to. Every woman needs help, you’re more of a hero for admitting that than trying to soldier on.
3) My third piece of advice is listen to your body, just like when you brought that little bundle into the world, your body told you what to do and you followed its lead. The same is true for the whole of the forth trimester, for the first week you shouldn’t have anyone over that you wouldn’t be comfortable with sitting on the end of your bed while your boobs hangout leaking. If they are not close enough to do this with, they shouldn’t be visiting you yet. Contrary to some other advice if you want to get up and out then do it, but don’t feel pressured to do so. My daughter was born in the middle of a spring heat wave and I couldn’t wait to get into a beer garden and enjoy a cold G&T, this is what felt right for me though.
My top products for this trimester
Tucks pads, many people talk about popsicle pads you can google the recipes for these, but if you’re not a DIY gal Tucks are a must. Witch hazel pads that you lay on top of your sanitary towel feel amazing as you pull your knickers up!
Hello fresh, Cook... or similar service. You get bored of take out but planning meals is too much so we found this a great middle ground and my husband felt useful cooking in the evening and we had a range of well rounded meals.
A sling, sounds stupid but being able to have your baby on you whilst drying your hair or having free hands to put make up on is a god send and you feel so much more like yourself afterwards. There is no such thing as spoiling a newborn with too much skin on skin.