You've read all the baby and pregnancy books, but nothing quite prepares you for the surprises
that the fourth trimester has in store. And those first few weeks postpartum can really throw a new mom for a loop! Naturally Nasreen outlines four ways to help you get ready for this wonderful time in you and your newborn’s life.
1. Finding Clothing That Fits
Even though movies and TV shows would have you believe that women’s bodies bounce back to their pre-pregnancy shapes right after delivery, nothing could be further from the truth! It took nine months to grow your baby, and your body went through a lot of changes, most noticeably around your bust and waistline.
So, if you want to be comfortable during your pregnancy and beyond, look for maternity wear specially designed for breastfeeding moms, such as nursing bras with clip-down cups for easy access to your breasts and blouses, tees, or tops with hidden panels that allow you to feed your baby comfortably and discreetly. At night, a practical yet stylish clip down nursing nightgown is the perfect attire to feed your little one without too much fuss, so you can both go back to sleep faster. Make sure to opt for soft and breathable fabrics that will keep you comfortable all night long.
2. Dealing With the Baby Blues
Most women experience some form of postpartum blues after delivering their babies. Sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and a wide range of emotional triggers, such as the sudden realization that you’re now responsible for a brand new tiny human, can lead to sadness, irritability, and anxiety. Knowing what to expect beforehand may help you be better prepared for the rollercoaster ahead, so talk to other new moms about their experiences, and make a plan to get as much rest as you can once your baby is here.
Lean on your support system (your partner, family, and friends) for help around the house, and Sleeping Should Be Easy suggests enrolling your other children to tackle age-appropriate chores. Delegate as many tasks as you can and, if your budget allows, hire a housecleaning service once in a while, so you have more time for yourself.
Getting in some exercise is another way to beat the blues, especially when you’re outside. This can be as simple as scheduling regular walks. A trip to the park can give you a little time away from home, and the sunshine and fresh air can do wonders.
3. Taking Time Off Work
If you feel ready, BabyMed.com notes that you can get your doctor to sign off on your return to work about six weeks postpartum, but if you’re exclusively breastfeeding or need more time adjusting to your new life with a baby, talk to your employer about adjusting your schedule, working only part-time or allowing you to work from home. This way, managers and colleagues will have sufficient time to adjust their schedules and make plans to have your job duties and responsibilities covered even when you’re at home with your little one.
Working moms who are also breastfeeding are in a tough position. They may crave the energy of their morning cup of coffee, but they may also worry about consuming caffeine while breastfeeding or pumping. While most experts agree that some caffeine is okay, you can opt for more decaf options, like ginger ale.
4. Budgeting for Your Fourth Trimester
If you’re self-employed, let your clients know beforehand that you’ll be taking some time off – or slowing down on the amount of work you accomplish – after your baby is born so that you and your little one have enough time to bond. During this time, you may want to appoint an agent who can handle certain tasks on behalf of your company. This could include selecting someone to act as a registered agent to handle things related to how your business operates.
And if you expect your income to decrease due to your reduced working hours, tailor a budget that will keep you and your family financially secure. Look for ways to cut down on expenses: cancel unused subscriptions, turn off your cable and opt for free streaming platforms to watch TV shows and movies as well as to follow current events, and prepare and eat more meals at home instead of dining out.
Be Kind to Yourself During the 4th Trimester
Preparing for the fourth trimester will help you and your partner weather the physical and emotional ups and downs. Inform your colleagues and clients that you’ll be slowing down after your little one’s arrival so they, too, can be prepared for the fourth trimester. And don’t forget to take plenty of time for yourself to recover and recharge!
If you are pregnant and looking for support, contact Naturally Nasreen. I am a holistic coach, birth doula, and prenatal yoga instructor and I would be honored to support you in your birthing journey.
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Written by Emily Graham | firstname.lastname@example.org Mighty Moms