The Fourth Trimester – How to Win

The Fourth Trimester – How to Win
The Fourth Trimester - How to WinFirstly, what is the fourth trimester?

It is the 12-week period immediately after having a baby and can be 12 of the most overwhelming and tiring weeks of a new mother’s life, especially with a first baby it can be a rollercoaster of emotions, body changes and sleep deprivation.

Depending on how the birth goes you may have varying degrees of discomfort in your perineum or abdomen. Your breasts change and often leak even if you do not breastfeed.

 It is well documented that parents tend to concentrate on the lead up to the birth and the birth itself. While I believe the preparation for birthing is very important, one cannot overestimate the importance of organising comprehensive support for the fourth trimester.

So, what is important?

Not everyone has a family to commit to doing everything we did, however with organisation and insight, women can reduce their stress and improve their outcomes for the fourth trimester.

My personal beliefs (as a very wise old lady with many years of experience in childbirth and beyond) are that to ensure a peaceful fourth trimester one should:
  1. Book and complete the Hypnobirthing Australia classes, which prepare you for whatever the birthing process throws at you, allowing for a fearless birth.
  2. Decide what sort of support you want after the birth. Make sure your birth partner is aware of this and respects your choices; he/she needs to be a strong advocate if your resolve weakens due to fatigue, hormonal fluctuations etc.
  3. Have a laminated telephone list on the fridge with the most important people or agencies you may need in a hurry: –
  4. Mother /mother-in-law etc.
  5. Midwife
  6. Postnatal doula
  7. Lactation consultant
  8. ABA 24-hour help line
  9. Local emergency department which treats neonates.
  10. Do not be frightened to ask for help or to refuse help if it is not appropriate to your needs.
  11. Remember your job is to care for your newborn – nothing more.
  12. Aim low. Anything else is a victory – a shower and face care each day is a win in the first week.
  13. Stock your freezer with easy to eat (one-handed) meals, well before baby is born.
  14. Have nourishing snacks (e.g. lactation cookies) easily accessible for days when the baby will not be put down for any period of time.
  15. It’s ok to put a crying baby down while you go to the toilet or make a drink.
  16. Put a note on the door stating mum and baby sleeping – do not ring doorbell.
  17. Get into a good bedtime routine and stick to it.
  18. Carry on using the meditation music you learned at hypnobirthing classes.
  19. If people ask what you want or need, request washing, ironing or meal preparation.
  20. Invest in a baby carrier suitable for a newborn.

This blog is written by Felicia Borgomastro who is both a registered nurse and a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner in Western Australia, Mindarie. CLICK HERE for more details. 

For all other locations for face-to-face classes  find your closest Practitioner here.

We also have online options available. Click here for further info.

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