4th trimester, what is that? Most articles I read for preparing for the birth of my daughter Leona explained in detail yes, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester….but the 4th? Yes! probably one of the most crucial, without diminishing the other three… is when our baby is with us, so now how do I manage to take care? Baby first, but mom needs the energy for that. And that is what the 4th trimester is all about: TAKING CARE OF YOU AFTER YOUR DELIVERY.
How to Prepare for Postpartum
Here are a few insights which helped me to prepare for postpartum, now I wholeheartedly believe this will serve you as a guide to prepare, too : )
1. Rest Your Mind & Body
Depending on the way the delivery was, is very important you follow the doctor's advice for the aftercare. I had a C-section after two inductions, and believe me, when they say “REST” is rest in bed or couch, wherever cozy, and please take the time for your postpartum recovery
As I said, be there for your baby – absolutely, you´re their universe now- hence your postpartum body also really needs to regain strength after all that miraculous experience. In Mexico, is called “la cuarentena” and this means about six weeks to just rest. If you are – like me – difficult to just lay in bed, well then take the time to do whatever makes you feel happy under the REST advised options, this means not lifting more than the weight of your baby or performing tiring movements.
Here are some ideas of what I did: I took cat naps or beauty naps aka sleep, I watched documentaries, I finally read those books I have craved to read, I love decluttering so I decluttered spaces, that made me happy, and do anything under your power to relax your mind and body being mindful on the doctor advise.
2. Plan Meals Before Delivery
It all has to fit your lifestyle, if you have support from a family member, partner, or friend who will be cooking for you that’s fine, if not is better to cook as much before delivery and freeze it so then it will be available for you whenever needed and fast. In those 3 following months it is going to get busy with the little one, so plan, freeze food, check out food deliveries, and designated partner or friend chefs – speak about it in advance – it will be important to keep yourself healthy and well fed after delivery.
3. Prioritize Your After-Delivery Clothes
Get as comfy as possible, reality is our body changes after delivery, it is swollen, we still got to take care of incisions, and the body needs to get rid of the after-delivery blood. It is naturally very natural – for this make sure you have enough packages at home with those long, comfy pads. So before delivery give priority to organizing all the comfy clothes you have, especially underwear. Choose for the comfortable, cozy, and safe. In my case, after 2 weeks from my delivery I wanted to use only compression underwear, better-called shapewear underwear, or Spanx, which is underwear that covers from the upper belly and down, sometimes even in the shape of shorts, sometimes even full cover bodies. Check it out online, there are several brands over there. The beautiful feeling of containment and stretch it gave me, has absolutely no words, it helped me feel on top of my game, and it also looks quite fine. Believe me, I got used to it fast ; ) Now I can´t live without it!
4. Stretch, Yoga, Walks
For me if I don´t get the exercise I get in such a mood, “no bueno”, so it was so so important to move in a way I felt comfortable with and safe under the appropriate doctor´s advice. I started with tiny stretches that brought a lot of delicious comfort to my body.
Believe me, it will come the day you will be back to the gym or your regular yoga practices but for the moment, take the time to slowly make your stretches or slow pace walks in the room or when feeling OK, outside! Here creativity plays a relevant role but most important revise with your Dr. what you can and can´t do. Do everything feeling safe first, and let those endorphins flow!
5. Let That Skin Be Nurtured
Pamper your body! Get some nice oils for pampering that amazing body. Rub it, smell it, it will give you that sense of calmness and care quite needed, in morning and night so you get into a routine with it. If you have a special fragrance get it before your baby's delivery, I love the ones with eucalyptus due to not only feel good on the body but also create this heaven feeling of calmness.
There are several types of body oil to spoil yourself, as a personal recommendation get virgin organic coconut oil, especially if you are breastfeeding, it is heaven for protecting your nipples, smells delicious and your baby will be extra happy :D (receiving this tip for me was golden when I was struggling with soreness)
Last but not least...
Don't Be Shy To Ask For Help
“Shyness on me”.. my thoughts after delivery: “that has to be gone when the health of my baby is in line!” Thanks to my daughter I am getting rid of that annoying feeling of “I should have asked this or that…” now is the time if you have any questions: ASK, CALL, WHATSAPP, CHAT, WRITE, EXPRESS YOURSELF! Look for experts when needed, ask ABSOLUTELY ALL THE QUESTIONS, and if you feel not understood, ask again! Maybe to a different expert, get all opinions until you feel fully informed and satisfied with the answer. It´s our right, and nobody was born with all the answers, so get that info.
These are only some pieces of advice that helped me navigate better the following three months after the delivery of Leona. I need to emphasize that everything I mentioned here was fully approved beforehand by my doctor/midwife, please follow their advice first! We are all different and will live different delivery experiences. So please do what fits better for you and prepare as much as you can, do what makes you feel comfortable. Let´s not forget: happy mama, happy baby!
Thank you for reading this article, and if you have any questions or comments, I would be delighted to connect with you to continue the conversation. May you have a blessed 4th trimester!
My Instagram: @natalia.garcia.she