*This post is intended as general wellness information and is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment.
Many doctors are changing their thinking on how we support baby, mom and dad in the first three months after birth, which has lead to the term “4th trimester”. Previously, there has been so much focus on the 9 (or sometimes 10) months leading up to a healthy birth, but not as much information or planning for after. Many mothers feel overwhelmed and underprepared for what to expect when they go home from the hospital. This can be an especially challenging time for moms (and new dads) who feel like they have to “get back to normal” or “have it all together”.
For 9 months, baby is in their perfect environment... eating whenever he or she wants, going to the bathroom whenever and wherever; it is warm, it is safe, there is a constant hum of noise from mom. Then birth….not the most friendly introduction to the world, for you or your little one. There is pressure, pain and sometimes a long recovery. Now baby has longer gaps between feeding, is sleeping in a new place, there are bright lights, and loud sounds. Some experts have described babies in the first three months of life as “fetuses outside the womb” They still need almost constant support from mom, but unlike in the womb, these needs aren’t met automatically.