How to Prepare For The Highs and Lows of the Fourth Trimester
Question: I am due in a couple of months and I am trying to prepare myself as much as possible for a healthy 4th trimester. What should I be thinking about realistically?
I think you brought up a question/thought that is on the minds of every soon-to-be mama! This is such an incredibly special time as you prepare to welcome a new little miracle, yet it can also feel overwhelming at times. My daughters and I explore this topic further in our newest book, The Healthy Motherhood Journal. This excerpt speaks to the experience of preparing to survive AND thrive with your newborn.
“You prepared for motherhood physically by dutifully keeping your prenatal appointments, gathering all the things a baby needs, and loaning out your body for nine months while trying to stay healthy—not to mention keeping up with the duties you had before becoming pregnant. You prepared emotionally by daydreaming about holding your little one, working through fears, and managing the emotions that came with your body’s changing hormones. You prepared mentally by reading books, making lists, picking out just the right name for Baby, and choosing the outfit you wanted Baby to wear home from the hospital. Perhaps you also had new spiritual stirrings that have drawn you to connect or reconnect to a power greater than yourself.
Settling into your new life as a mom happens on a day-by-day, go-with-the-flow basis; it’s not something you can foresee and fully plan for, though it helps to think in terms of daytime and nighttime and the unique challenges each brings. Your daytime hours will be colored for a while with emotions you didn’t know existed. The roller coaster of hormonal changes is one aspect of postpartum life that is completely beyond your control. Remember what it was like during early pregnancy? Only now the changes are often more sudden and more intense. And then there’s nighttime—for most moms, the biggest challenge is that night is not what it used to be when you only had to answer to your own needs. It helps to accept that it will be a while before your baby gets the memo that the whole night is for sleeping.
Your task now is to not just survive but to thrive with your newborn. Some days it may seem like you are in survival mode, and other days you may find yourself being Supermom. Think of it as “sur-thriving”—this is the reality of any big change in life, including taking on your new role as mom.”
”You’ll spend lots of time doing ‘nothing,’ just holding and nursing your baby. But time spent relaxing with your baby isn’t really doing nothing. You’re observing and learning, resting together, and settling in together.”- William Sears
Here is also a powerful affirmation/visualization that you can use as you prepare for your birth. We wish you and every other mama-to-be out there a special and safe birth experience and transformation into the most beautiful “role” in the world….Mom
I am secure and compassionately connected to all sides of my story.
I gave birth to a new woman in one profound moment of transformation.
I hold space for this new woman to strengthen and grow.
I nurture my soul with grace and honor.
I embrace the first precious moments with my baby as a priceless gift.
I will not be clouded or confused by external circumstances.
Time stands still and I soak in this pure, unconditional love.
My baby is perfect in every way and is an expression of my love.
I honor the mind, body, and soul connection with my baby.
With each breath, Baby and I will become more connected.
I look in my baby’s eyes and hear her saying, “I love you, Mommy. You are the perfect mommy for me.”
I feel Baby’s breath rising and falling, and it reminds me to live in this moment.
In this moment I am content.
We are delighted to say that our Healthy Motherhood Journal is available now.
Martha, Hayden and Erin