Your baby has finally arrived.
Nine long months of waiting for this amazing being that you have created. You are overwhelmed with the miracle that has just occurred.
The 4th Trimester is the three months following the birth of your baby in which you make probably the biggest upheaval and adjustment to your life ever.
Wonderful and petrifying in equal measures!
You may not have even held a new-born baby let alone looked after one up until now.
Some parents are lucky and have lots of friends and family around. Others may be alone, just relying on the support of health professionals.
Parents may feel as though they are not doing a good job. It is the steepest learning curve they will ever have experienced.
Remember, there are only a few things that babies need:
Babies can feed sometimes every 20 minutes particularly if breast feeding when they are establishing the milk supply. The majority of new-borns will eat at least every 3 hours whether breast or bottle feeding.
Babies suffer with wind as their digestive system adjusts to milk feeds. Therefore may need holding upright for periods of time to encourage the wind to come up or help out at the other end! This is where partners come in. The best winding position is either over your shoulder or leaning baby gently forwards on your lap. Either way the principle is the same. You are just straightening their back out to make an easier exit for the wind. Imagine yourself trying to burp after a fizzy drink if you were slumped forward or laying down. It is much harder.
A baby has been used to feeling warm and enclosed when in utero so babies need a lot of cuddles. They just want to be close and in doing so they are bonding and attaching to you as parents. Expect to spend hours of time just staring at your baby as you both fall in love.
Work as a team
Remember neither of you may have done this before. Work out a strategy of how you are going to deal with the next few weeks.
Take it in turns to sleep.
If you are likely to struggle to get proper meals say yes to all offers of food from friends and family. Use online shopping and get easy cook meals to just pop in the oven, and try and eat at your normal times so that you keep a routine to your day.
Restrict visiting unless the visitors will be helpful to you at this time.
There is nothing worse that politely entertaining people for hours on end if you are tired, emotional and sore. You will need time to meet your new baby just the two of you before other people get involved, unless of course you find this helpful for you. Pull up the drawbridge if you need to!
Give yourselves time to recover from the birth.
It may have been very long and traumatic. You could be suffering with pain from stitches or sore nipples as you learn how to feed your baby. Partners can feel overwhelmed and also traumatised. So, take time to talk about how you are feeling and how you will go forward. Expressing how you both feel and good communication at this time can have a positive impact in these first few months.
Ask for more help with feeding, baby care and also help with the emotional adjustment. You will have contact with your Midwife initially and then by your Health Visitor. Both of these services are able to give support.
Parents and Co are here to help you.
Assistance with feeding, give practical support on establishing sleep routines, feeding and general baby care
We provide reassurance and answer questions
We have time for you to talk about feelings about the birth and the adjustment to parenthood.
One-off trouble shooting consultation.
Flexible packages coming in 3-5 hours at a time