Pregnancy in and of itself is a beautiful challenge that’s filled with its own adventures for typically 3 trimesters. However, what’s not talked about as often is the 4th trimester, which is the first few months after the newborn baby comes home. It’s a wonderful time as you finally get to bring your baby to your home and bond with them every day, however it can present challenges as well. Many mothers suffer from postpartum depression during the 4th trimester and simply finding a new routine can be difficult. There is also the added stress on your life for having to take care of your newborn which is a never ending cycle of feeding, bathing, changing diapers and all the other tasks that come with motherhood. In order to help you navigate the 4th trimester of pregnancy, we have compiled a list of tips to make sure you stay at peace, while caring for you little one.

Stay Rested

The hardest challenge during the 4th trimester is definitely dealing with a lack of sleep. Not only will your newborn baby wake you up at all hours of the night, it can be very difficult to simply fall back asleep once you’ve woken up. The anxiety of having a baby in the house and wanting to constantly watch over them keeps you from allowing yourself to drift back into dreamland. You need to trust that you’ve done everything correctly, you’ve followed your doctor’s advice, read the baby books and bought the best products to help with your baby’s safety. If all of these have been taken care of you simply need to let go and sleep. If you don’t get proper sleep the risks of postpartum depression increase because you’ll be overextending yourself with all the other work you have to do. We suggest naps throughout the day while your partner is awake and can tend to your newborn when needed. 

Delegate Daily Tasks

There will never be ‘nothing to do’ during the first trimester after birth. There are always dishes to be done, pumping, diaper changes, feeding, napping, and tons of other tasks that you never even thought would be necessary. We are here to remind you that it’s ok to ask for help. Be it family, friends, or a nanny you’ll need extra hands on deck when caring for your baby. Allow them to do things around the house while you watch over the baby (or sleep). This will greatly reduce the risk of postpartum depression because you’ll have people to support you where you need it. This is especially important for first time mothers as everything will be new to you.

Peace of Mind

Another truly difficult aspect of the 4th trimester is postpartum depression. Postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 women and is classified as a serious mood disorder. The postpartum depression symptoms are: constant anxiety, eating more or less than usual, disinterest in your baby, family and friends, and sudden, irrational anger. If you are experiencing any of these you need to seek professional help as they can be detrimental to your long term mental health. The key is to always remind yourself that everything you are going through is normal. Every mother before you had anxiety and stress over the wellbeing of their baby. You cannot let it affect you or your loved ones in a negative way. If you feel the symptoms early on and can recognize that we suggest speaking to a postpartum care professional so they can guide you through this difficult time.

Speak to a Professional

While it is obligatory to speak to a professional if you’re suffering from postpartum depression, you can also seek help if you simply feel overwhelmed. The 4th trimester is an especially tough time for the mother as you’ve just been through 9 months of pregnancy and now you have even more to do. The job never ends and there’s no reason to feel bad about struggling through it. Talk to your doctor about any questions you have, even the menial ones. Not knowing what’s going on is a source of major anxiety for new mothers. Your pediatrician will always be glad to help you and give you the advice you need. It can also ease your state of mind knowing that you have a pediatrician that will tend to your needs, right when you need them. 

Eating Well

It can be difficult for mothers to eat proper meals after they give birth because of all the hormone fluctuations as well as the amount of work that needs to be done. However, it is very important that you continue to eat regular healthy meals in order to combat the physical changes your body has gone through during the pregnancy and giving birth. It can also improve your mental health as we know being regularly hungry depletes energy and patience (which you’ll need a lot of with a newborn). We suggest keeping ready-made food or snacks so that any time you feel hunger, you can quickly get yourself something to eat in order to keep on moving. 

Daily Movement

The physical changes your body has gone through while giving birth can be painful which makes it easy to sit around the house all day. We’ve seen many cases of mothers who fall into postpartum depression due to a lack of physical activity after birth. We aren’t saying that you need to head to the gym or anything, but daily walks are extremely beneficial for your physical and more importantly your mental health. Being stuck in the house all day constantly caring for your newborn will eventually take its toll on you. By going outside, feeling the sun on your skin and breathing fresh air, you’ll instantly feel energized and refreshed. 

At Coastal Kids we understand the challenges that newborn babies give to mothers. While everyone likes to discuss the beauty of motherhood and bringing your baby home, the difficulties must also be dealt with as well. In order to maintain a healthy mental state you must make sure to take care of yourself just as you do for your newborn baby. The new routine that is being thrown into your life takes time to adjust to, and if you don’t do so carefully then it can elongate the 4th trimester. Keep your spirits up, and remember that while it can be difficult, caring for a newborn is one of life’s greatest experiences. Stay strong, follow our tips, and allow yourself to be excited for the adventures ahead. 

Happy travels!