The Fourth Trimester: A Guide to Navigating the Postpartum Recovery Period

The fourth trimester. It’s a clever phrase used to refer to the first three months after the birth of your baby.

But it’s also good to think of this phase of intense nurturing, much like the rest of pregnancy, even though your baby has left your womb.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Crying and screaming (from your baby)
  • Lots of holding, rocking your baby, and swaddling
  • Lack of sleep (both you and baby)
  • Exhaustion (you)
  • Confusion (also you)

Crying and screaming (from your baby)

Your newborn is going to make lots of noise.

Lots of holding, rocking your baby, and swaddling

You’ll spend A LOT of time close to your baby. You’ll hold her and rock her gently to sleep. (That sleep won’t last long though.)

Lack of sleep (both you and baby)

Your baby will need constant attention. She won’t sleep much, and neither will you.

Exhaustion (you)

You’ll be psychically and mentally exhausted.

Confusion (also you)

Did you think the confusion surrounding your body would go away, and you’d just bounce back right after giving birth?

Sorry, it doesn’t work like that in reality. Your body will continue to confuse you.

 

For a more scientific look, review this blog post from Harvard Medical School.

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