Tips to Help New Moms Through the “Fourth Trimester” of Pregnancy

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Conversations about pregnancy usually focus on the time prior to birth. Most people don’t realize that there’s also a “fourth trimester” of pregnancy that occurs after giving birth. During this time, new mothers may experience various challenges, from hormonal changes to post-partum depression. Being prepared for these hurdles can help you conquer them. Discover some common concerns and how to address them below.

 

Find a way to be comfortable with weight gain

Weight is a normal and healthy part of any pregnancy. That said, many women struggle with body image issues in the fourth trimester after they’ve given birth. Parents offers tips for overcoming these fears. For example, don’t neglect your style just because you’re heavier. Invest in some new clothes that fit your new body and that you feel good in. When it comes to losing weight, make sure to take a healthy approach and avoid crash dieting.

 

Deal with a larger bust size

It’s normal for your breasts to become larger in the fourth trimester due to lactation. Prepare accordingly. Investing in comfortable nursing bras that fit your new size is a must. You may consider this selection of styles, which comes in an array of colors. The comfortable, soft, and giving fabrics are ideal for nursing moms. For your convenience, there are also hands-free pumping bras.

 

Conquer breastfeeding challenges

Nursing bras can help make breastfeeding easier. However, new moms often face hurdles to breastfeeding in the fourth trimester. Common issues include sore nipples, low milk supply, and plugged ducts. Prepare accordingly. For example, there are creams you can apply to your nipples to deal with issues like chafing. Additionally, if you’re having trouble nursing, seek support. A lactation expert can help.

 

Recognize hormonal changes

If you’re feeling particularly emotional in your fourth trimester, you aren’t alone. It’s normal to go through hormonal changes during this time, which can leave you feeling moody. Today’s Parent explains that the “baby blues” is often hormone-induced and can lead to sadness, anxiety, and irritability. Talk to your doctor about mental health support. If not addressed, hormonal issues can result in postpartum depression.

 

Figure out how to handle the lack of sleep

Lack of sleep is another common problem in the fourth trimester and can further take a toll on your mood. Do what you can to get your rest. For example, experts often recommend that moms sleep whenever their baby is sleeping. If you have a partner, talk to them about splitting childcare duties. For example, you shouldn’t be the only one getting up to deal with a fussy baby at night.

 

Prioritize physical and mental self-care

As a new mom, it’s normal to focus all your time, energy, and attention on your baby. However, it’s just as important to take time for yourself. Set aside at least 15 minutes for self-care every day. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet consisting of a mix of grains, lean protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, try to get some exercise. Simply going for a quick walk—you can take your baby with you—is a great way to get moving.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the fourth trimester, don’t bottle it up. Talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling. Your doctor is also a valuable resource and should be made aware if you’re struggling. They can connect you with resources like support groups and mental health professionals. There are also online support groups where you can talk to other moms dealing with the fourth-trimester hurdles.

 

Becoming a mom is a major life milestone that’s full of joy. However, it also presents challenges. Adjusting to the changes that come with the fourth trimester can be tough. By taking the steps above, you can prepare and make the most of this time.

 

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