Mummy Diaries Post 002 - The 4th Trimester!
What is your Post-Partum plan?
So many women spend time picking out the perfect baby name, preparing the nursery, stockpiling diapers and getting everything ready for the baby, but have you taken time to get ready for the new Mum coming into the world? It’s amazing how all consuming preparing for the baby can be and we think you have to find ways to prepare for what we call, the 4th trimester! The 4th trimester is the 12-week period immediately after you have had your baby. This is the time when both you and your baby are adjusting to your new lives! For the baby, it’s the strange period it has just entered and for you the mum, it’s the realization that you will now see life from a different lens!
Having a post-partum plan is crucial when you are preparing to have a baby. Once the baby comes, you’ll have little to no time to get things ready for yourself so it’s imperative to have an idea of how you’ll manage once your bundle of joy arrives.
This plan will look different for different people. It also depends a lot on your geographical location, family background and sometimes, even culture! With so much to think and plan for, we've broken down the major things you need to prepare for your post-partum plan into different categories:
· Health & Healing
Health & Healing
Whether you give birth naturally or via C Section, there’s a couple of things you will need to do to make sure you’re on the right road to recovery. Firstly, as hard as it may be, try and be open to accepting that your birth plan may change! A number of women, plan for a natural birth but sometimes for reasons out of your control, you may find yourself having an emergency C section! Plan to mentally accept and prepare for whichever scenario you may find yourself! These are a few of the essentials you as the new mama will need!
Natural birth - because you certainly will feel a little tender down there!
Sitz bath and coarse salt - you can help heal your nether region by sitting in a salted bath. Doesn't sound great, but it works!
Padsicles – it’s basically a sanitary napkin that's chilled in the freezer, and then placed inside your underwear to relieve pain and encourage healing after a vaginal delivery.
Squeeze bottles - by adding warm water to them, a jet of water will shoot out the nozzle help you cleanse and wash your perineal area
C section - it is a common procedure but still regarded as a major surgery!
Betadine to clean the incision regularly
Not bathing for a few days to keep your incision clean
Walking regularly within 24hrs after surgery
Maternity pads (not tampons, and yes, the thick pad types)
There is no better relief than having someone hold the baby for you, so you can take a shower! So you have to think through the essentials like: Who will help you once the baby is born? Is it a parent, a sibling a friend who can stay with you? Are you hiring help, or is it you and your partner against the world? Even if you have no one at all to help, you can absolutely get by, by taking care of things on your own. You just need to put systems in place to help you.
For example, preparing ready made meals before you go into labour that you can heat up quickly and easily when you are hungry. Or having your essentials delivered to your doorsteps online and pre-ordering your essentials as much as you can before the baby is born. You can also schedule a weekly hour or two when you have a friend or family member come and watch the baby for you, so you can have a moment to step out of the house, and see whether the world looks the same now that you are a mama :)
First things first, let’s put aside the wine and other booze bottles, just for now! The main reasons for this is, is that what you eat and drink, definitely has an effect on the breast milk you will be giving your baby. Also, this is a time in your life when having a hangover is worst thing to have, with a screaming baby needing your attention! Before we talk food, the most essential part of your nutrition at this point, is drinking plenty of water! Water helps with digestion, it helps with milk production and it keeps you refreshed! Buy a large bottle that you can take with you to ensure that you are properly hydrated!
In terms of food, there are plenty foods and recipes available online to help you eat healthy and to eat foods that will help you along in this new body altered state. You will find many cultures have their own recipes on what a new mum should eat. From soups, to porridges and all sorts of things. Best to find out early and decide what you would like to stock up on, before your Mother in Law comes knocking!
We know you may have fabulous plans about squeezing back into your pre-baby clothes right away, but the truth is, it is highly unlikely in the beginning. After birth, most women still look about 5 or 6 months pregnant, not to mention are probably still quite swollen because of fluid retention. You are going to want to have clothes that are comfortable, easy to nurse in and won’t put any pressure on your incision if you’ve had a c section. It is also likely that you belly will be very soft and jiggly as your placenta is receding and that can feel quite uncomfortable.
Our go-to look was a quality pair of high waisted leggings and a nursing tank. The leggings helped in making the stomach feel held together and comfortable. They are also great for sleeping in and do not cause any itching or chaffing. You will also need good quality and comfortable nursing bras or tank tops. Regular bras will be torture on your tender boobs. You also need to think through dresses or tops that unbutton really low so you can pop that boob out when it’s required!
The 4th trimester is a time like no other! Its a time of learning, healing and discovery! With proper planning you can get ahead of any postpartum blues, and make this period magical and fulfilling! Whip out your note pad, and get planning!