Fourth Trimester of Pregnancy - A Magical and emotional roller-coaster for mother and baby
The forth trimester is what we call the three first months of the baby's life outside the belly. This is a vulnerable time for both mother and baby.
Many of the baby’s senses are well-developed at birth, but they continue to improve throughout the fourth trimester. For the mother, the first weeks and months after giving birth is also a time to learn how to exist in the new role of taking care of the newborn.
In the moments after birth, the baby’s world changes drastically. From the protected environment inside the belly, to the noisy and bright outside world. During this time the baby is completely dependent on the caregiver (s) for protection, food, and comfort. They rely on instincts and reflexes to control behavior and movement. Their senses are still developing.
The Importance of Skin to Skin
This is the act of placing your baby onto your chest in direct contact with your skin. The two of you should be in a comfortable position to relax and bond. Skin to skin in the first hours after birth helps babies to better adapt to life outside the womb through regulating their temperature, heart rate and breathing. Skin to skin is also an important first step to encourage breastfeeding, and continue to be a great way to comfort and relax the baby throughout the fourth trimester.
It is very common to be extra emotional right after birth and in the following weeks, and a few days after the delivery many experience sudden outbursts of tears. This is normal, and passes quickly, especially with a comforting partner or friends or family around.
Some women suffer from post partum depression, and or take time to develop the mother instinct and feel the bond to the baby. This is hard for the mother, and can be very shameful for her, and so it makes it even harder to admit to her partner or surroundings. It is important to remember that this is hormones and your body have gone through so many changes in this time, allow yourself to rest and share your feelings with the ones close to you or a health professional.
Some women might feel depressed and exhausted from time to time after giving birth, due to the lack of sleep. The symptoms of depression and sleep deprivation are similar, and most mothers are sleep deprived especially in the first months. The desperate feeling of needing to sleep is hard for all parents. Don't underestimate how draining this will be and seek help from family or friends, or hire professional help if you can to help out so you can get some sleep. There are night nurses who come to your house and stay the night with the baby, and wakes the mom for feeds. Sleep is essential for existing as a human being, and the lack of sleep will also affect the relationship with your partner, so it's worth taking this seriously.
Bonding with the Baby
This first time is when you learn to read your baby's signals. Keeping close to the baby makes it easier for you to bond and learn to know each other. This time can be an emotional roller coaster, but it's unique and you won't get this time back.