Welcome to the Fourth Trimester!
Congratulations Mama! Your long-awaited baby is finally here. Welcome to the fourth trimester. This is a time of transition. For the past 40 or so weeks you grew and nurtured your little one inside, and then birthed them into this bright new world. Whether this is your first, third, fifth, or more, baby, it is always a time of newness. You are meeting this little human that you created and they are meeting you, outside of the womb. You are likely feeling a lot of things – elated, exhausted, so in love, possibly sore and weak, the list goes on.
This fourth trimester, the three months following birth, are such a special time for you and your baby. It is time to slow down and honor your and your baby’s needs. You need time to rest and heal. Huge hormonal shifts happened. Mentally and physically you have been changed. You may love being a mother. You may feel reluctant to be a mother. It is important to know that all feelings are normal. Crying, laughing, smiling, yawning – by you, the mom, is totally normal. Do you have a village around you to help? You are not meant to do this alone. You are not meant to be alone. Do not be afraid to seek out help and support.
Hopefully you saw a chiropractor during your pregnancy to support your growing belly and growing baby and for ease of delivery. Seeing a chiropractor postpartum physically ensures your hips return to a place of balance and ease. Mentally the adjustments ensure the brain-body connection is without interference, allowing your brain to process information. Chemically your body is being supported through the hormonal transitions as you move from pregnancy to postpartum. Most of all, your chiropractor is there to listen to you.
Welcome to Motherhood! We are happy to be here to support you and your baby during this time!
Peace Love and Wellness,
The First 40 Days
We plan and prep for our baby’s arrival and make our birth plans but do you ever consider creating a plan for postpartum? When your baby has arrived, you are caught up in a lovely haze of snuggles, feedings, diaper changes, and abnormal sleep patterns. The last thing on your mind is cooking or cleaning. Most of us no longer have a large support system around us when our babies are born, because families are more spread out across the globe. Lack of support is one of the main reasons mothers suffer from postpartum mental disorders.
There is a book called The First 40 Days that is primarily written for nourishment of the new mother, including meals, snacks, and lactation recipes. It is written by a woman named Heng Ou, inspired by the Chinese tradition of “lying in”, zuo yuezi. During the immediate days postpartum, while you are forming your bond with your new baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. There is an incredible amount of healing taking place in your body and make sure you take the time to honor this.
There is a lot of pressure in our society on moms to “bounce back” or to “get their bodies back”. Your body didn’t go anywhere. You didn’t go anywhere. You don’t need to move backwards. You have instead taken a wonderful leap forwards into motherhood. There is no need to rush anything during this time. Rest. Allow your body to recover. Set up a strong support system to come and take care of YOU. Call in friends, family members, coworkers, whoever. Your baby was just born and really, so were you, into a new phase of life. Good quality food, time for rest, help with cleaning, or just holding the baby are ways that others can help support you.
I am here to support you through this transition. If you are ever needing help or resources, never hesitate to reach out to myself or Dr. Liz, and join our Primal Mamas group on Facebook. We both have been there and know the power of support during the postpartum period. You are not meant to do this alone. Create your village and you and your baby will thrive because of it.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I recently had a conversation with a client who is hoping for a VBAC, and have been reflecting on our conversations as of late. She had gestational diabetes with her first baby, and a late third trimester ultrasound measured him as being “large” so she was recommended a C section. At one of her last appointments during this pregnancy, her OB hesitated to tell her that she was still a strong candidate for a VBAC, due to the baby not being head down yet and the size estimate of the baby was unknown. So when I asked her about the possibility of a VBAC, she said she was going to have to wait and see what her doctor told her to do.
I have a couple thoughts on this. One, the validity of third trimester ultrasounds regarding a baby’s size are highly variable. It is well-known within the birth community that an ultrasound for size at this point in the pregnancy isn’t a great determinant of the baby’s size at birth. There is a fear of having a large baby, and mothers are encouraged to have C sections to avoid complications, but often times these “large” babies are actually quite normal (in the 6-9lb range). The change in growth and weight in the last 6-8 weeks of the pregnancies varies, and there is no standard to know if a baby is a certain size at an ultrasound, what size they will be at birth.
Two, she was waiting for her doctor’s opinion. Now, I believe in the sensibility of listening to a medical opinion. However, the birth is HER experience, not her doctor’s. Doctors don’t get to tell you what you HAVE to do. They are giving their best recommendations, but it often comes with a fear basis, meaning if you don’t follow their recommendations you and your baby are going to be at serious risk. Medical bias is a real, documented thing. How often has a medical doctor given a recommendation based on biased opinion instead of a valid physiological reason?
Far too often I believe mothers are bullied into making decisions that they don’t feel comfortable with. I’ve been there. I wanted to trust the medical staff at the hospital, but they were giving instructions that didn’t sit right with me. But I felt helpless and too vulnerable to say anything different, so I didn’t.
Becoming a mother is vulnerable, but it should not be filled with fear. It is my goal that every mother in our office feels empowered going into her birth experience, no matter which way she chooses. Birth should be judgment free. You should be making the decisions that you feel most comfortable with, and not feel judged by your provider for it. I recently read a powerful book by a woman named January Harshe called Birth Without Fear. I HIGHLY recommend it, no matter what you have decided for your birth (hospital or home), feeding your baby (breastfed or formula), and how you recover postpartum.
There is far too much judgement and fear in the parenting world; let’s lift one another up and empower each other in the decisions we make! As your prenatal chiropractor, I am here to support you, empower you, and of course, keep your nervous system functioning as efficiently as possible during these times of transition in your life.
If a prenatal chiropractor is not on your team, give our office a call! We would love to be a part of your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.
Peace Love and Wellness,