You’re coming to the end of your third trimester, your belly swollen with life and albeit, probably a little uncomfortable. You’ve read the books about labour and delivery; you’re feeling prepared for this next part. But what about the part after that? What about the fourth trimester?
Oh, you thought you were done after three trimesters. SURPRISE, there’s actually four. The 3 months after the birth of a baby has been coined as the fourth trimester. A time of transition and development for mothers and infants as they shift from pregnancy to life outside the womb.
You’re bleeding, lactating, sore and exhausted. Maybe thriving in the fourth trimester seems like a long shot, maybe surviving is all you can focus on and honestly, sometimes that feels a little out of reach.
Consider a postpartum doula. Really, just do it. Think for a moment about what it would be like to have help with your home, like dishes and cooking. Having someone hand you something to eat and drink while you settle down to feed baby, which a doula can also help with by providing information and support to whatever feeding method you choose. Someone to help create a calm space for your evolving family. Someone to help assist with obtaining sleep and rest to combat the new parent exhaustion that is fairly inevitable. Imagine being nurtured and cared for similarly to how you comfort and nourish your child.
Think about what it would be like to have a non-judgemental person support you in your decisions. Someone who listens carefully to your words and allows you to speak your truth about motherhood. To have someone who knows the signs and symptoms of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and can help you find the professional supports needed for recovery while continuing to encourage your healing process.
Think about what it would be like to want to know more about a topic and not have to scour the internet or ask around for answers that may or may not be evidence based. Wouldn’t it be nice to just ask a professional evidence-based information seeker for help? To help support your decisions with evidence-based facts and not biased opinion. A doula does that too!
In this time of COVID-19, maybe in-home support isn’t a possibility for you. The good news is doulas have adapted and can still provide support virtually. Think about what it would be like to pick up your phone and give your doula a call when something is going amazing, or when things are difficult. Imagine getting texts to check in with how YOU are doing, not just your baby.
Just imagine being a focus in your fourth trimester journey, not an after thought.
With Postpartum Doula support, a thriving postpartum is possible. It’s possible to feel just as supported as your newborn as you start this new chapter, the fourth trimester and beyond.
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