You have waited months and maybe even years to meet your precious baby and the time is finally here. Congratulations!! The first few days, weeks, and months after the birth of your child is the most amazing time of your life. But, those days, weeks, and months are also extremely challenging.
The fourth trimester, or better known as the postpartum period, is a time where you are getting to know your baby and you are also getting to know your new self. It’s a time where you are tirelessly providing for someone else and trying to meet every single one of their needs. It can be extremely hard to focus on yourself and meet your needs, even if you have the best of intentions to do so.
One thing that you need to remember is that if you do not take care of yourself, you will eventually reach a breaking point where you will not be able to care for your sweet baby. This is exactly why I believe that taking care of yourself during the fourth trimester is of the utmost importance. Not sure where to start? Let me help you! Here are a few ways to take care of yourself in the fourth trimester:
Be Kind To Yourself
Although great, the postpartum period is definitely not for the faint of heart. I won’t sugar coat it: the fourth trimester is hard. There’s no doubt about that! Just because you love your baby more than you ever thought that you could, it does not mean that it’s not challenging. If you have talked to others, you will find that many moms find the postpartum days and nights to be a blur. You are not sleeping well, you are feeding your babe non-stop, and you’ve probably been down the road of newborn gas, congestion, or even colic. There are a lot of things that happen during the fourth trimester while you are getting settled in and sometimes it feels like you are stepping in quicksand – and sinking. Instead of thinking about self-care, you are thinking about all of the other things that are consuming your days and nights. Mama, when you feel like you cannot take another night feeding or another witching hour – be kind to yourself. When you think that you are failing and you are struggling to make it through a day without crying – be kind to yourself. Know that your baby is here for you specifically. Your baby was made for YOU and only you can do this job that is before you…and you are doing an amazing job! Know that when you feel as if you are not meeting your babes needs, you really are doing everything that they need.
Develop A Support System
A support system during the fourth trimester is essential. It is impossible to do a job 24/7 and in order to focus on self-care during the fourth trimester, you have to lean on your support system here and there. This will not only help you, but it will help your baby. Think about it this way: if you do not eat, you will not be able to nourish your baby (if you are nursing). Take the time to eat, take the time to shower, and fit in a nap here or there while you are utilizing your support system. Not only should you take advantage of the hands that are wanting to help you, but you should also create a support system of friends that are doing this beside you. Maybe they just went through the newborn stage, or maybe they are currently going through it, as well. Either way – they can relate and these are the people that can help build you up and keep you strong during this time!
Add In Fitness When You Are Ready
There really is no immediate rush at all when it comes to fitness after you’ve had a baby. In fact, healthcare professionals typically recommend waiting until at least 12 weeks postpartum and until you have been cleared by your doctor (**super important to be cleared first). Once you have been cleared, considering adding fitness into your life is an amazing step for yourself. It is not only great for your physical health, but it can be really good for your mental health too, which is so important during the fourth trimester. They key to working out postpartum is to find a gym that is supportive when it comes to your goals and fitness level.
Gyms such as CrossFit Solid Orange are able to help you with that! For example, before you actually purchase a CrossFit gym membership in Nashville, they offer a “No Sweat” intro visit. This is where you’re able to meet one-on one with a certified coach, instead of just jumping back into working out on your own. Personal training is a fantastic way to get back in the swing of things to make sure that you are moving the right way to prevent injuries. From their website, it looks like they provide traditional CrossFit classes, personal training, and yoga, which is also amazing for postpartum! No matter what kind of workouts you prefer, ease back into it and it will be so good for both your mental and physical health.
Create A Checklist
Each day, create a checklist or goals that you want to accomplish. These can be taking a hot shower, sitting down for at least 2 nourishing meals, staying hydrated, making sure that you laugh, reading or writing, or attempting to connect with your partner. There are a million and one things that you could put on your self-care checklist. As you are creating this checklist, know that self-care is not selfish. Self-care is the belief that you are worthy of a healthy and happy life. You deserve to laugh, to be happy, to be well fed, to get enough sleep, etc. You wouldn’t deprive your child of these things, so why would you deprive yourself? Don’t. Instead, create your checklist and make sure that you prioritize taking care of yourself each day.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to taking care of yourself in the fourth trimester. You need to focus on the basics like nutrition, showering, and sleeping, but you also need to make sure that you focus on your physical health and especially your mental health too. Do you have any tips when it comes to taking care of yourself in the fourth trimester? I’d love to hear them!