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3 Tips to Help You Thrive in the Fourth Trimester

Just as it sounds the fourth trimester is the three month period from birth to when your newborn reaches three months of age.  It is a time of rapid change and development for you and your baby.

Here are just some of the things going on physically:

  • Relaxin is still doing it’s thing….this can make your joints unstable and your low back or pelvis sore.
  • Your center of gravity has shifted back rapidly now that baby is out, your breasts have grown to support breast feeding, your core muscles are weak and you are now feeding, holding and possibly even sleeping with your newborn all of which will alter your posture and your biomechanics.
  • And of course…there is sleep deprivation, lack of exercise and fatigue

It is not uncommon to experience aches and pains during this time and

If it wasn’t enough there is also a lot going on emotionally.

While you and your newborn are no longer physically linked you are still connected both emotionally and physiologically while they learn to live outside the womb and you learn how to take care of this totally dependent little human.

These first three months are a time of change and transition and it is not uncommon to be evaluating your identity both personally and professionally.

So how do we navigate this phase of motherhood.  Here are 3 things I found really helpful when I was going through this phase and that help the mom’s that I work with in my practice.


1. Be prepared.

When we understand that these first few months will have their challenges and that every mother goes through this rite of passage it can help us to not feel as though something is “wrong” with us.

Sadly many of the truths around this phase of motherhood aren’t always discussed openly in public. If you are still pregnant knowing what lies ahead can help you prepare in advance.

The birth of my first daughter came with a lot of unexpected challenges especially with breastfeeding.  As a result I decided to get ahead of any potential problems with my second daughter by meeting with a lactation consultation before and immediately after her birth.

It is much easier to make decisions and plan before the sleep deprivation sets in.

2. Set realistic expectations.

Whether it’s wanting your pre-pregnancy body back, devoting all your focus on taking care of baby or being in a rush to get out and about it is natural to want to move quickly through this phase.  The reality though is that the changes during pregnancy took months to develop and they will not immediately disappear as soon as baby arrives.

Your body needs to time to rest and heal from labour and taking breaks is important for not only you but your baby as well.

3. Prioritize self-care.

The third thing I found really helpful during the fourth trimester was self care.  The importance of good nutrition, exercise, sleep, time for self and support cannot be overstated.  For more information about this check out my video on the NEST-S approach to self care for mom’s.

Challenges during the fourth trimester will vary from parent-to-parent.  Rest assured that almost any lingering challenge from the changes of pregnancy can be overcome, however some will take more time that others.

Being prepared, setting realistic expectations for healing and prioritizing self care can help make this special time more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your baby.

If you are struggling with aches and pains like neck pain, headaches, low back or pelvic pain sometimes you just need a chiropractic adjustment and we can help.  Our number is 705-991-1555.

Until next time…

Live Well for Life!

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