Congratulations on making it to your 4th trimester, which is basically just an extension of life in the womb (You’ll soon come to realize that there are say, 14 trimesters or so left. But worry not – you will sail through! ) After being comfortably snug in the womb, the outside world would be a bit of a rude shock to the tiny newborn baby. He relies completely on the parents, who most times like you and your partner are pretty clueless when it comes to baby care methods and solely trust the hospital nurses, doctors, friends & well-meaning “out-of-touch with baby stuff” family. This is precisely why you need to zero in on a gynecologist and hospital that’s up-to-speed on everything that’s right and wrong. This is pretty important, because in a country like India, there are a lot of age-old practices people cling on to and don’t attempt to understand why that’s not the right method; Like pulling the baby’s fragile nasal area with their fingers to make sure that he/she doesn’t have a flat nose – TOTALLY unnecessary. There’s a lot more of such things- but that’s a story for another day.
[I’m not a child-rearing expert, but thankfully, the hospital I delivered in gave a complete run-down of what to do and not do, and we truly appreciate the support of our lovely docs there! So I realized I haven’t documented an entry on my personal online space about the birth yet, and wanted to post some excerpts from the very personal “Day One” app entry I have been maintaining while at the hospital.]
Hahha! I could totally see the husband roll his eyes when I took this selfie and other selfies at the hospital. Also typo: *meet.
So, here are 8 things I I’d like to tell my FTM self, in the fourth trimester:
- The baby doesn’t have a sleep manual. People around you will first tell you it only takes 40 days for the baby to adjust to the outside world. Once that passes, it becomes a 3 month period to establish a sleep routine, and after that it becomes at least 6 months – and by that time you lose confidence in human race for telling such blatant, hope-giving lies, that babies sleep through the night. They don’t. At least mine didn’t. And now at 2 years+, he still doesn’t on many days.
For those who don’t understand, sleeping “through the night” usually means sleeping for eight to 12 hours straight without needing a nighttime feeding. Although this happened briefly during 4-6 months, we were back to square one after that with waking up at least 3-4 times at night. Needless to say, I was irritable and a bit of a zombie. Sleep when the baby sleeps is what everyone will you, but it’s the hardest thing to do, trust me. Try!
2. Don’t set time alarms
Do not look at the clock when he wakes up or count how often he wakes up. It doesn’t change how much he’s gonna wake up, and you will only feel more stressed. It’s great you are documenting your baby’s every feed & pee & poo – but you really don’t have to wake up that sleeping baby to feed. He will wake up crying pretty soon. Wait an hour!
3. Switch off that white light
I know you are constantly overwhelmed by a gut-wrenching fear over the safety of your baby, and feel helpless when the night arrives – SIDS is real, but please don’t be paranoid and keep watching the baby in the bright light of the room. It’s advised to use a small night light (red light’s great) and dream feed as much as possible. This dream feeding thing would have been such a game changer for you.
4.Get all the help you want: If you feel like you can’t handle the baby, just wake that sleeping husband and let him take over. Your maternity leave is no reason for you to feel like you shouldn’t disturb an office-goer’s sleep (even though this sounds harsh, it’s perfectly alright and any day better than being frustrated that the baby gives you no sleep at night!)
Wear that abdominal belt as advised by your doctor: Helps in tucking in your tummy, and offers lower back support!.In retrospect I realize how MUCH needed this is.
6.Make healthy choices
EXERCISE when the time is right – when your gynec grants the approval. As much as you care about not having food that might make the baby gassy, you must understand that Vita Marie gold or white bread isn’t a great snacking option, no matter how much you seem to like it now, suddenly. Have healthy snacks handy and do not indulge in the unhealthy stuff that you order at night from bigbasket.
Don’t be scared to try babywearing. Get a wrap or make a wrap and hold the baby close. Maybe that will help him cry a little less. Coconut gravy, Pickles and basically food is the only thing that spoils. There’s no such thing as “spoiling babies” and especially by “keeping them close”
There will be dark days when everything will seem too difficult. Days when you are bound to feel as though you’re not the right person to be a mother, and days of nothing but darkness. But it will be in these moments you meditate, your strength will truly grow. Trust Him who is able and over-write all the negativity.
I know you’re constantly paranoid over the safety of your baby, and it’ll be your baby that you’ll see in every news report, in every shocking video, and in every nightmare. While that’s something that I have no advice for, I would also tell you that a baby has an extraordinary way of filling your life – give you countless reasons to smile every day, and rejoice. You’ll see beauty in so many places, discover empathy in you, happiness in so many mundane moments, and joy in what each and every tomorrow may hold, because every day is a unique day in your life with your new baby! Won’t be new for long – time just flies! Hold him a little tighter and cuddle while you still can.
Becoming a mother will be nothing like what you expect, but I can guarantee you that it’ll be so much more wonderful than you can ever imagine.
This journey can be the smoothest when you have the best medical support and family’s support. For expecting moms in New Delhi, Sitaram Bhartia Institute Of Science And Research is a Multi-Specialty Hospital with a strong focus on following evidence-based and ethical medical practice. They firmly believe that giving birth should be a positive experience and encourage even dads to be to participate equally through pregnancy and delivery. The Maternity Program at Sitaram Bhartia has been designed to empower women and their families into making the healthiest and safest choices for their pregnancy and delivery. Do follow their site to learn more about them.
Disclosure: This post was written as a guest blog for the aforementioned hospital that has designed an empowering maternity program. I have not personally used their services as yet.
24 thoughts on “The Fourth Trimester – 8 Things I Wish I Could Tell My First-Time Mom Self ”
Those are some great tips. I like how the hospital encourage dads also to be a part and why not!!
These are some amazing tips. These will be really helpful for moms to be.
Baby Zoe is sweet cute and well wrapped. Good tips
Cute baby Zoe! These are very real tips, something that every new mom will relate to.
That’s valuable tips for moms to be . Baby wearing will be very helpful making moms journey easier
Thats everything a mother needs to know to be prepared for motherhood and yes babies do cry !! It is normal i used to panic whenever he cried wondering whats wrong!! Baby Zoe is too cute!!!
It’s really good to indulge “dads to be” to be a part of maternity programs….like mother’s even a father net to connect with the baby…dey shld know more abt pregnancy..
Loved your post. These must be the things I would have told myself too.
Those are some perfect point .. Sleep manual thing is for real, i wish they made one
Baby Zoe is so cute and looks like being and Camera friendly from DAY one 🙂 ..Say cheese
Wonderful tips for moms to be. These points will help new moms to deal with the days just after delivery . Baby looks so cute just like you.
I think these are amazing and useful tips yiubahve shared . Love reading your post
I can’t agree more. Every single point you wrote up there is something I realized during my post pregnancy time. Great article.
New moms are faced with so many challenges and a lot of unsolicited advice. Thanks for sharing these helpful practical tips.
Really great tips for new mothers. The baby is really cute
Wow these are some handy tips for moms to be especially if it is their first time.
Amazing tips dear and very helpful too for mom to be
Really amazing tips dear and very helpful too for mom to be
i loved reading through this one. some points were meaningful yet sounded funny — i rolled on floor laughing on the point where you said the baby does not have a sleep manual. that is soo soo soo true
Baby Zoe is looking cute.. That’s really amazing tips for all moms..
This is helpful for so many women. Sharing it with a friend who needs this tip
Woah, you have jotted down all the relevant and wanted points which every Mom-to-be should keep in their mind! Will surely share this blog to my mates who are going to become a mommy!