The 4th Trimester , The Battle between being you and being a parent!
Congratulations you just had a baby!! Feeling happy at the same time overwhelmed with emotions? Want to scream and cry but suddenly realized you are ‘the Mom’, wish to sleep for entire two days but can’t get enough to even close eyes for few minutes? Want to hug those tiny feet at the same time not feeling all the love for the child? above all daddy’s little girl is expected to become responsible and be a MOM by knowing it all overnight? If all this and sometimes more than this is what you are going through, then I would like to welcome you to the 4th Trimester of your Pregnancy – First 3 months after birth of your child.
The phase that’s even more important than pregnancy because you are also reborn as a new person along with your baby, the feeling of accepting your new self would take time and also be responsible for the life that has come into this world through you. However prepared you were during pregnancy, this stage is totally a new experience, and is totally unique for every mother and child. Some not so good things you will be facing are :
The Blame game:
Why this first? Because this is exactly where a your confidence as mother is shattered and if you are mentally equipped to surpass this one, others are manageable. From the very first cry of the baby to slightest of their sleep, Mother is blamed. This is the reality especially in our culture. Blames fall into various category like method in which baby was delivered, baby’s weight, colour, health, breastfeeding etc etc etc. Mother is expected to know it all, trust me even if this is going to be your second child, the experience is not going to be the same. All nosy people try to pass as much as comments possible.
What can be done?
Ignoring & Responding works very well according to the person on the other side. Trust you, your body and the life that you have given birth. All that matters now is your mental health, getting these comments into your head will only make you feel low and not capable of. Blindly believe when your body can nurture for 9 months, it can do it for a lifetime too. Allow body & mind to rest and take right guidance & support when needed.
The Newborn Baby:
It can be overwhelming to handle a new-born and take responsibility, the nonstop cries, the ever-demanding feeds, the n number of diaper changes, sleepless nights, understanding the life that dependent upon you – Every mother goes through this situation. The nonstop cries might scare you as a new mom and it very normal to feel so.
What can be done?
You are as new as the child. Behind every cry there is a reason, it can either be feeding, diaper change, or as simple as adjusting to the new environment and missing mom’s cosy warm Womb. Not understanding it is not a wrong thing. Try establishing more Skin to Skin with them and taking support when needed can hold you through this. It might take time to know and its absolutely normal.
Breastfeeding & Milk supply:
This is one of the highest issue faced by every new mom that makes them more vulnerable. Feeding journey is extremely unique and precious between every mom and child. A mother is made to feel she has less supply even immediately after birth of the child or within few days. A sense of doubt is created in her mind that makes her question her motherhood and some moms without trying their best quit breastfeeding too due to lack of support
What can be done?
Taking support of a proper lactation counsellor helps during the most difficult nights of feeding, there are even kids who fed like pro from the first day, few needs support to establish that bond. Do not compare your journey with anyone, in fact even your own previous one. Understanding Growth spurts & regressions help you to deal the situation way better.
Body shaming happens here as well, people who expected you to gain weight during pregnancy are the same people who will comment on your appearance post-delivery. The attention that shifts to the baby can also be very disturbing sometimes. When its absolutely easy to say to just accept your body as it is – its equally tough to come in terms with a mental acceptance as a whole new individual. Take your time, for both your mind and body has gone through so much for 9 months, it definitely needs time to recover, no hurry to look thin or fit , eat healthy and Stay positive
Last but not the least – the over hyped Post-Partum Phase:
Social media has tagged the term Postpartum directly to depression that every new mother gets confused on what she is actually going through. If to be explained in simple terms, whatever have been stated above is very common to every mother, the mental & physical disturbance a woman undergoes post delivery is to be supported and taken care by the family and friends. But if any of these is going beyond your control and more than a specific time period, its always better to seek professional help. Even If its not for you, you find some mother sailing through loss, mood swings, struggling to handle, kindly support them mentally give right guidance.
The 4th trimester is the beginning of the beautiful Journey of Parenting , one day will not be the same as the other, toughest and overwhelming at the same time. Find your tribe of moms who sail through the same with whom you can share anything without being judged, be selfish for your mental health, love yourself as much as you love your little bundle of joy. Take your time to take control of the Parenting days ahead, slowly and steadily.
You are just being amazing already.