The Fourth Trimester

Postnatal Recovery

You have witness a miracle, your body noursihed your baby for 9 months and then accomplished a physical feat unlike any other. In our western culture we have adopted the “ super mom” mentality, you get back to your regular and new routines as soon as possible. Partners genrally take 1 to 2 weeks off which is helpful, but when they go back to work you are on your own. Vistors from out of town flock to welcome your new baby to the world, and now not only are you figuring out motherhood, but have the pressures of being a hostess. Everyone around you is very well intended, however, you need time to recover and need help to acheive this recovery.

In the Asian traditions, women are expect to rest for 30 days, not to leave their home for any reasons. The only visitors are people who are their to take care of mom and baby, prepare food, cleaning the home, and allowing the mom to rest. This rest is needed to compensate not only for the birth but the nine months of pregnancy. The emphasis during this time is not on strike bed rest, rather on nourishing foods, gentle activity, sleeping when the baby sleeps, and lots of kiss and cuddles with the new baby.

How to ensure a full postnatal recovery:

Be prepared

In the weeks leading up to the babies arrival finish any loose ends and tasks you have been postponing.

work related
maternity leave paper work
baby gear and supplies
clean and organize your house
wash the baby clothes
make and freeze meals
organize email/phone contacts for birth announcment
ask friends and family ahead of time to keep visits brief in the first few weeks

Ask for help

Most family and friends want to help but don’t necessarily know what you need. Asking for help is challanging for most people, it does not mean you are incapable or not a good mom if you ask for help. In many other cultures is just expected that family and friends pitch in. Our culture has become one isolation and independence. It takes a village to raise a child.

Ask your friends and family to:

clean your house
prepare food
take baby for a while
get groceries
do laundry
take dogs for a walk

Ask professionals for help with:

breastfeeding issues
health concerns for you or baby
sleep issues

3) Rest

You will have heard a million times during your pregnancy sleep when your baby sleeps. This is very true, although hard to do. The first few days adreline is coursing through your veins making it difficult to settle your mind long enough to sleep. When exhaustion sets in, you find your self staring at a laundry pile or dirty dishes. And before you know it you are cleaning your house, making phones, and doing anything but sleeping. This is a great opportuntiy to learn to Let Go. Its easier said than done, it takes practice but it can be acheived. Your dishes wil wait for you, just sleep if you have the opportunity. It will make you feel more like your self and a better mom.

4) Eat regular nourishing foods.

5) Enjoy your postpartum bubble. You will be amazed how quickly your day will go, and you will releive the only thing you did was stare at your beautiful baby. Cherish this this time.

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