was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

Birth Blog

7 Tips for Post Birth Recovery

By 27th July 2019 No Comments

The importance of support in the fourth trimester

One of the biggest underestimations that many new parents make when expecting their first baby, is the post birth recovery period which is also known as the fourth trimester.

The fourth trimester is based on the concept that after 37-42 weeks of gestation in the womb, a baby needs time to adjust to life on the outside and that this can take two to three months. During this time it is useful to ease baby into their new life, which suddenly involves exposure new noises, sunlight, regular changes in temperature or wind, and many other forms of stimulation that were completely absent in the womb.

Approaches such as baby carrying, co sleeping and attachment parenting are all designed to support the fourth trimester methodology of easing baby into the world. Additionally, during this time it is useful if mothers also ease themselves into the changes that motherhood brings. Because regardless of how many babies a woman has carried and birthed, the immediate postnatal period (first three months) for herself and her partner, can still be a challenging time.

Following birth the breastfeeding mother typically becomes the primary source of all nutrients (and much emotional comfort) for her baby, and not surprisingly; optimal breast milk production relies heavily on mum getting enough rest, physical and emotional support and eating nourishing nutritional meals, particularly in the fourth trimester.

Traditional supportwaterbirth moodlit

In many traditional cultures, the first four to eight weeks post birth usually involves the mothers direct family – her mother, sisters, aunties and grandmothers – providing hands on assistance for the new parents (and particularly the post-natal woman). This support can include things like post natal belly binding, regular massages for mum, providing her with warm nourishing meals, encouraging minimal interaction with the outside world and ensuring she gets lots of rest and time with her baby.

I personally believe that in line with these traditions, more focus should be placed on the physical and emotional wellbeing of mum (and her partner) during the fourth trimester, and not just on the baby, as is often the case in our modern society. It is easy to imagine that parents who are physically nourished and emotionally supported are likely to be more calm, and therefore cope better with the changes bought on by a newborn baby, compared to the new parents who aren’t supported.

In a world where access to information can be almost immediate, it is so much easier for new parents to become overloaded with information on parenting and what to do or not do, while they often lose the ability to trust themselves or listen to their baby instead of going direct to ‘dr google’.

Additionally it is worth pointing out that in times of drastic change and potential stress (such as sleep deprivation or being unsure about what the new baby needs) many parents fall into poor food habits that can have a lasting effect on the early years with their baby, or even hinder the ability for mum to breastfeed her baby due to inadequate rest or nutrition.

7 tips for the fourth trimesterpost natal meal

So what are some simple things a new mum can do / or arrange to ensure she is supported during the fourth trimester post-natally?

1. No housework / chores or cleaning for the first month – she should arrange in advance to get some help from her partner, friends or family – so she rest fully and completely for at-least the first four weeks post birth.
2. Eat warm nourishing foods that should be mostly cooked and therefore easier to digest (research lactation diets and post natal Ayurvedic meals or stay tuned for our cookbook coming soon).

3. Ensure mum get enough protein in her diet (breast milk is 40% protein!) so that baby gets all their essential brain developing fats and nutrients at every feed. There is plenty of non-meat protein sources available too if mum doesn’t eat meat (including fish, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, legumes and nuts).

4. Choose healthy snacks instead of sugary / high carbohydrate foods (eg. nuts and eggs, or filling meals that are high in protein, or even prepare and drink bone broth).

5. Prepare homemade meals before the birth OR mum can ask her friends to bring over suitably nourishing post natal meals after the birth as a heartfelt gift (instead of baby clothes!)

6. Stay well hydrated with water. Create the habit of drinking a large glass of water every time mum breastfeeds her baby.

7. Sleep when baby sleeps! Studies show the better women rest and recover in the first 8 weeks, the better their overall mental and physical health is 6 months post birth.

Nourishment in the fourth trimester is not just about mums physical body so it can feed her baby, but also about nurturing the emotional changes that come with being parents.

During the fourth trimester all post natal mums should aim to ‘eat for two’ ensuring they enjoy easily digested, warm nourishing meals, healthy snacks and plenty of water for hydration into their diet. They also need to make sure they get plenty of rest each day.

The more each set of new parents eases their way into the fourth trimester together (and with the support of their family, friends or local community) the better they are likely to cope as parents at 9 months and beyond as their baby transitions into toddlerhood.

And they more likely they are to enjoy their baby with less stress!

Birth as a natural, normal event

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Birth is a natural, normal healthy human experience.  Women’s bodies are created to conceive, nurture the development of babies and to birth.  Their bodies are not flawed and destined to…
first-trimester-to-do-list

First Trimester To Do List

| Birth Blog | No Comments
The Most Important 'To Do List' in the First Trimester! Congratulations on your pregnancy! We are sure you have lots of questions about where you go from here now that you…

Your Babies Amazing Senses Before Birth

| Birth Blog | No Comments
During most of the 20th Century, scientists didn’t think that the unborn baby had any functioning senses. It used to be accepted that intelligence was located only in the brain…
hypnobirthing and yoga

Benefits of using HypnoBirthing & Yoga in pregnancy and preparing for birth

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Movement and positions like those taught in yoga have been passed down for centuries to help women prepare for birth.  Many women are now using Yoga in conjunction with HypnoBirthing…
pregnancy-oils

Oils ain’t oils or are they? Which supplements are good for you?

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Pregnancy Supplements are Not All the Same. What do you look for? Have you ever gone to the pharmacy and found yourself staring at the great wall of supplements wondering…

How To Rock Your Birth, Your Way!

| Birth Blog, Birth Stories | No Comments
Shalome Doran Wants You To Know that You Can Have A Rock Star Birth, Mama! It was the moment the obstetrician gloved up and started unwrapping the episiotomy scissors that…

How can parents bond with their babies prenatally and why it is important?

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Bonding has Life Long Benefits Bonding during the prenatal period between mother, father with their unborn baby has life long benefits. The quality of that bond influences the baby’s future…
doulas-in-birth

3 Ways Doulas Help Dads At Birth

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Doulas aren’t just for mums and babies – they’re for dads and partners, too! Darren Mattock from 'Becoming Dad' shares his insight into a Dad's perspective on hiring a doula.…

The Importance of Prenatal Touch and Massage During Pregnancy

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Touch & Massage in Pregnancy Effects Our Entire Health & Our Baby As a massage therapist I’m always informing pregnant ladies how important touch is to our entire health, our…

Sex In Pregnancy

| Birth Blog | No Comments
With pregnancy comes lots of changes for your physical body and your emotions. It’s not surprising that there can be changes around sex.  For some women and their partners, nothing changes.…

3 Things to Know About Pregnancy Ultrasound

| Birth Blog | No Comments
 Become Informed On Routine Ultrasound in Pregnancy Ultrasound is used during pregnancy to check the baby's development and to help pick up any abnormalities. Ultrasounds are only necessary if there is a medical…

My 27 Hour HypnoBirth was More Incredible than I Even Imagined!

| Birth Blog, Birth Stories | No Comments
Our beautiful princess, Sadie Winslow McDermott, was earth born on 30th January 2016, and the entire experience for me was soul changing .... more incredible than I even imagined! We…

To Push, or Not To Push?

| Birth Blog | No Comments
Mother Directed Breathing v's Forced Pushing It is interesting that we have been led to believe that the final stage of birth requires a mother to be coached into forceful…

Turning a Breech Baby

| Birth Blog | No Comments
When a woman is around 32 to 37 weeks pregnant, baby should hopefully start to make their way head down. They do this because their head is heavy and gravity…

Leave a Reply