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The Fourth Trimester

Your baby was just born and all of a sudden you are facing the crushing realization that this is just the beginning of the journey and not the end.
By all means, dear Mama, CONGRATULATIONS!! But as my Grandma would say: “ Now that you have a baby, you need to raise her”.
 

IN this color image by ArtShaped Photography we witness the first moment right after birth where mom and her baby are finally united earthside.

Hopefully you have a plan set up already. Hopefully you have a number of family and friends ready to help you transition into the new chapter and role of your life: taking care of another human being.
If this is the case, please make sure that there is someone in charge of big tasks or deadlines for a while such as paying taxes, paying bills, getting back to emails, announcing the arrival of your baby, setting up appointment with the pediatrician, setting up your meal train…
Ideally you will be following the rhythm of your baby and sleep whenever he does. If you are planning to breastfeed grab a nice book to have next to your bed, it is a more engaging way to stay present and bond with your baby than scrolling your Facebook feed.
 
If you find yourself totally unprepared and overwhelmed, either emotionally or physically exhausted, please hire some help. A post-partum Doula will be able to support you and your family in so many different ways: whether she is on night shifts or day shifts duties, she could be cooking, supporting you while you breastfeed, guiding you through baby care tasks ( such as bathing, swaddling, burping and changing your baby) that might seem scary at first just because they are a novelty.
 
In some Eastern cultures, mothers honor the birth of their babies by staying indoors for 40 days. In fact, for the first week they do not leave their bed and have their elders take care of them by providing nourishing and especially post-partum designed meals and tackling house chores on their behalf.
 
I believe there is certainly an advantage in taking 40 days to climb back into the hustle and bustle of our daily life and traditionally it was believed that the 40 days would support mothers in ensuring that post-partum depression would not occur.
With that said, we all come from different backgrounds and the 40 days recipe might not be a good fit for everyone. I would imagine that being indoors for 40 days for some moms, could be insanity leading if they are used to be outdoors a lot and there is something that needs to be said about enjoying some pure vitamin D on a daily basis.
So by all means, take all the above and make it yours in your unique special way, just make sure you take your time to honor this new amazing phase in your life, appreciate the help your are given and ask for support if you find that you and your baby are not thriving.
It used to take a village to raise a baby and now that we do not have access to it anymore, we need to be brave enough to create our own.