84 Burnett St Bundaberg

The Fourth Trimester – Taking Care Of Yourself Post-Partum

fourth trimester

Are you expecting a baby soon, or have just given birth? Taking care of yourself as well as your baby can feel like overwhelming for many parents. But the mother needs just as much care as baby during the initial few months – this is what’s known as the fourth trimester. 

If you need some simple tips to help navigate through this time, here are our best ideas for how to take care of yourself post-partum. 

Prepare in advance 

Take advantage of the nesting instinct in your third trimester and get as much prepared as you can. There’s a good chance that you’ll forget or struggle to have the energy to do a lot of things after baby is born! Consider: 

  • Batch-cooking and freezing nourishing meals 
  • Stock up on household essentials – including your pantry, cleaning products and personal care products 
  • Fill any prescriptions you need that may run out during the first few months 
  • Organising for a cleaner, even if it’s only as a once-off 
  • Deciding on a visitor policy and who will help you to manage visitors 

Recruit as much help as possible 

This is one of the best tips that we can give because you cannot do it all. Remember that your body and mind is going through an intense period of change, and that makes it much harder to do the things you usually find easy! 

How you get help depends on your budget, your support system and your preferences. But some good options include: 

  • A cleaner 
  • Someone who can babysit for an hour or two while you catch up on rest 
  • A post-natal doula  
  • Childcare/babysitting if you have other children 

Even if you’re on a tighter budget, you can consider ways to take up less of your time and energy. For example, you can order your groceries online to be delivered instead of going to the supermarket with baby in tow. 

Focus on nourishing foods 

Your body needs a lot of nutrition to recover from birth as well as supporting a new baby. Of course, it’s fine to enjoy your favourite foods and snacks still. But overall, we want to focus on deeply nourishing foods to help you recover fully. 

This can include: 

  • Soups and stews 
  • Oats 
  • Bliss balls 
  • Frittata 
  • Herbal teas 

Haven’t had a chance to prep meals before birth? Simply add one extra wholefood into your meal or snack as a starting point. For example, if you’re having a cheese omelette, slice up a mushroom and add that in. Or if you’re making porridge, add a spoonful of chia seeds. 

Stay hydrated 

Getting plenty of fluids in is a must during the post-partum period. If you choose to breastfeed, you have a much higher fluid requirement to keep yourself hydrated. But even if you opt for formula feeding, your body still needs plenty of water to support the healing process. 

Find a way of staying hydrated that works for you. You might like to have a few water bottles around the house where you spend time to remind you, or you might like to find a new herbal tea or sparkling water you enjoy if you’re not a big fan of plain water. 

Rest as frequently as you can 

This goes without saying, as many new mothers are exhausted! But the saying ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ is often not enough to help combat this fatigue.  

Instead, you’ll want to consider: 

  • Getting help from friends and family who can take care of the baby while you get a few hours of rest 
  • Ask your support network to take care of the other tasks that need doing so that you have more time to rest 
  • Resting when your baby sleeps, even if you can’t actually sleep 
  • Seeking support from a healthcare practitioner if you experience post-partum insomnia 

Add in some self-care appointments 

Taking care of your baby is important, but it’s just as critical to take care of you. Make sure you schedule in some appointments with your regular healthcare practitioners.  

One modality we highly recommend for post-partum mothers is acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to help relieve symptoms of pain and stress, both of which are common in the post-partum period. 

Whether you’re pregnant or post-natal, the team at Burnett House is here to support you on your journey. 

Our naturopath Trish can help to optimize your diet and lifestyle, so you can recover fully and prevent potential long-term health concerns. She can also discuss whether herbs, nutrients and other supplements are warranted for your needs and goals.  

Our acupuncturist Jamie can help to relieve pain and stress that is common for mothers to experience throughout pregnancy and post-partum. Jamie also offers pregnancy acupuncture and post-natal acupuncture options to help you on your healing journey. 

To book an appointment with Trish or Jamie at our Bundaberg clinic, call us on (07) 41522372 

© 2019 by Burnett House
84 Burnett St
Bundaberg South QLD 4670
ABN: 88 973 250 774
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