The 4th Trimester
8 minute read, Written By: Momly
How do you want your first 40 days post-delivery to be? What are the key hacks for a smooth sail post bump? Hello mommies, while pregnancy care is important, post pregnancy or postnatal care is equally important. We bring you some easy-to-follow tips to build a healthy post pregnancy maternity and baby care environment.
Pregnancy is considered to be a hormonal roller-coaster ride for moms. It is a period where amalgamation of different emotions happens. We cautiously prepare for our bumpy ride right from doctor visits, tests and screens, prenatal yoga and pregnancy nutrition. While so much of care and attention is concentrated towards prenatal care, not many know how crucial early 40 days post -delivery is for new moms and babies. First 40 days post birth are steeped in tradition and custom and are regarded as a confinement period for moms. In this confinement period, moms are advised to take utmost care for their speedy recovery. As your body has undergone a herculean effort in these nine months to deliver a life, these precious 40 days confinement is necessary to recuperate and bounce back. The postnatal care for new moms mainly looks into a postnatal diet and nutrition, infant breastfeeding techniques and massaging routine, postnatal exercise plan, and postpartum recovery. Adhering to a 40-day regime is significant and results in far-stretching benefits for new moms. Moreover, it is a time for you and your baby to settle into a routine, bond naturally and form a safe and loving connection.
Say ‘yes’ to help: We all have a tendency to go the whole nine yards, irrespective of whether it is a nine-month pregnancy ride or taking care of the baby post pregnancy. But it is not advisable to do it all alone without accepting any help from others. Given that your sleep is in a chaotic state and your post pregnancy body is still adjusting to get back to normalcy, you cannot meander through the day without any support. Wise idea is to accept help that comes from all four corners without any hesitation. Give the reins to your mom, your sibling, your spouse, your mother-in-law or other family members around you. If you don’t have any family support at arm's length, invest in a nanny who will take over some part of your routine chores and be instrumental in your faster recovery.
Confinement period nutrition and diet: In this confinement period, what you eat matters. You cannot eat anything and everything just like before, at least not immediately in the early 40 days. There are certain postpartum nourishment foods that you can follow. Our tradition and ritual have designed some incredible foods like gondh ke laddoo, moringa leaves, garlic, fenugreek seeds etc which are deemed to be superfoods to help heal faster from the wounds caused by vaginal tear or c-section. Following the strict regimen of including a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and fat-free dairy products gives you adequate postpartum nutrition, weight management benefits and also promises health and cognitive benefits in your baby. Nutrients like Choline, Iodine and Omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed which plays a vital role in baby’s brain development. Talk to elders in your family and chart out a postnatal diet plan or talk to a diet consultant and follow a 40-day diet schedule.
Pelvic exercise and yoga: Your pelvic area is deeply impacted due to pregnancy hormones. During pregnancy, your growing baby bump puts a lot of stress and pressure, asking for more room in your pregnancy body. The weight of your baby presses down the muscles in your pelvic area and the outcome of it is weakening of your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor exercise is the best way to redeem your pelvic muscles. There are different exercises like Kegel exercise, Bridge exercise and squats to strengthen pelvic muscles and organs. Postnatal yoga has pelvic floor exercise in their course curriculum. Enroll in a postnatal yoga course and with the help of a yoga instructor, follow the movements and asanas. Yoga not only is packed with physical benefits but some yoga asanas crush the mental anxiety and stress that is caused from pregnancy and being a new mom. Nurture yoga into your routine to still your mind, grow flexible, manage weight and better your sleep routine.
Periodic checkups with postpartum specialists: Postpartum is a period which needs a lot of mental health care for new moms. Postpartum hits because of pregnancy hormones running amok after delivery. At one point you will be soaring at the dizziest heights and next moment you will be curling up in a corner teary eyed. The shift in mental state causes stress which is termed as postnatal depression. Watch out for symptoms like anxiety or panic attacks, headache, loss of appetite, excessive worry, intense fatigue etc. Do talk to your doctor and find an expert therapist who will guide you to the right coping measures. Book a counselling session for your spouse and family members to make them understand about postpartum and how they can help you in this stressful time.
Breastfeeding : Infant baby care deeply revolves around breastfeeding and massaging. Follow a massaging and bathing routine in the early 40 days to strengthen your baby’s nerves, stimulate blood flow and promote baby’s growth. Along with infant massage, new moms should cultivate a massaging routine for themselves for relaxation and recovery from childbirth. Breastfeeding your baby is regarded as the most nutritional health choice by healthcare experts. Breast Milk has antibodies that fight and protect your baby against various illnesses. Speak to a lactation specialist or book a prenatal consultation with one before delivery to clear all your doubts in regards to breastfeeding, the different techniques and positions, latching behaviour etc. To boost your milk supply, eat nutritious food. You can consume lactation boosters, which is a best way to enhance breast milk using micronutrients and natural lactation herbs.
Dedicated ‘couple time’ : Now that your baby is going to keep you occupied, you might not be spending quality time with your spouse. While that is normal and very common, it is also important to nurture a 'couple time' in your routine. You don’t have to put a lot of thought into it but just go easy. Having a morning coffee together, cooking a meal with your spouse, or watching a tv show when baby sleeps, are some of the ways which will bring you and your spouse closer post child birth.
Squeeze some sleep: We all have read and heard the line ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’. While that sounds cliché and old wives’ tale, it is not to be slighted altogether. You will get a sense of your baby’s routine in these 40 days. Catching up a few minutes of sleep whenever your baby is sleeping relaxes and rejuvenates your body and mind. Bottom line is do not overwhelm yourself with umpteen chores, plan on delegation of chores, and seize the downtime of your baby and turn it to your advantage to get some sleep.
The 4th Trimester, while it does come as a shock for many, it can be over come! Reach out to your fellow moms, in the same stage through the Momly App! No matter the time, there is a mother somewhere awake tending to her baby!