Today I’m sharing “Preparing for Postpartum and the Fourth Trimester – Advice from Real Moms”
One of my greatest motivators for creating Motherhood for Me was feeling like I was completely and totally unprepared for what postpartum and motherhood really felt like in the beginning. I was so “prepared” for my labor and delivery, and so NOT prepared for physically recovering from childbirth and the fourth trimester. I also wasn’t prepared to feel like I’d become an entirely new person virtually overnight and I wasn’t sure how I felt about her. This resulted in me crying a lot, and frantically googling if what I was feeling was normal and if it would ever get easier. It goes without saying that having a child is the greatest blessing – and none of us would change it for the world – but there needs to be more open dialogue about what to expect in those first few months (and even the first year) so that mothers and parents don’t feel so alone or like what they’re going through isn’t typical. After talking with lots of first time mothers, I’ve realized that while we all have a different experience and different situations or circumstances, it’s still hard for all of us in some form. That is okay. That is to be expected.
I am planning on digging into this subject more in the coming months after I deliver my second child and as I go into my second round of the 4th Trimester (it’ll be super fresh that way!) but wanted to share some survey responses from our Instagram stories last week. I asked our followers to weigh in on their experience and and got some pretty amazing responses and advice for anyone going through it or about to go through it.
If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below! My hope is that if you’re going through it now, that you can find some peace in knowing you’re not alone. xoxo
Looking back, were you prepared for the 4th trimester / postpartum?
94% said NO
What do you wish you would’ve known to prepare for more?
- “Breastfeeding isn’t easy. The lack of sleep is debilitating. Also that it gets so much better.”
- “Constant crying. Not all sad tears but SO MANY EMOTIONS.”
- “Hearing about others’ first time mom challenges and how they overcame them.”
- “Adjusting as a couple.”
- “Caring for yourself (i.e. tearing and bleeding for months after) is harder than being a mom.”
- “The pressures and challenges of breastfeeding.”
- “I can’t do it all, ask for help and day to day life is different for the whole house, and that is okay!”
- “PPD and the MANY different ways it can present.”
- “That nursing doesn’t work for everyone – Clomid / Anemia can affect it and did for me!”
- “The amount of time I spent breastfeeding and how it consumed my day.”
- “They talk about PPD but just feeling lonely as a new mom. Especially if you’re breastfeeding.”
- “That the ‘little things’ can remain left undone and it’s still a successful day.”
- “That it’s okay to cry and ask for help.”
- “Breastfeeding. Postpartum Recovery.”
- “I just wish more people had been HONEST and raw with me!”
Looking back, what would you tell yourself about that time?
- “Give yourself (and your partner) grace, you don’t have to be perfect.”
- “Everything you’re feeling is normal even though it doesn’t feel normal!”
- “Sleep when they are asleep! Household chores can wait.”
- “Still going through it.”
- “It’s okay to admit you may have postpartum (depression or anxiety). Go see the OBGYN ASAP and ask for help!”
- “That returning to work is not some magical deadline to have everything go back to ‘normal!'”
- “It’s okay to give your baby formula!”
- “Take the help!”
- “Check in on yourself and take a minute. You need it and deserve it.”
- “It’s okay to ask for help! And ask early. Moms are super heroes, but even the best have sidekicks.”
- “Hold your baby as much as you can! Stay off of Google. Invest in a good thermometer!”
- “It will get better! Things will get easier”
- “Slow down, let your body heal, and don’t feel guilty about asking for help!”
- “Try to enjoy it and don’t worry so much.”
- “Breathe. Talk to friends. Take care of yourself. It gets better.”
Additional Advice from our private Motherhood for Me Support group on Facebook (click here to join):
“When I was pregnant I read several books about labor and delivery…what a waste of time! My “birth plan” went out the window both pregnancies with emergency c-sections. I wish I would have spent time reading/preparing for the 4th trimester instead. I knew I would be tired, but not THAT tired. Physically, emotionally, mentally exhausted.
The biggest thing I wish I could go back and tell myself that it’s okay and necessary to ask for help. I didn’t even ask my husband for help, I felt like I needed to do it 100% on my own, which now looking back I’m a little ashamed I put that much pressure on myself.
The good news is that the lack of sleep really motivated me to sleep train and implement a daily routine/schedule. So by 12 weeks I had them sleeping through the night and I was finally able to slowly start feeling myself again.
Also—that stage feels like a lifetime ago! So just a reminder that you will get through it and of course it’s all worth it in the end.”
Thank you so much for reading! If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below! If you found it valuable, pay it forward and share with a new or soon to be mama friend! xoxo Kaci
Motherhood for Me is here to create a better motherhood community. A place without judgement, mom-shaming, or condescending articles telling you what to do. We are a place for you to come as you are, read about what other mamas are going through, share your own stories (if you want,) and provide opportunities for you to find camaraderie with other mothers. Please check out our other mama submitted stories, sign up to receive email alerts when we publish a new one, and spread the word to all your mama friends. We truly appreciate your support and you being here. Thank you!