Bringing a new life into this world is such an amazing transformative experience. And this summer I got to do it for the third time. We have been so blessed with this new little person in our family! He is truly a delight.
Having a baby changes you. There’s no way around it. It changes you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Pregnancy is tough, and labor is called labor for a reason, I never work so physically and mentally hard as I do when laboring to give birth to a child. And you know what? The moment you pull that little new life onto your chest, my friends, you are a new being as well. It is a beautiful moment.
It’s a beautiful, raw, primal experience. And it takes some time to process it all. To adjust to life with the new baby, to adjust to the newly transformed you.
And that’s what the 4th trimester is all about.
I hadn’t heard the term “4th Trimester” until this last pregnancy, thanks to Birth Without Fear. It’s basically referring to the postpartum period. Adjusting to and accepting the new normal.
With my second baby, that transition was very difficult. There were a lot of reasons for that, but looking back one of the biggest reasons was that I let taking care of myself completely fall off of my priority list. Like, completely. Bad news. I knew I needed to avoid that this time. Self care is always important, but when you’re going through such a big life event, it’s paramount. I’ve got three kiddos who need me, one of which is a newborn, and they need their Mama to be taken care of so I can take care of them.
And y’all know me, I love what nature gives us. So I’ve leaned heavily on natural self-care through the 4th trimester with this third baby. I wanted to share, so here’s what I’ve been doing! Hope it helps give any of you new mama’s the support and care you need.
My Natural Self-Care Tips
- Placenta Encapsulation – This sounds weird, and gross, but hear me out! I had postpartum depression after my second child was born. It was a horrible experience, and I wanted a natural way to prevent it this time. That’s how I came to read about placenta encapsulation. You can read more about it here, but for me, I’ve felt a difference taking my placenta capsules. I’m so glad I’ve done this. I’ve had a majorly different postpartum experience this time, and I definitely attribute a lot of it to encapsulating my placenta.
- High Quality Supplements – I’ve been taking a high quality multivitamin and probiotic (if you’d like to know what I’m using email me!). I’ve felt a big difference using these instead of the low quality stuff I’ve used before. I’ve gotten a yeast infection after each of my daughters births, but thanks to this new probiotic, this time I didn’t! Hallelujah!
- Essential Oils – I’ve been using essential oils in several different ways during my 4th trimester. If you’d like to know what brand I recommend, or what specific oils I’m using, just shoot me an email!
- I’ve been using a grounding blend to help me stay calm, relaxed, and more accepting and at ease during this transitional time. It makes a big difference when things feel overwhelming!
- I also whipped up a postpartum perineum spray to help soothe and support my down-there area, because you know, it did something kinda dramatic recently!
- And I’m not shamed to say, I got more than my fair share of extra stretch marks this go around. So I’ll be using essential oils to help those fade just a bit.
- Oh and lets not forget breastfeeding. I used lavender to help with nipple soreness during that first week of nursing.
- Hydration and Rest – We were really blessed that my husband was able to save up a lot of sick time at work to use when the baby was born. So he was here for a couple of weeks to help make sure I was able to rest. He’s also really good at making sure I stay hydrated! He’s kind of a water nazi! But really, staying hydrated and rested is so important for your physical and mental recuperation. I know many people can’t have their hubby take that much time off to take care of the house and the older kids – trust me, I know, he was only able to take a few days with our second baby. But what I didn’t do then, was ask for help, and I should have. Creating, birthing, and nursing a new baby is a huge deal, and EVERY woman needs help so she can get the rest she needs. Being able to rest when I needed to during that first couple of weeks made a huge difference for me in my recovery. I wish I had been humble and wise enough to ask for help with my last babies. So don’t be shy or ashamed of asking friends to come do your dishes and watch your kids so you can take a nap! Just do it. I’m sure they will be happy to oblige.
I’m telling y’all, this stuff has made a night-and-day difference for me. These four things have seriously helped make this postpartum time be a time for me to recover, process my beautiful birth experience, and bond with my brand new baby.
I hope they can help you lovely readers too!
ps: Isn’t that photo amazing! My awesome little sister took it. Thanks for capturing that sweet baby swirl, Sista! 🙂