A 4th trimester checklist can help you remember the simple things that could make a huge difference during the first few days, weeks and months with your new baby.
All of these help to put you at the centre of it all – to focus on what you might need to be more comfortable and to give your body what it needs to heal.
You can use this 4th trimester checklist as a quick reminder to look after yourself and to get the support and reassurance you need.
Try not to have any expectations of you or your baby
Go with the flow, get to know your baby and his/her needs.
Every baby is different and it might feel like chaos – this is normal and it will eventually get easier.
What do you need?
Support, reassurance, help to be comfortable, food, drinks, rest? Whatever you need, please speak up and be looked after.
Can you sit in a comfortable position?
Use cushions and pillows to get yourself as comfortable as possible for resting and for feeding.
Are you drinking plenty of water?
You need to drink water regularly, especially if you are breastfeeding and it will make going to the loo more comfortable.
Do you need to eat?
You might feel ravenous, eat well and give your body the fuel it needs. In the early weeks, it can help to have healthy snacks out in the main rooms you are in so you can eat as you need to.
Are you going to the loo regularly?
Initially, it can be uncomfortable to go to the loo. Relax, use your breathing if you are sore, drink plenty of water.
Are you using your breathing to stay calm?
If you are sore or feeling overwhelmed, focus on your breathing to manage any discomfort and to get rid of any tension.
Are you resting?
Even if you feel great, try not to do too much in these early days and weeks.
Listen to your body and rest. Can someone else do the stuff around the house so you can heal and be with your baby?
Get help and reassurance if you need it
As a new mum, you need looking after so you can focus on getting to know your baby and so you can heal. Help with the housework, the washing, shopping and cooking can be really helpful so you can focus on your baby and there is less pressure to get on and do.
If you are unsure of anything with either yourself or with your new baby, don’t hesitate to ask your midwife, your health visitor or your GP.
If you are breastfeeding, getting support with any breastfeeding problems will make a huge difference – you shouldn’t be sore and it shouldn’t continue to hurt. Getting your baby’s latch checked can be crucial. It can also be useful to get reassurance about the normal behaviour of a breastfed baby – the frequency of feeds can alarm some parents but it can be very normal.
This is about being guided by your instincts, saying what you need, looking after your needs and asking for support/reassurance. And you’ve got this 4th trimester checklist to help you.
antenatal & postnatal specialist | working with parents since 2002
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