Nutritional information and some basic survival techniques by Shannon Stokes and Sarah Henschel from Natology.
The journey to becoming pregnant is a magical one. Its either a ‘surprise’ I am here type scenario, a long awaited and joyous time. The journey itself is nuts! Pregnancy is a whole other kettle of fish, a completely natural yet unnatural experience. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant and just being pregnant is an insane journey, and that is just the beginning.
You are a Mumma! Congratulations, the baby is here you have been through a marathon of hurdles. You now have that little bundle of joy in your arms. Perhaps you are feeling those kooky love spell feelings straight away, or perhaps you think, oh what have I done? All totally normal feelings.
How does one survive through this sleep deprivation? The healing of the whole birth thing is one thing, but then perhaps breastfeeding is hurting or sterilizing a bottle seems to take forever and a day at 3am. You aren’t alone, this period is earth-shatteringly exhausting, scary and exciting all rolled into one. Cue the 4th Trimester! So Mumma, whilst we learn to look after this baby, we are here to help YOU make some tiny changes in your day to keep you thriving.
It starts with you and ends with you. Upon your first morning wake up, (ok, so the first moment you get up for the day) refresh your self with a big glass of filtered water, and take a deep breath. That’s it for now. No matter what is happening, this is a must! Then tick it off daily as it is non-negotiable.
Below are some of our favourite 4th trimester survival guidelines for all new mums and even dads.
1. Do NOT stop your multi, in fact, this is a time to ensure your nutritional status is up with that of the very best it has ever been. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding;
2. Eat foods rich in good fats, think avocado, coconut oil, nuts seeds, oily fish such as sardines, salmon, good quality extra virgin olive oil drizzled on everything;
3. Make sure you are having macronutrients with each meal and at least a palm size portion of protein at each meal. (macronutrients are the essential nutrients needed in large amounts to sustain energy and basic health. The 3 macros are Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates);
4. Take a quality probiotic daily;
5. Don’t focus on trying to lose the baby weight, give yourself a break;
Invest in an SRC Recovery compression garment! They are an absolute lifesaver, super comfortable and an absolute miracle tool to help your body recover from the pregnancy.If you are suffering from abdominal separation or have had a c-section, these shorts help to speed up the wound healing, regain strength and reduce swelling. It really helps to stay mobile and support your body in that precious time after birth.
7. Ask for things, ask for help!It could be as simple as for a box of nappies to be dropped off. Use that ‘new mum’ thing a little..;
8. Say no! if you aren’t up for visitors then say no, if you aren’t up for your cousins and nephews coming over and running a muck, just say no, but don’t feel guilty or think twice about it, they will understand…. And If they don’t, then they will get over it;
9. Spend 5 minutes a day with your legs up the wall, relax those hips and lower back, take 10 deep breaths. (Again, non-negotiable);
10. Spend 10 minutes a day minimum outside in bright morning day light to ensure your body knows its day time and to help regulate those sleep /wake hormones;
11. Don’t feel guilty, if you want to look at your phone while feeding bubs, do it. If you want to stay in bed, do it. Indulge a little and enjoy doing it. Stop feeling guilty. Guilty feelings radiate negative energy. If it has been a few weeks in a row then, maybe ask for a little help from a loved one and reach out if you are feeling low. remember those hormones have just been for a rollercoaster ride;
If you aren’t coping, reach out. You will be surprised to know that a lot of mothers find the fourth trimester insanely hard. No matter who you are, how together you think everyone is, its not the case. Speak up and your tribe will answer;
Enjoy those long loving stares into your babies eyes, explore their features and be fascinated with the whole process. This too shall pass. Everyone struggles and if you think that it’s all too much, please reach out. It does get easier and it does get better.
From the Natology team