What is the Fourth Trimester?
The first three months of a baby's life (after birth) is like a fourth trimester, where baby makes an enormous transition from the womb-world to the real world.
What have I been doing?
- Surviving weeks 1-4. Weeks of baby blues, rebound jaundice, adjustments, realignment of expectations, etc. OMG. Blogged - Behind the scenes: First 4 weeks of motherhood
- Baby's poop and pee. At first, I worried too much about his diaper counts and his poop's color. After a while, you just gotta stop worrying about every single thing and start enjoying the baby! Blogged - Poop-plosion!
- Tummy ache. This is a major no fun. Baby will be yelling on top of his lungs with tears flowing and nose dripping. So sad seeing him like that. So, the solution is: 1) What I'm doing continuously is observing my food intake and I find out that baby's tummy has problem with me taking food cooked in coconut milk, spices, and curry. So I stop taking all those food; 2) After his daily morning bath, I'll rub his tummy and the sole of his feet with Yu Yi Oil (we mothers swear by this oil!) to prevent possible build-up of wind in his little tummy; 3) Burp him every time after he unlatches from drinking breast milk.
- Growth spurt. This is very interesting. Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less). However, different baby may do things differently. Growth spurt signs include: 1) Wants to be fed MUCH MORE OFTEN; 2) Very fussy, crying without a normal reason, i.e. dirty diaper, hungry or sleepy; 3) Suddenly baby wants much more physical contact. For instance, your baby only wants to sleep when he lies in your arms, or he suddenly wants to sleep feeling belly-to-belly contact. In other words, the mother is going to be very, very tired, especially during the first 6-8 weeks of baby's life whereby mother and baby are having crucial adjustments between each other. Husbands, you must sayang your wife more. :D
- Milk supply. Okay, this is a taboo subject. Some breastfeeding mothers, including yours truly will be experiencing episodes of low milk supply. I know some mothers have plenty of milk and they have a freezer full of frozen breast milk, but some just won't have that much milk. As much as I'd like to boast that my baby is fully breastfed, I couldn't shake away the feeling that my milk supply might not be enough to satisfy baby. To maintain and hopefully, boost my milk supply, here's what I do: 1) Eat oatmeal after each main meal; 2) Drink Pink Lady Oat Milk, Organic Black Sesame Powder, and Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein for breakfast; 3) Drink plenty of plain water; 4) Try to eat healthily; 5) Most importantly, try my very best to stay calm and rested, i.e. no stress, which is almost impossible. LOL.
- Weight. By weight, I mean baby's weight. My baby is on the small side, meaning he doesn't look like a mini Michelin man. Everyone should read this article by Dr. Jay Gordon: Look at the Baby, Not the Scale. This is the best paragraph ever: Weight gain should not be used as a major criterion of good health. Developmental milestones and interaction with parents and others are more important. Do not be persuaded to supplement a baby who is doing well. Get help with breastfeeding and use other things besides weight to guide you.
- Sleep. Baby's mantra: Sleep is for the weak. At least, that's what I think baby is saying because he fights sleep so much! Putting him down to sleep on the bed is a battle of will and wits. He prefers to sleep in my arms whole day. LOL!
- What else to do with baby? Apart from the routine feeding, bathing, changing diaper, and putting him to sleep, I also put him at his little Simple Dimple play gym and let him look at all his hanging toys.
- House chores. It's almost impossible to clean the house properly. I'm calling in a part-time cleaning maid once a month. Urgh.
Read more about the Fourth Trimester:
- The Fourth Trimester – AKA: Why Your Newborn is Only Happy in Your Arms
- The little known fourth trimester of pregnancy
- Life in the Fourth Trimester
My favorite paragraph from the last link above: You cannot spoil a newborn! No matter how much you rock, cuddle, wear, or hold your baby, she is going to turn into an independent little person. Children are not spoiled by love and affection; they thrive on it. The fourth trimester is a time for mama to heal and for a newly expanded family to get to know one another. Some mamas refer to this time as a "babymoon." Much like a honeymoon for newlyweds, the fourth trimester shouldn't be about schedules or expectations. Instead it – and our babies – should be greeted with patience and wonder.