The Fourth Trimester: What I wish I knew!
When I gave birth to Julia, I thought the hard part was over because my pregnancy was very difficult. Little did I know that something called the “fourth trimester” existed, well, not formally, but it does exist. Here are a few things that I wish I knew about this period of time that I would like to share with all first-time moms.
1. Breastfeeding is very very challenging. If you are keen on breastfeeding, read a lot about this and talk to moms who have been successful. The more you rest, mentally and physically, the better you eat and the more fluids you consume, the easier the process will be. Take advantage of the lactation consultants available to you as a new mom in the hospitals, and if you are in a country where that’s not available, seek the help of one.
My nipples were sore, crusty, and bloody - the pain was unbearable at times. I put a lot of pressure on myself to breastfeed, and in retrospect, it was very unnecessary for my well being and indirectly my daughter’s well being.
A happy, well-rested mom is a lot more important than breastfeeding (again, that’s my personal opinion). Ironically once I started supplementing with goat milk formula, my milk production improved because I was less stressed. I stopped breastfeeding at 6 months, and that was a personal decision I made between myself and I after suffering and undergoing an unbearable amount of pressure.
2. Post-Partum Depression is real! I have never experienced depression, and when my friends would share with me their experiences with depression, I had a hard time relating. Prepare for this. You will feel some sort of “post-pregnancy blues” - especially the first 6 weeks as the hormones are going crazy before they settle down.
Give yourself as much self-love and self-care as possible. You are more important than your baby - yes, I said it! When mommy is good and well-taken care of, the baby will also be great!
3. Do not tolerate any toxicity, from anyone. Set boundaries. If you do not want anyone kissing your baby, vocalize it, do not internalize it. If you don’t want visitors in the first few weeks, don’t have visitors. If you want your visitors to have the whooping cough vaccine, let them know.
Right now is the time to be selfish - for the sake of your sanity and your baby. Those who truly matter to you will understand and respect your wishes. Those who don’t, shouldn’t be in your life.
I am proudly now more selfish than ever, and I have become happier, calmer, and more productive - hence a better mom, wife, entrepreneur, dentist, sister, and daughter. Selfishness is not a vice in my book - it’s actually a virtue.
Please remember this is my personal journey, and these are my personal opinions. If you do not agree, let’s agree to disagree - but please share with us your thoughts!
Quote of the day
"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them."
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