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A Mother's Guide to the Fourth Trimester

Pregnancy is a time of great change, both physically and emotionally. You may experience a myriad of feelings and changes in your body – from mood swings to fatigue to other pesky symptoms. This is normal as your body is adjusting to the new life growing inside of you.

As a mother-to-be, you probably already know about the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy. But do you know that there is a fourth stage to this whole process? This period is known as the fourth trimester.

What is the Fourth Trimester?

The fourth trimester is the three-month period after your baby is born.

It's a time of transition for both you and your little one as you adjust to life outside the womb. Your baby is learning to feed, sleep, and poop on their own, and you're adjusting to life with a new family member. It can be a challenging time, but it's also a special time to bond with your baby.

What Can I Expect in the Fourth Trimester?

During the fourth trimester, you can expect your baby to sleep a lot – in fact, up to 16 hours a day! Your baby will need to eat every two to three hours, and you’ll probably experience lots of wet and dirty diapers. Your baby will also be growing quickly, gaining up to 30 grams a day. You may find yourself feeling exhausted and moody as you adjust to life with a new baby.

It's normal to feel overwhelmed at times, but remember that this is just a phase and it will eventually get easier.

Common Problems During the Fourth Trimester

One of the hardest things about the fourth trimester is that it's often accompanied by some pretty tough problems. Here are just a few of the challenges you might face during this time:

1. Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a type of clinical depression that can occur after childbirth. In Singapore and around the world, it is estimated that one in ten women experience postpartum depression after having a baby. Symptoms can include feeling sad, hopeless, anxious, or overwhelmed; trouble bonding with your baby; withdrawing from friends and family; loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy; difficulty sleeping; and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak to a loved one or seek help from a medical provider.

2. Breastfeeding problems

There's nothing quite like being a new mom. You're exhausted, you're emotional, and you're trying to figure out how to breastfeed. It can be tough, but there are things you can do to make your nursing experience a better one. 

One of the most common breastfeeding challenges is having a low milk supply. First, make sure that you're breastfeeding correctly. It may seem like a no-brainer, but incorrect latch can lead to low breast milk supply. It can also lead to intense pain while nursing. For this, use a nipple cream to soothe your nipples.

Secondly, try to relax while you're breastfeeding. Stress can actually decrease your breast milk supply, so try to find a quiet, calm place to nurse your baby. If you're having trouble relaxing, try some deep breathing exercises or visualisation techniques.

Finally, make sure you're staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet. Breastfeeding can be taxing on your body, so it's important to make sure you're taking care of yourself. You can also try breastfeeding supplements which can help to thicken your hind milk, making your baby fuller.

3. Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a common occurrence for new mothers. In fact, a recent study showed that these women on average lose more than an hour of sleep a day after their babies were born. There are a number of reasons why new moms may be sleep deprived. For one, they are often up several times during the night to feed their newborn baby. Additionally, many new moms experience a decrease in sleep quality due to the hormone changes that occur after childbirth.

The good news is that there are a few things new mothers can do to help combat sleep deprivation. First, try to take naps when your baby is sleeping. Additionally, make sure to get plenty of restful sleep by going to bed early and setting a regular sleep schedule. Finally, try to avoid caffeine and other stimulants that can further disrupt your sleep.

Caring for My Baby

The best way to care for your baby during the fourth trimester is to meet their needs as they arise. Feed them when they're hungry, change their diapers when they're dirty, and hold them when they need to be comforted. Try to get as much rest as you can, even if it means sleeping when your baby sleeps. And don't forget to take care of yourself, too! Take milk supply boosters such as Milkapalooza, which also helps to enrich your milk. For expectant mothers, you can also start preparing for your breastfeeding journey in advance.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, talk to your partner, a friend, or a family member. It can also be helpful to engage the help of a lactation consultant to help you combat your breastfeeding woes or identify the right supplements to increase your milk supply. Remember that this is a tough time for everyone, so don't be afraid to ask for help. And most importantly, try to take things one day at a time. Before you know it, your baby will be a little bigger and things will start to get easier.

Legendairy Milk offers you a wide range of everything you need to help you nurse your baby comfortably and effectively. From hands-free breast pumps to accessories to supplements made with high-quality ingredients, you’ll find everything you need in one place. Visit our online store in Singapore to find out more, or contact us for more information.