What no one talks about is the 4th trimester. This trimester begins right after the baby is born, when a mom is born. Mommy and her body have been creating a human, creating a life for 8-10 months.
Then all of a sudden, the baby is here! (Insert intrusive thoughts..) “I’m a mom, I should feel different. Why don’t I feel super connected to my baby and mom role right away?” Take all the time you need to get to know your newborn. You WILL bond and you DO love them. They unconditionally love you too.
Your baby is here! Your baby is not in your belly anymore! “My belly is still there, I still look pregnant and now my stomach sags. It’s my belly but, it’s not. I still have to wear maternity clothes. Why didn’t my body snap back to normal?!” It took months of your body changing to bring this baby into the world. It will take time to start getting back into shape. Try to think about how incredible your body is for not letting you down and giving you this baby, not about your appearance.
“Okay I need to use the restroom, I need the nurse to assist me. Wait, am I in a diaper? Shouldn’t the baby be in a diaper? What just happened, I’m a mom and I’m wearing diapers?!” It’s temporary. Let the nurses do their job and help you, you have just given birth! You’re amazing and everything is okay.
The lactation nurse is here to help you get your beautiful baby to latch so you can breastfeed. The baby isn’t latching, “Why doesn’t my baby like me? What am I doing wrong?” Finally the baby latches, “Wait, I’m not producing milk. How will my baby survive without my milk?” It’s okay, the baby will thrive with formula too! I will say it again, breastfeeding is a choice just like everything else. You’re the mom, you know what your baby needs. Fed is best!
So here you are. Feeling all these feelings and thinking all these thoughts. These are indicators you have reached the 4th and sometimes hardest trimester. “Mom Guilt” is a thing! Postpartum depression and Baby Blues are VERY real. Every mom’s experience will be different with each child. Make sure you communicate with your partner and loved ones. It takes a village! You got this, Momma!
Please remember all these thoughts are normal. The stress of wondering if you will be enough for this baby, if you can handle being a mom. If you feel it’s too overwhelming to devour these thoughts alone – Reach out to a loved one and/ or your doctor. You are a good mom, you are not alone in your thoughts. And Welcome to the 4th trimester!