Preparing for the 4th Trimester
According to most reports, the mom & baby industry is projected to reach a whooping 16 BILLION dollars in profit by the year 2025! Wait, What????
There are literally thousands of things to buy, services to choose from and options for moms and babies. Although this amount of variety may initially sound amazing, I am seriously not surprised moms are confused about what to buy as they plan for baby. Between all the advertisements, advice from family and friends...that's a whole other discussion... and uncertainty about what you WANT versus what you NEED, new moms need some real talk about how to plan. I get the question all...the...time... "what do I actually NEED when baby arrives.?"
As a mom of four and a maternity nurse for over 25 years, my advice has always been centered on a very basic principle of K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple, Sweetheart. Obviously, there are lots of options but in my experience there is literally so much to prepare for when a little on is on the way that you literally need to take one bite at a time.
You will likely find enough advice, gadgets, and information to cover your pregnancy and delivery to fill an entire house, but what about tips for planning for the first 3 weeks after you and baby are home? Where is all the information about what to do once you are home and have been given this amazing little person to care for? How to do prioritize? When do you get to sleep if he/she is up all night? whos going to feed the dog? Don't even get me started on laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc....
Remember, KISS...Keep it simple, sweetheart. The 3 Tips I suggest to help moms focus during this time are SUPER simple:
1. Eat Well/Hydrate: Nothing throws you out of whack faster than bringing a new human to the world. Your schedule is off with feeds all night long and you are recovering from delivery. Many of us are so overwhelmed with feeding baby, diapering, and not sleeping it's amazing we can even form a coherent thought at all. Food, however, is super important as you need fuel to recover and fluid to recharge your body. Small, snack-like, healthy foods work and a water bottle nearby do the trick..
2. Limit visitors: This suggestion always gets a frown. I know this one is hard for the family who have waited months to finally get a glimpse of the awesome bundle of joy, but hear me out. The transformation your life takes with a newborn is life-changing and you will need some time to adjust with out additional demands placed on you and your new family. If you must have visitors, stagger them over a few weeks to ease the burden.
3. Ask for help: This tip is by far the most important tip I offer. Somewhere along the line, women have been made to feel like less if they aren't able to shoulder the majority of the childcare responsibility and ask for help. The pressure society puts on a mom as she herself is transitioning to motherhood is enormous. It makes me sad as well as determined to change this dynamic. Goddess, you must remember we were NEVER meant to do this alone! We have always had a village for support and community. Don't fall into the trap of being alone...Ask for help with whatever you need to recharge, recover and embrace this absolutely awe-inspiring time of your life. You are NOT alone!!!