Preparing for the Fourth Trimester

The fourth trimester refers to the first few months postpartum. This time is critical for the health of the whole family, but especially for mum and baby. Preparing for the fourth trimester can be difficult, especially if you’re a brand-new mum.

First, you’ll need to prep your home by making sure you have all of the essentials on hand (see must-haves here). Once you have everything you need, here are a few more things you can do to make the transition to parenthood a little smoother.

The very start of the first trimester with our second child.

Set up a plan for diaper/formula/wipe purchases.

Some purchases for a new baby happen very frequently. Here are some ways to prep for having these items on hand:

  • Stockpile a large number of newborn and size 1 diapers before baby comes. You’ll need way more than you predict, so buy a few boxes every time you head to the store in the last three months before your due date.
  • Set up a recurring subscription for your favorite diaper brand on Amazon prior to your due date.
  • Designate a close family member as “on call for diaper runs.”

Prepare for Postpartum Meals

New parents need to eat! Here are some tips to ensuring that you have plenty to eat on hand once the baby arrives:

  • Set up a meal train prior to your due date that schedules a day and time for family and friends to drop meals off at your home. You may want to prepare a food allergies and preferences list to send out with the meal train sign up. Meal Train is a free online service that helps you tackle this task.
  • Prep large meals in disposable aluminum pans that can be frozen and then thrown in the oven when they are needed.
  • Sign up for a premium membership to an online food delivery service. This helps you get the best deals in those first few months home with baby.

Discuss Roles and Responsibilities

The last thing you want to do once the baby arrives is have tense discussions or arguments about roles around the house. Having intentional conversations is a key aspect of preparing for the fourth trimester. Discuss these things with your partner or anyone who may be helping with the new baby prior to bringing the baby home:

  • Managing household chores like laundry, dishes, trash, etc.
  • Acknowledging exhaustion or needs once the baby is born. You can set up a neutral phrase that lets your partner know you need help.
  • Scheduling time for visits from family. Hospitals have “visiting hours” for a reason. You can set these same time frames with friends and family to make sure to protect special time with your new little one.

Remember that, as a new mom, your number one priority during the Fourth Trimester is caring for yourself and your baby. No matter what happens in these first three months, understand that you are a strong, capable mother! It is always appropriate to reach out for help if you need it!

xoxo Fil

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