Is your fourth trimester making you a bundle of nerves? Worry not!

Two dark lines on your home pregnancy test and you know the most exhilarating journey of your life has just begun. Forty weeks fly by and before you know it, you have the tiniest of fingers wrapped around your own, and  the brightest pair of eyes looking up to you for practically everything.

This fourth trimester, commonly used to imply the newborn phase, is no doubt exciting, but it’s equally exhausting and overwhelming. You are reeling under the pain of the stitches on your body, and the bawling infant at night is not making things easy at all! Let’s not even get started on the raging hormones.

But breathe easy and always tell yourself that you are not alone. Bear in mind these simple pointers to de-stress during those tiring months:

1. Reach out to family and friends

Agreed, you really want to do everything yourself once you are back from the hospital. But be prepared to accept the fact that excruciating back pain will be your constant companion. Your body needs all the rest it can get, especially during the first few weeks. So, if you do get the chance to take a nap while your parent or spouse cares for the baby, grab it. Also, if you feel like you want to rant, don’t suppress the feeling in the fear that people will judge you. It will only add to post-natal stress. Voice it, scream, cry if you have to. Surround yourself with your loved ones who will be willing to support you at all times.

2. Trust your instinct

Do not arrive at conclusions based on Google. The internet may not be the most reliable source of information when it comes to your offspring or yourself. Excessive online research only leads to stress and confusion. Trust me, I speak from experience. My blood pressure rose to alarming levels, thanks to some useless information that I had read online, and I had to be rushed to the hospital. So allow your instincts to do their job. Nine out of ten times, they are absolutely right. If you are still in doubt, contact your doctor immediately.

3. Do not compare your baby with other children

So your cousin’s tiny tot smiled on the 60th day and yours still has not on the 72nd day? That is giving you sleepless nights! Every child is unique and has different milestones. Create an environment which is conducive to his or her growth demands and they will smile, gurgle, roll over and start running in no time!

4. Try to switch off

Focus on something unrelated to babies and motherhood. Let that strictly be ‘me-time’. If it means watching re-runs of Living with the Kardashians, go for it. If your doctor has given you the green signal to go for a light stroll after the initial resting period, then make sure you step out for some fresh air. And if your baby is in trusted hands, avoid calling every two minutes to check on her. In my case, this was toughest, so from the third day onwards I would purposely leave my phone at home and carry only my music player.

5. Do not over-analyse

Not everything will go as per your plan. There will be occasions when your body will not be able to keep up with your mind. Your little one might have a different agenda altogether. None of that is your fault. You know you are giving it your best. So avoid over-analysing every situation and questioning yourself.  Before you know it, that little bundle sleeping next to you will start to roll over, walk and run. Soak up these precious moments before they turn into memories.

About the author

Piya Jayarajan is mother to a four-month-old baby, a marketing professional and content writer. She writes on topics varying from women’s issues, marketing, fitness, etc. She lives in Abu Dhabi. Find more of her writing on her blog ‘on her own turf.

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