Managing the Fourth Trimester

Managing the Fourth Trimester

The fourth trimester is the 12-week period after your baby is born. It is made up of emotional and physical changes as you adjust to being a parent. During the fourth trimester, it can be helpful to be mindful and aware of how you are feeling so you can best show up for yourself and your new baby. Below are some tips that can help you manage the fourth trimester after your child is born:

Create a routine as best as you can. Your baby will be adjusting to sleeping and eating so you will more than likely be awake fairly frequently and become sleep deprived. In this stage, it can help to have a semi-structured routine which allows you to take care of yourself by showering, eating healthy meals, napping and trying to leave the house. Leaving the house may mean stepping outside of where you reside for a few minutes, going to the mall to go for a walk indoors or for a walk around the block or in your neighborhood to get fresh air, if you feel comfortable doing so.
Create a support network of people who you feel comfortable asking for help. This may be limited to a small number of people but it can be important to find a few trusted friends or family members who you can ask for help. When you are asking for help, be specific about what you are needing. Some things that you may need during the fourth trimester may include:
○ watching your baby for a few hours so you can nap, run some errands or have some self-care
○ bringing a meal to your home
○ cleaning your house or doing laundry
○ going grocery shopping
Create a movement routine in which you move around your house, do simple stretching or walk around your block. Start off slow and be sure to get cleared from your doctor before starting any exercise routine or vigorous working out.
Work with your doctor and/or nutritionist to create a meal plan that is appropriate for your changing body during the fourth trimester which includes certain vitamins for yourself and plenty of water if you decide to breastfeed your baby
If you decide to breastfeed, reach out to a lactation specialist to discuss any challenges that you are experiencing. A lactation specialist is able to weigh your baby pre and post feeding to ensure your baby is getting the right amount of breastmilk that they need to thrive.
Explore different websites/apps/podcasts that can help to learn information about becoming a mother. Find resources within your community to connect with other moms. It can be helpful to have other people who understand and relate and can provide you with additional resources so you feel less alone as you adjust to the fourth trimester. Some ways to find Mom groups include:, Facebook groups, or by googling Mom groups in your community.
Connect with Help Me Grow, a nonprofit organization in Ohio that is a system of support for pregnant women, caregivers with new babies and families with young children with developmental delays and disabilities. Services and support are provided through Home Visiting and Early Intervention. To connect to Help Me Grow follow the link to their website:
Check with your Primary Care Doctor, Psychiatric Medication Prescriber and OBGYN regarding current medications you are taking to ensure that you can take them during breastfeeding.
Being mindful of your emotions. This may mean mood swings which include feeling: joy, elation, anxiety, overwhelm, sadness or depression and could turn into postpartum anxiety or depression. It can be helpful to reach out to a licensed therapist to meet with regularly to discuss your emotions and support in your
transition into becoming a parent.

To set up an appointment with a licensed therapist you can contact our front office staff at 888-996-9374.

Stephanie Cerula, LPCC
Clinical Counselor, The Behavioral Wellness Group

8224 Mentor Ave #208 Mentor OH 44060
P: 888 996 9374 #404 F: 440 565 2349