What is ‘normal’ really when it comes to Newborns?
Starting with the 4th Trimester.
This is a non-medical term used to describe that first 12 weeks after birth. That transition for baby, from womb to world. Baby has spent 9 or so months in an environment of warmth, constant nutrition, movement and hearing mum’s heartbeat. Then they are born and experience an overload of sensory elements, the feeling of hunger, tiredness, coldness, and even the audacity of being put down.
We can help our babies gently adjust to being outside the womb by gaining a better understanding of the 4th Trimester, that what we are experiencing is part of baby’s development, and for the most part, is completely normal.
Your baby is completely dependant on you and when their needs aren’t met they will let you know. This may seem daunting, but you are not alone. So much of what we learn as parents we learn on the job so to speak.
So how can you help your newborn in those early weeks?
One way is to simply gain knowledge on the 4th Trimester, knowing that you can’t ‘spoil’ your baby by holding them too much and meeting all their needs. Even if that means there are days when you haven’t made it out of your pyjama’s, that’s okay, just getting through certain days can be taken as a win!
During this time you are looking to recreate the feeling of being in the womb for your baby. Starting with lots of skin-to-skin, helping baby regulate their temperature, giving them reassurance, lowering their cortisol levels & stimulating the producation of oxytocin to aide breastfeeding, if that is the journey you are taking(oxytocin could be beneficial to all babiesas it relaxes them,settles them and calms them. So although it has an extra benefit of dispensing the milk for a breastfed baby, arguably, it is still beneficial for a bottle fed baby).
Feeding on demand is key to growth and wellbeing. Reach out for support during those early weeks if needed, as this can play an important role in your feeding journey.
If you are breastfeeding, Cluster Feeding is real, and comes as a shock to the system. There will be days where you spend all of your time feeding your baby. This is normal, but can be draining so make sure your needs are being met.
When baby is not feeding there is a high chance that they will have found their spot for a sleep is on you, listening to your heartbeat. Contact napping is a favourite, the choice is yours about what to do in this situation, you can attempt to put them down, or you can get comfy, enjoy the cuddles and binge watch Netflix.
Babies love movement and being carried. So why not break out the sling/carrier and dance about your living room. It has also been know for Mums to be doing squats at 2am with baby in arms.
You can also explore a technique called The 5 S’s
Some final nuggets of wisdom:
*Trust your own instincts
*Set Boundaries (visitors, holding etc)
*Accept help, even if it is just a cuppa
*Allow yourself to Feel!! The good and the bad.
*Know that every single baby is different, so don’t compare!
*Self Care is Important, fresh air will make you feel better.
*Make memories, they don’t need to be perfect.
Dawn Smith, from The Daisy Foundation East Dunbartonshire, shares an insight to the 4th trimester along with some nuggets of wisdom or advice Daisy Mum’s wished they had known before baby was here.
The Daisy Foundation provides both local and online options and a selection of classes, workshops and group sessions that meet the needs of expectant mums and new parents from early pregnancy right through to toddlerhood. Find community, support, education and fun with your local Daisy Club at www.thedaisyfoundation.com/findaclass