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*I wrote the first half of this blog BEFORE I gave birth and have just gone back and shared some more thoughts and what I’m doing now I’m in my 4th Trimester. I hope this is helpful to you and provides some food for thought. Lets have grace for ourselves ladies!

The third trimester of pregnancy has been rough for me! This was so frustrating because I had such a smooth first pregnancy and did not expect these issues at all. Sciatica in my back and left hip making it difficult to walk, pain under my ribs and random swellings in places you don’t want swelling! These third trimester essentials are currently on rotation in a big way …..

  • Belly Oil: I’m using base of Jojoba oil with some powerhouse oils to prevent stretch marks and help with elasticity including Frankincense, Yarrow|Pom, Lavender, Geranium and Copaiba essential oils.
  • Bouncing on my swiss ball
  • A heat pack for my lower back
  • Baths with magnesium flakes
  • Copaiba soft gels for sleep, nervous system support and lower back pain.
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea ~ to get my body ready for a efficient and smooth labor
  • Water. So much water
  • Lululemon Wunderunder tights
  • DoTERRA Life Long Vitality Supplements (plants, natural energy, bio-available nutrition, omegas)
  • Coffee and naps. Maybe not the most obvious pairing!

 

She’s here and after a whirlwind birth (I may share more on that in coming weeks!) I’m focusing on healing and nourishing my body.

The 4th Trimester is such a special time. It should be a slow time, a time of zero guilt, of rest when you can, of nourishing ourselves both physically and taking note of what we need emotionally. This goes against everything in our society that screams at us to get up, move forward, do the things and see the people.
This postpartum time can be rough (and even those that enjoy this period have many hard moments). 14% of women met the criteria for post natal depression in NZ in 2015, but my guess is that a whole heap more have a degree of sub-clinical depression;, low mood, anxiety and complete overwhelm during this time.
There is no one cause of postpartum depression, but physical AND psychological factors play a role. The dramatic drop in hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) in your body, as well as other hormones produced by your thyroid gland — can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed. Sleep deprivation, negative feelings towards our postpartum body making us feel less attractive, a struggle with a sense of identity or feel that you’ve lost control over your life all also impact on the incidence of postpartum depression. Having realistic expectations and immense grace for yourself during the 4th trimester goes a long way to preventing any feelings of guilt, fear, overwhelm and unworthiness.
What I’m doing to care for myself in this 4th Trimester:
  • Intentionally nourishing myself with warming foods and nutrient diversity (postpartum depletion is very real!)
  • Regularly taking wholefood bioavailable supplements
  • Asking for help (and not feeling bad for it!) and being vocal with what I need (a nap, a coffee, a snack, some space!)
  • Accepting help when it’s offered (whether that’s a girlfriend taking my toddler to the park or walking my dog, or a home cooked meal being dropped over).
  • Zero guilt for not getting things done (the worst feeling is resentment towards your baby who won’t get with YOUR schedule) & being OK with more toddler screen time than I’d like.
  • Minimal trips out and about, limiting visitors if I need to.
  • Lots of cuddles and skin to skin. Babies are not even aware that they are separate entities for the first few weeks, they need our body to feel safe.
  • Zero focus on ‘bounce back’ and worry about returning to my pre-baby body
  • Wearing comfy clothes and having plenty of hot showers (even if it’s 10pm before I get one!)
  • Using my essential oils (Clary Calm blend) to support hormone balance (and minimise the dreaded postpartum crash) as well as support any anxious feelings, overwhelm and fatigue/sleep deprivation.

I hope that was helpful. I’d love to hear about your postpartum experience, whether negative or positive, so please leave a comment or connect with me online.

Postnatal Depression in New Zealand: Findings from the 2015 New Mothers’ Mental Health Survey. Deverick, Z & Guiney, H (2016).