Nurturing Yourself through the Fourth Trimester


Resources > Nurturing Yourself through the Fourth Trimester



March 28, 2023


postpartum woman holding newborn baby

The fourth trimester encompasses the first 12 weeks after giving birth and is a crucial part of the postpartum period. It is prime time for new parents to rest, recover, and rebuild their strength. Nurturing yourself through the fourth trimester allows you to start healing physically, emotionally, and mentally from the rigors of childbirth. 

The Jewell Chiropractic team supports your healing and well-being at every stage. We reject the “get your body back” mentality and embrace your right to nurture yourself as needed. With massage, chiropractic care, and parent support groups, Jewell has many services to offer. Book your appointment today to get the care you deserve.

Nurturing Yourself through the Fourth Trimester Is Crucial

Postpartum recovery looks different for everyone. But no matter how your healing is going, the fourth trimester is a time to focus on your well-being and the health and development of your baby. Here are our top tips for supportive, compassionate self-care during these weeks.

Prioritize Rest and Recovery

We cannot stress this enough: the fourth trimester is not the time to do all the things and be a superwoman. The first few weeks after giving birth are physically demanding as your body recovers from the trauma of childbirth. It’s essential to make rest a priority. 

Image of a new mom with her newborn baby on her chest, resting in a hospital bed after delivery. Prioritizing rest is ideal for nurturing yourself through the fourth trimester.

While gentle movement is helpful once you have your provider’s ok, avoid overexerting yourself. Ask for and accept help from family and friends whenever possible. And while we’re on this point, let’s back up and clarify that there is never a time when you have to do all the things and be a superwoman. We can put that myth to rest. Thank you very much.

Focus on the Basics

Sleep, stay hydrated, and eat nutritious food. Attention to these three basics during the fourth trimester will help your mind and body recover and heal. And they are particularly important when breastfeeding. But as simple as these “tasks” should be, the reality is that new parents often are lacking in all three areas because adjusting to a new baby is really hard work!

The following options can help you meet your needs if they work for your situation:

  • Freeze meals before you have your baby.
  • Ask a friend or family member to coordinate meals once your baby arrives.
  • Utilize a food preparation or delivery service.
  • Hire a nighttime doula to allow for more consistent sleep.
  • Pump and freeze milk so your partner can handle a nighttime feeding.

Although it can be challenging, try to ignore household messes and chores as much as possible. Focus on your health and your baby’s health during these initial postpartum weeks. If a messy home adds stress for you, consider hiring a cleaning service or asking trusted loved ones to help.

image of person standing at table, preparing a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and honey

One important note: The fourth trimester shouldn’t be about weight loss. Consistently drinking enough water and eating nutrient-dense foods can help you settle into a sustainable post-baby weight, but your body needs calories to recover. Please don’t watch the scale.

Connect with Other Parents

As isolating as parenthood can feel at times, there are plenty of other folks going through similar journeys. They can provide emotional support, advice, and friendship when you need it. Joining a support group or attending baby classes help build a community of other new parents who understand your experience. 

Seek Professional Help when Needed

The fourth trimester can be extremely challenging, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or anxious. Between hormones and exhaustion, your emotions will need time to regulate, so give yourself grace. 

But it’s also crucial to watch for signs of postpartum depression:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Inability to bond with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harming your baby

Seek professional help when needed and as often as necessary to help you return to your best form and function. Traditional and alternative modalities can help treat postpartum depression.

Self-Care at Jewell Chiropractic

postpartum woman sitting on bed, holding her aching back

Few things in life are as exhausting, challenging, and impactful as having a baby. Your journey is uniquely yours, so please be kind and patient with yourself as you navigate this new chapter in your life. Taking care of yourself is not selfish but necessary for your health and the health of your baby.

Nurturing yourself during the fourth trimester can take many forms. If massage or chiropractic care feels supportive to you postpartum, we’d love to serve you here in our Portland office. You can book your service and sign up for our classes here. We also offer a pre-recorded talk on postpartum nutrition from Nutrition Coach Johanna Butler. Call the office at 971-420-2198 or email to purchase your copy.

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Take care and live a life of wellness.