the fourth trimester

i love to refer to the 3 months after birth as the fourth trimester.  many well known baby experts have coined this phrase, including dr. harvey karp who wrote "the happiest baby on the block".  so why call this time the fourth trimester?

well, your baby has been growing super fast inside of the womb for 3 trimesters.  once you have delivered her on dry land, her body must go through some amazing shifts.  the first one being, breath!  complete life.

to nurture this life, your baby is most happy skin to skin, warm, well fed, dry and away from bright lights and strange odors.  virtually, you want to create a womb like space for your wee one for as most of the first few months that you can commit to.

in fact, some doctors believe the baby actually needs a whole other trimester of that safe womb space to develop into a mature, emotionally balanced and intelligent human, but that can't stay inside any longer, because the brain has to continue to grow, and i think many mothers would agree that they wouldn't want to birth a baby with a bigger head.

here are some of my favorite ways of nurturing your newborn's needs:
--wear your baby when he or she is not being held
--keep mother and baby as close as possible for the first few weeks after birth
--co sleeping with your baby in the bed or a bed extender
--listen to intuitive knowledge and gut instincts and trust your baby’s cues
--breastfeed on demand

--communicate with your little one.  tell your baby what you are doing and build trust with coversation.  consider learning about the RIE phislosophy as a starting point.

the most important thing to remember is that you cannot spoil a newborn.  they are young, fresh and new, and your baby has a ton of growing to accomplish in life.  take care of this precious gift and honor each and every moment.  talk to your baby as much as possible.  your baby understands far more than you may think, and will continue to develop the more and more you connect with her.

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