You’ve spent a long nine months - three trimesters - waiting for the arrival of your little one. But as you’re settling at home after labour, you might want to rethink jumping back into business as usual.
In Ayurvedic medicine, there’s a saying that goes, “Forty Days for Forty Years.”
Essentially, this means that what the new mother does during her first 40 days postpartum will define the next 40 years of her life, specifically her health. That’s why many consider the first 40 days postpartum to be the fourth trimester. What you do during this time can have an impact on your health and your bond with your baby.
What is the 4th Trimester?
The moment your newborn leaves the womb, the two of you start on a new path together. This is as much of an adjustment for mum as it is for baby. Your body must now start to heal from the physical traumas of pregnancy and delivery, and your baby is adjusting to the world around them as they learn and grow.
But as much as it is your priority to care for your baby, you must also care for yourself. This means minimising the stress surrounding you and tuning out all other obligations other than those that accompany your newborn.
This is the foundation of the 4th trimester. Modern society seems to have forgotten the ancient Ayurvedic principles that focus on the mother’s recovery and baby’s care equally. Mothers of newborns are tired and may struggle with hormonal mood swings and breastfeeding. Embracing the fourth trimester can help to instil confidence and reduce stress for new mothers as they transition into a new phase of life.
How to Experience 40 Days Postpartum
In Ayurvedic medicine, the 40-day postpartum recovery includes a few basic, helpful activities that prioritise self care:
Cooking, cleaning, laundry, and errands can be handed off to someone else during postpartum recovery. This allows mum to sleep when the baby sleeps and allow her body to use its resources to heal.