The fourth trimester is the 12-week period after your baby is born, when you and your baby are getting to know each other. The term is often used to describe a period of great change and development as your newborn baby adjusts to their new world outside the womb and you adjust to your new life as a parent. That’s why we have created our new fourth trimester information hub to help give new parents the confidence they need to find their feet.
Not everyone has heard of the fourth trimester, but every parent and their newborn baby will go through it. As well as being exciting for many people, it can also be a time of sleepless nights, physical recovery, hourly feeds, body changes, social pressures and immense upheaval.
New parents find themselves with the most important responsibility of their lives, yet so many feel at their most physically and emotionally vulnerable. This may be especially true for parents who have previously experienced pregnancy loss. They often tell us that they feel overwhelmed as they may not have thought it would be possible to hold their baby and see them grow.
Covid-19 has also made this time even more challenging, and many parents have felt isolated coping with a new baby.
“Bringing your baby home for the first time can be daunting and so many of our supporters have had a long journey to make it to this point. It’s vital that all parents have access to information that will help them understand what they and their new baby are going through during this time, what positive things they can do to make things easier and most importantly, when to ask for help.”
Kate, Tommy’s midwife
Our new information and support hub aims to help new parents understand:
“Almost every new parent I know, including myself, has walked through their front door with their new baby and thought “what do I do now?! I think a lot of us assume that all our parental instincts and behaviours will come naturally and then we punish ourselves if they don’t. But becoming a parent is a massive learning curve, and confidence comes in arming yourself with the facts – and getting a lot of practice!”
We know that some parents might be reading this who have experienced baby loss and don’t yet have their rainbow baby. We’re here to support you, whatever stage you may be at in your journey. If you find any of this content upsetting, please do reach out and get support.