- What is the 4th trimester?
- What does the baby feel?
- How to regain possession of your body?
- 4th trimester: how to experience motherhood peacefully?
What is the 4th trimester?
As its name suggests, the fourth trimester is the one following childbirth. Also called matrescence, this period of discovery refers to the process that a woman experiences when she becomes a mother, whether on a physical, emotional, neurobiological or hormonal level. The term matrescence was coined in 1973 by Dana Raphael, an American anthropologist. According to her, “childbirth brings about a series of spectacular changes in the mother's body, her emotional state, her relationships with others and even in her identity as a woman. » The months following the arrival of the newborn are then distinguished from the following by the need to concentrate on your new daily life, to understand and accept all the changes that this implies.
In 1975, the American author Jean Liedloff spoke of the concept of the continuum to discuss the first postpartum trimester. In his book The Concept of the Continuum: In Search of Lost Happiness, Jean Liedloff talks about the need to preserve physical proximity between mother and child until the child can break away from it on his own. The author particularly recommends certain practices such as carrying, co-sleeping, breastfeeding and skin to skin.
More simply, the fourth trimester is the period when everyone must find their new marks : we learn to listen to our instincts to understand and know the baby, we go through different emotions and desires, we sometimes let ourselves be made to feel guilty by social pressure, we feel a need to merge with the newborn, we face many emotional and bodily upheavals, ... in short, this intense and new period can constitute the solid foundation of a new life for three.
What does the baby feel?
This is why the newborn feels the need to be wrapped, touched via haptonomy, and comforted by the adults around him, and in particular by his mother. The child especially seeks bodily contact, body warmth and interactions. During the months of pregnancy, the child is fed, rocked and oxygenated in the warm, enveloping belly of his future mother. At birth, he may feel disoriented. Contact with his mother is therefore essential to provide him with the warmth and security he needs.
Breastfeeding is also a way to facilitate the ectopic gestation of the infant. According to Ingrid Bayot, midwife and trainer in perinatal and breastfeeding, “after giving birth, the mother is no longer pregnant with the baby, but her whole body is still in gestation”. The midwife also explains that breastfeeding affects maternal sleep in particular because “prolactin, one of the breastfeeding hormones, increases deep sleep, and therefore recovery and cellular regeneration”. Breastfeeding of course remains a choice and in no way an obligation, your 4th trimester will not be impacted if you do not breastfeed.
How to regain possession of your body?
During pregnancy, the body undergoes many changes to allow the fetus to develop. Although it still weighs almost a kilo, the uterus is gradually returning to its place. The ligaments supporting the uterus are still distended, and the perineum has not yet regained its previous tone. During the first three months of baby's life, the mother may feel the need to spend time lying down in order to recover physically and recover from hormonal upheavals.
During the 9 months of pregnancy , the body secretes large quantities of estrogen and progesterone. In the days following childbirth, these hormones drop suddenly. These hormonal variations can result in irritability and heightened emotionality.
Oxytocin is also a hormone that plays a key role during the 4th trimester. This hormone, naturally secreted by the brain, causes the mother a feeling of euphoria and helps the development of the mother-baby relationship. It also facilitates mothering and attachment behaviors, and helps the uterus regain its shape, thus reducing the risk of hemorrhage.
4th trimester: how to experience motherhood peacefully?
The fourth trimester marks the meeting with the newborn. This unique period of adaptation and discovery takes time and energy, it is good practice to surround yourself well or to create a new family balance:
Take some time for yourself
Taking time for yourself is the best way to regain possession of yourself and your body little by little. This can involve establishing a sensory and enveloping beauty ritual. To choose the care that will allow you to pamper your body as a young mother, turn to natural and hypoallergenic products formulated without any controversial substances. Our treatments are ideal for taking care of you before and after baby's arrival. Based on ingredients and active ingredients of natural origin, our treatments do not contain essential oils, no endocrine disruptors, nor any other substance not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The most suitable treatment is Le Baume Onctueux, our firming cream after childbirth. Its rich and nourishing texture is ideal for massaging and reclaiming your body. A moment that you treat yourself to, just for you!
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Also remember to protect yourself from melasma, the famous mask of pregnancy which generally appears from the 4th month of pregnancy.
Even if it is difficult for you to delegate certain tasks, the baby's dad, grandparents, uncles and aunts can support you. Delegating and staying surrounded can help you recover better physically and take time to focus on your baby and create an even stronger bond with him. Family, friends or even caregivers can provide relief to the couple on a daily basis and thus limit the risk of parental burnout or postpartum depression.
As a parent, it's normal to have doubts. To learn to trust yourself, give yourself the right to make mistakes. When it comes to knowing what's best for your baby, it's normal to make mistakes. Take the time to talk with other parents and turn to your perinatal and breastfeeding advisor to increase your knowledge and validate your choices. You will be even more reassured and you will experience this moment of tenderness and joy in complete peace.
The 4th trimester , naitreetgrandir.com
The fourth trimester of pregnancy , Ingrid Bayot, 2018
The 4th trimester of pregnancy: a little-known period , parents.fr,
The concept of the continuum: in search of lost happiness, Jean Liedloff, 1975.
Living better with our child from pregnancy to two years , National Institute of Public Health of Quebec.
Podcast: Matrescence , Clémentine Sarlat.
Matrescence, or why we need to talk about the birth of mothers , Christine Laemmel, lexpress.fr, 2019,