the fourth trimester

Before I became a mom, no one ever said anything to me about a pregnancy cycle consisting of a fourth trimester.  But it totally exists!  If you too were once like me and wondered what in the heck a 4th trimester is, let me tell you.

surviving the fourth trimester

fourth trimester tips

the fourth trimester

The fourth trimester

Basically, the fourth trimester is the idea that your baby's first 3 months of life are an extension of their time in in the womb.  Think about it.  For almost, or exactly, 40 weeks your little peanut was inside of you, having every single one of their needs met, and was extremely close to you, their mom.  Suddenly, your baby is born and they are no longer fed on demand, constantly rocked, or  close enough to you to hear your heart beat at all times.  It's got to be quite the rude welcoming to the world.   Flip this 4th trimester pregnancy theory in reverse and I've found that the same rude awakening goes for the mom too!  

For your entire pregnancy, caring for your baby was pretty easy.  Aside from the nausea, body pains, and insomnia all you were required to do for the care of your baby was eat healthy, rest, and get exercise in when you could.  Fast-forward to the 4th trimester in your pregnancy, and all of sudden you have this tiny human being that will constantly need you to stop what you're doing to feed it, change it, and hold it 24/7.  There are many instances when you'll be lucky to get two hours of sleep at night, go days without showering, not notice you had spit up (or poop) all over your clothes until it was the end of the day, and feel like you are going to go completely bonkers if you hear your baby cry one more time.

The fourth trimester for moms is soooooo hard!  And I wish I could say it gets easier with each kid.  But it doesn't.  If anything you just get used to the chaos and learn how to cope with it better. 

When I became a mom for the first time ever with Isaac, I remember thinking, "What have I done?!"  Being a mom was so much harder than I ever imagined.  Ha ha!  And though motherhood is never easy, it has definitely gotten more manageable for me with each kid.  Probably because I finally realized there was such thing as a fourth trimester for moms, learned how to make the transition into that fourth trimester easier, and just accepted that crazy was the new norm.

I'm definitely no expert when it comes to topics like this.  I just try a bunch of things, ask a lot of other moms questions, and then figure out what works best for me.   And then of course, I share what I learn because I think us moms got to stick together!

So, here are some things I've learned when it comes to surviving and loving the fourth trimester as moms.

How to Survive and Love the Fourth Trimester

1) Do you best to mentally prepare yourself.
A lot of things in your life are going to change.  So the sooner you can come to terms with that, the better.

2) Build a support group.
Whether this consists of your partner, mom, mother-in-law, next door neighbor, friends, extended family, or church members; create a group of people who can help you out at a second's notice.

3) Don't forget to take care of yourself!
When your baby is born, it's really easy to get caught up in all of your baby's needs and completely forget about your own.  DON'T DO THAT!  Neglecting your own needs can literally make you come unhinged in so many ways.  So if you need to take a shower, a 15 minute time out, eat, get ready for the day, etc. do it!  Your baby will be ok while you take the time to do these things for yourself.  Promise!  Plus by meeting your own needs, you will be a happier mom and that is always a good thing for your baby to have!

4) Stock up.
Running errands will seem like a thing of the past when your baby first comes.  So instead of having to call your neighbor to borrow a roll of toilet paper because you are out (true story!)  stock up on items you use a lot of before your baby comes so you don't have to worry about running out any time soon or having to go out in public with your brand new baby.

5) Invest in a streaming device like Roku.
This may sound silly, but it's so true.  Once your baby is born, you will be doing a lot of night time feedings.  You will be dead tired and this $100 device will help keep you awake and let you catch up on all the shows you've recently missed.

In about three months, the fourth trimester will be over, and a lot of things will get back to "normal".  So although this time of your life will be absolutely exhausting, and even frustrating at times, enjoy it.  Because it is one of the most magical and beautiful things you will ever get to experience in your life!

P.S. My baby wrap is from Solly Baby Wrap and these beautiful pictures were taken by Roxana B. Photography.


  1. Thank you so much for this post! I'll start the 4th trimester soon and because this is my third baby, I feel like it's makng me want to plan ahead for it much more!

    1. You are so so welcome Lindsey! And congratulations to you! Three kids was such a game changer for me because suddenly I was outnumbered in every single way possible. Way to go for planning in advance. It will really help you enjoy that 4th trimester with your new, sweet babe and find your stride with three sweet kiddos!