Posts Tagged ‘Postpartum Care’

ACOG Recognizes the Fourth Trimester

In May of 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) expanded the definition of postpartum care of mom and baby and embraced the inclusive cone of the “fourth trimester.” embraced   For decades, American mom-baby advocacy groups have used the fourth trimester as a way to conceptualize newborn care in the first three months.  And now ACOG validates and identifies this conceptualization of the fourth trimester as a sensitive period of development for both mom and baby.

Since the 1950’s, the mom-baby advocacy groups, such as La Leche League, conceptualized newborn parenting in the fourth trimester as informed by the human evolutionary scale. They normalize baby’s crying by framing it as a signal to be picked up and comforted by his or her caregivers. La Leche League says that it’s normal to provide comfort for a newborn baby by way of nursing, carrying and co-sleeping. All these behaviors imitate the womb environment of warmth, movement and lots of touch. La Leche League normalizes that a baby’s crying is his or her way of communicating with and connecting with their loved ones, and is not a form of manipulation. La Leche League says “It’s normal to ‘Pick the baby up!’ ” Using the construct of the fourth trimester, La Leche League is a positive community intervention for education about and parenting the newborn.

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Mindbody Pregnancy and Postpartum Care

Pregnancy and birth are major adult transitions filled with joy, but the transition to parenthood can also bring up feelings of insecurity, sadness or fear as you and your partner move into this different phase of self-identity. Parenting an infant is difficult, but if one of you had a complicated early family life, parenting is like navigating rough waters, as flashbacks to unpleasant scenes from childhood intrude upon present reality.

If you’ve experienced a previous depression or anxiety or trauma or went through infertility treatments, have a baby in the NICU, or experienced childhood abuse, you have a higher risk that the physical and emotional changes of childbirth could bring on recurrent symptoms. Because of the hormonal fluctuations experienced at childbirth, 85% of all women experience the baby blues, which is a sadness after childbirth that resolves itself in about 2 weeks.

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Fourth Trimester: Your Needs, Your Extended Family and Research on Doing the Month

 

Istock/mammamart

Istock/mammamart

Different cultures acknowledge the postpartum period in different ways. In the United States, postpartum is viewed as a time when the new mom is expected to quickly recover and become mobile and get back to “normal” life. There’s a lot of emphasis on healthy pregnancy and birth and how to care for a newborn. However, the physical and emotional transition of the new mom and family are not part of the postpartum conversation in the US.

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