What is the Fourth Trimester? We all talk about the different stages of pregnancy in “trimester” terms. Generally the first 12 weeks after your baby is born is referred to as the Fourth Trimester. There is no real timeline in this time period. No “your baby is the size of a fruit” to look forward to. Everything is focused on your new baby and their development, smiles, coos, crawling—-but what about mom? Many times we get a little lost in the shuffle. This season of life is so busy, we lose sight of our own health and wellness. Between lack of sleep, returning to work, finding daycare, traveling to see family, feeding, snuggling, and changing diapers, there are not enough hours in the day!
Generally when you deliver the baby, you see your OBGYN/Midwife at the 6 week postpartum appointment, then possibly no further visits for a very long time. There are many studies that have been done regarding careful follow up for moms that are in this postpartum period and beyond. It is so important to have an established relationship with your primary care provider during this time period for many reasons. Whether it is late-onset postpartum depression/anxiety, tension headaches, sore throats, anemia, thyroid changes, constipation, weight gain or loss, your PCP can help!
Many of my patients have come in either for themselves or their baby’s well child visits, and we discover that there is a problem that needs worked on. It is great to be able to ask “is it normal?” questions to someone that you trust—and get some real and helpful answers. It is great to be able to ask if it is ok to take ______ supplement of medication when you are breastfeeding. It is wonderful to be able to get a referral to physical therapy when you need it. Not losing weight like you want to? We can help with safe weight loss and guidance on nutrition and exercise during this time period.
There are so many reasons to have an established relationship with your primary care provider. At IFM, we love caring for whole families: mom, dad, babies, siblings, and beyond! When we get to know you and your family, understanding the dynamic helps us be able to “customize” your care. We do not like putting people on algorithms or in boxes! We do things differently here and are so happy to include you and your family in our care!
Our recent addition of lactation services, provides yet another way for IFM to reach the needs of postpartum mothers in that fourth trimester. Check out our website for more information on group lactation classes or private consultations with Crystel Corbin, RN, IBCLC.
ARNP, Co-Founder of IFM