The three month period following birth is known as the fourth trimester and rightly so, with so much emotional and physical change for both baby and mother. There is lots to think about during this time as well, from contemplating exercising to tackling sleep, because those first few sleepy newborn weeks don't last forever!
Usually at the six week GP check up, you'll be given the all-clear to exercise again, but you may also want to find a women's health physio for a thorough once over as well. Usually this would be at your own expense, but we personally believe they are worth every penny! They'll check your pelvic floor, assess any rectus diastasis (ab separation) and suggest specific pilates-based exercises to re-engage your deep core and help to rebuild strength safely.
Besides exercise, there are plenty of other situations and milestones which can be tricky to approach post baby as well. From establishing a sleep routine for your baby (and you!) to preparing for weaning. There is just so much to wing your way through in the first six months alone.
We are certainly not pros at any of this, but we follow plenty of amazing pre and post natal experts who we hold with great esteem. Here are some of our favourite go-tos who know their stuff for the third and fourth trimesters... and beyond.
- Our friends at Cari-fit are a fantastic place to start with exercises designed with both you and baby in mind. A game-changing fitness program where you can wear your baby whilst working out gets all he gold stars from us, particularly as you don’t have to worry about childcare and you get great closeness and bonding time with the babe! Don't underestimate Vern, the founder, as he knows his stuff about pre and post natal exercise. Classes are currently being streamed online daily. There is a still a great opportunity to chat with and meet new mum friends too.
- The beauty of our modern world also means that we can (and at the moment, mostly need to) workout from the comfort of our own homes. There is no better spot than on your Totter & Tumble playmat, where we often find mums and dads alike, using them for their workouts after baby is in bed! We were so excited to hear of the book Binky Felsted recently released, aptly named “The Mother of all Workouts” co-written with her good friend, pre and post natal specialist and mum-of-two Lulu Adams, whose straight up, honest guidance is refreshing. You can also find her workouts specifically tailored to mums on @fiit app.
Photo credit: Lulu Adams
3. We recently discovered The GP Mum
- Dr Stephanie Ooi, during the pandemic, who offered really reassuring advice during such an uncertain time. As a mum of four (including a lockdown baby) and doctor to many, she offers lots of great advice to her followers. She discusses a whole host of subjects from fertility to what to expect of a newborn, with gentle reminders of looking after your own health too - really informative, friendly and relatable tips for both mums and babies!
4. The Parent & Baby Coach
, Heidi Skudder, is an oracle for all things baby and toddler. Covering a wide variety of topics and ages from sleep to weaning. With two reflux babies herself, she is an expert on not only helping to identify what could be going on and causing those endless hours of screaming, but also setting parents up with sustainable plans tailored to suit their particular family dynamic. We feel particular sync to her take on reflux and the rotten myth of 'babies cry' being unchallenged. Give her podcast a little listen here
5. The purse can feel pinched at times when thinking about welcoming a new family member or moving onto maternity pay, but we find Toni's tips on MyBumpPay
really empowering. Whether you are wondering how to tell your employer without jeopardising progression, wanting to go for a promotion or pondering flexible working solutions for once your little one arrives - she has thought of it all, laying out choices and giving you the confidence to go for it! Check out her instagram
for some savvy money-saving parent hacks too.
6. In need of some foodie inspiration? We love Adam's instagram account @at_dads_table which covers a wide range of mouth-watering, healthy recipe ideas from pregnancy to parenthood (that includes ideas for the little ones and whole family too). We really recommend checking out his saved story highlights which have lots of recipes tailored to each trimester, perfect for an expectant mummy's cravings.
7. Alternatively, why not look to make your life that little bit easier. When it comes to weaning there is nothing more demoralising than seeing home-cooked food, that you've slaved over, splattered across the floors and walls! With a little help from Mamamade, you don't have to compromise on quality, with plant-based ingredients and free from the big-8 allergens, you can feed your little one at your convenience and with confidence! Plus, founder Sophie Baron gets straight to the point when debunking common worries and questions around weaning.
We know that you want to look and feel good and there is no better way than to do this than eating well, endorphin-releasing exercising (even if it’s a stroll around the park) and getting enough shut eye. The third can be tricky with a new baby, but if you see an opportunity, seize it! Even if it means going to bed at 7pm.
It may sound obvious, but everybody, every baby and every body is different. Be kind to yourself and on those days when you just need a little bit of guidance, come back here to soak up some of this expert knowledge.