Be Aware of the 4th Trimester

As a woman expecting a child, there is perhaps no greater time of anticipation, wonderment, and joy.  You pour over every detail of the preparations: from the nursery decor to childbirthing classes, and everything in between - the world feels saturated with information on how to best prepare for your coming baby.  Though all the wealth of knowledge available on pregnancy can do little to prepare you for the experience of holding your newborn for the first time and gazing into the face you have dreamed of for so long.  And in stride with the fast-paced nature of life, the world seems to go on unchanged.  Even though as a woman, your life has just been transformed from the inside out, there is little that can prepare you for what is to come: the fourth trimester.


What is the fourth trimester?

highs and lows

The fourth trimester is characterized by unmatched joys and unpredictable lows; navigating through the uncharted territory of motherhood is full of the unexpected.  Yet for the countless women who may be faced with postpartum depression, the early days of motherhood may tell a different story. It is an emotional, overwhelming rollercoaster that many new mothers will experience.

grey-linen pattern.png

1 million a year

Each year, an estimated 1 million women will struggle with postpartum depression (PPD) or some type of perinatal mood disorder following pregnancy, yet only 15% of these women will receive professional treatment.  This paints a stark reality of motherhood for many women who are facing insurmountable challenges in the days and months following childbirth.  

grey-linen pattern.png

an unspoken shame

An unspoken shame is often experienced with postpartum depression, as this disorder is stigmatized in a culture that would rather sweep it under the rug.  Many mothers dealing with PPD may feel ashamed about their earliest experiences of motherhood: feeling disconnected, and unable to bond with their newborn during a time that should be blissful and joyful.

 

 
 
 

Being mentally aware of PPD now before you enter motherhood will help you navigate those early difficult months. Allowing yourself to be supported once your baby arrives will help you regain a fresh perspective that life is beautiful, in all its imperfection.