The Fourth Trimester: Everything You Need To Know
Why is the fourth trimester just as important as the first three...
4 February 2018
Have you ever heard of the term ‘fourth trimester’ and wondered what on earth that is? We’re all familiar with the three trimesters of pregnancy, but a fourth one might just not be as popular.
The fourth trimester for a baby starts from the minute he/she is born. And it lasts for 3 months, during which your new born develops his senses, and tries to adjust to the life outside the womb.
During the fourth trimester the new born learns how to control his reflexes, how to respond, and refine. With al, the physical and mental strides the new born takes during the fourth trimester are just as significant as the ones he took in the first three trimesters in the womb.
Also, the new born gets used to the lights, sounds, noises, smells, and sensations of the outside world during his first three months outside the womb.
Why is the fourth trimester important for the new born?
The baby in his mother’s womb is completely dependants and relying on her for care and attention. And once he’s born, he’s got nothing but his instincts and reflexes to help him control his behaviour and movements.
And because your newborn’s senses are still developing, she needs the fourth trimester to adapt to the change. Also, although your baby’s brain is completely developed by the time he’s born, his nervous system still continues to develop after birth. And most of this development takes place in the fourth trimester.
How does your baby develop during the fourth trimester?
- Your baby will learn to breathe more steadily and startle less
- Your baby will develop more controlled movements
- The newborn settles into more constant sleep patterns
- He will show more constant feeding patterns as well
- Will learn how to soothe himself to sleep
- Will improve his social skills
- He will learn how to interact more with his surroundings
How to soothe your baby during the fourth trimester?
- Soothing touch: touching your baby and massaging him gently helps him feel warm and safe, as he’s used to your smell and heartbeat. This will also help him latch on if you’re breastfeeding him.
- Feeding: make sure you give your baby the nourishment he needs whenever he needs it. And that applies to breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. This will meet her energy needs, and keep her calm and reassured.
- Baby wrap: using a sling or a baby wrap during the fourth trimester is very important and helps a great deal, as it offers a feeling very close to that of the womb, which will definitely soothe your baby.
- Swinging and moving: your baby is used to being rocked and lulled in the womb by your daily life movement. Mimicking these gentle moves will help him feel comfortable and safe.
Remember, not all babies are the same. Some might like to be swung and moved, and some might just not feel comfy. Your baby will soon enough let you know whether he likes something or not.