Fourth Trimester Overwhelms Moms

Professionals agree: More needs to be done to prepare new moms.

The first few months of motherhood come with more than just the sweet sounds and smells of a newborn baby. This was especially true for Megan Gray, M.D., board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and author of “The Forgotten Trimester.” After her own trying delivery, she was overwhelmed. She worried that she hadn’t prepared her own patients for the three to four months immediately following delivery.

“It is a time when women’s bodies are getting back to normal. They are making the transition from being a woman to being a mom, learning about a new body and learning about all of those new responsibilities,” Gray told the Orlando Sentinel.

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Gray believes making education a priority in the physician’s office coupled with support services during the “forgotten trimester” would make a positive impact on the lives new moms and their newborns.

One in nine U.S. women will suffer postpartum depression and 70 to 80 percent experience a less-intense “baby blues” period. 
- Centers for Disease Control

“Moms are surprised at things such as hair loss, changes in how they carry their weight, skin discoloration, incontinence, and constipation,” said Stephanie Landi, Orlando Health licensed clinical social worker. “They feel that if they were educated on these changes, that they may have been better prepared to handle them both physically and emotionally.”

Landi holds a certificate in Maternal Mental Health from Postpartum Support International.

“Don’t ask a new mom what she needs. Tell her that you’ll do something specific. Tell her you want to drop off dinner on Wednesday night, drop off some freezer meals before or after the baby arrives, or see if she is OK with you coming by one day for a few hours to let her sleep or shower,” Landi said.

If you are a new mom or soon-to-be new mom, don’t forget it’s OK to ask for and accept help. Learn more about preparing for your newborn or how you can help a new mom here.

Sandee Gruner

Sandee Gruner

Sandee Gruner is a full-time working mom with a love for writing and communications. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring local attractions and volunteering.

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