There’s a wonderful Indian saying: ‘the first forty days of life will impact the next forty years of life’. These words refer to the period just after birth, a transitional time of recovery. It’s an opportunity to adjust from pregnancy to motherhood – a short season that extends into the fourth trimester, dedicated to resting, healing, and nourishing both mother and baby.
The Fourth Trimester
Many cultures consider this time necessary because it benefits the mother, child, their family, community, and society at large. It’s an unpredictable phase in life with many new challenges, and mothers need just as much support and care as their babies.
The body and mind go through a deeply powerful transformation. There are lots of changes happening physically and emotionally, on top of fluctuating hormones, lack of sleep, and the new responsibility of caring for a baby 24/7.
Our western society fails to acknowledge this, expecting new mothers to bounce back quickly. With no dedicated time or space to become mothers at their own pace, many women experience a confusing time full of worry, disappointment, guilt, frustration, and fear.