Birth; the end of pregnancy brings about huge changes. Some are very apparent like the physical ones we experience on our body, but some are not as much talked about, like the changes our newborn baby is experiencing. Generally, birth is seen as the beginning of the baby’s life, but actually the baby existed inside of us for quite a while now. He can hear the outside world, recognize the mother’s voice, feel the mothers movements, and is gently rocked when she walks. He can move around in this limited space and the best indicator to know that baby is well, is when the mother feels him kick and move inside of her regularly. Baby never experiences being hungry as he is always well nourished by the placenta. Birth is a transition in baby’s life’ it’s not the beginning of his or her life, and it is in our hands to make this transition as gentle as possible.
The idea of the fourth trimester is to basically continue the life in the womb and make the first time outside of the womb as similar to the life inside of it. A teacher of mine coined this wonderful comparison, that we are born into the “social uterus of love”. In fact, we need loving people around us to survive. Frederick II (Holy Roman Emperor in the Middle Ages) wanted to find out what would the primal language of humans would be if they didn’t receive any lingual stimulus from other people, so a number of newborn babies were put together, but were only fed and washed and didn’t receive ant other care. They all died because their organs didn’t develop. Their lungs didn’t expand to breathe, because they didn’t experience adults breathe. Their hearts didn’t function properly because they didn’t hear the mothers heart when carried around and so on. We not only need food and hygiene, we need human interaction and role models to survive and thrive. We need to to spend time together to achieve optimal growth.
The idea of the fourth trimester is to listen and tune in with the slowness of the newborn baby, to take the time to look at this new human being, to welcome him, to sense his spirit, to allow to fall deeply and profoundly in love and establish a life-important bond. It is a time where you don’t listen to loud music, only meet people you really like and you are familiar with, where you stay at home most of the time, watch your baby, rest, let your own body heal, enjoy breastfeeding your baby, carry him or her (don’t invest in baby seats and prams, but a good baby carrier), get to know tour baby’s rhythms and noises. Learn to communicate with him, don’t watch the news, don’t worry about the things you usually worry about. You don’t literally have to do this for three months, but certainly as long as you feel it is right and important, and after this time, slowly expand you and your babies activities. This is just one reason why staying home with you children as a mother is a good idea, if you can.