Baby photographer Hampshire shares expectation experience of 4th trimester… Having a baby is such a very special time. As your body changes as you go through your trimester journeys, every change is exciting. The majority of times, unless a mum-to-be has had a maternity photography session, I get to meet mums in their fourth trimester. From talking to mums that come to the studio, no one really prepares them for the fourth trimester. Maybe it’s because the focus has been on different stages of their pregnancy through to meeting their little bundle of joy, rather than thinking about what the fourth trimester looks like.
What is the Pregnancy Fourth Trimester?
It’s the 12 weeks immediately after giving birth. I’m so lucky to get to meet mums during the first and second week of their fourth trimester. I am always amazed by the mums that come to my lovely newborn photography studio at Cams Hall. They are so full of energy and really don’t look like they have just given birth to their baby. Perhaps having a newborn photography session to focus on gives them a reason to get dressed and out of the house.
The first few weeks after giving birth can be a real whirlwind – not knowing what day it is and a constant cycle of feed, change, and do a few jobs in between baby’s sleep time. I do believe the fourth trimester is a learning curve in you getting to know your baby and your baby getting to know you. It’s such a crucial time for you to bond with your baby. I often say to mums and dads “can you imagine your baby not being here now?” It can certainly take a while for their new status of mum and dad to sink in.
It must be a bit of a shock to the system for your newborn baby. For 9 months, they’ve had the security, warmth and protection of your womb and all of a sudden, they’re joining the outside world. No wonder they cry when they’re first born!
The Magic Touch from Baby Photographer Hampshire
A newborn baby needs to feel the love and care that their new mummy can give them. They need to feel the touch of their mummy’s hands and the warmth of being next to mummy and familiar sounds to make them feel reassured that they’re safe in mummy’s arms.
As a newborn photographer, I use similar settling techniques that any new mummy would use. White noise is excellent for soothing and calming a baby. In my lovely studio, I use a hairdryer which is amazing at settling babies. With some little ones, it’s like a switch and they settle immediately. I think it also provides a little warmth too which helps comfort the baby. Although sometimes it just won’t work when a baby is hungry!
Skin to skin contact without a doubt gives your newborn baby reassurance. Mums will often say to me “my baby cries when we get him/her undressed”. Challenged accepted – I think in my head! I can usually get a sleeping baby undressed in their car seat and then dressed in a romper and wrapped up – with their baby still asleep. With each stage of undressing the baby, I’m holding my hands against their arms/legs etc so they feel the skin to skin touch of my hands.
When parents witness me getting their baby undressed, dressed in the romper and then wrapped and still asleep, they often ask if I can come to them at night and settle their baby! I do love my title of the ‘Baby Whisperer’.
A Tough Start
For some mums, especially if they’ve had a C-section, the first couple of weeks can be pretty tough. There’s the physical exhaustion of giving birth, combined with hormones and adapting to a new route of looking after a newborn baby. No wonder mums find it tough as they start on their motherhood journey.
The advice given by experts is to take time to sleep when baby does, however when you already have an active toddler to look after, it’s not easy to take an afternoon nap. It’s no wonder the second baby has to go along with the flow and fit into an existing routine.
Do you have any fourth trimester stories you would like to share?