Defined as the first three months of your baby’s life, 4th trimester is a time when the newborn is adjusting to life on the outside and you are equally adjusting to your new life and parental responsibilities on the inside. The baby gets out into the world and you get to “stay in” for a while.
Nursing your injuries while nursing your baby, coping with sleep deprivation, for many women this time of joy is not always the picture-perfect softly filtered existence social media influencers would have us believe in. It can be messy and painful, and with 100% focus on the baby, it’s easy to forget about your own physical and emotional needs. This is, in turn, is NOT GOOD FOR THE BABY! Please remember what’s good for you IS best for the baby.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey, so don’t be shy in asking or accepting assistance, every little bit helps. As the world’s leading and most comprehensive range of maternity compression garments, we at SRC will help you focus on your physical recovery, be it recovery from c-section or vaginal delivery.
As we have covered how our products assist with post-partum recovery in a number of blogs; 7 Things You Can Do to Speed Up Recovery After C-Section and 7 Reasons Why SRC Compression is your Must Have Post Natal Recovery Garment we will focus on bringing you what we believe is detailed, tried and tested list of things that can speed up your recovery during the 4th trimester and make life easier, regardless of whether you deliver vaginally or via a c-section.
Number One (item for your Hospital Bag)
My SRC Recovery Shorts. I have never had a c-section before and didn't know what to expect. The first time standing up was hmmm shall I say 'interesting'. I have low blood pressure normally due to my size, age and fitness, but after losing a lot of blood- it was extremely low. So standing up wasn't fun anyway- regardless of the abdominal surgery! LOL Nath had to put these on me the first day, stretching the top. Once on - I could walk again! Seriously a godsend. Number one, hands down, the best product I packed.
- Sophie Guidolin, mother-of-four, nutritionist, recipe creator, personal trainer, fitness model, professional IFBB bikini athlete and author of 7 recipe books.
3. A Peri Bottle (perineal irrigation bottle) is an absolute necessity if you had a vaginal birth – essentially a portable bidet for keeping it clean and preventing infection after going to the toilet. Plus touching that area may be extremely painful and not as hygienic as water. It's basically a plastic squirt bottle with measurement markings. Simply fill the peri bottle with warm water and squeeze it – a jet of water will shoot out the nozzle help you cleanse and wash your perineal area. Many also use it while passing urine to take the sting of it out, talking of ‘sting’ drinking Ural is also really helpful and many hospitals will give you sachets to drink while you are there. You can also get them in every pharmacy. Mums have used everything from a squeezy sauce bottle you can get at a supermarket to spray bottles from Kmart to Pump brand water bottles! Here’s a simple one https://www.pregnancy.com.au/product/peri-bottle-white/ for under $3 and a spray one for $4, you can even pick up soothing herbs.
4. A Perineum Ice and Heat Pack is a convenient and simple way of relieving pain “down there” regardless of whether you had a vaginal birth or a c-section, as it can be applied to your perineum or your c-section scar to reduce swelling and pain. The SRC Relief Femme-Eze, Ice and Heat Pack is tailored to female anatomy and comes with an organic cotton cover so you don’t get “freezer burn”, it also makes for a much more durable and convenient first aid tool that you can keep in your freezer long after the 4th It will also assist with a number of conditions such as vulvodynia, vulvar varicose veins, reduction of swelling after a labiaplasty, episiotomy care and recovery, perineal pain relief after childbirth, perineal care during labour, and hemorrhoid management during and after pregnancy.
5. While we are on the benefits, convenience and simplicity of ice and heat treatments, there’s also the SRC Relief Breast-Eze Ice & Heat Packs which are great for breastfeeding related discomfort, even if you are not planning to breastfeed for long, these will be a godsend if you happen to be suffering from mastitis, vasospasm, engorgement or blocked milk ducts. They come with their own organic cotton covers.
6. Perineal Spray provides soothing, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and healing properties for those tender, bruised nether regions after birthing during the 4th Here are our 2 picks: Peri - Haven and Earth Mama
7. It’s all about the Perineum – here’s another great addition to your 4th trimester survival kit. Earth Mumma Organics Mumma to Be Belly Oil – not only is it a fantastic blend of nourishing certified organic oils designed to prevent and repair stretch marks during and after pregnancy, providing excellent hydration and protecting the skin’s connective tissue while repairing and regenerating skin cells, it can also help ‘prepare your birth area’ for your baby’s arrival with Perineal massage! It’s ‘a thing’ and you can read the some of the research summarized here by American Pregnancy Association. Studies have shown that Perineal massage during the last month of pregnancy encourages the elasticity of the perineum, helps to reduce tearing or the need for an episiotomy during childbirth by enabling the perineal tissue to expand more easily.
8. Super Absorbent Pads. You’ll need them. We recommend organic cotton with no plastic backing. This way they can also be used to protect your c-section scar and if necessary when wearing your SRC Recovery garment. Here are two great choices; Tom Organic and Natracare.
9. Flushable Medicated Wipes, Maximum Strength Relief with Witch Hazel and Aloe. Designed to be Hemorrhoidal Wipes, they will be super useful regardless of whether you have the condition or not.
10. While we are on the throne, stool softener is the logical extension. After popping out what feels like a watermelon, you will want to make your bathroom visit as painless and smooth as possible. Fibre is your friend, always, but especially NOW. Psyllium Husks are a great addition to your diet, but please make sure you drink plenty of water, which is always important, but especially when supplementing with psyllium…another option is good old Metamucil, essentially flavored psyllium husks available from every supermarket.
11. Comfortable pants – sometimes black leggings may not be the best choice (we can’t think of a reason, but then we are biased) and you need to be super comfy – you can’t get comfier than Genie Pants – you can always wear them on top of your SRC Recovery Leggings they’ll give you the comfort you deserve during the 4th trimester, albeit without the mandatory 3 wishes. Oh and you can wear them while you are pregnant!
12. Essentials Feeding Wrap / Cardigan – talking of magic, you are only limited by your imagination. You can wear these Feeding Wraps any which way, while you are pregnant and during the 4th trimester and for as long as you want to after that, it’s a magic cape after all! Check out this video for extra ideas!
13. The Donut Pillow - avoid pain when sitting, especially if you have stitches. Prepare and have a Donut Cushion to protect your healing nether regions during the taxing 4th It’s literally a lifesaver, looks like one too.
14. Hemorrhoidal Cream – It’s the ‘ass end of the plan’ but it could just as easily be the first one on the 4th trimester list.
15. Nursing Bras – you can have your cake and eat it! Comfort and Style, check out the collection at Cake Maternity & nursing bras for every lifestyle! Cake nursing bras feature all the things a good nursing bras should have: additional support for your fuller bust which can be approximately 35% heavier, side support to avoid flattening of the bust which can lead to ligament damage, non-restrictive, a wider set frame to avoid pressure on the milk ducts, cotton lining for comfort and breathability, six hooks and eyes for room to reduce as your rib cage contracts & one hand drop down clips for easy nursing.
16. Nutritional Plan – If you want to speed up your recovery, have the energy to meet all of the new and demanding physical challenges during the 4th trimester, that’s not counting any exercise routines, you should have a plan – here’s one from the team at Natology who specialize in nutrition and naturopathy, especially with respect to women’s issues like fertility, hormonal and thyroid and post-natal disorders.
17. Restore Your Core and Pelvic Floor - is an 8-week online program to kick-start your recovery and fitness post-baby and includes daily exercises, interviews and video resources designed to:
Designed by Shira Kramer, one of Australia’s leading Physiotherapists and Fitness Professionals and an industry leader in exercise programming for pre-and post-natal women, the Restore Your Core program is the result of her 15+ years’ experience as a physio, helping over 5,000 women recover post-childbirth with safe and effective exercise, including restoring core muscle function and diastasis recti (DRAM) recovery.
Wishing you a healthy and enjoyable 4th trimester!