Updated: Dec 16, 2021
The two lines on the pregnancy tester are like the happiest moment for some women, a very emotional moment that cannot be expressed in words so easily, the struggle, the happiness, the pain, unable to believe that you are really pregnant, waiting to share it with someone but also the thought that it has to be a secret till the doctor’s visit, unable to swallow this news, and the eagerness to just scream out loud and say that I am going to be a Mother! We are going to be parents! Is the most precious moment and one of the first moments with your baby.
For a few others, the two lines on the pregnancy tester could bring the worst nightmare in front of them, especially if the pregnancy was not planned, the fear, the fear of change, the fear of acceptance, maybe the heartbeat starts to sound like African drummers thumping on the head, so loud that no other sound is audible. A strange feeling where even guilt creeps in unknowingly for thinking in a different way.
Then here comes the trimesters, where each trimester has a milestone to cross, and the most talked-about trimesters are the first three trimesters. From family members to friends to doctors guide you through these trimesters from what food to eat, what are your cravings, baby shower, maternity wear, maternity photoshoot, hospital bag checklist, baby care products, pregnancy tracker apps, apps to tell you the size of the baby each month, fitness routine during your pregnancy, and so many more!
All this to cover the three trimesters where your baby is safe inside your womb in a protected environment when the baby literally need not do anything, the nature of the woman's body takes care of everything the baby needs. You are okay to put on the extra kilos when your baby is inside, everyone around you is so happy to see your glow, so happy to see you grow, so happy to see your promotion as a mother, your parents are happy that they are getting promoted from father, mother to GRAND father and mother.
So many happy emotions, wah wah wah wah, but none, no one, not even one person wants to even warn you about the hidden trimester also known as the fourth trimester! They just feel you will figure out what to do, or they don’t want to let you know about it because what if after listening about the fourth trimester, you decide not to get pregnant. But it is not fair to NOT tell a woman what will happen after the birth, it is not acceptable that postpartum care is not spoken about, the care a new mother need is neither discussed nor planned!
The Fourth Trimester or The Postpartum period
The most important time in a woman’s life after the child’s birth is the postpartum period. Postpartum means post-delivery, the postpartum period is the time after your child’s birth.
It is the responsibility of both the woman and her family to plan for the postpartum period. Taking care of an infant is not the responsibility of one person and it never was a responsibility of one person, for the fact that the demand from the baby is high and the baby needs that care and environment which cannot be handled by a single person. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Yes, a village! It is not to raise a child, the child thrives on its own, the village is needed to handle other tasks like cooking, cleaning, bathing, buying groceries, taking care of the baby, or wherever the mother needs help so that the mother can heal herself and recover.
But, instead of focusing on the mother along with the baby, the entire focus shifts towards the baby, whereas the baby is looking for the mother to find comfort, and here we tend to forget that only if the mother is taken care of, can the child also be taken care of.
Irrespective of the type of birth a mother has, irrespective of whether the pregnancy to the delivery was traumatic or not, postpartum care is needed for every woman who is a mother. If we are not taking care of women now, then there will be a huge impact on the upcoming generations, physical and emotional health will be compromised.
How can postpartum care impact the next generation?
Every human’s life begins by being a part of a woman. She nurtures the life inside her by giving her blood, her life, her everything, the life inside her takes everything from her, this is how nature works, the survival of the life inside the womb depends on the woman who bears the life.
Now, what happens if the woman is not given postpartum care? We should know that the hormones go haywire after the child’s birth because now the body is preparing itself to get back to before the pregnancy and also produce food for the baby. This task requires a lot of work from the hormones and tends to affect a woman emotionally, the level in which it affects a woman varies from each individual, but there is an impact on every woman.
If at this time when she is as vulnerable as the baby, and a woman is not taken care of, then she may not be able to give herself completely to the baby, remember the baby was part of her and can feel all her emotions even when the baby is outside. This connection lasts for quite some time. So if you want the baby to have happy emotions, you need to give happy emotions to the mother as well. Else it can have an impact on the child’s emotions and can impact psychologically.
This is the next generation of human beings we are talking about and if they are not in their well-being emotionally and physically, then humankind may not THRIVE but may only survive and there is a huge difference between the two words. It is time we take responsibility for our actions, responsibility for ourselves, and responsibility for our environment. Remember your child has to live in this environment. You cannot change the entire world but you can definitely change yourself. Make your home a better place to live in.
Postpartum care is a crucial period in a mother’s life. This care can go a long way in her life, it will also help her during her meopause which is when the body stops the reproductive hormones to mark the end of reproduction, and even during this time the hormones go crazy causing a lot of side effects. Postpartum care helps her in her matrescence and menopause where she needs utmost care and support.
Man and woman are biologically different for a reason, let’s respect the differences. Let’s respect every individual. Let’s give her the care she needs.